Complex for veterans started

Groundbreaking for Commons at Garden Lake draws leaders


A $12.5 million, 75-unit apartment complex for low-income or formerly homeless Lucas County veterans is expected to be ready for residents by July, 2015, according to officials with National Church Residences.

The Columbus-based nonprofit organization spearheading the effort began clearing a site earlier this month at 1065 Garden Lake Parkway in South Toledo where the apartments will be built.

Dozens of federal, state, county, and city dignitaries on Friday attended a ceremonial ground-breaking for the project, which has been named The Commons at Garden Lake.

The project is being funded through a combination of private loans and public money from Toledo, Lucas County, and the federal government, said Amy Rosenthal, senior project leader.

“Our goal is to be full-service providers,” Ms. Rosenthal said. “They will have staff on site, licensed social workers on site, an employment coordinator. It’s all about having supportive services on site. The goal is to help them succeed.”

National Church Residences bought the four-acre site from Lucas County for $25,000, according to tax records.

The Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority has received approval from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for 35 voucher subsidies and plans to apply for funding to pay for housing in the remaining 40 units in the complex, Linnie B. Willis, the housing authority’s executive director has said.

The Lucas County Veteran’s Service Commission will pay for the apartments’ furniture and Veterans Matter, a local homeless assistance organization, will cover rental deposits.

Mayor D. Michael Collins, who spoke during Friday’s ceremony, praised the various agencies that have collaborated to make the project possible. He pointed out that U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo), who also spoke during the event, first approached the county about the need for veteran housing in 2008. Miss Kaptur helped secure the federal funds for the project, he noted.

“When we think about those veterans who don’t have families, who don’t have a place to live; and we can help give them a place to give them a home, it makes me realize that we have a very giving community,” county Commissioner Carol Contrada said. “It’s wonderful to see so many people collaborating like this.”

Contact Federico Martinez at: or 419-724-6154.