Tuesday, Sep 25, 2018
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Firm requests $50K for market study on idea of turning Southwyck into recreation, retail center

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Cement blocks and a partial gate prevent cars from entering the parking lot of the former Southwyck Mall. A development company has requested $50,000 to turn the location into a recreation center.

The Blade
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A development company wants the city of Toledo to give it a $50,000 loan for a market study and other preliminary work for its plan to create a recreation and retail development at the former Southwyck Mall area, The Blade has learned.

The Bell administration is asking Toledo City Council to approve the money for M.J.W., Inc. Members of the firm, which they said was a partnership of other businesses, told The Blade they want to put a soccer and baseball fields, an ice rink, a hotel, retail space, and a water park on the 55 acre vacant property.

“We want to focus on family. We want to focus on kids,” said Jeff Chambers, of the company.

Neither the city nor the development company own the land where Southwyck once stood.

  • Click here to see the Southwyck grounds development plans

Cliff Gaston, who identified himself as another member of the company, said they have come to an agreement regarding a purchase price with the property’s owners but need the market study before proceeding.

The $50,000 would come from $300,000 that FirstEnergy Corp. gave Toledo in 2009 to “enhance economic development within the city,” according to city documents.

“Certain funding under this program was provided to Midwest Terminals in the form of a $50,000 loan which was repaid including $3,000 interest,” the request to City Council states. “Accordingly, these funds are now available to loan to developer M.J.W., Inc. to assist it to undertake the acquisition and redevelopment of the former Southwyck Mall site in south Toledo. M.J.W., Inc. plans to use these loan proceeds to pay some predevelopment expenses such as securing a market study and undertaking preliminary design, survey and/or legal work related to performing its due diligence.”

Toledo Mayor Mike Bell plans to announce the proposal at a 2:45 p.m. news conference.

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