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No Need To GTC: It's Toledo

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
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9,323
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Fights At The Mall

Metro Toledo has only one giant regional indoor shopping mall. All the other malls died (except a single mall in suburban Northwood, and that mall is dying). What was originally called Franklin Park Mall, now called Westfield Franklin Park, is one of the larger malls in the midwest.

Over the past couple years, some fairly large fights and disturbances have occured at Westfield. Last Saturday night the mall was locked-down as police tried to break-up a fight that involved hundreds of teenagers.

Cue John Mellencamp....."Ain't that America....."

The big fight has been the lead story in this area all week, except for some golfer who had an affair. Now, the mall is being patrolled by Toledo Police officers and private security guards. There is talk about not allowing teens at the mall unless with a parent.

Gimme a break.

Of course, that's easy for me to say. I haven't been to the mall in two years. But still, not allowing access for teens? They will just go hang out behind the Kroger store and smoke dope.

:-c:r:

Bear
 

Bear Up North

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Big Budget Problems

Update: Toledo, probably like so many cities across the land, has a double-whammy problem.....

The City of Toledo has a budget deficit of about 45 million dollars. The new mayor (Mike Bell) is giving straightforward alternatives. Those cuts include personnel, pay, benefits (especially union-contract bennies), services. The new mayor says that raising the tax rate would be an alternative to the cuts.

Toledo Public Schools has a deficit somewhere in the 20 million dollar range. Cuts being looked at include an end to sports......and that has created a firestorm. Again, the alternate plan would be to tack on a "school district tax", a very common source of revenue for Ohio's school districts.

We live in tough times.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

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Unintended Consequences

Toledo has a problem. That problem has unintended consequences that will have some silver-lining for those affected. A Brookings Institution study of the Top 100 Metros in the USA place Toledo at No. 1. The study? Higher education students staying in school, primarily because of the dismal job market for graduates. Toledo's stay-in-school percentage is 60%.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

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Toledo News

Here are some tidbits from and about the Toledo area, to keep you Cyburbians "in the know".....

Bitumen
The large BP Oil Refinery in suburban Oregon, OH, has a major construction project taking place. Facilities are being built that will enable processing and refining of Alberta tar sand oil, bitumen. The pipeline is being built, the refining complex is under construction. BP has a partnership with Husky Petroleum.

Tusk Tusk, Louie
Louie the elephant, a large and popular fixture at the Toledo Zoo for a number of years, was startled by one of the trainers and hit the trainer with a tusk. The trainer is in satisfactory condition. Preliminary indication, grabbed from video cams, shows the trainer violated zoo policy by entering the elephant enclosure without a second person. :-c

Polar Bar Cub
Speaking of the great Toledo Zoo, the only polar bear cub at an American zoo at this time is right here in the Glass City. A cute and cuddly little thing, the cub scampers and plays and swims and jumps and rolls over. As an adult the polar bear will be a killing machine. :-c

Solar Energy Hub
Ohio's governor has formally announced that Toledo is Ohio's "Solar Energy Hub". The Glass City joins a couple other Ohio locales.....Cleveland is a "Medical Hub" and Dayton is an "Aviation Hub". Special tax breaks, routing of specific discipline-related projects, and other "goodies" will help these hubs. Toledo already has at least three companies, employing over 1000, that build solar panels and are engaged in solar technologies. The University of Toledo is also active in the alternative energy field and Bowling Green State University will bring their specific talents to the hub table.

Bear
 

lawrence lahr

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Point Place the best place any place

:)Wow I am in heaven. I am a practicing planner of nearly 40 years and moved reluctantly away from Toledo and more significantly Point Place when I was 17.I today stumbled on to Cyburia Forms and promptly joined only to find the "Bear" Kindly note that I was a real bear _Woodward Polar Bear !! I am concerned that I will do nothing but read this blog,hook-up to Pandora and listen to all the doo wop played at the Miracle Mile Ballroom and dream of my old girl friends. Wow,I am in heaven
This old Bear is not an official planner, but I can tell you things about Ohio's 4th largest city (6th largest metro).....

