Toledo Talk

Tracking news about the Dorr St Brownstones development

In the summer of 2006, Toledo City Council passed an emergency funding expenditure that was suppose to give $270,000 to the Dorr Street Brownstones Corp. to help build The Brownstones apartments at Dorr St and Smead Ave.

In August 2006, the Toledo Mayor participated in a groundbreaking ceremony. The first set of brownstone apartments was suppose to open by December 2006. As of July 2007, no construction has begun, the developer cannot be found, and the whereabouts of the money is not known, and City officials either know nothing about this project, or they are intentionally withholding public information from the public.

  • Aug 19, 2006 Toledo Blade story1
  • Jul 10, 2007 Toledo Journal story that no longer exists.3


1 Aug 19, 2006 Blade:

Six new brick townhouses for sale will be built to start the redevelopment of the central-city neighborhood at Dorr Street and Smead Avenue, city officials announced [Aug 18, 2006] at a ground-breaking ceremony.

Developer Jackson McDaniel, of Four Seasons Housing Corp., Birmingham, Mich., said construction of "the Brownstones on Dorr Street" would begin right away, with completion likely in early 2007. He said the dwellings would be sold at prices ranging from $87,000 to $95,000. Each unit will have a private backyard and garage, and the rear yards will be accessible only through the garage.

Toledo City Council voted last week to award $270,000 in federal funds to assist the project at 1630-1638 Dorr. The total cost of the six-unit project is $816,000. Buyers must have an income that does not exceed 80 percent of the area median income, or $47,100 for a family of four. Mr. McDaniel said the homes will be within the reach of someone with at least a $30,000 income. KeyBank Community Lending Group will assist with construction financing, mortgages, assistance with down payments, and home ownership training.

2 Jun 27, 2007 Blade:

Residents and business owners of "the Other Dorr Street" will gather at a town hall meeting at 6:30 tonight at Mount Pilgrim Church, 1401 Hoag St., to develop ways to bring the same attention and capital to that area as the proposed Dorr Street Corridor adjacent to the University of Toledo receives.

Today, the Rev. Raymond Bishop, pastor at Mount Pilgrim, said the area has been forgotten as money flows to the Dorr Street Corridor, downtown, and the Marina District in East Toledo. Mr. Bishop said the area is ripe for an urban renaissance. He said tonight's meeting, organized by the Dorr Street Coalition, can become a catalyst for attention, money, and development of the strip.

Mr. Bishop said the coalition includes 15 to 20 African-American organizations and 700 individuals interested in seeing tax dollars and private investment along Dorr. He said people in the area simply want their fair share of attention and financial resources dedicated to their end of the corridor.

Last month, Mayor Carty Finkbeiner and University of Toledo President Dr. Lloyd Jacobs talked about working together to develop a student village environment along Dorr, where the university is located. That development, called the University Town District, would include new shops, cafes, restaurants, bookstores, and other student-oriented amenities.

Councilman Wilma Brown said the part of Dorr that runs through the central city is the gateway to the university area and needs the same attention. Ms. Brown said she has championed the redevelopment of Dorr in the central city ever since she's been on council and is pleased with the coalition's commitment.

Ms. Brown has supported the development of townhouses along Dorr, near Smead Avenue, called the Brownstones. She said she hopes construction will start soon, but investors are looking for the presale of two units to get the project going.

3 Here are excerpts from the missing Jul 10, 2007 Toledo Journal story, culled from Google's cache and posted in the Jul 25, 2007 Toledo Talk thread:

Rev. Raymond Bishop also told the crowd that there are some who want the efforts of the fledgling Dorr Street Coalition to fail. They are the people intent on keeping Toledo’s African Americans in “dysfunction” and dependent on businesses owned by non-blacks, he said. “There are groups of people that prosper on our dysfunction. Hear what I’m saying to you. It is in the best interest of many institutions and organizations that we do not do well," [Pastor Bishop said.]

The Dorr Street Coalition is an outgrowth of the Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union’s plans to build its own building and vacate a rundown plaza on Dorr. Members want to see black-owned businesses and middle-income housing return to what they call “Main Street” and, more recently, “The Other Dorr Street” – the length between the downtown and Parkside Boulevard, where the University of Toledo community begins.

