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With barely a time-out from starring for the Houston Rockets, Toledo-born basketball pro Jimmy Jackson has added another property to his downtown Toledo presence.
Mr. Jackson, through his company, JAJ Development, has acquired 221, 225, and 231 North Huron St. - a building and a parking lot next to his Jackson's Lounge & Grill - from Damas Parking Co.
The purchase price, recorded by the Lucas County Auditor on Monday, was $300,000.
Mr. Jackson said yesterday he hasn't decided exactly what to do with the 1910 structure, formerly known as the Junior Achievement building.
"When I first saw it, with the [request for proposals] going out on the Madison Building, I thought of renovating it. That's a key building," Mr. Jackson said.
"I would like something that would kind of compliment Jackson's next door - maybe a breakfast spot, some kind of commercial [tenant], anything that draws people to this area," he said.
Jackson's opened in August in the former Board Room restaurant, 255 North Huron.
Mr. Jackson played basketball at Macomber High School and at Ohio State University and currently plays for the Houston
Rockets. The team is in the NBA playoffs.
The purchase is yet another hopeful sign for the Madison Avenue-Huron Street intersection. In a compromise announced Wednesday, Fifth Third Bank has agreed to reconsider its plan to demolish three buildings in the 300 block of Huron for a parking lot and armored car drop-off while the Downtown Toledo Parking Authority studies the feasibility of a parking garage on Erie Street.
The parking authority's consultant, Carl Walker of Kalamazoo, Mich., is due to present his findings June 11. The garage would add up to 600 spaces to the block. It would include separate space for Fifth Third to unload and load its courier and armored vehicles.
A preliminary design by the Toledo Design Center envisions a covered pedestrian walkway from Huron into the rear of the parking garage and conversion of both ends of the alley into pedestrian passages from Madison and Adams Street.
Last month Mayor Jack Ford announced the city would take bids on developing the vacant Madison Building at Madison and Huron.
The previous owner of 231 North Huron, the late Michael Damas, tried unsuccessfully to convert the building to a surface lot in 1996 and 1997. City council voted to waive a prohibition on new surface parking lots in the downtown to allow Mr. Damas to install a parking lot, but then-Mayor Carty Finkbeiner vetoed the ordinance.
Mr. Damas, a former mayor of Toledo, died on April 13, 2003, at the age of 90.
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