In the early part of the 20th Century Toledo was in the Top 20 in population. It was growing fast. Automobile manufacturing and automobile parts manufacturing were natural follow-ups to Toledo's 19th Century position of "Wagon Capitol Of The World".

But, something happened. A lot of the jobs.....and the people.....flocked to Detroit or Chicago. Toledo stopped growing.

In the 1960's T-Town took on an aggressive annexation policy. Township after township was grabbed and Toledo's population started to shoot toward the 400,000 mark. The 1970's started a long demise in manufacturing jobs, which continues today.

Toledo was the smallest city with the most Fortune 500 Headquarters. It had about seven (7).....but most of those are gone. Champion Spark Plug, gobbled by Cooper Industries. Libbey-Owens-Ford Glass Company grabbed by England's Pilkington. Owens-Illinois grabbed by KKR, then sold back. Questor Corp. bought by who-the-heck remembers.

Owens-Corning is still here, bankrupt filings and all. Toledo Scale is now in Columbus. Toledo still makes Jeeps.....for the Germans.

Many Toledo residents moved on, mostly to those places that a lot of "rust belt America" moved to.....south and southwest.

Those that stayed enjoyed the best and put-up-with the worst that a small metro can provide:

Toledo residents have very little sprawl to deal with. Central Avenue in west Toledo (and Sylvania Township), the south suburb of Perrysburg, Monroe Street at the area's only super regional mall. Thus, getting around is pretty quick and easy.
(Toledo has it's share of expressways that allow the residents relatively easy movement. Of course, they were designed with 1960's traffic projections and even a non-growing town has increasing vehicle traffic.)

There actually are some interesting things to do in T-Town, including one (1) of the Top 10 at museums in the U.S., the most-complete zoo in America, visiting Tony Packo's restaurant (you had to watch multiple episodes of Mash to understand).

Crime is consistent with a city of this size. A high percentage of folks own their own homes. Many areas of the actual city are very nice residential areas.

Probably the toughest issue that Toledo folks deal with is the image of the city: Nowhere-Ville. And people like me perpetuate that line with long, rambling internet posts.

More later about the (heh heh) "Glass Capitol Of The World".

Bear
 

Bear Up North

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:)Wow I am in heaven. I am a practicing planner of nearly 40 years and moved reluctantly away from Toledo and more significantly Point Place when I was 17.I today stumbled on to Cyburia Forms and promptly joined only to find the "Bear" Kindly note that I was a real bear _Woodward Polar Bear !! I am concerned that I will do nothing but read this blog,hook-up to Pandora and listen to all the doo wop played at the Miracle Mile Ballroom and dream of my old girl friends. Wow,I am in heaven

Welcome to Cyburbia. Unlike Toledo, Cyburbia does not roll-up its' sidewalks as the sun sets in the western sky. So post often, I would love to hear your Toledo stories and memories. This Bear lived in Shoreland, across the Ottawa River from Point Place. During the winter we would walk across the frozen river and slide over to Rexall Drugs or the Red & White. Or even King's Taste! Great memories.....and the girls? Woozie! :p:D

Glad you are here!

Bear
 

lawrence lahr

Member
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Hey Woozie

Shoreland to was to me growing a part of the Point Place community (1955 -1962).
We played basketball at the Shoreland Elementary Playground because it had chain nets that were always up.

We referred to Rexall Drugs as Dufendack's (sic) and probably we 're in the store twice daily with our paper route money. If one person had money, we all had money.
How about those St. Johns girls across the street?
 

Bear Up North

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Well, my "best place anyplace, Point Place" friend, my home was at the corner of Brophy and Torgler, a ranch home that was raffled-off by St. Clements Catholic Church. We did not win the raffle, we bought the home from the church, when the winner took the cash instead of the house. The house had a garden room in the center, with a glass roof and all kinds of exotic plants.

Yes, I remember the girls from St. Johns. And cruisin' thru Big Boy or the A & W. My neighbors owned the A & W. Great memories of a neat Toledo location, situated along the Ottawa River and the Maumee Bay shores of Lake Erie.

