Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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Hope for Southwyck

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The Kaps­zuk­ie­w­icz ad­min­is­tra­tion needs to stay on the South­wyck is­sue — seek­ing de­vel­op­ment both res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial.

The Blade/Dave Zapotosky
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Selling two long-vacant Stautzenberger College buildings on Southwyck Boulevard to a new owner who will occupy one and raze the other was a positive move for the fledgling Kapszukiewicz administration.

This was unfinished business left from Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson’s tenure and does not appear to represent any new policy on the part of the city. Council approved the sale back in September.

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Still, Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz made building permits a central issue of his campaign last year. He said he would never be an obstacle to developers and builders. He would be a partner.

The city sold the two parcels for a single one-dollar bill.

The terms of the sale to Olympic Real Estate Group LLC and its sister company, Rahe & Company CPAs LLC, require that Olympic revitalize 5355 Southwyck for its offices, which will house 42 employees. And it will tear down 5405 Southwyck next door and convert it to green space for the workers.

The vacant space at 5405 Southwyck is likely to be used to satisfy the stormwater detention requirement that will be triggered when Olympic seeks permits to renovate 5355 Southwyck, which is at the corner of Cheyenne Boulevard and Southwyck.

Stormwater detention is an issue for new and remodeled buildings at Southwyck, and city planners are looking to Hawthorne Hills (the former Southwyck mall) as a place to possibly create shared stormwater detention for the whole area.

The fact that two 40-year-old two-story office buildings in a suburban-style commercial development in Toledo could have so little value is proof, as if it was needed, of how far Southwyck has declined, and proof that the city needs to step up efforts to bring up the value of the entire Reynolds Road corridor.

The Kapszukiewicz administration needs to stay on the Southwyck issue — seeking development both residential and commercial. With the exception of Mayor D. Michael Collin’s short tenure, the city administration’s attitude has long been that nothing much can be done. But much can be done at Southwyck, beginning with beautification. The long-term goal goal must still be finding a productive use for the former 58-acre mall site.

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