Monday, Jun 27, 2016
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Development in warehouse district draws the inquisitive

  • Development-in-warehouse-district-draws-the-inquisitive

    Location above retail space and near coffee shops, bars, and restaurants gives the warehouse area a vibrant atmosphere.

    <Hires / Blade

  • Development-in-warehouse-district-draws-the-inquisitive-2

    The waiting room of the Ahava Spa and Wellness Center, which is one of the businesses that have moved into the warehouse area.

    <Hires / Blade

  • Development-in-warehouse-district-draws-the-inquisitive-3

    A view looking down from the second floor shows the kitchen area of the home of Richard Rideout and Janet Albright, at 1 St. Clair St.

    <Hires / Blade

Development-in-warehouse-district-draws-the-inquisitive

Location above retail space and near coffee shops, bars, and restaurants gives the warehouse area a vibrant atmosphere.

Hires / Blade Enlarge

Empty-nesters, young professionals, and people in between turned out for yesterday's Wander the Warehouse District to see what the apartments, townhouses, and businesses in its recently renovated buildings have to offer.

"We're excited about all the development down here and we wanted to come check out the spaces," said Deb Owens-Newland, who was touring the St. Clair Village apartments with friends.

St. Clair Village, at Lafayette and St. Clair streets, was built in the late 1800s. The Toledo Warehouse District Association bought it in 1998 and renovated it for apartments and retail space. It opened in November.

Development-in-warehouse-district-draws-the-inquisitive-2

The waiting room of the Ahava Spa and Wellness Center, which is one of the businesses that have moved into the warehouse area.

Hires / Blade Enlarge

The 11 apartments are varied in layout, with hardwood floors, exposed brick, and original woodwork.

Their location above retail space and near coffee shops, bars, and restaurants, gives them an atmosphere that is more vibrant than some other parts of downtown.

"It's good to see an active place downtown," Adam Levengood said after walking through Apartment 8.

One of the businesses that moved into St. Clair Village is the Ahava Spa and Wellness Center, which combines a spa business with a nonprofit center for cancer patients.

Founder and director Katie Morgan-Lousky, a hairdresser for 27 years, said that she got the idea for the spa from talking to clients with cancer and watching several die. She also has relatives who are cancer survivors, she said.

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A view looking down from the second floor shows the kitchen area of the home of Richard Rideout and Janet Albright, at 1 St. Clair St.

Hires / Blade Enlarge

"I wanted to do something more," she said.

The spa's bright Mediterranean-style rooms provide spaces for health and beauty treatments including yoga, therapeutic baths and massages, hair styling, and pedicures, as well as a private room where people with cancer can get their heads shaved or discuss wigs.

"We want to celebrate life, celebrate women, celebrate wellness," Mrs. Morgan-Lousky said.

Down the street, on the top floor of 1 St. Clair St., Richard Rideout and Janet Albright opened their home to the tour.

Built in 1889, it was originally an engineering and assembly area for steam heating systems.

It's now a spectacular, 5,500-square-foot, three-level home furnished with antiques and modern art.

Ms. Albright said she thought that yesterday's open houses would show people what downtown living can be like.

"I think that this generates a lot of interest," she said.

People who walked through her home agreed the tour showed them what's possible.

"I would never think they could bring things like this downtown," Barb Frey said after walking through the townhouse with her husband, Rod.

Curiosity about urban living drew visitors to the area.

Rob and Kathy Vasquez said they frequent the Toledo Farmers' Market and wanted to see what the homes in the area are like, although they have no plans to leave their house and yard just yet.

Ms. Vasquez said that their opinions on moving to an urban setting have changed from "absolutely not" to seeing some of its appeal.

"It would be a completely different style of living," Mr. Vasquez said.

Contact Elizabeth A. Shack at:

eshack@theblade.com

or 419-724-6050.

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