Downtown renovation proposals draw criticism - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Downtown renovation proposals draw criticism

By Rob Wiercinski - bio | email | Facebook

Posted by Nick Bade - email

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Toledo City Council is considering two proposals aimed at reviving downtown Toledo. 

The first proposal is for the city to borrow $10 million from the federal government in the form of a section 108 loan. 

The money from that loan would then be used to convert the Berdan building at the corner of Erie and Washington streets in downtown Toledo into a 122 unit apartment complex.

United North Executive Director Terry Glazer says if that project should fail, federal community development funding could be at risk.

"That money comes from future allocations of federal money," said Glazer.  "Yes it's not local money, but it's taxpayer money that could go for things like inspections [and] demolition of homes."

Glazer says he wonders if the project is viable.  "That doesn't seem like a sound project to me," said Glazer.  "If it was a sound project there ought to be some private financing in the deal."

The second proposal is to use $150,000 of community development funds to create a new downtown development group.

Glazer says he is not sure it would be worth the money. "To create a whole new organization with a whole new executive director [and] administrative staff at a time when money is so tight doesn't make any sense," said Glazer.

Glazer added that he is not critical of the goals of revitalizing downtown and creating new housing opportunities, but that he does not agree with how the mayor's office plans to accomplish these goals.

"It's a matter of utilizing money the best way at a time when finances are tight," said Glazer.

Toledo City Council will meet Thursday at 2 p.m. to discuss the two proposals.


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