:)

Bear
 

Bear Up North

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High Ranking For Toledo

Interesting news.....Toledo ranks among the Top 10 metro areas nationwide in the share of its' products and services sent abroad. A Brookings Institution report looked at the nation's 100 largest metros. Categories that helped Toledo's export business included transportation equipment (Jeeps), mining (shipping bulk products to Canadian ports), petroleum products (2 refineries), and plastics manufacturing.

Unfortunately, the same report ranks Toledo quite low in growing export traffic, export wages paid, and the percentage of locals goods going to the world's fastest-growing economies.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

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China Buys A Part Of Toledo

Toledo's downtown is located a few miles southwest of the mouth of the Maumee River. When you are standing on the opposite side of the CBD you look across the river and see Toledo's relatively small skyline. The best viewing is from a city-owned property of considerable size.....known as "The Docks".

The Docks are a row of restaurant/night clubs with outdoor decks and patios. Business visitors to Toledo will oft be taken to one of these establishments, especially in warmer weather so the outside tables can be taken. It is quite nice on a warm summer night. Boats on the river, some boats tied-up at The Docks, the skyline, off to the right the old Martin Luther King Bridge (formerly called the Cherry Street Bridge). Off to the left the Anthony Wayne Bridge, a moderate-sized suspension bridge (lit up every night with thousands of lights). Turn back to the right and about a mile away you can see the tall LED lights (often different colors) of the new Veteran's Skyway Bridge (Ohio's largest single road construction project).

Last year some of the restaurants/night clubs at The Docks started to experience financial trouble. The King Bridge was closed to traffic (major refurbish project) for a long period, eliminating The Docks as an easy choice for CBD office workers (lunch or after hours). The new arena in the CBD, adjacent to Seagate Convention Centre and Fifth Third Field (baseball), attracted a number of new venues in that area. Folks stopped going to The Docks and took their business and their $$$ to the new CBD restaurants and clubs. And the recession certainly changed the spending habits of many, even if they remained employed. A few of the restaurants and clubs at The Docks closed their doors.

Toledo's budget is in woeful condition. Toledo's mayor, Mike Bell, visited China with a trade delegation. Last week a pair of businessmen from China offered to purchase The Docks. Toledo will unload an investment that is no longer paying the dividiends it formerly was. New owners will bring in new investors.....and new restaurants and clubs. Many are optimistic.

And some just don't like the idea of selling The Docks to foreign investors. We shall see how all of this shakes out.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

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More Toledo News

Forbes List
Toledo was ranked 12th on the latest Forbe's list of most depressing cities (over 240,000) to live. As a former Toledo resident.....and still living in a bedroom suburb (Swanton).....this Bear has a tad bit of a problem with the ranking. Most folks in Toledo are OK with where they are. We complain about the weather, but appreciate warm sunny days so much more because they are just an occasional treat. The economy is not all that great.....but 9 out of 10 people who want to be employed are employed. We have a couple fun minor league sports teams.....the Walleye (hockey) and the world-famous Mud Hens. The city limits actually incorporate many fine and economically stable neighborhoods, caused primarily by few suburbs......Toledo folks just moved farther out in the city when the CBD and central core lost its' original glow. Housing prices (for buyers) are very reasonable. Not so good for sellers, though. The Toledo Museum of Art is considered one of the 10 best in the country. The Toledo Zoo is considered the "most complete" zoo in the world. Western Lake Erie is filled with powerboaters and sailboaters all summer long......especially fishermen. The frozen lake brings out hundreds to thousands of those who fish through the ice.....walleye and perch. Almost the entire metro, when viewed from the air, exhibits a green canopy of trees. Even a suburb, Sylvania, references all those trees.

Note: Toledo is probably a depressing place for a person, usually younger, who is looking for a string of dance clubs, events that enable mingling with the same age, yadda.

Hungtington Center
A little more than a year ago, Lucas County Arena opened. It is home to the minor league Toledo Walleyes hockey club. They enjoyed a very successful (turnstile spinning) first year and their second year looks just as good. Corporate sponsorship jumped on board after about a year.....it is now Huntington Center.

