Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Southwyck Town Hall Meeting

Southwyck developer Larry Dillin and Mayor Jack Ford will conduct a Town Hall Meeting Thursday evening in the center court of the old mall at 5:30pm. Mayor Ford is credited as being the catalyst for Dillin's agreement with the owners of the aging mall - having twice quietly criss-crossed the country and holding countless conference calls to spur action.

My colleagues Louis Escobar and Rob Ludeman and I are also co-sponsors of the forum. Thanks to Mr. Dillin for agreeing to engage with residents of our community as he develops his exciting plans for that great location. Council candidate Bob Vasquez, who lives less than a minute from Southwyck, also encouraged city officials to hear from the malls neighbor to explore Dillin's vision of mixed use commercial, retail and residential. The meeting is open to the public, and I encourage you to attend.

11 Comments:

Blogger Poster Formerly Known as Mikey said...

Good morning Frank. I've heard so much about this particular blog elsewhere, I just had to visit! I'm thrilled to see someone using images from Toledo's past to illustrate points.

The whole Southwyck Mall project, with all due respect, is a complete waste of time and money. 20 years ago when I was a punk kid, malls were the places to be. Nowadays, they're just a repository for parents to get rid of their kids for a few hours. Toledo already has too many malls, IMHO, this one will just spoil the stew a little bit more.

South Toledo for the last 10 years hasn't been able to support Southwyck, why do people think a redecorating job and some different stores will revitalize it? It's a dead horse. Let it be.

What Toledo City Council and the supposedly strong mayor of Toledo needs to do is quit licking Daimler Chrysler's arse and spend some tax incentives to attract some white collar work here. Toledo is about a whole lot more than Jeep.

9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frank:
I will not be able to attend the meeting; however, I want to use this opportunity to give you my input.

The Toledo area has too many malls...too many upscale malls to be exact. We've already got Franklin Park, Levis Square, and the new Maumee mall in the next few months. The current market forces indicate that a new, upscale Southwyck is destined to fail. The development that will go on Southwyck's site will need to be something unique to the Toledo area that is not being currently met.

Here are some ideas:
1. An outlet center similar to the one in Monroe, MI. Lots of Toledoans go to Monroe to shop at the outlet center. If the right vendors come in, an outlet center in Toledo will happen.

2. A sprip mall similar to the Crossroads Center on Route 20 in the Perrysburg/Rossford area. Sears, JC Penney's, K-Mart, Giant Eagle, Comp USA, etc. would be excellent anchors. Starbucks coffee and other retailers/restaurants could be in the strip center. If the Westgate plan doesn't pan out for Costco, the Southwyck site would be excellent for Costco (to be an anchor).

3. See if UT, BGSU, or Owens CC would be interested in using the property as a satellite location for classes. If you have students attending classes there, it would be a great commerical opportunity for restaurants and other retailers to set up shop to take advantage of the traffic from students. Perhaphs residential propery could be developed in the nearby vicinity for students to live. Moreover, if one or more higher education institutions have a presence in that sector of town, other businesses could set up shop to take advantage of research opportunities (i.e. more white collar jobs).

4. Any combination of the alternatives listed above.

There's my two cents.

10:25 AM  
Blogger RJ said...

Nice job Anonymous! I like #3 the best. The politicos have nothing on you when it comes to ideas.
Retail follows, it rarely leads. If the public isn't responding to the venue now, they likely won't when you dress it up a little and change the name. Government should not attempt to prop up a private retail establishment that can't or won't stand on it's own.
I can't begin to fathom the coordination it takes to pull off your #3 proposal, but it probably has a better shot of success than revitalizing the mall, and probably won't cost much more to try. We need a new approach to our fair city from the top down, and I'd love to see Frank and his peers put some energy behind ideas like yours.

12:01 PM  
Anonymous -Sepp said...

I think southwyck should be torn down and have Opal Covey's amusment park built there! Keep in mind the prophetess said we will see the wrath of God and untold destruction unless she is elected!
Just kidding!

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Daisy Duke said...

In other words, hold onto your wallets.

Them there fellas downtown are getting ready to waste more of our tax dollars.

5:54 PM  
Blogger billy said...

Why does government need to be involved at all? This is BUISNESS folks!! If a mall cant make it there then let the owners sell it to someone who wants to bulldose it and put up whatever he wants to do with it - since when is it the government's job to prop up every failing business in town??

Our city's record of business success in retail is abysmal!! Look at the money dumped into the Erie street market, and its STILL an echo chamber!!!

Same with real estate! Carty lists these fiasco's as ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

LaSalle Apartments

Commodore Perry Apartments

Hillcrest Apartments

Park Lane Apartments

Toledo Tower Apartments

We've poured a criminal amount of our tax dollars into these rat holes and why??? If a man wants to own an apt complex he's free to do so - but a business is a gamble.

Thats what's great about this country - we're free to do all that - Its called the pursuit of happiness. We're also free to fail when our businesses dont make it.

I say the city gov't should keep me safe from crime, protect me in case my home or office catches on fire, plow the snow in the winter and fix the potholes in the street in the summer. Other than that, keep outta my way - Ive got some happines to pursue!

6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Toledo's city government is just another Welfare Agency. At least that's the mentality.

7:17 PM  
Anonymous Daisy Duke said...

Local governments used to chase smokestacks.

The smokestacks went overseas for the cheap labor, so now local governments chase shopping centers and they call it progress.

We need employers that create wealth instead of sucking money.

Hold on to your wallets, y'all.

7:20 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

Ideas good.

Whining = lame.

The Dillin proposal will raise property values, attract additional private investment, and put people to work.

Please keep the blather to a minimum.

8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Dillin thinks they can rebuild Southwyck as a Towne Center, they better think about that fact that no one will be willing to go there at night and feel safe with all of the store entrances being outside. The Southwyck mall area is certainly not Perrysburg.

7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Southwyck Mall area is not Perrysburg? No, but it's certainly not eastside or Central Toledo. I find the idea of an outside village type shopping district refreshing. Have you been to Westfield lately? That nice, new indoor mall is great for the riff raff and punk kids to hang out and cause trouble. The outdoor shopping areas alleviate much of that. Providing they put in affordable stores, I feel the new shopping district will do well. I will support it. Does anyone remember Southwyck when it started to loose customers long ago? What was occuring? Gang related activity. It's the same type of thing I've been seeing at Westfield, only 15 years later.
One more thing, why are Toledoans always so negative and pessimistic? Nobody is ever happy about anything.

10:55 PM  

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