The task ahead is daunting, exemplified by The Brownstones on Dorr Street, a townhouse project that was supposed to have its first six-apartment building open by December of last year. A groundbreaking was held in August 2006, but white-owned banks have declined to offer development loans.

One of the town hall speakers, Councilwoman Wilma Brown, openly wondered if banks would withhold their financial support if the townhouses were situated in Perrysburg or Maumee.

4 Jul 16, 2007 Glass City Jungle posting, which focused more on who in the media attended the June public meeting.

You’ll see through the course of this thread that we discovered there was more media at this town hall than originally thought. Including a Toledo Blade article the day of the town hall, a Sojourner’s Truth article afterwards and even video from Fox Toledo.

Comment by Brian Schwartz, the Public Information Officer for the Mayor:

The Mayor was on-hand for the [August 2006] groundbreaking of the Brownstones.

5 Jul 24, 2007 WNWO story:

Toledo leaders allocated $270 thousand of your money to build townhouses in the Central City. Now one year after Mayor Carty Finkbeiner trumpeted the project, there's still nothing but an empty lot. The politicians insist it will be built. But the developer is nowhere to be found. Last year, we were told, the renaissance of the Dorr Street neighborhood would begin.

But today, there are no condos and no townhouses at the corner of Dorr and Snead. And no clear answer about when the brownstones will be built. Neighbors say, they doubt anyone will pay $87 thousand or more for condos in a neighborhood riddled with crime and drugs.

6 The initial posting in the Jul 25, 2007 thread at the old version of Toledo Talk mostly consisted of links and excerpts to the above stories with this additional piece of demographic info.

This area of Dorr St seems to be mostly in the 43607 zip code. Here's an interesting Google Maps Mashup at Enter a zip code. The app draws the boundaries for the zip code and provides census info.

ZCTA: 43607

Population: 26,379
Population White: 5,882
Population Black: 19,296
Population Hispanic: 452

Households: 12,270
Avg. House Value: $48,300
Avg. House Income: $25,161
Persons Per House: 2.41

Southwyck Mall is located at one end of the 43614 zip code

ZCTA: 43614

Population: 30,181
Population White: 26,335
Population Black: 2,370
Population Hispanic: 951

Households: 14,255
Avg. House Value: $111,800
Avg. House Income: $42,080
Persons Per House: 2.16

Since the summer of 2005, we've known the developer for the much larger Southwyck redevelopment project.

Comment by psyche777:

This article adds some further information,

Councilwoman Wilma Brown introduced her pet project - the Brownstone Townhouses on the corner of Smead and Dorr two of which must be sold sight-unseen before banks will finance the construction.

When searching Brownstone Townhouses I discovered:


Obviously someone within the City has to know who Dorr Street Brownstones Corp is since they would have been the ones to get the check. I can't find any other information on them though online.

7 Jul 31, 2007 Swamp Bubbles posting by WSPD morning talk show host Fred LeFebvre that details his recent e-mail conversations with city officials during Fred's attempt to determine who is the developer for the Brownstones project.

What follows is an example of the arrogance citizens face each day from the current administration.
Ms. Brown,

Can you please explain why after a full year no work has been done on the project at Dorr and Smead? Why the measure was passed as an emergency since it's obviously not a priority, and where is the $270,000 council approved.

Your quick response to these questions is appreciated and will be reported on during the WSPD morning news show.

Fred LeFebvre

Councilperson Brown answered:

The developer added a local partner and has concluded negotiations with the bank. This bank has required 2 pre-sales prior to closing on the construction loan. Pre-sales can be difficult without a model unit. The Dorr Street Coalition has recently assisted the developers with marketing, and several leads have been generated. The developers have contracted with a local real estate agent who has interviewed several interested buyers and referred some of them to various financial institutions in order to pre-qualify them. The developers believe that they will be able to enter into at least 2 purchase contracts in the very near future, which will allow the developers to close with the bank on their construction loan.

In regard to the 270K being passed as an "emergency"....the vast majority of legislation passed by Council is passed as an emergency. This simply means that the legislation is effective upon the Mayor's signature. The money has been appropriated and earmarked for this project and will be available as soon as the project begins.

Should you have any further inquiries regarding the Brownstones on Dorr Street Project, please contact Mike Badik in the Dept of Neighborhoods. He has worked with the developer on a regular basis. He can be reached at 419-245-1400.

