New leadership at ConnecToledo: downtown revitalization continues

TOLEDO (WTVG) - Downtown revitalization continues in our city. Many big projects happening around Toledo were highlighted at the annual ConnecToledo meeting Thursday.

Now that major local development group is doing so under new leadership.

It's a new job, but not a new name.

Paul Toth is the new president of ConnecToledo. He spent more than three decades leading the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. Instead of retiring, he's looking forward to being part of the momentum building downtown.

Making the Glass City more livable, walkable and desirable for people and businesses: That's the main focus of the downtown Toledo Master Plan.

"It's amazing. Very quietly we've made a lot of progress. ... Just a lot of exciting things going on downtown and I'm excited to be part of it," Toth said.

The re-design of the SeaGate Convention Centre is a big ticket item on the to-do list.

"The county's announced a 70 million dollar investment in redeveloping, renovating SeaGate Centre and expanding it," Toth said.

"We want to brighten up the convention centre just like the rest of downtown is being brightened up," Lucas County Commissioner Tina Wozniak said.

Wozniak said the project will upgrade the ballroom to fit 1,200 guests and improve the overall look of the center. An exact construction date has not been set yet.

"It's sort of at the boring phase where behind the scenes there's, you know, design work is being done," Wozniak said.

Progress is being made: The metropark and new apartments in the Marina District is coming along. Plus, new fencing and lighting downtown is part of the plan, and even an enhancement to the look of Summit Street is in the works. The hope is the improvements happening in the heart of Toledo will be felt throughout neighboring communities.

"It really reflects nicely on all the opportunities to make our core so strong as well as then making sure that neighborhoods and the entire region is strong on very many fronts in terms of just quality of life," Wozniak said.

"Just a lot of great changes that are going to happen in the next 24 months that I think everybody in Toledo is going to be proud of," Toth said.

The goal is to have many of the downtown projects, including the SeaGate Convention Centre remodel complete by the Solheim Cup coming to Toledo in 2021. Tens of thousands of people from around the world are anticipated to pack our city for that major event.