Snag in plans to revitalize Swayne Field shopping center

Snag in plans to revitalize Swayne Field shopping center
Published: Jun. 28, 2023 at 10:04 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - There’s a plan on the table to revitalize the shopping center at Swayne field in Toledo’s Inglewood neighborhood.

Much has changed at the spot that was once the home of the Toledo Mud Hens dating back over 100 years but this new plan has hit a snag and may take longer than some had hoped.

The dollars for this project would be a loan and there is concern from some about the ability to pay that loan back.

The parking lot is in rough shape and buildings need some work but if each is addressed, Swayne Field shopping center could have an entirely new look.

“They’re building up all around. ProMedica to the west end, downtown building up. And we’re right in the center. We’ll be a pass through. So we’ll be a high focal point,” said William Lucas, the property’s operations manager.

Lucas knows the potential. That’s why he’s optimistic the owners will qualify for an $816,000 loan through the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“A significant difference in what we can do as far as the façade of the location, the parking lot, the lighting,” said Lucas.

Additions include not only retail, but a partnership between Neighborworks Toledo and Owens Community College to teach students things like weatherization and lead abatement. The project hold up is worry from some members of city council that complex ownership won’t be able to pay the loan back. About $62,000 will be due each year.

The loan passes though the city, so if owners default then the city is on the hook and would likely foreclose.

“If you look at their revenue for their rents on this shopping center,” said Rosalyn Clemens, the city of Toledo’s director of Housing and Community Development. “They have enough revenue to pay $62,000 and some dollars annually in debt service.”

Clemens says all the due diligence shows the owners can pay. She’s hopeful concerned council members can see that. That’s when the application heads to those federal leaders at HUD for final approval.

Council members held off on voting on it Tuesday. Two weeks is the next time the item may resurface.

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