Entertainers who shunned Toledo in the past, for lack of a decent venue, are now doing quite well when playing at Huntington Center (about 8000 seats, almost all close to the stage). In the last year some of those entertainers included The Eagles, Carrie Underwood, Kid Rock.....and the just-announced Bob Seger concert sold out in 6 minutes, prompting the addition of a second concert, now almost sold out.

Bear
 

DetroitPlanner

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I don't think Kid Rock is shunning Toledo as much as he is selling out arenas in Detroit several times per year. Its simple geography.
 

Cismontane

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I still don't see how any city can compete with El Centro, CA for being the most miserable city in America (but the El Centro metro - pop 170,000. - didn't even make the list.. I guess because Forbes couldn't convince its editorial team to go there) How can you beat 30% official unemployment, 80%+ of your households dependent on a charity food pantry at least once a year, prisons being virtually the sole source of employment growth, frequent suffocating dust storms, the San Andreas fault running right through town, the occasional locust plague (seriously), and average summer temperature highs of 125 degrees F or so? Toledo has nothing on this...
 

Cismontane

Cyburbian
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Interestingly, Bully Magazine has rated Cleveland the worst city in America on the basis that it has 90% of Toledo's disabilities but refuses to admit any of 'em.

Some other viewpoints:

Hip Hop magazine rates Camden NJ the worst city in America... It may have a point.

AOL actually found El Centro and awarded it it's worst city in America award. Kudos to AOL.

Free Republic - a right wing blog - finds Seattle to be the worst city in America, followed by San Fran and Portland. No idea why ;-P

There are several websites up dedicated to promoting Laredo TX as the worst city in America. I think they're all owned by Laredoans though.

Washington Post rates Battle Mountain NV as the worst town in America.
 

Bear Up North

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More Toledo News

A few more tidbits from "The Glass City".....

Raceway Park
Toledo has had horse racing (and betting on the horses) for many years. Suburban Maumee had a track, Maumee Downs (if I remember correctly). Northwest Toledo has always (seemingly) had Raceway Park. For years it was the home of thoroughbred racing but eventually switched to harness racing (for a longer season in a snowy city).

A couple years ago, Ohio voters approved casino gambling. Casinos are going up in the four major cities: Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Toledo. The organization that will be operating the Toledo casino also operates Raceway Park. Because they expect bettors to most likely pull handles at the casino rather than stand at para-mutual windows at Raceway Park they are going to shutter RP. It looks like the operation will be moved to a track in the Youngstown area.

Solar Panel Manufacturing
Toledo, long known as "The Glass City", has evolved into a center of research and manufacturing for solar panels. The countries largest solar panel plant is located in suburban Perrysburg. Another large plant is close-by.

A study for the State of Oregon, conducted by a private consulting group, rated Ohio as the best place to locate a solar panel plant. Of course, when the study said "Ohio" we all know it really is discussing Toledo.....the only place in Ohio that is making these panels for a future world.

Good for Toledo! :)

Sustainable Water Treatment
The Bayview Water Treatment Plant, in Toledo's Point Place neighborhood, as won three separate awards, relating to water treatment projects or process changes. These awards are related to sustainability issues and one of the awarding groups actually mentioned "reduction in carbon footprint" in their award announcement.

Good for Toledo! :)

Bear
Not afraid to present the bad.....pleased to report the good.
 

DetroitPlanner

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Bear, Windsor Ontario has two Casinos. The big one downtown is Caeser's Palace. The other? Its at the Windsor Raceway!
 

Bear Up North

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Will It Play In Toledo?

Remember when advertisers asked this question? "Willl it play in Peoria?" They used the mid-sized Illinois city to test market new products, product updates, consumer reactions, yadda. It appears that Toledo is becoming the "new Peoria".

Taco Bell is playing local-only commercials, advertising a new item made with a big Dorito shell instead of the usual corn shell. This item is only available for a short time in the Toledo market. The commercials are interesting: They "slam" Columbus, for not being good enough to be the test market.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

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The One

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Hmmm.....

