They say a good building can take on many lives. But in many post-industrial spaces across the country, it’s often easier to forgo creativity for efficiency. The historic structures of Toledo are no exception. Over the last century, many beautiful buildings of this port city have been demolished and allowed to fall into disrepair when maintenance costs far outweighed capital potential. Yet on the waterfront block of Fort Industry Square, along its quaint facades of varying heights and styles, something quietly transformative is happening.
Historically the heart of Toledo’s commercial district, Fort Industry Square is today riding a wave of redevelopment in the post-industrial city that is bringing new life to downtown once again. Real estate development firm Karp & Associates purchased the land parcels in 2017, and developers have since received $8.7 million in historic tax credits to rehab the block. 94 recently completed market-rate apartments and new office spaces bring with them the expectation of a new cycle of vitality in the district.
Amanda Kight, architect with Kraemer Design Group, who has been working on the design and historic preservation of the current redevelopment of Fort Industry Square, said she can feel the excitement in the community seeing Fort Industry Square lit up for the first time in decades.
“It makes me feel just a little bit more connected into this Toledo community,” she said.