Pilkington site eyed for development

Seeking more market-rate housing in Toledo, city officials are hoping to join Pilkington North America and a yet-to-be named builder to turn 34 acres of industrial wasteland riverfront property into a condominium/townhouse development.

"It’s a fantastic opportunity to take no-production land and turn it into productive land," said Deputy Director Ford Weber of the city’s economic and community development department.

Pilkington officials have been exploring uses for the property on the east bank of the Maumee River and adjacent to its Rossford plant near the I-75 bridge.

The site contains remnants from a glass manufacturing operation that ceased in 1970, said John Keil, Pilkington’s director of environment, health, safety, and property.

As a result, selling the property outright to a developer was not a viable option, so Pilkington turned to the city.

Mr. Weber said he will ask City Council to approve a grant application for up to $3 million in state funds for brownfield clean-up and other expenses related to converting the land into residential and commercial use.

He also will ask council for $1.1 million in city funds for sewer, water, and road works, but said the city’s role in the project will end there.

In order to secure the state funds, the city must contribute at least 25 percent of the grant amount, Mr. Weber said.

At least one developer whom Mr. Weber declined to name is interested in the project. Mr. Keil said he knows of several other developers who have shown interest.

Mr. Weber said the initial plan calls for 150 to 180 condos or townhouses priced somewhere in six figures.

Mr. Keil said roads would be constructed to provide river access to the community. Plans call for a riverside bike and walking trail that might someday extend from Rossford to International Park, Mr. Keil said.

District 6 councilman Wade Kapszukiewicz needs more details before he will decide whether to support the project, but said he believes the concept is sound.

"We need locations like that to make [us] attractive to business. It comes at a steep price, no question, but I know Toledo is not growing and we need to create opportunities in the city limits," he said.

Mr. Weber said the city’s grant application needs to be submitted by August in order to secure state funds by early next year, so he will push the project along.

"This could be relatively a fast project," he said.

600450 Pilkington site eyed for development glassonweb.com
Date: 8 May 2003
Source: Toledoblade.com

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