Toledo Talk

Downtown Toledo "Master Plan"

I know this has been mentioned elsewhere but I believe it deserves it's own thread!

I attended the first public meeting last night at the Downtown Public library for the 22nd Century Committee's Downtown Toledo Master plan. More about the committee here: http://www.ssoe.com/press-releases/the-22nd-century-committee-announces-public-private-collaborative-to-revitalize-downtown-toledo/

More about the plan here: http://downtowntoledoplan.com/

This is what they presented last night: http://downtowntoledoplan.com/document/public-meeting-1-presentation

The house was PACKED. Honestly I was shocked at how many people showed up. If you're involved in anything Toledo related you would have recognized a lot of familiar faces. The age and gender demographics were super diverse and it ended up being standing room only. Most of the city council was in attendance as well.

I'm still getting my head around what was presented but I'm curious if any other Toledo Talkers were in attendance. I saw Fred there but didn't spot anyone else.

From their website, they are encouraging feedback from the public and the next public meeting in a few months will take that feedback into consideration: http://downtowntoledoplan.com/participate-list

created by upso on Jan 20, 2016 at 10:53:52 pm     Business     Comments: 36

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Comments ... #

Nice write up...I am curious and will check it out

posted by dino on Jan 20, 2016 at 11:10:06 pm     #  

Wow. Quite the slide presentation, thanks for posting.

posted by Xbuckeyex on Jan 20, 2016 at 11:13:13 pm     #  

Very cool to see something like this. Sort of brings memories of when OKC started to finally turn things around and get things going down there. I started to read through a lot of the comments left by folks on what they see for the various topics and really impressed with people.

posted by JustaSooner on Jan 21, 2016 at 01:16:21 am     #  

I was there, and was blown away by how well-rounded the presentation was. Really emphasizing that downtown was designed to be the hub of the entire area, not just another neighborhood inside the city. Was also extremely happy about the incredible turnout. I can't wait for the followup meeting on May 4th.

posted by Johio83 on Jan 21, 2016 at 10:04:51 am     #  

Nice-Thanks for sharing-I'll try to make it to the next one. Those old pictures are awesome. I'd really like to know how DT lost it's vision over the last 40 years or so. Fun trivia-Endcycle and I appear in one of the slides with our wives.

posted by ahmahler on Jan 21, 2016 at 10:12:57 am     #  

Hell, should have had a TT meetup there! I was lurking in the background on the news

posted by Johio83 on Jan 21, 2016 at 10:33:55 am     #  

Just me and my commentary from the outside.....one thing Ive learned in my past dealings with "soliciting public input" is that almost no matter how sincere the intent, it ends up being a smoke screen and a crutch for those in power to say "we listened". They end up doing what they want, regardless of what is said at these sessions. Yes, this is a negative nelly type comment, but past realities support my thinking.

posted by BulldogBuckeye on Jan 21, 2016 at 10:57:06 am     #  

ahmahler posted at 09:12:57 AM on Jan 21, 2016:

Nice-Thanks for sharing-I'll try to make it to the next one. Those old pictures are awesome. I'd really like to know how DT lost it's vision over the last 40 years or so. Fun trivia-Endcycle and I appear in one of the slides with our wives.

I had to look 3 times to find us. Neat.

Next meeting is 5/4 - I am going to try to make it to that one for sure. We should have a TT meetup for beers/cocktails after or before!

posted by endcycle on Jan 21, 2016 at 12:04:26 pm     #   1 person liked this

First of all, from a planning perspective, there is nothing new in the analysis of the existing conditions, the history, and the planning ideas so far proposed. Over the last 35 years there have been numerous plans for downtown that have investigated, taken public input from a large number of shareholders, brought in designers and market experts to proposed changes, suggest uses, and lobby for improvements. This is not intended as a knock... professional planners and designers have coalesced behind these sets of ideas and principles fairly widely since about 1980 with relatively minor refinement and trends.

A couple things have changed.

I think the positive effects of the earlier plans and investments by relatively small players accumulated and that, in turn, brought downtown to the attention of the mud hens and eventually the walleye. This governmental investment and along continued small investment created a very nice if somewhat sporadic buzz... and now has brought downtown to a tipping point where major employers, investors, and the government are recognizing the value of what has been created. We are now on the doorstep of many additional jobs moving back into the downtown which in turn will once again support a myriad of small jobs and investments in these neighborhoods.

It is the serious involvement of many companies and corporations with vested interest that makes this new plan different and important and likely to have a real impact on how things happen...