What is the deal with Ohio having all the great symphonies and orchestras:D I wish they would share the wealth, even I like to attend this type of cultural event once in a while:r: Back in the day it was the Cleveland Orchestra.....now Toledo is famous? All we have here in Arizona is the legislative Tea Party Choir:-c
 

TexanOkie

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What is the deal with Ohio having all the great symphonies and orchestras:D I wish they would share the wealth, even I like to attend this type of cultural event once in a while:r: Back in the day it was the Cleveland Orchestra.....now Toledo is famous? All we have here in Arizona is the legislative Tea Party Choir:-c

George Szell was truly a genius. After the Cleveland Orchestra rose the ranks of standard repertoire to become the 5th member of the Big Five, the Cincinnati Pops hit the scene in the late 70's and early 80's and became one of the most recorded pops orchestras ever. They were the only American orchestra invited to play at the 2008 Olympics opening night in Beijing...

...And now the Toledo Symphony seems to be climbing the ranks. I'm with TO - share the cultural wealth, man!
 

DetroitPlanner

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What is the deal with Ohio having all the great symphonies and orchestras:D I wish they would share the wealth, even I like to attend this type of cultural event once in a while:r: Back in the day it was the Cleveland Orchestra.....now Toledo is famous? All we have here in Arizona is the legislative Tea Party Choir:-c

My suggestion is to move. When these great cultural things were developing the money was in places like Toledo, Detroit, Chicago they built the infastructure and facilities for world class symphonies, operas, and art museums. Dollars flowed into these from families like Libbey, Dodge, and Field. You don't get that today when the money is centered in places like Bentonville.
 

Bear Up North

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Marathon Petroleum Company

Here in NW Ohio, just down I-75 about 30 miles from Metro Toledo, lies Findlay, OH. During these tough economic times the Findlay area was not hit as hard as some of the other NW OH burgs. The city is home to Cooper Tire & Rubber.....they have a large factory in town, recently given news that they will continue to manufacture their products in that facility (beating out some southern cities that the biz could have moved to). And Findlay has been home to some sort of Marathon Oil office for many years.

Marathon Oil was headquartered in Findlay until 1982. At that time the company was purchased by U.S. Steel and HQ was moved to Houston, TX. Eventually U.S. Steel spun-off Marathon but the main offices remained in Texas. The iconic Findlay headquarters building remained a division headquarters.

Effective tomorrow, Marathon Petroleum Company will be back in Findlay, spinning-off from Marathon Oil Company. It will be the 5th-largest oil refiner in the United States, a Fortune 50 company (bigger than Microsoft!), and officially headquartered in Findlay. Great news for the Findlay area!

Bear
 

TerraSapient

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Wow! That is interesting news Bear! Are they opening a refinery there as well? Or just the company headquarters?
 

Bear Up North

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Wow! That is interesting news Bear! Are they opening a refinery there as well? Or just the company headquarters?

No new refinery plans at this time. This spin-off company owns the 5 refineries, including one in Ohio and one in Michigan (Detroit). The new company HQ will substantially increase the number of "suits" at the HQ.

PS - Let's not forget that Findlay is also the hometown of Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback. Go Steelers! :)

Bear
 

Bear Up North

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Toledo & China

Interesting news from Toledo.....

The Shenzhen, China Connection
Shenzhen, China (just north of Hong Kong) is one of the world's fastest-growing cities. In 1979 the tallest building in Shenzhen was 5 stories. The community was so small it was considered a "village". Since then the central core population is more than 3 million and the metropolitan area exceeds 7 million. 346 skyscrapers fill the city, many at extreme heights (200+ meters).

A group of investors located in Shenzhan are known as Dashing Pacific Group. In addition to skyscrapers in that Chinese city the group pursues investments in other parts of the world. Including Toledo.

With a strong push by Toledo's "motorcycle mayor", Mike Bell, Dashing Pacific has made two large investments in Toledo.

