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Published: 10/5/2005

Maumee: Officials seek $400K grant to spruce up downtown

BY ELIZABETH A. SHACK
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Maumee's efforts to spruce up its downtown are continuing with proposed improvements to existing buildings and potential development along Conant Street.

City officials are seeking a $400,000 downtown revitalization grant from the Ohio Department of Development.

Maumee is competing with 10 other entities for six or seven grants. The two-year grant would be the third for the city.

The Poggemeyer Design Group's Linda Hall, who worked with the city on the grant, said that $250,000 of the grant would be used for existing buildings, with 15 facade improvements and 22 other types of improvements, such as electrical work, disability access, or roof repairs.

The remaining $150,000 would be used for a 78-space parking lot in the 200 block of Conant Street, where the city has bought and demolished buildings.

The city has been seeking developers for the land, where it would like to have offices and retail. The parking lot could complement such structures, city Administrator John Jezak said.

The total cost for the proposed projects, which must be completed by Oct. 31, 2007, is $1.443 million. The $1.043 million not covered by the grant would be paid for privately or by the city. The city would pay for administering the grant.

Ms. Hall said the state is expected to make a decision in late December.

She said the large amount of private funds that Maumee has to complement the grant give it a good chance of winning one. Also, about half the buildings in the uptown area, or 37 of 73, are participating. The minimum requirement is 20 percent.

"There's probably about 10 or 12 buildings that are participating for the first time," Ms. Hall said.

Mr. Jezak added that Maumee's experience from other projects should help as well.

"We have a track record over here," he said.

He said the city is still working with developers to come up with a concept for the property on Conant Street, the former site of a gas station and office building. Some developers said limited parking was a problem.

One of the last items to be paid for with the previous grant was the demolition of the former Handmade Lampshades building, across the street from the vacant property.

Last month, council voted to authorize the administration to pay Cody Construction of Sandusky $21,850 to tear down the building.

Designs for the parking have not been made. The lot could be put on the eastern side of the property, behind future buildings. Another possibility is to put it on the north side near Conant and Wayne streets, Mr. Jezak said.



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