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City begins demolition of former Driggs Dairy site

Neighbors rejoiced Tuesday as the city announced it will demolish the former Driggs Dairy site in Central Toledo with intent to redevelop the blighted property into something useful to local residents.

The site at 1157 Grand Ave., just east of Detroit Avenue, was where Driggs set up a local milk-processing plant when it expended to Toledo from its central Palmyra, Mich., location in the 1930s.

At a news conference Tuesday, the city announced it had awarded a contract through its federal Community Development Block Grant funding for the demolition and removal of the existing building, concrete debris, perimeter fencing, and asphalt parking areas on the vacant lot. The city will backfill the area with two feet of clean soil and six inches of topsoil for greening.

“As the forces of the economy changed, globalization, bad trade deals, and all these things that are sort of more at the national level than the local level, Driggs Dairy closed, and what was left behind was a vacant, blighted site that for years and years did the opposite of what it was supposed to do,” Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz said at the site.

“For many decades now, it has been bleeding value out of the neighborhoods, and acting not just as an eyesore, but a target for vandalism, and nothing but negative things for this neighborhood,” he said.

Residents of the adjacent London Square neighborhood have long pushed for improvement of the 2.7-acre parcel. Neighborhood activist K. LaVerne Redden called the day long overdue.

‘This truly is a day that the lord has sent,” Ms. Redden said. “…We have worked tirelessly to make this neighborhood a place that is peaceful. A place that is safe. A place that we can live happily in. And a place to raise our families in.”

Ms. Redden said opportunities abound to fill the new site with valuable businesses. She said a hub that could provide resources to residents like a grocery store, coin laundry, and care center should be considered.

“We are looking forward to it being clean and green, and looking like a neighborhood that we wanted to have,” she said.

Rosalyn Clemens, director of Toledo’s Department of Neighborhoods, said more properties will receive demolition and renovation in the future.

“As a team, we can do anything in this city,” Ms. Clemens said. “We can remove the blight, and we can make this city what we want it to be.”


Posted By: The Toledo Blade on April 27, 2021.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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