The Docks
About a dozen-or-so years ago, Toledo's municipal government created The Docks. It is a group of restaurants that line the eastern banks of the Maumee River, directly across from Toledo's downtown skytowers. For most of those years following the opening of The Docks the restaurants became "the place to go" for special dinners, good food, and (in the summertime) a really pleasant riverside setting. Boaters also enjoyed the accomodations. This Bear attended a few business meetings at The Docks. Nice! :)

The economic downturn hit NW especially hard (no secret there). The restaurants at The Docks changed and or closed. One of the groups that leased building space at The Docks is in hock on past-due lease payments to the tune of over $100,000.

Against the wishes of some Toledo noteables (Eeek! Chinese investors!), The Docks was sold to Dashing Pacific. Within a couple days of the deal-signing all of the spaces were filled and operating, just in time for spring, summer, and autumn along the banks of the largest river feeding the Great Lakes. :)

Note: The Docks are on the southeastern portion of International Park, a city-owned greenspace that also includes a small boat basin, volleyball courts, and a berthing space for a famous Great Lakes freighter (open for tours).

The Marina District
The northeastern potion of city-owned land (separated by Main Street and the Martin Luther King Bridge) is now called The Marina District. This area was home to the Toledo Sports Arena (demolished a number of years ago), boat dealers, undeveloped riverside property, and an old Toledo Edison plant. The city cleared the entire area (except for portions of the Edison facility) and put in a boat marina.

Original grand plans for The Marina District included retail, restaurants, lodging, and condominiums. The economic downturn tore apart those plans and The Marina District, now with some paved streets and ample utilities, sits empty.

Enter Dashing Pacific.....again.

Yesterday they sealed the deal with Toledo and purchased The Marina District. They will have shovels in the ground within a few months, with an eye to re-ignite most of the original plans. Impressive......how quickly they make decisions and how quickly they start digging.

China Owns Toledo?
Yes, many are questioning the decision to sell two prime riverfront parcels to investors from China. The thing is, without their investment these parcels would wither and die. The city government doesn't need to be a landlord for private enterprise......it cannot be afforded (even in the best of times). Dashing Pacific has pockets filled with cash. This gives them an outlet in the states for investment. I think it is good for the Toledo community.
_____

These events have been noticed by the business press.

Footnote: Motorcycle Mayor Bell is planning another China trip.

Bear
 

mgk920

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^^
This kind of dates me, but I can recall a time when the 'Chicken Littles' were all apoplectic over Japanese investors buying up investment real estate in the USA, then later on Arab investors were 'buying up EVERYTHING!' :-c. The thing with real estate (land and buildings) is that it cannot be moved - you buy it with an eye on turning a profit on it where it sits.

Mike
 

Bear Up North

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Solar Panel Output

Ohio ranked second in solar panel manufacturing, for the 1st quarter of 2011. Oregon led the nation by manufacturing 120 megawatts of solar panel modules. Ohio's total for the 1st quarter was 66 megawatts of solar panel modules. These two states have led the nation in solar panel production for a number of years.

Most of Ohio's solar panel production takes place in Metropolitan Toledo. And just last week a Spanish solar panel manufacturer announced plans to produce a large number of panels in NW Ohio's Napoleon, just upriver from Metro Toledo.

Why Toledo and NW Ohio? Because the area has always been the center of glass manufacturing and it was a natural flow from glass to solar panels.

Let the sun shine!

Bear
 

Bear Up North

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Bad News

The business community in Metro Toledo is in a state of shock this weekend: The giant BAX Global Hub at Toledo Express Airport is closing. Nearly 900 jobs will be lost (about 250 of those are full-time). The 20-year old distribution and sorting hub, with major buildings lining the runways, is the victim of a changing business model for the parent German company. The North American arm of the parent company is selling their cargo planes and will concentrate on using trucks for their distribution.

