Tuesday, Nov 13, 2018
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Developer plans to build townhomes in Toledo's Warehouse District

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    A view of the Anthony Wayne Bridge and the warehouse district of Toledo. Developer Jim McGowan wants to bring a high-end townhomes to the area.

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Developer Jim McGowan has built a solid reputation in the construction of upscale homes in Toledo’s suburban neighborhoods.

Exmoor in Ottawa Hills and Riverhills, Northwoods, and Wildewood in Sylvania Township are among the million-dollar subdivisions developed by his family’s Sylvania-based company, McGowan Properties.


A view of the Anthony Wayne Bridge and the warehouse district of Toledo. Developer Jim McGowan wants to bring a high-end townhomes to the area.

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Now, the developer is turning his attention to new home construction in Toledo’s urban core to the accommodate the growing devotees to downtown living.

Mr. McGowan is asking the city to approve plans to build new single-family homes at 151 S. St. Clair St. near the Farmers’ Market in the Warehouse District.

The high-end townhome development, which is to be called “The Saint Claire,” would emphasize urban, modernist design. Thirteen of the 21 units are planned to be built on the north bank of Swan Creek.

Mr. McGowan said the project will feature the similar high-quality designs and features of the custom homes his company built in suburban housing developments.

“My intent is to bring that same level of quality, design, feel, and all those good things and get them together,” he said. “After studying it for the last couple of years, I think there is one helluva demand for this type of construction in the downtown area.”

Exteriors on the five clusters of units will have a mix of metal panels, masonry stone, and cladding wall systems that give the project a modern appearance. The development will also provide a deck and pergola near the creek that will serve as a community center.

“There has been a lot of feedback and it’s all been positive. I am excited as hell. This could be the neatest thing we have ever done,” Mr. McGowan said.


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The townhomes are being targeted to millennials and young professionals as well as empty nesters and retirees, the developer added.

Units will have about 2,000 square feet on four levels, two-car garages, and private balconies and rooftop decks, offering views of the downtown skyline and Swan Creek.

Buyers will have options for upgrades and high-end finishes that “will rival any house anywhere,” Mr. McGowan said.

Final prices haven’t been set but are expected to range from the upper $300,000 range to nearly $700,000.

Even without shovels in the ground and marketing, the developer has quietly secured commitments for several units.

“These are people who would typically be looking at upscale condos in Sylvania and they love the idea of being downtown,” Mr. McGowan said. “People have heard about it. They are wild about the idea. They want to learn more about it and they are willing to buy.”

A public hearing before the Toledo Plan Commission to review the project is scheduled for 2 p.m. March 8 in One Government Center.

McGowan Properties has an agreement to purchase the 1½-acre lot. A 7,000-square-foot building and 4,000-square-foot garage on the property would be demolished to make way for the development.

“We are still doing environmental testing. It’s got to be environmentally sound before we move forward,” Mr. McGowan said, adding that construction could begin as early as this summer.

Nancy Kabat, an agent with Welles Bowen Realtors, said the demand to have homes available for purchase is growing in the urban core because of ProMedica’s relocation and the after-dark entertainment generating crowds and excitement.

“I feel like I have waited a lifetime for this to happen. I think Toledo is energized to a level that we haven’t seen in years,” she said. “To have another alternative downtown that is good solid housing is a terrific thing.”

Contact Mark Reiter at: markreiter@theblade.com or 419-724-6199

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