6th_floor's comment in another thread:
Hopefully Promedica purchases the Marina District and officially converts it into a bird and bum sanctuary.
This might be my fault.
ProMedica and the Metroparks probably read my birdwatching reports from the Marina District land, and how I considered it amazing that Savannah Sparrows and Eastern Meadowlarks nest or try to nest each summer on that grassland habitat, located in the downtown of a mid-sized city. That type of bird activity in a downtown city is probably unique to the entire United States.
In the past, I have jokingly thought that the Marina District land should be made a city park. I never thought that it would be possible.
My May 2013 comment
From a nature perspective, that scruffy Marina District property has now become good habitat for some grassland birds. ... those birds require plenty of open space.
Well, grassland habitat outside Toledo gets developed, so now vacant land inside the city becomes the new grassland. Unfortunately, the city will mow the Marina District land and disrupt things. Maybe it should be turned into a park.
BTW, visit Google.com and note today's Google Doodle, which remembers Phoebe Snetsinger. Serendipity, bitches.
From justread's above comment
The only benefit whatsoever is that PH2 has already counted the money from the sale in the budget ...
I would agree if Toledo owned the land, but Dashing-Pacific will sell it to ProMedica.
ProMedica will buy all 69 acres of the Marina District land, currently owned by DP.
The entire Marina District land contains approximately 128 acres.
I don't know who owns the other 50-plus acres. Maybe the city of Toledo (us) owns it.
And maybe this other 50-plus acres will be sold by Toledo to ProMedica, which supports justread's comment about the mayor selling it for budget reasons. Toledo's 2016 budget relies on the city selling a few million dollars worth of land.
The text portion of yesterday's Blade story does not mention the possible sale of the other 50-plus acres of Marina District land.
But this image from the story alludes to ProMedica possibly buying ALL of the Marina District land eventually. What would ProMedica do with the rest of the land if it buys it?
From the June 8, 2016 Blade story:
ProMedica plans to hold the land for an undetermined amount of time before it sells most or all of it for the same price to the Metroparks ...
How many years in an "undetermined"? Three, five, ten?
The Middlegrounds Metropark is scheduled to open in three months, September 2016. The Metroparks acquired that land at least 10 years ago.
From the June 8, 2016 Blade story:
The new park would be the system’s top priority and take at least 12 months to plan,
Mr. Zenk said.
Mr. Oostra stressed that ProMedica does not intend to develop the property and does not want to keep it long term.
Mr. Bell warned that Lucas County would no longer receive property taxes on the land once it is owned by the Metroparks system.
Neither the mayor nor Mr. Oostra was dissatisfied that the property would no longer be in the running for mixed-use commercial development.
The ProMedica/Metroparks plan for the Marina District will be the sixth development idea for that location.
Announced Marina District developers:
- ~2001 - Frank Kass - Columbus
- ~2003 - Bruce Douglas - Toledo area
- 2005 - Pizzuti Cos - Columbus
- 2006 - Dillin Corp - Toledo area
- 2011- Dashing Pacific Group - China
- 2016 - ProMedica/Metroparks - Toledo area
Toledo mayors since 2000:
More from the June 8, 2016 Blade story:
Mr. Oostra said developers have had 20 years to develop that property with no success.
Toledo politics may have been a bulwark.
Back in 2005, Pizzuti was the most involved among all of the past developers. Pizzuti held multiple meetings with the community, and they took their time developing a plan.
In my opinion, if Carty had not been elected mayor of Toledo in 2005, Pizzuti would have proceeded with development. It's probable that buildings would have gone unused for a while, until the recent interest by residents and companies to move downtown over the past several years.
When trying to move employees to downtown Toledo, the options might be limited, unless the company wants to spend money and time renovating an old building, and that's not an attractive option for all.
In 2006, when Carty assumed the throne for a third time, it seemed that one of Carty's main goals was to undo anything that was touched by Jack Ford. Carty firing Pizzuti may have been a disaster.
October 2005 - Toledo Talk - Pizzuti unveils Marina District plan
The plan includes
- a 5,000-seat amphitheater,
- 180 public boat docks,
- a passenger terminal to bring charters back to the Great Lakes,
- a recreational ice rink,
- a riverwalk and a bike path,
- 216 units of market-rate residential development
- and 45 commercial properties, including restaurants and shops.
Construction on the project will begin shortly, with some elements coming on line in 2007.
Mr. Pizzuti said that the project would generate 1,800 jobs and an annual payroll of $42.4 million.