Office of Councilwoman Wilma D. Brown

You’ll notice there are no names for the developer, local partner, bank, or real estate agent referred to in this letter.

I followed this letter with two phone calls and messages to Mr. Badik. Since I received no response after five days I sent the following letter.

Mr. Badik,

Operating on the theory that you answer e-mails more quickly than you answer your messages, let me try once again to get some answers on the Brownstone Development on Dorr at Smead.
Can you please tell me the name of the developer, their new local partner, and the local bank with which they now have an agreement. Also please include the local real estate agent who has interested buyers. All of these people have been referenced in a letter I received from Councilperson Wilma Brown who suggested you would have the answers

I appreciate your quick response

Fred LeFebvre

Now I’m not sure why Mr. Badik would inform Mr. Schwartz of my request instead of answering it himself but apparently he did just that, as I received this e-mail from the Mayor’s spokesman.


Mike Badik will not be calling you back on this issue.


I responded.


No need for Mr. Badik to return a call. I wrote an e-mail and like any citizen of the city of Toledo expect a reply with the information requested.

Yours from Toledo, a city of the future

Fred LeFebvre

Mr. Schwartz responded once again to me and copied Mr. Badik it appears.

You will be provided any documents to which you are entitled under the Ohio Freedom of Information Act. Keep in mind, this law does not require us to create a document for you. Nor does it require us to answer questions.

Mike, Please forward Fred's questions to me and we'll see if he has requested any documents.

Again I point out that I did not edit out a salutation or closing signature. The common rules of letter writing must be lost on the 22nd floor. And there it stands. I will be writing to my district councilperson Rob Ludeman, as well as the at-large councilpeople. It seems odd that the names of the people handling $270,000 of my tax dollars can’t be named. Unless of course there is a reason for not naming them because they either don’t exist, are friends of the administration, or the money isn’t there any longer. I can think of no other options.

Aug 1, 2007 Maggie Thurber comment in the Swamp Bubbles thread:

...first, Ohio doesn't have a "freedom of information act." Ohio has the Public Records law. And it's referred to as the Public Records law - not'd think a PIO would know the difference.

Second, ORC says that members of the public have the right to view and inspect any public record during normal business hours - and that records must be kept in such a way to allow a member of the public to view them accordingly. ... Since the administration doesn't want to answer questions, I'd show up at the office and ask to view any and all letters, memos, emails, contracts, notes relating to the development which mention the name of the developer, the new partner, the bank or the real estate agent. I'd then request copies of any specific communication that I wanted...

Since it's known that there is a new partner, there must be something in writing to the city which explains this. Since it's known that there is a bank, there must be something in writing which names the bank. Since it's known that there is a real estate agent, there must be something in writing which names the agent.

8 Jul 31, 2007 Glass City Jungle posting that points to the Fred LeFebvre posting at Swamp Bubbles.

All we were able to determine was the name, "Dorr Street Brownstones Corp". The real issue here is who is behind the Dorr Street Brownstones Corporation, and if they did indeed receive $270,000 of tax payer dollars why has it been so hard to discover this information? I’d also like to know how much of the $270,000 allocated was given to the developer and what he or she or they have done with the money to date. I don’t understand why Councilwoman Brown would not say who the developer, the local partner or the bank was, given this has been a very important project to her, you would think she would know who was involved.

A couple comments from the blog posting:

So the project has not begun as no pre-sales made, yet, and the money has been earmarked and appropriated, not spent.
The rumor is the money is being used to help fund the demolition of the Sports Arena, and the City and County don’t want us tax payers to know that…. Just a rumor at this point
Is Four Seasons Housing Corp still involved in this project?

Brian Schwartz occasionally posts comments at Swamp Bubbles and Glass City Jungle, but he has not commented in either of these Jul 31, 2007 postings.

Aug 1 Schwartz

Update: 11:25 p.m. Aug 1, 2007 - Schwartz has commented in the Swamp Bubbles thread but has not provided any information related to the Brownstones development. Schwartz talked about open records requests, and then he launched into a tirade about how WSPD does not permit conversation and debate.

First, Schwartz works for the taxpayers. He's paid with taxpayer money. WSPD is a not taxpayer-funded. The rules about openness don't apply equally here.

