Clean Ohio grant may convert Madison Ave. property into park

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - A measure is before Toledo City Council for approval on February 28, to accept a $1.5 million Clean Ohio grant, to convert a 2.4 acre site along Madison Ave. between 18th-20th Streets into a new urban park.

A $500,000 local match was organized by the UpTown Association.

"UpTown is on the verge of huge growth. This is a large development project, our largest development project to date." says UpTown Association Executive Director Julie Champa.

Clean up work is expected to begin shortly.

"The state allows us 36 months to complete the project, but our goal is to get it done well ahead of that schedule." said Champa.

Business owners in the neighborhood say creating new public space will help attract new visitors to the neighborhood.

"It's a positive thing with the park coming. We have quite a neighborhood here." says Connie Hoffmann with Adams St. Antiques and Arts.

"It could always help when you have more people. It's always going to help, the more the better." says James Valentine with Valentine's Antiques.

"Once you get people out and down here they tend to stay. They realize how nice it is." says Caroline Gauger, daytime manager at Manhattan's.

The park site is viewed as a prime example of the recent revival in the UpTown district, which is generally bounded by 10th, Jackson, Adams, Woodruff, Collingwood and Washington.