Toledo's growth has a ripple effect on northwest Ohio

Toledo's growth has a ripple effect on northwest Ohio
(Source: WTOL)
(Source: WTOL)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Toledo is seeing some critical growth in income, the housing market and even job growth.

The federal reserve bank of Cleveland just released a report saying the Toledo metro area's income per capita rose 4 percent in 2015.

It also says while Toledo unemployment numbers remain steady at 4.9 percent, the metro area has seen tremendous growth in professional and business services and financial activities. And with the employment growth, the metro area has also seen an increase in the housing market.

With numbers boding so well for the city, how will they keep up momentum and progress they have seen? One neighborhood says they
are confident it will happen.

The warehouse district says they have seen tremendous growth over the past year and don't expect that to stop anytime soon.

During their annual meeting Tuesday, they discussed their plans to improve the infrastructure in their neighborhood to further develop the community.

The warehouse district is just a mere 33 blocks in Downtown Toledo. Within those 33 blocks, some impressive growth is happening. They have more than 60 businesses, 900 residents and bring in 4 million dollars in income tax.

"When you think of the graph it's just really starting to take off and we're getting to that point where everything is getting built out to where there are very few empty buildings left," said Joe Marck, member of the board of directors for the warehouse district and director of development for IBC Properties. "We're hopefully at a point where we are going to have to start building new to accommodate the activity that is going on down here."

Warehouse district association leaders say that starts with improving their infrastructure especially in light of the new D.O.R.A. They are hoping to improve the streets, sidewalks, parking and more.

"We really see this as a pivotal change in the development of the warehouse district because up to this point it's been entrepreneurs and private businesses," said Diane Keil-Hipp, president of the Warehouse District Association. "Going forward it's really more about partnering with local government to get some of these infrastructure improvements to take place."

Kevin Prater, a developer, says he's glad they invested and moved into the warehouse district because of the momentum it has produced.

"We were not really sure when we came here what we were going to get, but we liked the inventory of buildings over here and we saw that there wasn't really a lot of people doing what we are doing," said Prater, developer of the Berdan and Standart Lofts. "We thought it was a great opportunity and we found some success."

He says the Berdan Lofts are expected to open sometime around late August and have additional development opportunities on the horizon.

Warehouse District board members say they are working to stay ahead of the game and believe that the growth in their neighborhood is good for the entire area.

The growth in the Warehouse District and Toledo also ripples out to the region of Northwest Ohio.

The Regional Growth Partnership says they have had three consecutive years of record breaking job growth and capital investment.

In a statement, they say what's good for Toledo is good for the region, and vice versa:

"It gives businesses across the region confidence when major companies in Toledo continue to invest, particularly in downtown Toledo like with ProMedica. On the flip side, Toledo also needs the rest of the region to do well."

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