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Toledo developers hope to double the number of people living downtown in 6 years

ConnecToledo works with developers and the city to improve downtown Toledo. A big part of that improvement is increasing the number of people who call downtown home.

TOLEDO, Ohio — A big part of breathing new life into downtown Toledo is attracting more people to live downtown.

Paul Toth, the president of ConnecToledo, and his team work with both the Downtown Toledo Improvement District and the Development Corporation that hope to greatly expand downtown living.

"So our goal at Connect Toledo is really trying to double the number of people living in downtown over the next 6, 7 years, 8 years," Toth said.

Since 2015, there has been about a billion dollars of investment in downtown Toledo.

It is not just expanding real estate; they also work to keep the city clean, Toth said.

"We put 100 planters around downtown in the last 2 years, we're managing all of the landscaping that was installed last year, really just downtown's ambassadors if you will," he said.

The pandemic created many changes, but he said larger cities are experiencing more vacancies than Toledo who are using more hybrid work models of home and at the office. 

"Reichle Kleine just released their office quarterly report, and I think we still have a 22-23% vacancy rate, which is high, we'd like to see that come down," Toth said.

Toth said that many people want a bigger grocery store downtown, but since not enough people are living here, he said they are apprehensive about putting one in.

Even though downtown is experiencing higher vacancy rates than Toth would like to see, he is still optimistic due to continued investment in the area he believes will grow.

ConnecToledo's next goal is to focus on their master plan that includes their partnership with the city and landbank for Nicholas and Spitzer Building they hope that will house 500 more residents downtown. 

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