Comment by Schwartz on Aug 1, 2007 in the Swamp Bubbles thread:


You asked questions. I choose whose questions I answer and whose I do not. I don't answer your questions. I don't answer Brian's questions either. Open up your phone lines and perhaps I'll start.

Had you come in and asked for documents, if they were at my disposal, I'd have made them available. I received the document request you had Kevin Milliken deliver for you today and I put one of the documents in his hand on the spot. I've assembled the documents in my possession that respond to your request except for one which I have to find tomorrow. Badik and the mayor will take a little longer.

Remember, Schwartz is the Public Information Officer of Toledo.

Fred lives in Toledo. Schwartz works for Fred. Fred does not work for Schwartz. Fred does not have to give Schwartz a platform, but Schwartz, it seems, should respond to the request of information from a citizen of Toledo. What gives Schwartz the right to pick and choose which citizens to respond to? Maybe Fred should pick and choose which city taxes to pay.

Excerpts from another bizarre comment by Schwartz:

Fred and Brian are afraid of public debate.

You want to meet a first class coward? Try to find Brian Wilson. He does not appear in public because he's afraid to have his views challenged. Listen to what happens to callers who start to disagree with him. He would never venture onto a blog for fear of being intellectually overmatched.

Listeners are figuring it out. Both Brian and Fred have trended downward in the Arbitron ratings. Unfortunately, Andy Stuart gave Brian big money and has to sink or swim with him. Unfortunately for Andy, it is the consensus of Toledo media that he will eventually sink.

Speaking of sinking, has Schwartz seen the population numbers of Toledo?

Clearly, Schwartz does not realize that WSPD is a business. Wilson and whoever at WSPD are not under any obligation to permit freedom of speech on their airways, just like a newspaper is not obligated to print every letter to the editor. A business can pick and choose, but a public official should not.

And what do WSPD Arbitron ratings have to do with 270,000 missing taxpayer dollars related to the Brownstones development? Nothing. And that's the point. Schwartz is engaging in a classic DEFLECTION technique by attempting to take the conversation away from the City and the missing $270,000 and trying to put the spotlight on WSPD's method of putting callers on the air.

WSPD has nothing to do with the missing $270,000. Schwartz is attempting to discredit WSPD because Fred is digging into this Brownstones development while the rest of Toledo's media are missing in action.

And I wonder what business owners and officials in other communities are thinking about all this? They must be shaking their heads in disbelief, once again. Why would other communities or business owners want to have anything to do with Toledo? Would this kind of City attitude and ineptitude cause Fed Ex to move to Wood County or Michigan? If so, at least Fed Ex would remain in the region, and that's what is really important.

Another comment from the Public Information Officer for Toledo, Ohio also known as the City of the Future:

We won't earn any respect from WSPD or their entertainers. They don't have an audience of consequence. It profits us not to cooperate. I meet the letter of the law and nothing more when it comes to WSPD.

You can try to get us all to sing kumbaya, but it aint' going to happen. Brian is an egomaniac with delusions of grandeur. Fred is a lemming. Their ratings are low and sinking lower. What do we have to gain by answering their inane questions?

I'd rather go on a real show with a real host who knows something about Toledo government and knows how to host a show like Troy Neff on AM 1230 or Tom Watkins at 1560 WTOD. Want to hear the truth? Listen to them.

The rest of Lake Erie West must be having another good laugh at Toledo's expense. It's hard to imagine city officials in other Lake Erie West communities acting like this. Schwartz is having a public pissing match with a radio station.

It was Mayor Carty Finkbeiner who slandered Fred LeFebvre in the spring of 2006 that started all this. In a public meeting, Carty accused Fred of telling lies, but Carty has never provided evidence to support his claim, and Carty never apologized for his lie.

And what are the ratings of those "real" shows that Schwartz wants people to listen to? Excerpts from the latest ratings from the Jul 27, 2007 Toledo Free Press article

The Spring Arbitron Ratings for the Toledo market were announced July 25. Toledo's overall top station and their ratings share of persons

12 years and older are:
4. Clear Channel's WSPD 6.3, down from a 6.6

In the different dayparts, the top five in each were as follows:

Mornings 6-10 a.m.:
[4.] The Morning News with Fred Lefebrve on 1370 WSPD, 7.5, down from a 7.9 and

In Afternoon Drive, measured from 3 to 7 p.m., the top five were:
5. Brian Wilson, NewsTalk 1370 WSPD 6.1, down from 6.6

Chuck Matthews, program director of SuperTalk 1560 WTOD observed that the station's evening syndicated talk show host Michael Savage “had a nice bump up in the ratings.”

