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Historic South Initiative breathing new life into one of Toledo's oldest neighborhoods

Since the work started in the Old South End, the blight—and crime—have done an about-face. Home prices have gone up 300% in one of Toledo’s oldest neighborhoods.

TOLEDO, Ohio — The Historic South Initiative has fixed up close to 100 homes and the neighborhood off Broadway Street is coming alive. The result is higher property values and new homeowners.

One home they’re working on since summer went from teardown, where they took out rotting wood and decay, to rebuilding the walls and making a historic home come alive again.

The Historic South Initiative is focusing on homes in the Crittenden, Walbridge, Eastern and Western streets. They were built in the 1890s into 1900s. 

Many of the homes were abandoned. Since the work started in the Old South End, the blight—and crime—have done an about-face. Home prices have gone up 300% in one of Toledo’s oldest neighborhoods.

The contractor who does much of the work in the area is Denny McPartland.

His team gutted a house heavily damaged by termites. Walls are going up this week, with plumbing and electrical to follow. 

And then there's designing a small kitchen bathroom, installing the furnace and appliances. The exterior comes next with windows, a roof and siding. There’s a lot still to come.

“A lot of them are beautiful homes and they look great now. They’re doing a great job and this will look great when it’s done, it really will," McPartland said. "It may look rough now but it’ll be a nice house when it’s done!”

Historic South Initiative is financed by local, state and federal funds, plus corporate donations.

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