UpTown Green park project construction to resume - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

UpTown Green park project construction to resume

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The effort to bring the first sustainable urban park to Toledo takes another step forward.

Toledo City Council on Tuesday voted to enter into a development agreement with Mercy College and the UpTown Association to accept $140,000 in grant matching funds to be used for the completion of the project.

Construction of what is called the UpTown Green began last fall. Work is expected to resume - weather-permitting - in the next few weeks. The park is expected to be open by the end of July.

Business owners in the UpTown neighborhood are eager to see a vacant lot go green.

The two and a half acre site at the corner of Madison Avenue and 18th Street is in the middle of a transformation.

What had been an abandoned brownfield for decades will soon be an eco-friendly escape and economic development tool.

"We think that once this park is up and rolling that you're going to see some additional interest from businesses, people looking to live in the district," says Julie Champa, the Executive Director of the UpTown Association. "We're looking to redevelop the building that is adjacent and put residential units in there."

"It's very exciting," says Manos Paschalis, the owner of Manos Restaurant on the corner of Adams and 17th. He calls this development a comeback.

"When I came here 32 years ago and opened the place, I always dreamed to get more activity in the Uptown area, more things to happen," says Paschalis. "Finally, things are happening. "

Work cleaning the land began last fall using $1.5 million from the state's Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund.

"We were able to install the cistern and some of the cement work to take the wastewater from the building into the bioswale," says Champa.

"I think it'll be a good addition," says Odes Roberts, the owner of The Truth Gallery on Adams Street. He hopes the new park attracts new attention to UpTown from developers and downtown visitors.

"Now people have an alternative," says Roberts. "They can come down here and I think businesses realize that and realize that there's openings and potential to really do well here."

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