Toledo’s Warehouse District has come a long way in recent years, thanks to many community efforts.
In conjunction with May as National Preservation Month, the Toledo Warehouse District Association will mark the area’s progress at an 11 a.m. news conference today at 1 S. St. Clair St.
“Our neighborhood dates back to the 1800s, and it’s probably the most vibrant historic neighborhood in northwest Ohio,” Diane Keil-Hipp, president of the association, said.
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According to statistics gathered by the association, more than 60 businesses and 700 residents have moved into the area since 2000, making use of more than 40 renovated historic buildings.
“It went from vacant and dilapidated to vibrant and active,” Ms. Keil-Hipp said.
The businesses there represent $12.2 million in annual payroll and have contributed to a rise in the district’s real estate values by 111 percent.
Comparatively, real estate values for Lucas County as a whole have risen only 5.45 percent since 2000.
“That’s real investment paying off,” Ms. Keil-Hipp said. “That tells you volumes right there.”
There are major projects in the works for the district, such as the Berdan Building being revamped into 115 apartments.
Joe Napoli, general manager of the Toledo Mud Hens and Toledo Walleye, said the district’s atmosphere has boosted the teams’ success downtown.
“Sustaining the teams and growing popularity has everything to do with the experience visitors have when they come to a game,” he said. “It makes people want to keep coming back.”
A project called Hensville will transform old buildings and parking areas on St. Clair by Fifth Third Field into a shopping, dining, residential, and concert district.
“When you factor in the recession, [the district’s progress] is even more remarkable and impressive,” Mr. Napoli said.
Mr. Napoli and Ms. Keil-Hipp will speak at today’s news conference, along with Paul Sullivan, vice chairman of the Landmarks Preservation Council, and Hugh Grefe, senior executive director of Local Initiatives Support Corp.’s Toledo office.