Mar 22, 2017 Blade story about yesterday's Toledo city council meeting:
... council approved property tax breaks and an areawide name change
to help spur long-desired redevelopment of the former Southwyck Shopping Center site and nearby property in South Toledo.
Toledo council unanimously voted to designate the area Hawthorne Hills, the original plat name for the area that includes the vacant former mall property, as a community reinvestment area and authorize tax exemptions for remodeling and new construction.
Mar 19, 2017 Blade editorial titled New name won’t fix Southwyck
A blighted slab of concrete by any other name is still going to have Southwyck’s troubles.
Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson has pitched a plan to city council to finally redevelop the former Southwyck mall property.
This feels like the latest misstep in the city’s misguided trek to redevelop the former mall property.
Not much has been done to prevent the space becoming an eyesore of weedy, crumbling concrete for anyone coming into town via the nearby Ohio Turnpike exit.
A deal to sell the 58.5-acre property to a secret buyer for $2.8 million fell through last year.
City council seemed to enthusiastically embrace the mayor’s proposal to change the name. Councilman Rob Ludeman went so far as to say renaming it was “the most important thing.”
No, it’s not.
The most important thing is for the city to have a comprehensive and detailed strategy for finding a buyer and selling Southwyck to someone who will really redevelop it.
After that, the most important thing is for the city to learn its lesson about buying property that needs redevelopment.
Toledo officials just aren’t very good at that and the city ends up sitting on vast swaths of real estate that come off the tax rolls and sit for far too long without any actual redevelopment.
Toledo officials should worry less about choosing a new name for Southwyck and focus on searching for potential buyers with good plans for the property.