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Old 03-04-2018, 08:32 PM
 
135 posts, read 373,312 times
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I've lived in NW Ohio for about a decade, and just recently moved to Central Toledo. So far, I love it. LOVE IT. I was ready to get out of my small town, and interestingly, moved to the neighborhood in Toledo that many people recommended to me when I posted here years ago about good places to live.

I've met quite a few new friends here, and many of them are bullish on Toledo's future - they describe it as boom times like they haven't seen since the 1980s.

I'm....not so sure. I think Toledo has mostly recovered from the 2008 Recession, but its regional economy and population has been falling since the 1980s. Lots and lots of buildings that have been empty for years are now occupied, and many downtown buildings are seeing activity after many decades of decline.

Perhaps to Toledoans and Rust Belters used to sustained decline, see recovery as boom. What do you think? Is Toledo entering a new era of growth, or is this Toledo starting to recover from its Rust Belt decline?
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Old 03-08-2018, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Pure Michigan!
4,798 posts, read 8,132,032 times
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This is a great question. I think that if you look at what all has been happening in recent years downtown and in the Warehouse District especially, then it does look like a boom, and yes, that part of Toledo is booming. I grew up in a small town in NW Ohio and I can remember that on the few occasions that we had to go to downtown Toledo when I was a kid in the 1970s it was a pretty scary place. Very gloomy, some old hotels well past their glory days breathing their last puffs of life, dangerous looking people on the streets (what few people there were), and just an overall feeling of despair and being in a city whose best days were in the past. The downtown of today looks nothing like that, and it just keeps getting better, thank God!

As far as the rest of the city, though, I tend to have a much less optimistic outlook. I see neighborhoods that 20-30 years ago were safe, prosperous, family oriented blue collar neighborhoods in serious decline and that makes me very sad. I see the mighty Maumee River, one of our region's greatest natural assets, turning pea green in the summer and drawing national attention to the nasty algae problem that started in Lake Erie and has slowly inched its way into the city. That is also depressing. I see abandoned strip malls that show zero signs of new life (Cub Foods at Jackman and Laskey, now Kmart at Alexis and Jackman), etc. and I wonder why so many newer, cheap strip malls are going up when those high traffic areas sit empty.

So I think there is definitely a boom going on, depending on which part of town you are looking at. It would be great if the new surge of optimism downtown would spread throughout the city and some of the declining neighborhoods would start to gentrify. For example, my DH grew up in Library Village, which contains a delightful mix of 1910s and 1920s homes that are true architectural gems and would bring good prices and cause the surrounding commercial corridors to improve as well if they were in a more up and coming city, and maybe someday Toledo will be that up and coming city. I have faith in the new mayor and I think he truly cares about the city (no, I didn't vote for him, I live in Michigan but very near Toledo). The fact that he rides to work on a TARTA bus and lives in an older, although still healthy neighborhood in the city appeals to me. I think he has what it takes to steer the city in the right direction over the next few years. And if he can do something with Southwyck and bring the Reynolds/Glendale corridor back to being a viable area that attracts people (that area was hot when I was a kid, by the way), then that would be another huge step towards putting the pieces back together for the once great city of Toledo.
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Old 03-08-2018, 07:55 AM
 
6,381 posts, read 7,503,147 times
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Canudigit is pretty much right on the money.

Downtown is certainly improving. If you account for Toledo's size, I think it would be fair to call downtown "booming". When I return to Toledo (my hometown) and visit Downtown, Uptown, and the Old West End, it's hard not to feel optimistic.

On the other hand, when I visit the neighborhoods that my friends and family still live in, mostly in South Toledo, it's actually pretty gloomy. The 10 minute drive between I-75 and whoever I am visiting on any particular trip is downright depressing when I compare it to what it was 10-20 years ago. The bad neighborhoods then somehow look even worse now, and the solid neighborhoods back then are teetering on the edge of ghetto or are already there.

To be fair, there are also a fair number of neighborhoods that seem relatively unchanged. I don't know of any that have improved beyond downtown, OWE, and uptown, though.

