6th-I'm certain this has been said before, but the fervor with which you seemingly root against anything downtown and/or continually try to build your case (this 2000+ post thread in itself is a shining monument to this notion) can be very frustrating. If this was just a splash of much needed cold water, that would be one thing, but it's pretty unscientific. You lob anecdote after anecdote, which don't build a case against the reality of the growth (or lack thereof) of business. This is akin to the snowball in congress refuting climate change, perhaps not quite as egregious.
Downtown has changed. Will it be the next _____________? No, it will be Toledo. But the way things are going, it will be a better version than it has been for a generation or more, along with failed businesses and frustrating government moves.
I get that you're done with the government and with the favoritism, cronyism, incompetence etc. All are VERY valid criticism about the problems with this area, and also about many municipalities.
Unfortunately, the line can become blurred, and there is an energy and dynamic movement in Downtown, that has been building for a decade or more and is unlike anything I've seen in my lifetime. I, myself, have railed against some of the favoritism, and the questionable nature of the Hensville project. Ultimately, the business owners in the downtown area, are largely in favor of most of these projects. We are going through some major growing pains. The Mud Hens, while partially funded by tax dollars, receives the most credit for energizing downtown. If not for them, much of the change may not have happened. Why does it matter? Here's why-
I was having lunch at Selden Standard last week in Detroit. A city and a restaurant that has been written about breathlessly by every cool and important publication in the country. Their chef/ partner is a St Francis grad. I was speaking with his partner and when we discussed personal life in a chat, he proclaimed that he's heard that Toledo is really coming around and has some very cool thing happening. He mentioned a handful of things in the area-all of which were downtown. Now-It really takes something major for someone from Michigan to acknowledge anything special about Ohio, but here's one of the hottest restaurants in the country talking about the possibility that Toledo might actually be cool. Do I really care if people think Toledo is cool? Yes. Not out of pride, but by knowing that this piece of PR/ word of mouth is the sort of thing that helps a city get back on it's feet. It's the one flower on earth in Wall-E. It's that one stupid single sign of life that might mean something. This happened because of Downtown. And Downtown happened because of the Mud Hens, and all of the businesses that followed (including & especially OC). This is our best asset. This is what will make people want to stay or even move here. Johio83 is right (as per usual). We need downtown to be great beacuse it's the thing that unites this entire city, thread and forum.
So-when you rail against downtown, I'm not sure what the endgame is, but the whole damn thing is moving forward whether or not Table Forty4 pays their taxes or not.