About 20 years ago the lengthy runways of Toledo Express Airport were part of the package that allowed the Port Authority of Toledo to win a bidding war for what was then called Burlington Air Express. From a make-shift operation in Fort Wayne, Burlington moved to the giant sortation hub that was built on the south side of Toledo Express Airport. In its' first 15 or so years the hub was quite busy, with numerous planes flying in and out from evening through early morning. But as airplane fuel prices increased and the economy tumbled the relatively new owners eventually decided on this closure. Local officials were quite surprised with the announcement, especially since they had been working with the company on securing financing for facility improvements. :-@

Note: The company told its' employees that any employee who talks with the media about the closing will lose their severance package. :-@:-@

Bear
 

Bear Up North

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Jeep News

About a month or so ago Metro Toledo was shocked to learn of the planned September closing of the giant BAX Global operation at Toledo Express Airport. About 900 jobs going bye-bye.

In the past week the area was thrilled to hear about Chrysler's future plans for the giant Chrysler Toledo North Assembly Plant and the adjacent supplier park. Major additions to the about 10-year old facility will lead to an increase of about 1500 jobs. :)

It certainly helps to have one of the most modern automobile production plants in the world. And long-term they are looking at developing a production line that can convert to different automobiles almost on-demand, with no change-over. This would be a first in the world.

The massive facility can be seen from I-75 on the north side of Toledo, just a couple miles from the Michigan state line. The plant makes Jeeps and other Chrysler products. Toledo has been the home of Jeep since before World War II.

Bear
 

Hink

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Bear Up North

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Old West End

I know the house in Hink's post. One of my employees moved from a suburban earth-tone typical abode to a big near-mansion close to the house pictured. Years ago a date took me to a party at a ballroom in one of the houses in the neighborhood. Stunning!

Toledo's Old West End remains one of the undiscovered architectural treasures in the states. Encompassing 25 city blocks it is one of the largest collections of Late Victorian dwellings in America. Frank Lloyd Wright studied the neighborhood when planning his Oak Park Project.

Bear
 

DetroitPlanner

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Toledo's Old West End remains one of the undiscovered architectural treasures in the states. Encompassing 25 city blocks it is one of the largest collections of Late Victorian dwellings in America. Frank Lloyd Wright studied the neighborhood when planning his Oak Park Project.

Bear

Darn shame they could not copy the Art Museum thats in the hood.

I was in Toledo yesterday. Special Trip to the Lion Store to buy pants! Can't find em long enough anywhere in metro detroit so its faster for me just to go to see the Lion's above the jewelry department at Franklin Mall/Shoppingtowne.
 

Bear Up North

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More Good News / More Of The Same

Some good news for Metro Toledo.....Fiat is continuing their investment in Toledo's huge (and only a few years olde) Jeep Assembly Plant. Major expansion will bring a full 2nd shift, with hiring numbers to be around 1500. Meanwhile, another company has leased the giant and recently-shuttered BAX sorting facility at Toledo Express Airport. That will bring back most of the approximately 1000 jobs that were lost back in late August.
_____

The Thanksgiving Weekend has been especially violent in Toledo. The past few days have seen 6 murders. The perps involved in 4 of the shootings have been caught. Not sure, but it seems that this may be a (sadly) record year for homicides on the streets of the Glass City.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

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Toledo Museum Of Art

Long-considered one of the "10 best museums in the USA", the beautiful Toledo Museum of Art is now over 100 years young. Amazing that a rust-belt city can have, and continue to strongly support, such a magnificent museum. If you are ever in The Glass City you should visit the beautiful campus of the Toledo Museum of Art. Awesome! :)

Bear

http://www.toledomuseum.org/
 

DetroitPlanner

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Regarding the art museum. I agree. It is easilly one of the best in the country. I grew up spoiled when it came to art. My first two art museums (for years were Detroit and Toledo). After going to others I have yet to be as impressed with the number of works or the quality until I went to both the Getty's last year. Getty's main draw is its beautuful surroundings (Malibu and High Above LA) but collectively it has an impressive collection.

With the addition of the Glass House in the Park Toledo's Art Museum now has both a great diversity as well as a unique feature that makes it hard to beat.
 

Bear Up North

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Miserable? Not So Much

Forbes magazine released its' latest list of the 10 most miserable cities in the USA. Toledo is included in that group. This Bear doesn't agree. Admit, our burg has significant issues.....but it also has a long list of positives. Many have been mentioned in this space. 'Nuff said.