Over at Clear Channel, Operation's Director Bill Michaels said, “Great spring book for the CC cluster. WIOT is No. 1 Men 18-34 with a 17.9 share. River is No. 2 12 plus and No. 2 women 25-54. WSPD is No. 3 Men 18-49. Great numbers to hand off to the sales staff. We're very happy."

I don't see Schwartz's "real" shows in the ratings. Naturally, Schwartz prefers to go on shows that have fewer listeners than WSPD.

Back to the ratings for second. In the Top 10 overall ratings, 6 of the 10 were down for the spring compared to winter. Four of the top 5 were down.

1. Cumulus' K-100 13.9, down from a 15.1 last winter.
2. Clear Channel's 101.5, The River, 7.7, down from an 8.7
3. Cumulus' 93.5 WRQN 7.1 up from a 6.0
4. Clear Channel's WSPD 6.3, down from a 6.6
5. Clear Channel's WIOT 104.7 6.1, down from 7.0

Aug 1 Fred update

A comment by Fred LeFebvre in the Swamp Bubbles thread:

I tracked down the developer and the local construction manager who it turns out is also a co-developer. Jack McDaniel (mich) and Roosevelt Gant (toledo) both say they are ready to go. The problem is the banks in town have required a minumum of two pre sales of the townhouses. Tough to do when you only have a picture to show someone and want them to drop tens of thousands of dollars. Gant says ReMax is working with him and has some interested buyers applying for the loans. The question still remains though, has the 270k just been sitting there waiting for someone to use it, and if so why was it such an emergency one year ago? And why wasn't Mike Badik who's a Dept. Head allowed to simply answer my questions?

Fred posted the same thing in the Glass City Jungle thread, and Schwartz responded with:

Actually, Fred didn’t track down anyone. Mike Badik emailed me this morning and asked if it would be ok if the private developer emailed Fred. I told Mike I thought that would be fine. So, the developer emailed Fred.

I got a new Grand Cherokee with a satellite radio. Between the excellent classic rock stations and the endless number of MP3 files that fit in the six CD changer, I no longer listen to AM radio. Judging by Fred and Brian’s Arbitrons, fewer and fewer people are.

I answer almost all questions put to me. I was asked all of the same questions by another reporter this morning and answered them. Kevin Milliken showed up today with a document request and I put the information in his hands.

Did Schwartz pay for his Cherokee with money from his taxpayer-funded salary? If so, then Fred helped Schwartz buy his vehicle, yet Schwartz, the public information officer, does not provide a Toledoan with public information.

And the question still remains: What's the status of the $270,000?

created by jr on Aug 01, 2007 at 09:47:15 am
updated by jr on Aug 02, 2007 at 01:26:39 am
    News     Comments: 22

source      versions      1 person liked this

Comments ... #

Some more information:
Space: 535 square feet
Price: $26.00 per square foot
535 sq. ft. of office space available @ $26.00 per sq. ft. plus electricity & gas, 1
parking space free per 1,000 rentable in deck. Contact: David Horton/Horton Commercial
Realty 248-646-2222


Current owner of the property waiting to be developed:

Address : 1620 DORR ST
Mailing Address : DORIS LONG
6118 REO
Who is Doris Long?


4 seasons owns several properties
Address : 1630 DORR ST

04091011.0 0502494 FOUR SEASONS HOUSING CORP, 1630 DORR
04091012.Z 0502491 FOUR SEASONS HOUSING CORP, 1636 DORR ST
04091013.Z 0502487 FOUR SEASONS HOUSING CORP, 1638 DORR ST

