Community Development Block Grant
Toledo, OH - Mayor Carty Finkbeiner
Residents of the Cherry, Bancroft and Summit Street Corridor in the North End of Toledo - the CBS Corridor - reclaimed their neighborhood just as it was beginning to lose the battle against drugs, litter and neglect. In the face of the loss of middle income residents, the perception of high levels of crime, and the loss of neighborhood businesses, a coalition of neighborhood organizations and other groups affected by the Corridor's decline was formed. More than 400 persons representing more than 18 public, private, nonprofit, institutional and religious organizations have been involved in developing and implementing a plan to reverse the decline.
The CBS Corridor Coalition (CBSCC) serves a population of about 48,000 people across the six neighborhoods in the Corridor. It has unified the plans for the revitalization of those neighborhoods into one vision: a community with historical roots. The objective was to create a neighborhood identity that would reflect the cultural, racial and economic diversity found in the community.
The key question for the CBSCC was this: How do you get people to move from the suburbs back into the central city? In answering the question, several major institutions along the Corridor made substantial investments in order to produce model properties: St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, Central Catholic High School, Arbors at Toledo, Riverside and Mercy Hospitals and WTOL-TV invested well over $100 million. More than 25 staff members assigned by the organizations in the Coalition and more than 375 active volunteers took on the problems posed by vacant homes, empty lots, empty commercial structures, crime and nuisance problems, trash, and abandoned vehicles, and took on the needs for demolition, lighting, zoning, curbs, streets and sidewalks. Their efforts resulted in the investment of more than $83 million in the Corridor - a combination of local CDBG funds, federal special purpose funds obtained through CDBG, other federal funds, local capital improvement funds and private funds.
The impact of this effort is seen throughout the Corridor: Twenty residences have been painted and 100 have been rehabilitated; 25 vacant and nuisance residential structures have been demolished and numerous property nuisances have been cleaned and abated; 12 vacant and unsalable commercial structures have been demolished; one and one-third miles of streets, intersections, curbs and sidewalks have been refurbished and/or upgraded; seven new businesses have been attracted, creating 77 jobs; and market values of homes in the area have increased 25 percent.
In June 1998, Toledo was named an All America City - a direct result, officials say, of the success of the CBS Corridor.
Contact: Richard A. Thielen, Manager, Neighborhoods, (419) 245-1400
The United States Conference of Mayors
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
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