City of Toledo, Metroparks Continue Efforts to Revitalize the Maumee Riverfront
A joint news release from the City of Toledo and Metroparks Toledo
The city of Toledo and Metroparks Toledo continue to jointly work on the development of the riverfront in East Toledo, which represents a significant investment and improvement of the waterfront property that stretches from the I-280 Bridge to International Park.
The Kapszukiewicz administration is requesting Toledo City Council approval to convey International Park to Metroparks Toledo, which will result in a net savings for Toledo taxpayers through the reduction of maintenance costs such as major infrastructure repairs and grass mowing. It will allow the regional park system to drastically improve the property.
“The city of Toledo has played an important part in the planning for the riverfront and we believe this will allow more access to the waterfront, increase tourism, and promote economic development,” Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz said. “This is a major investment moving forward for East Toledo and downtown despite the COVID-19 pandemic right now. These improvements were also essential for the nearby, and nearly complete, mixed-used Marina District development to occur.”
The mayor added: “The city is a proud partner with Metroparks Toledo on this development which represents an important opportunity for significant investment in Toledo, and it will resulting in a sustained public park.”
Glass City Metropark Phase 1 is currently under construction and is expected to be completed by this fall, while planning for the next phase is already underway.
The Phase 2 development agreement before city council also addresses rights-of-way vacations, curb cuts, Front Street pedestrian improvements, and a shared parking agreement.
International Park was included in the master plans previously presented at public meetings, and is an essential piece of the future vision for the riverfront. An option to acquire the property, will allow Metroparks Toledo to pursue grant funding and proceed with planning for future improvements. Those improvements have not yet been determined, but will continue the riverfront beautification and add additional amenities.
Glass City Metropark and International Park will be connected with a bike/pedestrian bridge over Main Street, which will be completed next spring.
“This is similar to our earlier partnership with the City that transferred ownership of Toledo Botanical Garden to Metroparks,” said Dave Zenk, executive director of Metroparks Toledo. “In both cases, the property remains a public park forever under the umbrella of a regional park agency. Planning, developing, and managing parks are what we do every day.
“As we have already seen with Phase 1 of Glass City, just the announcement that the property was going to be a Metropark prompted a private development right next door,” Mr. Zenk said. “We are confident that we will continue to see significant private investment as we keep the progress going along our riverfront. We think it’s critically important for East Toledo, Downtown, and our entire region to create a gateway to northwest Ohio that we are all proud of.”
Toledo District 3 Councilwoman Theresa Gadus said Metroparks Toledo planned improvements for International Park are important for attracting new businesses and residents to the neighborhood.
“We are excited to see Glass City Metropark and the Marina Lofts development come together,” Ms. Gadus said. “These are great and overdue developments for the future of East Toledo.”
Glass City Metroparks and International Park will be connected with a bike/pedestrian bridge over Main Street, which will be completed next spring.
“Metroparks Toledo the city continue to jointly work on a comprehensive strategy to revitalize the Maumee riverfront,” said Brandon Sehlhorst, Toledo commissioner of economic development. “The plan is based on best practices observed in other benchmark cities of how to redevelop a riverfront and ensure the downtown development momentum continues into adjacent neighborhoods. We are moving forward on this important project despite the impacts of COVID-19 to keep the city’s development momentum.”
Photos: Top, artist's rendering of a renovated International Park. Below, master plan for the riverfront, Glass City Metropark and International Park.