Domain Name: 4SNS.US
Domain ID: D5681389-US
Sponsoring Registrar: .US REGISTRAR L.L.C.
Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited
Registrant ID: 37599408
Registrant Name: Four Seasons Housing Corp.
Registrant Organization: Four Seasons Housing Corp.
Registrant Address1: 555 South Old Woodward Ave.
Registrant Address2: Suite 1209
Registrant City: Birmingham
Registrant State/Province: MI
Registrant Postal Code: 48009
Registrant Country: United States
Registrant Country Code: US
Registrant Phone Number: +1.2485930778
Registrant Email:
Registrant Application Purpose: P1
Registrant Nexus Category: C21
Administrative Contact ID: 37599409
Administrative Contact Name: Four Seasons Housing Corp.
Administrative Contact Organization: Four Seasons Housing Corp.
Administrative Contact Address1: 555 South Old Woodward Ave.
Administrative Contact Address2: Suite 1209
Administrative Contact City: Birmingham
Administrative Contact State/Province: MI
Administrative Contact Postal Code: 48009
Administrative Contact Country: United States
Administrative Contact Country Code: US
Administrative Contact Phone Number: +1.2485930778
Administrative Contact Facsimile Number: +1.2485930780
Administrative Contact Email:
Billing Contact ID: 37599409
Billing Contact Name: Four Seasons Housing Corp.
Billing Contact Organization: Four Seasons Housing Corp.
Billing Contact Address1: 555 South Old Woodward Ave.
Billing Contact Address2: Suite 1209
Billing Contact City: Birmingham
Billing Contact State/Province: MI
Billing Contact Postal Code: 48009
Billing Contact Country: United States
Billing Contact Country Code: US
Billing Contact Phone Number: +1.2485930778
Billing Contact Facsimile Number: +1.2485930780
Billing Contact Email:
Technical Contact ID: 5358805
Technical Contact Name: Network Solutions, LLC.
Technical Contact Organization: Network Solutions, LLC.
Technical Contact Address1: 13200 Woodland Park Drive
Technical Contact City: Herndon
Technical Contact State/Province: VA
Technical Contact Postal Code: 20171-3025
Technical Contact Country: United States
Technical Contact Country Code: US
Technical Contact Phone Number: +1.18886429675
Technical Contact Facsimile Number: +1.5714344620
Technical Contact Email:
Technical Application Purpose: P1
Technical Nexus Category: C21
Name Server: NS51.WORLDNIC.COM
Name Server: NS52.WORLDNIC.COM
Created by Registrar: .US REGISTRAR L.L.C.
Last Updated by Registrar: .US REGISTRAR L.L.C.
Domain Registration Date: Tue Mar 30 17:32:32 GMT 2004
Domain Expiration Date: Mon Mar 29 23:59:59 GMT 2010
Domain Last Updated Date: Sat Jan 21 15:57:07 GMT 2006

The phone number comes up in a google search. Some interesting results.

Mr. Jackson McDaniel, 555 S. Old Woodward Ave., Birmingham, MI, was present and said his
company, Diversified Financial & Realty Services, Inc., is the developer. He addressed
Commissioner Cowles’ concern regarding the deed restriction, explaining how the proposed
senior housing development is intended to be operated as such in perpetuity. Regarding
the Cedar St. access issue, he met with Mr. Ajlouny who owns the mobile home park, and it
was agreed to develop an access with the assistance of Mr. Dave Starr with Ledy Design.
In order to provide a shared access between the proposed senior development and the
mobile home park, a property exchange would take place between the two parties. Mr.
McDaniel presented a poster and explained various details of the proposed development and
access such as sidewalk and detention with open space amenities. The detention area would
promote natural vegetation and attract wildlife. In addition, most of the trees will be
preserved. One acre of the site would be used for buildings and sidewalk and another two
acres for parking. Out of the total nine acres, about five or six acres would remain
undeveloped. Regarding the suggestion to provide brick exterior, the cost would be
prohibitive considering the reduced rent for the senior housing. However, the combination
of stone and vinyl siding and the color combinations for stone, railings, windows and
doors are harmonious.

Jackson McDaniel, President, Diversified Financial & Realty Services, 555 S. Old Woodward
Ave., Suite 1508, Birmingham, spoke in support of the requested special use permit.

posted by chrismyers on Aug 05, 2007 at 10:47:26 pm     #  

Photos can be found at:

posted by chrismyers on Aug 05, 2007 at 10:48:46 pm     #  

Back in the news:

LMHA is offering these condos for sale.

Buyers must make 80% of the area median income or less (about $45K for a family of 4). The 4 bedroom units will sell fo about $95K, 3 bedroom for about $90K.

Apparently the city recently gave the property to the county to get it off the books:

posted by mom2 on Aug 06, 2012 at 09:34:32 am     #  

I drive by that joke every single day I'm in Toledo. They built the townhouses too close to the sidewalk and road imo. Another waste of money, but Brownstone is only crumbs compared to what has been wasted on "affordable housing" throughout Toledo.

