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Land Bank seeks proposals to redevelop historic St. Anthony Church

The Lucas County Land Bank was gifted the church in 2018 by the diocese after leaders rallied to save it. Now, the Land Bank is looking to redevelop the property.

TOLEDO, Ohio — The Lucas County Land Bank announced today that it is now seeking proposals to redevelop the historic St. Anthony Church.

The Land Bank received the church as a donation from the Diocese of Toledo, after a community effort saved it from demolition.

The Land Bank worked with the Toledo Design Collective and Rudolph-Libbe to determine possible uses and construction costs to rehabilitate the church. Analysis determined at least $3 million would be necessary to return the property to a “productive” condition.

"We're calling on the private sector. Nonprofits, developers, folks with a vision and a heart for this neighborhood to step forward, reach out to the land bank and partner with us to help develop this building and help this neighborhood into the next hundred years," said Lucas County treasurer Lindsay Webb, during a press conference held in front of the church.

The property will be listed for sale, with the Land Bank seeking developers who have plans that are funded, sustainable and will create a positive investment in the Junction neighborhood.

A committee of neighborhood stakeholders and redevelopment experts will review the submitted proposals.

Full information on the plan for redevelopment and review of proposals is on the Lucas County Land Bank's website.

Previous story from Aug. 13, 2018:

The Lucas County Land Bank has accepted the diocese's donation of St. Anthony Church, according to a news release Tuesday.

This is the first hurdle Land Bank leaders have gotten over, saving St. Anthony from the wrecking ball.

Now, the work on restoration begins.

Toledo mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz said that it's no secret this has been hard work, but he's glad this building will stay, what he calls, a staple of this neighborhood.

There is no clear path moving forward on what this building will be used for at this point.

Land Bank leaders know this is going to be costly, around $200,000 worth of repair.

In the past week, the mayor, who is also the Chair of the Land Bank, said that there has been a commitment from the community of time, energy and money which allowed them to feel confident about moving forward.

No taxpayers dollars will be used.

Once restoration efforts happen, Land Bank leaders believe this will secure the building for 10 to 15 years.

Bishop Daniel Thomas said the land bank vice presidents OK'd the gift of both the church, the rectory and the land on which the buildings are located, as well as nearby land at 519 Junction Ave.

The next steps include deeding the parcels of land to the land bank and working out any obligations that remain with the demolition company.

The historic church was slated to be demolished earlier this month, but that action was halted and a series of negotiations about its future took place.

Bishop Thomas, along with other diocesan officials, met twice with Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz, and David Mann, President and CEO of the Land Bank, over the last several weeks to discuss both the civic officials' interest in the building and the initiative of the Diocese to gift the buildings and land rather than proceed with the demolition, which was scheduled for earlier this month.

"While I wish the recently expressed interest in the building had been made known much earlier," said Bishop Thomas, "I believe that together we have found a solution that will allow those who want to preserve the building to do just that."

According to the news release, Bishop Thomas again expressed, as he did at the June 12 meeting with Kaptur, Kapszukiewicz, and Mann, that the Diocese is not in a position to provide any funds to the Land Bank for the preservation of the building.

Bishop Thomas remarked, "Now that the Land Bank has accepted the gift of the buildings and the land, it is the sincere hope of the Diocese that, in coordination with the Padua Center, the future use of the property will provide a safe environment as well as promote even greater outreach for the good of the community."