The Lagrange Development Corp. saluted its past successes this week as it continues to improve one of Toledo's oldest neighborhoods.
Executive Director Terry Glazer said one of the main thrusts of Lagrange Development continues to be providing residents with quality housing and moving people back into the neighborhood.
He said the organization spent over $540,000 in home renovations last year and another $582,000 in financial assistance in things like emergency repairs, exterior paint and second mortgages.
Mr. Glazer said he was pleased with the progress of the "New Schools, New Neighborhood Initiative" around Sherman Elementary. Sherman school building is one of the structures scheduled to be replaced by a new facility in the Toledo Public Schools' building plan.
The Lagrange initiative is designed to improve and upgrade homes around where the new school will be constructed. Lagrange collaborated with Toledo for its "Raise the Roof" project last summer where some 30 homes around Sherman received repair work.
Mr. Glazer said the combination of community safety initiatives, including community policing and a local Weed and Seed program, has helped drop crime in the Lagrange area 5 percent over the past year and 38 percent over the past four years.
"There are still areas were crime is still a problem, but I think we've done a lot to lower crime in the neighborhood overall," said Olivia Holden, executive director of Assets Toledo, a non-profit business training organization, and former board president.
The board of directors elected Realtor Julia Bryant as the organization's new president this week.
"I've been able to meet so many neighbors and I've been grateful for the opportunity in helping them," Ms. Holden said. "We have been able to create many first-time homeowners and we have made an impact there."
Mr. Glazer said there are some projects the corporation would like to accomplish this year. He said Lagrange is in negotiations to purchase four buildings in the 2800 block of Lagrange it would like to redevelop for businesses.
Lagrange would also like to find a tenant for the old Lagrange library building at the corner of Lagrange and Central Avenue.
Mr. Glazer said he expects continued improvements at the Ohio Theater, near the same intersection.
Mr. Glazer said 250 residents were expected at Tuesday's meeting - evidence of how much the neighborhood is connected and concerned about what is going on in the community.
"We try hard to make this a neighborhood organization run by people in the neighborhood," Mr. Glazer said.
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