Relocation of Greyhound’s downtown Toledo bus station to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza is a key element of a plan to revitalize the area around the train station.
A long-time goal to move the bus station from its Jefferson Avenue site to the plaza, where it would join Amtrak’s rail service, was reiterated at a Thursday meeting of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority board of directors.
The train station area is poised for transformation with the creation of the Middlegrounds, a park slated to open along the Maumee River in the late summer of 2015, said Robert Seyfang, an architect with the Toledo Design Center who presented a conceptual area plan to the port authority board.
RELATED CONTENT: Map of potential new Greyhound station
The park could provide a neighborhood spark that the 1950-era train station didn’t fully ignite after it was renovated and reopened in 1996, Mr. Seyfang said.
The concept includes moving Greyhound to the plaza and building a roundabout at Williams and Summit streets to emphasize the area’s entrance.
“We always envisioned that Greyhound would be a compatible use in there with Amtrak,” said Paul Toth, the port authority‘s president and chief executive.
Greyhound’s lease at 811 Jefferson Ave. expires in December, 2018, said Lanesha Gipson, a company spokesman.
“We’re considering various locations for a new station including an intermodal station,” she said.
The company will most likely move from its present site; a switch that may take place before the end of the lease, “but we don’t have a specific date,” she said.
Moving to a site offering multiple modes of transportation provides a “seamless” travel experience for passengers, Ms. Gipson said. In 2012, the bus line moved into Washington’s Union Station.
To accommodate the bus line, the port authority would demolish a two-story building constructed around 1950 on Emerald Avenue just west of the main train station. The building’s removal would allow Greyhound buses to leave the depot without having to back onto Emerald in violation of a company safety policy.
The port authority will consult with the State Historic Preservation Office before it takes down the structure, though it is not listed as an historic property. It was formerly used as a mail building for a railway package-delivery service and now used for storage. Demolition would cost an estimated $250,000.
A roundabout at Williams Street would help identify the area, Mr. Seyfang said. He proposed installing a replica Victorian train station tower in the center of the traffic circle. The design feature would bring motorists to the station and the park, he said.
Metroparks of the Toledo Area supports discussions about upgrading the entrance area, spokesman Scott Carpenter said.
“We’ve talked a lot about [how] the approaches to parks are important so that they are not just islands but really integrated into the community. You need to be able to walk there and ride your bike there,” he said.
Middlegrounds park construction could begin this summer, though the schedule depends partly on Anthony Wayne Bridge repairs. Park land is being used as a staging area for bridge work, Mr. Carpenter said.
In other business Thursday, the port authority board approved a contract with the Lathrop Co., for up to $6.6 million to build a Crawford County maintenance garage for the Ohio Department of Transportation. ODOT will reimburse the port authority for the short-term financing.