The plan calls for several anchors, beginning at the south near Main Street, with an amphitheater with a covered stage. Moving north, a second anchor would be the cluster of condominiums, townhouses, and apartments, including an eight-story tower.
Next along the riverfront would be the retail “town center,” which one official said would use Columbus’ Easton Town Center as its model. It would have 35 shops, 10 restaurants, a theater, and a “destination retailer.”
A public marina and the passenger terminal would be next, using an existing inlet that the city has already begun dredging and widening for use as a marina. Pizzuti officials said the Toledo Lucas County Port Authority has money ready to begin construction.
October 2005 Blade story with a too-small image of the Pizzuti plan. Image enlarged:
Obviously, that plan was too good to ever happen.
More from the June 8, 2016 Blade story:
The 22nd Century Committee,
a public-private partnership drafting a new master plan for downtown Toledo in which ProMedica has a strong presence, determined the Toledo area lacks sufficient urban parkland,
Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson said the entire 69 acres should be turned into parkland.
May 2016 Toledo Talk thread about the 22nd Century Committee's second meeting about a downtown master plan. Corresponding May 2016 Blade story :
A vision for downtown Toledo’s future includes more parks,
improved traffic flow, and an emphasis on riverfront development.
Adding a potential 320 acres of parks — or 20 percent of the downtown area compared with the current 2 percent dedicated to parks — would put Toledo on par with other successful cities such as Chicago.
My thought back then:
"It seems like it will be tricky to balance more residential and business development with more green space."
Apparently, it won't be tricky. Adding more green space to downtown Toledo is what people have been wanting. This is action.
How many times do we say nothing happens after public meetings are held? Well, this is something, and it happened fast.
The 22nd Century Committee formed in May 2015.
But this part of the downtown master plan:
... emphasis on riverfront development ...
must be relying on moving the salt piles.
I'm curious how East Side residents feel. Things were raucous back in 2005, regarding the arena and the Marina District development, especially since it was a mayoral election year.
Back in 2005, Peter Ujvagi organized and led a Marina District Neighborhood Charette.
Blade June 8, 2016 story:
[Mayor Hicks-Hudson] said she hopes the new parkland and the visitors it will attract would be a catalyst for development on Front Street and along the nearby Main Street,
the heart of the East Toledo business district.
Councilman Peter Ujvagi, who represents East Toledo, called the plan a “unique opportunity” and he is hopeful there would be future development in Toledo spurred by the park.
“I am interested in seeing land all the way up Front Street have an opportunity for a mix of park and some development and to have some dollars move into our community,” Mr. Ujvagi said.
That was the theory 10-plus years ago. Commercial development of the Marina District land would ignite a renovation along Front and Main streets.
But I've always wondered why should positive changes along Front and Main streets wait for anyone or anything? What has prevented a "catalyst for development" from occurring along Front and Main streets over the past 20 years?
The Warehouse District began improving long before the Hens stadium moved downtown. People involved in the Warehouse District in the 1990s were not waiting around for something to drop in.
Excerpts from a July 2007 Toledo Talk post titled Maybe the best location in Toledo for a walkable area
It's not the Warehouse District nor Uptown. It's not or won't be the Student Village area nor the Marina District. Those are or will be good walkable spots, but I'm talking about the best possible walkable area in Toledo.
In my opinion, the best area in Toledo that could one day be somewhat like downtown Ann Arbor or Bowling Green or even like downtown Perrysburg or Maumee would be a street appropriately named Main Street, which is located in East Toledo.
My theory is, the East Side has been told to cool its jets until the Marina District gets built. As if somehow a Marina District development will magically spur positive changes on Main Street. Why wait for fantasy land to get built?
I know the East Side has at least one community development org. What have they done for Main Street over the last 15 years? The Warehouse District didn't wait for a baseball stadium to be built before trying to improve that area.
But it seems this area of Toledo is the Forgotten Town. It's as if Toledo ends at Front St. The river side of Front St is fine with Toledo, but the citizens and politicians seem to ignore the area east or south of Front St.
With its interesting looking buildings and a location so close to the river, it's amazing that this Main St area is not more developed or better maintained and a destination area for the region.
Main Street plus Starr Ave plus the side streets should be an area to get lazy at and kill an afternoon. It's close enough to walk down to the river, and when or if the Marina District fantasy becomes reality, the walkable area would dramatically increase in size.
So what's happened to the Forgotten Town? What's the history here? Why hasn't the Main St/Starr Ave area progressed like the Warehouse District or even Uptown?