... but of course any plan they set up has a very good chance of being disregarded if some other company/entity wants to make a substantial investment downtown: look at how Promedica, one of the principles in this new plan, decided the new parking garage should be turned perpendicular to Summit Street and cross over Water St RoW. I am FOR the parking garage, but cutting off Fort Industry's view and removing another street is bad urban planning. The presentation even criticizes all of the cut off streets and super blocks that exist downtown because of the stadium, the arena, and the convention center and the demolition of important buildings that occurred ... and yet when all of these projects were being planned many people spoke against the specific location of these projects because of these negative effects... everyone wants to be the exception to good planning and then wants to slam the door behind them on others doing bad urban planning.

I am hopeful that progress will continue to be made and that investment continues to be concentrated downtown and that the City and hold the line in sticking with the plan to save and revive these neighborhoods... this in turn can be a catalyst for outside investment to create new jobs in Toledo and provide an alternative residential experience Toledo has not had in fifty years

posted by enjoyeverysandwich on Jan 21, 2016 at 12:19:53 pm     #  

I think it should be said that these guys seem pretty independent. Regardless of the fact that they were brought in by the 22nd Century Committee, I don't think they're catering to anyone other than their own principles of how urban cores operate best. As ees mentioned, they were pretty critical of the way the ball park and arena interrupted the city grid, so they don't seem too concerned about biting the hand that feeds them.

posted by Johio83 on Jan 21, 2016 at 12:25:03 pm     #   2 people liked this

Johio83 posted at 10:04:51 AM on Jan 21, 2016:

I was there, and was blown away by how well-rounded the presentation was. Really emphasizing that downtown was designed to be the hub of the entire area, not just another neighborhood inside the city. Was also extremely happy about the incredible turnout. I can't wait for the followup meeting on May 4th.

http://toledotechevents.org/events/2140

Join us for our second Public Meeting at the Toledo-Lucas County Main Library on May 4, 2016.

At this meeting we will review Initial Findings, Emerging Opportunities, and a Planning Vision for Downtown Toledo.

Doors open at 5:00 PM, with a presentation commencing at 5:30 PM. Open house activities will follow the presentation, which will conclude at 7:30 PM.

posted by jr on Apr 28, 2016 at 06:02:04 pm     #  

I've been told they are going to add a second overflow space with a live feed to address the problem of the overcrowded room last time around.

I'm surprised the blade hasn't covered this second event... or if they did I missed it. I would have totally planned to come into town for this as I did the last one but just heard about it yesterday.

\_(ツ)_/

posted by upso on Apr 28, 2016 at 06:21:03 pm     #  

Well, just to play devil's advocate; they announced the May 4th meeting's date at the end of the first meeting, as well as the third and final meeting on July 12th.

posted by Johio83 on Apr 28, 2016 at 06:57:19 pm     #  

oh for sure, but for whatever reason i use the local papers to keep up with what's going on in toledo \_(ツ)_/

posted by upso on Apr 28, 2016 at 07:25:47 pm     #   1 person liked this

upso posted at 07:25:47 PM on Apr 28, 2016:

oh for sure, but for whatever reason i use the local papers to keep up with what's going on in toledo \_(ツ)_/

Kind of like watching a daytime soap opera for 30 years. You could skip 5 to 10 year periods and still know what's going on and who the players are.
Same old, same old.

posted by Foodie on Apr 29, 2016 at 08:55:34 am     #   1 person liked this

\_(ツ)_/ Joey Bosa

posted by BulldogBuckeye on Apr 29, 2016 at 12:57:06 pm     #  

I don't have anything to contribute.

\_(ツ)_/

posted by endcycle on Apr 29, 2016 at 01:55:42 pm     #   4 people liked this

\_(ツ)_/

posted by BulldogBuckeye on Apr 29, 2016 at 03:05:43 pm     #  

(╯□)╯︵ ┻━┻

posted by kaj on Apr 29, 2016 at 03:15:21 pm     #  

kaj posted at 03:15:21 PM on Apr 29, 2016:

(╯□)╯︵ ┻━┻

Found the redditor.

posted by hunkytownsausage on Apr 29, 2016 at 05:36:36 pm     #   1 person liked this

I just found out the final meeting is tonight at 5:
http://downtowntoledoplan.com/events/upcoming

Why wasn't this publicized more? And why is it at 5? Many people work until 5.

posted by classylady on Jul 13, 2016 at 02:59:00 pm     #  

All of the meetings have been at 5 and it was in the blade last week. Someone involved mentioned to me the 5pm slot was intended to make it easy for folks to get to after work. I believe all three dates were publicized from the beginning.

posted by upso on Jul 13, 2016 at 03:09:57 pm     #  

Hard to set an after work time. You have to hope people can figure out a way to leave around 4:45, like on Fridays.

posted by justread on Jul 13, 2016 at 03:13:49 pm     #   1 person liked this

As upso mentioned, they've had all of the dates and times on the downtowntoledoplan.com site since like January. As for the 5:00 time, that's when the "doors opened" for the previous meetings, with the actual presentation starting at 5:30. I agree though, why they couldn't just hold off until 6:00 or something seems odd.

posted by Johio83 on Jul 13, 2016 at 03:21:58 pm     #  

I have tried to do things at 6:00, and found that you either need to do 5:00 and let people leave work early and get home/eat late, or start at 7:00, and hope they come back out.

