Tuesday, Jul 26, 2016
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City resumes Promenade Park renovations

Downtown city park construction restarted despite ProMedica purchase

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A ramp for truck access is removed after work ends early at Promenade Park. Poor weather Monday delayed work that had begun at the park along the downtown riverfront.

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Promenade Park renovation work resumed Monday after Mayor D. Michael Collins stopped construction earlier this year because ProMedica announced plans to build a parking garage at the site.

ProMedica plans to make a nearly $40 million investment by acquiring, renovating, and occupying Toledo Edison’s former Water Street Station Steam Plant and consolidating 700 employees at the vacant downtown site.

The plan could include constructing a new underground parking garage on the old federal building site at Promenade Park.

Mayor Collins said shortly after becoming mayor in January that he ordered suspension of the renovation and expansion of Promenade Park, pushed by former Mayor Mike Bell, because it may be needed as part of ProMedica’s downtown campus.

Rudolph-Libbe resumed working on the park under its contract with the city, said Toledo Business Developmental Director Matt Sapara.

The work is meant to get the park ready for 2014 events there, including the Independence Day celebration, Mr. Sapara said.

The Collins administration asked the company to finish the sidewalk along Summit Street, place topsoil and grass seed on the site of the former Federal Building, and level the mounds that have sat there since late last year.

The work is expected to take about two weeks.

“It is anticipated that as long as the grass grows well that the site will be ready for park activities by early summer,” said Lisa Ward, city spokesman.

“Some additional asphalt work on Summit Street by Rudolph/​Libbe is expected to be completed in May.”

Toledo’s Fourth of July fireworks, sponsored by The Blade, Taylor Automotive Group, and Humana Inc. will again be at Promenade Park this year.

More than 90,000 people are expected to attend.

Neither ProMedica’s proposed underground parking lot nor amenities at Promenade Park were included in a state bill for construction and equipment projects at universities, government buildings, parks, museums, historic sites, and other venues across the state.

A “white paper” wish list, written by a committee of the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce before ProMedica’s announcement, included a request for $3 million toward the $9 million third phase of former Mayor Bell’s expansion and other improvements to Promenade Park near the steam plant.

Contact Ignazio Messina at: imessina@theblade.com or 419-724-6171 or on Twitter @IgnazioMessina.

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