Bear
 

dilly

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Dear Mr. Bear (and everyone else),

I've posted this as a general inquiry elsewhere. But since I'm considering paying a visit to Toledo, I thought you might offer a bit of insight.

I like to explore (and photograph) interesting and atmospheric urban industrial neighborhoods. I don't trespass, but I do take photos from the street.

I'm looking for:

-- Decrepit, weedy districts containing a large number of mid-19th to early 20th century factories, mills, warehouses, foundries (abandoned or still in use), which haven't been modernized, repurposed as brew pubs, or converted into "New York style" condominiums.

-- Neighborhoods that are big enough to occupy me for a day or two of exploring on foot (for example, the West Bottoms neighborhood in Kansas City, the North Broadway district in St. Louis).

Does Toledo still have any atmospheric/photogenic industrial districts that are worth exploring? If so, where are they?

Thanks!
 

DetroitPlanner

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You will find what you are looking for in NE Toledo. Heck while you're there, go N to Detroit and check out River Rouge, Ecorse, DelRay and SE Dearborn. Its only 45 minutes away by car.

Far too many of those kinds of sites around here for all of them to be Brew-Pubs!
 

dilly

Member
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Thanks for the suggestions, DetroitPlanner. I do plan to visit Detroit.

I've also just taken a brief tour of NE Toledo on Google Maps, particularly the areas bordering the river. For the most part, the industrial buildings look more "modern" and well-maintained than what I have in mind. Perhaps I'm simply looking at the wrong part of town.
 

Bear Up North

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Glass-Blowing

Glass-blowing as a hobby got its' start in Toledo in the early 1960s. Since that humble beginning, generally because of the world-famous Toledo Museum of Art, the hobby (and, for many, the career) has spread throughout the world. Next month the Toledo area will host the Glass Art Society for their annual convention. Over 1200 visitors from around the world will attend.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

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The Gamble

On Tuesday the Hollywood Casino opens in Toledo. A couple years ago the voters in Ohio approved the construction of 4 casinos, located in the 4 largest cities in the state. A couple weeks ago the casino in Cleveland opened. Now it is Toledo's turn.

The investment is impressive. The building looks magnificent (1930's Hollywood is the theme, inside and out) although the location is in question. Yes, very visible and accessible from I-75 as it blasts its' way through east Toledo just before crossing the Maumee River. Many argue, though, that it should have been placed in the downtown area, adding to a CBD that has been significantly on the rebound for a good number of years.

For weeks the Detroit news rags have been gathering estimates of revenue-loss for their 4 casinos due to the opening of Hollywood Toledo (and the other Ohio casinos). Yes, a fair number of Ohio gamblers would head for Detroit to get their fix. Even the local Toledo papers (weekly and other) are now sporting advertisements for the Detroit casinos, something not often seen on Glass City parchment.

Back to the casino: Free parking (huge multi-level garage), thousands of slots and table games, 4 restaurants (including a huge sports bar), gaming promotions expected (as all gambling havens provide.....it's all about the comps.)

http://www.hollywoodcasinotoledo.com/?gclid=CNbLw-GCnrACFWQDQAodhW1SXg

Wayback Machine: Years ago there was a huge glass factory along the Maumee River, just southwest of the casino location. The casino location was the home of huge sand piles, the sand brought in by lake freighters, ready to blend into the glass of a growing country. When I-75 was burrowed through T-Town the bridge over the Maumee River did not raise......stopping the lake boat traffic from reaching the glass sand piles. The piles went away, the factory closed (shedding thousands of jobs), and the site remained a barren field until the voters in Ohio said "yes" to casinos. As a kid in a flat-earth city I loved seeing the tall piles of sand, kind of an "urban dune".

Bear
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
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Gang Violence

Toledo is not immune from gangs and gang violence. Toledo's murder rate is relatively high and experts put the blame for many of those murders as gang-related. A few days ago came a horribly tragic reminder of how that gang violence can affect "innocent bystanders". An apartment complex unit was riddled with gun shots. The shots killed a 1-year old toddler and put her sister (2 years old) in the hospital in critical condition. Incredibly sad.

Bear
 
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