For these, I pretty much understand the 5:00.

posted by justread on Jul 13, 2016 at 03:31:07 pm     #  

yeah, same. most of the boards i've sat on have had 5pm (or earlier!) meetings. hopefully folks employers will let them leave early but like johio83 states, the first 1/2 hour is just people milling around.

posted by upso on Jul 13, 2016 at 04:08:46 pm     #  

Tonight's event was SUPER interesting.
You can take a look at the presentation here: http://www.downtowntoledoplan.com/document/public-meeting-3-presentation

the before and after renderings are fascinating. Anyone else attend besides me and Johio?

posted by upso on Jul 13, 2016 at 08:48:05 pm     #  

I was also there. I wish I wouldn't have rushed out of the office right at 5 because it didn't start until 5:30.

I thought part of it was interesting, but I'm sure most of the stuff won't get accomplished.

What was the "civic center" they kept referencing, are they talking about Government Center?

I thought the part about the proposed type of bike lane they want to do on Jefferson was interesting. I don't see it ever happening but it would be great to have a bike lane separated with a type of baracade to make sure vehicular traffic wouldn't interfere with bikes (something I notice in bigger cities that are bike friendly with dedicated bike lanes is that cars and trucks will pull into the bike lane and block it for unloading and have also almost been hit a couple times in Chicago and LA when the bike lane runs inbetween the street and parallel street parking and people will open their car doors without paying attention to bikers).

The new metropark downtown sounds great and I can't wait for that to open.

I noticed they didn't spend much time talking about the Vistula area like they did at the last meeting

posted by jamesteroh on Jul 13, 2016 at 09:43:40 pm     #  

in regards to a civic center, this is from 5 years ago: http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2011/08/10/Civic-Center-Mall-panel-launched.html

that said, i remember reading about a major project coming our way for a NW ohio court system project and wondered if that's part of this?

posted by upso on Jul 13, 2016 at 10:10:49 pm     #  

I felt last nights was the best one of the three. I didn't see the significance in having the tables outside in the lobby after for this meeting however.

posted by classylady on Jul 14, 2016 at 11:01:22 am     #  

Does it ever come up in this plan or in any serious forward thinking discussions that Portside be re-purposed into its original format: restaurants, bars, small retail? I cant believe this hasnt come under serious consideration. Sorry to reiterate and earlier post, but its a wasted asset right now, and a "back to the future" move would be a low hanging fruit and would offer a quick yet substantial improvement to downtown.

posted by BulldogBuckeye on Jul 14, 2016 at 02:01:05 pm     #  

I think the fact that Imagination Station is in there makes it a touchy subject. No way they could afford to move with their current funding. It would take a Promedica to build something and then help them relocate before portside is going to open back up. And I agree with everyone... It should go back to mixed use commercial.

posted by upso on Jul 14, 2016 at 02:12:41 pm     #  

I think it would make more sense to move Imagination Station if they can revitalize Portside than to waste the money on the Seagate Center. Quality retail will bring people downtown, a convention center won't. The only times I remembered the convention center bringing a lot of people downtown was when the Jehovah's Witnesses use to have their long weekend conferences in the summer (that did bring a lot of people downtown on weekends but only those attending the convention) and that radio airplane show they do once a year.

posted by jamesteroh on Jul 14, 2016 at 02:19:31 pm     #  

The convention center isn't about bringing Toledoans downtown, it's about bringing people to Toledo. Bringing in outside dollars is a fundamental part of any city's success.

posted by Johio83 on Jul 14, 2016 at 03:39:52 pm     #  

upso posted at 02:12:41 PM on Jul 14, 2016:

I think the fact that Imagination Station is in there makes it a touchy subject. No way they could afford to move with their current funding. It would take a Promedica to build something and then help them relocate before portside is going to open back up. And I agree with everyone... It should go back to mixed use commercial.

When you move into a space and you have to paint a thousand windows black, you are in the wrong space.

posted by justread on Jul 14, 2016 at 04:09:24 pm     #   2 people liked this

I don't disagree.

posted by upso on Jul 14, 2016 at 04:10:54 pm     #