But on the bright side, it gave Wilma Brown something to talk about for a few years. When someone actually dumb enough to pay 100k for one of the units came along, Wilma complained to a nearby neighborhood group "He isn't even one of us."

posted by 6th_Floor on Aug 06, 2012 at 10:09:13 am     #  

Wilma complained to a nearby neighborhood group "He isn't even one of us."

One of what? Who's "us"? Link?

...what has been wasted on "affordable housing" throughout Toledo.

Pardon my bluntness, but a whole bunch of Toledo areas could be defined as "affordable housing" to anyone who earns an even halfway decent paycheck, doesn't have 8 kids by 3 mothers, and generally doesn't blow money on stupid shit (the recent I've seen it all now thread by hockeyfan being a prime example).

posted by oldhometown on Aug 06, 2012 at 11:37:56 am     #  

She was mentioning that the Brownstones had only one occupied/purchased unit after a few years, which was purchased by a white man.

The story was in the Toledo Journal and it was approximately 12-15 months ago. No link, sorry. You'll have to look for it if you care to see the actual print, but I know what I read.

posted by 6th_Floor on Aug 06, 2012 at 11:41:45 am     #  

I think 6th is referring to the mass amounts of tax-payer-subsidized housing that has gone up around Toledo, a large portion of which has fallen into disrepair or has since been demolished. In other words, money we threw away.

posted by Johio83 on Aug 06, 2012 at 11:44:01 am     #  

Nobody in their right mind would pay 100k to live at Door and Smead. Especially a few steps from the sidewalk and low windows. The place looks like a burglar's dream.

posted by 6th_Floor on Aug 06, 2012 at 12:10:35 pm     #  

Toledo Journal stories expire or disappear from their website after a short period of time. Their content management system has operated that way for many years.

Wilma Brown's thinking seems contrary to what former Toledo mayor Jack Ford suggested in July 2007:

Recently a report made it appear as if housing in Toledo is on the increase. No, no, no. Figures lie and liars can figure. The increase in housing inside of Toledo is almost totally in black and low-income neighborhoods. We need more white folks with middle-class paychecks. Maybe itís time to stop [funding] only in the inner city and start building upscale housing on the west side of the Maumee by Riverside Park and east of Detwiler Park and north of Alexis. Maybe we should take part of the parks north of Alexis and turn it into middle class housing for both whites and blacks.

posted by jr on Aug 06, 2012 at 12:29:12 pm     #  


That Jack Ford comment should be textbook example #1 of politicians who have no fucking clue how or why businesses operate. Among other things.

The increase in housing inside of Toledo is almost totally in black and low-income neighborhoods. We need more white folks with middle-class paychecks.

A black man who completely ignores the black middle class...all of whom want nothing to do with low income/ghetto housing (and its problems) either. Every black man/woman/family I have known in my lifetime wants to be as separated as possible from the ghetto trash--just as much as all the white folks I know don't want to be associated with rednecks and hillbillies.

Maybe itís time to stop [funding] only in the inner city and start building upscale housing...

The "guv'ment" is gonna build upscale housing??? Gee, I wonder why no private company would build it? Could it possibly...just because they'd lose their ass trying to sell "upscale housing" in the neighborhoods where Jack Ford wanted to build? But hey, once "guv'ment" money is there....why we can build all kinds of shit and never have to worry about money. It's from taxes and that never runs out. By the way, vote for all 7 levies or we'll end the police department and your house will burn down.

Maybe we should take part of the parks north of Alexis and turn it into middle class housing for both whites and blacks.

Infuriating. There is middle class housing for both whites and blacks. It's called the fucking housing market and those who have their shit together can buy a goddamn house. Save a down payment and move where you want. If you're worried about discrimination, threaten to have the FHA (Feds) come down to any bank you choose to demand you get a loan because you're "discriminated against" (for being....something...who knows). And you'll get it. Worried about the neighborhood accepting ou? Speaking as a white guy who has lived in majority black and Asian neighborhoods in my lifetime, that's your problem. I fit in and so can you--and it usually happens when people see you are normal and keep your house nice and your kids from tearing up the neighborhood.