At the end of the day Toledo is still losing a lot of population and the improvements in a select few neighborhoods aren't enough to compensate. I made two earnest efforts to move back to Toledo since leaving, and neither time did it pan out. The first time I had a job interview and got offered 50% of the salary I was making in Pennsylvania. The second time I couldn't even get an interview anywhere; yet I had no trouble getting interviews in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, NYC, and Indianapolis. I had one phone interview that I think didn't go any further once they found out my salary requirements. Toledo is inexpensive, but that's a reflection of the local job market.

Last edited by ferraris; 03-08-2018 at 08:25 AM..
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Old 03-08-2018, 08:02 AM
 
6,381 posts, read 7,503,147 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canudigit View Post
The fact that he rides to work on a TARTA bus and lives in an older, although still healthy neighborhood in the city appeals to me.
That is very encouraging! Which neighborhood is he in?

It's probably a pipe dream, but it would be awesome if he could bring back this plan for reviving the streetcar in Toledo
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Old 03-08-2018, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Pure Michigan!
4,798 posts, read 8,132,032 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferraris View Post
That is very encouraging! Which neighborhood is he in?

It's probably a pipe dream, but it would be awesome if he could bring back this plan for reviving the streetcar in Toledo
He lives in Old Orchard. I read that in the Toledo Blade so I guess it's ok to post it here, since it's public information.
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Old 03-09-2018, 03:54 PM
 
615 posts, read 1,209,719 times
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The closing of the Kmart on Manhattan St. Was a several years ago now, but the closing of the Alexis Kmart is far more recent. I haven't yet needed to install the bicycle innertubes I bought in the last days.

Cub foods is another thing altogether. I suspect it was already closed in 1999 (before that I would have no way of knowing). Someone told me that it had been the site of a drive-in theater :-(

Another long-abandoned building is a large vacant gas station on Luna Pier Rd. West of I-75 (MI exit 6). They had built everything and looked like they would soon open, when the price fix on gasoline suddenly was set $.50 higher than the fix in Ohio. It still sits there, never opened, since summer of 2000!
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Old 04-03-2018, 04:11 PM
 
16,222 posts, read 8,998,957 times
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I grew up practically all over inner city Toledo but especially in the Old South End.

IMO the Old South End is much worse than it used to be. It makes me sad to go over there today. I personally wish I had about 20 million dollars, I'd redevelop the portion of the neighbrhood I use4d to live in!

I personally think that for Toledo, we are in a "boom."

Contrary to what many believe, Toledo was not all that bad prior to the 2008 crash. It was doing a whole lot better than a lot of similar cities.

I agree with canudigit in that the downtown is seeing a lot of excitement but the neighborhoods are lacking. However, I'd note that OWE is looking better and better and is an important, core neighborhood in Toledo. Also Westmoreland is also doing much better in regards to housing prices rebounding since 2010-2012 and the same can be said of other neighborhoods, even Library Village mentioned earlier. I bought some real estate when the market was down, including the house I currently live in and right now prices are much higher in what I consider the "decent" or good neighborhoods versus in the past 5-7 years.

A neighborhood that I've been eyeing and that I actually do think is getting better is Vistula. It was already a pretty...I'll dare say crappy neighborhood, even when I was a child in the 1980s. My family has lived in the urban core of Toledo for generations and so I am very familiar with nearly all of the inner city neighborhoods based on my local history research hobby along with me having parents that carted me all over the city lol. Vistula is one that actually does look better today and IMO it will be one to watch over the next 10 years if the economy continues to improve. Mostly due to its proximity to downtown and potential spillover development.

I agree with canudigit on the fact that environmental issues make me sad and upset. I do think that our elected officials are also worried about our waterways and I'm hoping that more people will get involved in cleaning up our streams, lakes, creeks, and rivers in NW OH as IMO they are one of our most valuable assets.

On the empty strip malls, they also upset me. I dislike all blight and feel that if possible there should be a repurpose plan in place. But honestly becuse Toledo was trying to be so suburban (which was probably why it was mentioned that the area around Southwyck was so "hot" in the not too distant past) it has really created a lot of problems with these old malls and strip retail establishments.

