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Toledo secures grant for North Towne Square industrial redevelopment

Posted By: Toledo Blade on June 6, 2023.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

A state grant announced this week to offset infrastructure costs will support Toledo’s efforts to redevelop the former North Towne Square property into an industrial site.

JobsOhio has awarded the city a $1.5 million grant for the North Towne Roadway Project, which calls for the reconstruction of a 1.95-mile stretch of road that encompasses the proposed 70-acre industrial site. Toledo City Council reviewed the proposal at Tuesday’s agenda review for it June 13 meeting.

Brandon Sehlhorst, commissioner of economic development, has asked city council to authorize a grant agreement to accept the funds, which will offset the project’s overall $4.2 million cost.

The roads surrounding the property, near the intersection of Alexis and Telegraph roads, are “easily the worst roads in the city of Toledo” based on engineer standards, Mr. Sehlhorst said. Road reconstruction will involve shrinking the number of traffic lanes from five to three, with one lane each moving in each direction and one middle turn lane.

The project will also reconstruct the roads leading to the main thoroughfares of Alexis and Telegraph and North Detroit Avenue.

Work could begin in the next few months and be completed this year, he said.

“It really sets a new tone for that corridor, which is exactly what we wanted to do, and it’s absolutely essential that the roads get reconstructed,” Mr. Sehlhorst said before the meeting.

In 2011, the city acquired the property after the mall, which opened in 1980 and closed in 2005, fell into disrepair and was eventually demolished. In 2021, city officials formally announced that NorthPoint Development, a Kansas City-based firm with an office in Detroit, would serve as the site’s owner and developer.

“We would not have been successful in our pursuit of these funds without our partner NorthPoint Development,” Mr. Sehlhorst said.

The first 284,000-square-foot speculative building has been constructed at that site, which now puts the city “in another tranche of competition” to attract new companies, he said. Interest in the site is strong, and a potential tenant could be announced soon, he added.

“It’s less risky. The building is already built, so all these companies will have to do is [configure it] for their operations and then move in,” Mr. Sehlhorst said.

NorthPoint has committed to investing $100 million into the project. Having the road reconstructed is key in attracting business, Dave Weinbrecht, a development manager with NorthPoint, said Monday.

“We wouldn’t be able to attract anybody to that site, or at least any type of tenants that would be valuable to the community and the area, without having that road reconstructed,” Mr. Weinbrecht said.

Plans are under way to construct the second of three speculative buildings next year, as a strong labor force, expressway access, and the site’s proximity to auto manufacturing plants make it attractive to potential business, he said.

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