Development in much of western Lucas County last year remained at about the level it was a year earlier, according to officials, but they also pointed to progress made in government-supported community facilities which are being developed.
In terms of commercial development, two projects in downtown Sylvania will alter the appearance to the business district.
One is the construction of an office building on Main Street, south of Ten Mile Creek, which is under way, and the other is a long-desired hotel or motel for the city. That project took a step toward being realized by the sale to developers of about two-acres of city-owned land on the northern shore of the creek.
Craig Stough, Sylvania mayor, said he was pleased with both developments, and also glad that the city was able to sell the land, which was first purchased about 10 years ago.
The property for the office building was sold for $250,000. The three-story structure and its planned brick exterior should fit in with the prevailing architectural style of Sylvania's downtown, officials said.
About two months after the sale of the southern portion of the land, council approved the sale on the north side of the creek, also for $250,000 to River Center LLC., to construct a building to be used as a hotel.
City officials gave the developers certain deadlines, including a groundbreaking in May.
The proposal calls for a four-story building, with a fifth level for underground parking.
The mayor also noted that a smaller project is the change of the Speedway gas station just north of that area at Main and Monroe streets. The alteration of the building is being reviewed, but will likely end with razing the existing station and building a new structure with a brick fa ade.
He said that completion of the projects will improve the appearance of the city's downtown.
Overall, the city last year increased the number of permits it issued for new residential construction, but the reported value to the projects decreased.
Jeff Ballmer, city service director, said Sylvania issued 22 permits last year, compared to 12 issued in 2000, but the average value per house fell to about $211,000 from almost $270,000.
Permits issued last year for dwellings in Sylvania Township represented a total of nearly $44 million in value, compared to the proceeding year of permits representing a value of about $49 million.
One of the most visible projects in the township is the construction of a Lowe's home improvement store at Central Avenue and Percentum Road.
In addition to the 135,000-square-foot building west of McCord Road, the site is expected to have a second large store and three other businesses facing Central.
Mayor Stough also mentioned that Sylvania was involved in leasing the property that is now known as Fossil Park, a site off Centennial Road which features fossils found in nearby working quarries.
The park opened last year and is operated by The Olander Park System. The park, a 10-acre site south of Sylvania- Metamora Road, may eventually see as many as 250,000 annual visitors, according to Gary Madrzykowski, director of the park system.
This year it is planned that utilities, particularly water, will be extended to the park. Mr. Madrzykowski said once that is completed permanent restrooms will be constructed on the site.
The work is being funded, in part, by a levy passed last year which will increase tax income for the park system to about $567,000.
The Sylvania area next month will also see the opening of a new senior center on Sylvania Avenue adjacent to Tam O'Shanter
The senior center will have an entrance to the Tam O'Shanter addition, which opened late last year.
Some seniors have already begun using the addition for walking around the perimeter of an indoor soccer field.
The Tam O'Shanter addition already is used by thousand of children and adults for basketball, indoor soccer, lacrosse, volleyball, and iceless hockey.
The senior center and the addition to Tam O'Shanter cost a total of $6.3 million.
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