I know these comments are 5 years old, but this brief paragraph is one helluva demonstrative example of how the "political class" think. "Upscale housing" should just be there because we "need" or (worse) "demand" it.

And just a reminder for those of you with children in Toledo Public Schools: this man is now somewhat in charge of your child's education. Good luck. And vote for that levy--I'm sure he'll put that money to "good" use...

posted by oldhometown on Aug 06, 2012 at 01:25:16 pm     #   3 people liked this

I found it. Time sure was 25 months ago. Her ridiculous quote is at the end of the article.

"He doesn't even look like us." Wilma Brown

posted by 6th_Floor on Aug 06, 2012 at 01:25:20 pm     #  

Wow. That whole article is extremely bad PR for Wilma. It's bad enough when all of the people she was relying on as her safety net basically said "good luck, but this just isn't a good idea." Then, her "he doesn't even look like us" comment just puts the icing on the cake, confirming that she really meant this not to be "housing for low income," but "housing for blacks." And to think that she wasn't just on city council, she was the president of it!

posted by Johio83 on Aug 06, 2012 at 01:54:41 pm     #  

"Buyers must make 80% of the area median income or less (about $45K for a family of 4). The 4 bedroom units will sell for about $95K, 3 bedroom for about $90K."

Why does this bother me? They're requiring that people have to make less than $45K a year to buy a $95K home?? I understand it's subsidized but...what? Yeah, they might be qualified to buy it but are they qualified to keep it up??

posted by nana on Aug 06, 2012 at 04:49:13 pm     #  

Why does this bother me?

Because you are rational and don't have a "social justice" ax to grind...

posted by oldhometown on Aug 06, 2012 at 04:51:09 pm     #  

The thing that kills me is that there are decent family homes in decent neighborhoods of Toledo available for less than $90-$95K anyhow.

For example, there are a number of homes in the Westgate area with at least 3 bedrooms and an asking price below $90K.

posted by mom2 on Aug 06, 2012 at 04:55:56 pm     #  

What bugs me is the constant references to the fantastic quality used in the homes. Why? If the idea is to provide a service to those who are having a hard time making ends meet, do they really need stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops? Couldn't they have foregone the luxuries and made these much more affordable?

posted by Johio83 on Aug 06, 2012 at 05:01:41 pm     #  

Mom2, that's why all but one of the units remains empty. The entire project has been foolishness from the start. Nobody using their own money and credit is going to buy a 100k "townhouse" at Door and Smead. This waste of money project literally sits in the middle of the ghetto, surrounded by empty lots.

A couple bright spots are a post office across the street, that should be there for at least a couple more years, and two churches within walking distance. The house next door used to operate a weekend after hours bar, but I haven't noticed any late-night action there in many years.

The lot east of the building for about 2 years had a sign that a car wash was "coming soon" but that finally disappeared when the housing market crashed.

posted by 6th_Floor on Aug 06, 2012 at 05:20:58 pm     #  

Well, although it wasn't exactly what Wilma had in mind, one guy did purchase. If I knew Wilma would be there, since I live nearby, I'd stop by and tour a unit.

posted by 6th_Floor on Aug 06, 2012 at 05:28:18 pm     #  

"He doesn't even look like us." Wilma Brown

Wow. That's totally messed up!

posted by toledolen_ on Aug 06, 2012 at 07:13:00 pm     #  

Johio83, I'm not sure about the appliances but at least with granite countertops they will last a lot longer than other countertops... I mean... as long as you don't beat the shit out of them with a cast iron skillet.


posted by toledolen_ on Aug 06, 2012 at 07:15:36 pm     #  

Fantastic thread!!!! As you can see it was years ago when the whole fiasco was brought to the public attention. Schwartz who after leaving public office tried his hand at hosting on WSPD tried to cover up as much crap as he could and council fell in line. Now LMHA owns it, can't sell it, and we lost close to $5ook on the deal just so Wilma could get people who look like her to live there. I say Wilma should retire to one of them.

posted by fred on Aug 06, 2012 at 07:48:13 pm     #   1 person liked this

Fred, I was hoping you'd see this thread...especially the Journal link.

Driving by this evening, I noticed a new sign for "The Brownstones" has been erected at the site. Probably a few hundred bucks wasted by LMHA.

posted by 6th_Floor on Aug 06, 2012 at 09:53:59 pm     #