Investing in Toledo may be slow after COVID-19

Published: May. 22, 2020 at 11:20 AM EDT
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Toledo is celebrating a major project as it looks forward to what's on the horizon. On Wednesday, developers showed off the Marina Lofts, the long envisioned project at the Marina District.

Close to 100 units already have lease agreements. It's a $50 million investment

Will we see more like that in a post-coronavirus world? The answer is probably, but it may take a while.

The Marina Lofts are now part of Toledo's water front. The $50 million investment will house 360 market-rate units, complete with outdoor pool and workout facility.

"We're not that smart, but we're very persistent, so we keep working at what we think the plan ought to be until everyone falls in step with that,” said Marina Lofts developer Frank Kass.

Kass has worked on a Marina District project on and off since the early 2000s. Toledo's next big one won't be that long off, but the post COVID recovery might see some causalities.

"You'll get past COVID before a year in my opinion. Parts of it won't. Full service hotels where you have conventions, it's going to take a bit of time, until there's a vaccine frankly,” said Kass.

Kass says office buildings will take a while as well. Currently he's working on another apartment and hotel project called the Colony, located by ProMedica Toledo Hospital.

"There's no reason those projects can't continue for the next five years. We'll have to come out of COVID. There will be some slowness coming out of that, but everything from the convention center to all the other plans there is definitely a path forward. It's just going to take a tick longer than we had planned,” said ProMedica CEO Randy Oostra.

ProMedica bought the Marina District land before selling it to Kass' team. Oostra says that kind of private-public partnership can and will happen in the future, but his organization will be selective and it might take a while.

"One optimistically could say, Yeah, we'll pick this back up. Will it be June 1? Well, no, but hopefully over the next few months and years we'll pick up exactly where we left off,” said Oostra.

Oostra says also watch the federal money that could come to the area and potentially state money. Some of that could keep projects in the works.