My main gripe with Toledo development is the fact that companies here are still focused on these suburban types of architecture. We really do need a revised master plan for specific neighbohoods and to work on building up urbanity and walkability. I'll note as someone who is an inner city Toledoan born and bred and through and true - that I am more pushing for development in Vistula, the Old South End, and others adjacent to those neighborhoods because they make up the core of the city and IMO would bring more of a "city" feel back to Toledo versus it trying to be a suburban city. I'd also like to see a lot of focus on East Toledo.

All that to say the city does look better today and there is a boom in Toledo right now. It was not declining as bad that people in Toledo believe it was prior to 2008 and especially not in comparison to other similar sized Rust Belt cities or even larger ones like Detroit. I think we have a mini-boom and hoping that economic conditions will allow us to continue to grow at a good pace. I also do believe the new mayor wants some positivity in the city and he will work towards that.

IMO we need to continue to focus on downtown, our core neighborhoods - keep them stable, and work to improve other parts of the city - like the school system and crime to draw more younger individuals and parents to live in the city and contribute to the growth. I'd also love to see some new residential construction in Uptown that is not focused on low income persons. There is a huge lack of housing IMO in the area around the boom of commercial establishments opening up on Adams Street and many emtpy-nesters and young professionals would love to live in that area if there were some suitable housing locations.
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Old 04-03-2018, 06:49 PM
 
Location: Toledo, OH
880 posts, read 1,574,667 times
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Perfect post residinghere2007.

I agree about Vistula. I feel like it's a sleeping giant. I feel like it might not take off til Uptown and the Warehouse District fill out with development and occupancy but after that....the answers footsteps away across Cherry St. Vistula was the original Toledo. Vistula is perfect for brownstone style, townhouses if you ask me. I would love to own the old Mickey Finns building. Used to go there sometimes. Could be valuable in the future.
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Old 04-04-2018, 10:31 AM
 
6,381 posts, read 7,503,147 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferraris View Post
The bad neighborhoods then somehow look even worse now
Quote:
Originally Posted by residinghere2007 View Post
IMO the Old South End is much worse than it used to be. It makes me sad to go over there today. I personally wish I had about 20 million dollars, I'd redevelop the portion of the neighbrhood I use4d to live in!
The Old South End is one of the neighborhoods I had in mind when I said that. It makes me sad, too.

Quote:
On the empty strip malls, they also upset me. I dislike all blight and feel that if possible there should be a repurpose plan in place. But honestly becuse Toledo was trying to be so suburban (which was probably why it was mentioned that the area around Southwyck was so "hot" in the not too distant past) it has really created a lot of problems with these old malls and strip retail establishments.

My main gripe with Toledo development is the fact that companies here are still focused on these suburban types of architecture. We really do need a revised master plan for specific neighbohoods and to work on building up urbanity and walkability. I'll note as someone who is an inner city Toledoan born and bred and through and true - that I am more pushing for development in Vistula, the Old South End, and others adjacent to those neighborhoods because they make up the core of the city and IMO would bring more of a "city" feel back to Toledo versus it trying to be a suburban city.
I really wish more strip malls would put the store front against the sidewalk with parking in the rear. This gives the advantages of plenty of parking for the "suburban reality' that is current-state Toledo, but also allows for urban walkable growth in a future-state Toledo.

In the Old South End, imagine if the businesses at South and Broadway were right up against the sidewalk instead of separated by parking lots. It could be similar to Indy's Irvington or Cleveland's Gordon Square --- very urban walkable neighborhoods with plenty of parking just behind the business district. Instead, Toledo is full of the dime a dozen strip mall.

I think this is likely to happen in Uptown, but the Old South End would also be a good candidate for it since there are already some historic store fronts.
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Old 04-08-2018, 02:42 AM
 
912 posts, read 2,325,718 times
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neither. until toledo stops saying they need this or that to pave streets and then get desired results and then dont repave all the streets as previously said.....the city will never do anything big.
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