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Perrysburg housing shows growth despite slow economy

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Northwest Ohio's sluggish economy didn't stop Perrysburg from having a pretty decent 2007 in terms of growth and economic development.

The city of 19,000 added 53 new single-family homes worth a total of $17,050,000. The selling price of the new homes ranged from $190,000 to $2.5 million. The average was $321,000.

This compares with 66 new homes built in 2006 and 125 in 2005, according to Rick Thielen, the city's administrator for planning, zoning, and economic development, who said he expected homebuilding this year to keep pace with 2007.

"We're holding our own. Activity is good," he explained.

Mr. Thielen's office produced an easy-to-read 2007 year-end report, available at the municipal building or on the city's Web site www.ci.perrysburg.oh.us that boils down all of Perrysburg's economic development numbers.

It states that in 2007, the city added $17,120,000 worth of multifamily housing, mostly rental apartments, to its housing stock, for a total of 152 units.

The largest apartment building contained 132 units, the smallest two units.

"Multifamily rental housing is actually increasing because people want to be here for the school system, but they may not be able to afford a house," Mr. Thielen explained.

Councilman John Kevern, who chairs council's economic development committee, noted that many of the city's new apartments had been built in the Levis Commons area.

"You can live in those apartments and have the amenities of Levis Commons and the school system," he said.

Commercial and industrial development was a robust $55,976,000 last year, according to the report.

Mr. Thielen said it shows no sign of letting up.

"It's going through the roof," he said. "I don't expect it to slow down."

In 2007, 674,000 square feet of commercial/industrial space were added to Perrysburg's inventory. The largest building was 176,300 square feet, the smallest 85 square feet. The average was 28,113 square feet.

Perrysburg also:

•Approved eight downtown improvement grants worth $109,812 for property owners to improve their buildings.

•Gave a $10,000 grant to Fort Meigs Memorial State Park.

•Received an $800,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation for improvements to Fort Meigs Road.

•Annexed more than 300 acres.

The city also approved more than $15 million in Community Reinvestment Areas, in which tax abatement of up to 75 percent for 10 years is given on the improved value of a property after payments are made to the Perrysburg schools and Penta Career Center.

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