What do we do with Portside now that COSI will close?

Ok now that one of the worst ideas to ever come from Toledo's Hegemony at the loss of valuable real estate for 12+ years has come to an end I would like to know what should we do with this great waterfront property which will now be open?

I still think the original idea of Portside was a great idea. It was only when they started charging double the rent that Franklin Park Mall was charging that the idea went to crap.

BTW my favorite lines from the Bland's articles on COSI

http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071107/NEWS09/71...
excerpt "I'm not really sure" why the levy failed, Lori Hauser, the museum's director of operations, said amid a somber gathering of COSI supporters and employees,"

Hmmm Lori probably because it was never supposed to be funded from public money. Maybe if you wouldn't have gouged families at the door you could have survived without public money.

http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071030/OPINION02...
excerpt
"has become a significant player in our educational scene at minimal cost."

So if it's so key why do our TPS students score so low in math and science?

http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071030/OPINION03...
excerpt
"There isn't a weekend I'm at COSI that I don't meet families from out of town that are in Toledo just for the COSI experience. "

If there are so many families who go why can't it sustain on ticket prices? Are they too low, overhead too high, or are funds being mismanaged? Any way I look at it I still don't see it as a viable way to spend tax money. Too much money for too little return.

No votes yet

and see if we can bankrupt both by over-building.

Old South End Broadway

BTW

I asked some students who were sitting near me what they would put into a large building with a beautiful view of a city and a river that's located in an area where there is a hotel and a number of large government and business buildings.

The answer: "Something like a Dave and Busters" got the best response. For those who've never been to one here's their site. http://www.daveandbusters.com/

MikeyA

MikeyA

...I wonder what we would have to give them to come here?

Old South End Broadway

... they can just sit back, and wait and get the property for a pittance in a couple of years when people get tired of looking at it.

Old South End Broadway

Level the building. Open up the view of the river from Summit Street.

allowing a gambling casino to take over the site and make some real money for the community.

bill

A casino just isn't an easy solution. It's got a lot of trade offs. And I'm not talking about the usual "crime and gambling addiction" B.S. I'd say the areas around Detroit's casinos are probably some of the safer areas of the city. And anybody that's ever seen an obviously lower-middle-class Toledoan drop $50 on "cardboard crack" scratch-off tickets knows that you don't need a nearby casino to have a gambling addiction.

But the real issue I see is that a casino is not a healthy BUSINESS.

At nearly every other type of business wealth is being created. Whether you're making auto parts or insulation, you're combing labor and materials and you're converting it to wealth above the sum of it's parts. This is especially true in manufacturing or building: If I pay you $100k to build me a house, You get my $100k and I get a house that's still worth $100k. Wealth is created.

But a casino doesn't work that way. The money people gamble with is money that other businesses--restaurants, entertainment, etc--will lose. And, true, some of that money is already being lost and it's going to Detroit and Windsor. But the idea that we can "keep it local" is disingenuous. Chances are, any casino won't be locally-owned. It'll be a Harrahs or MGM Grand type of conglomerate. And all of a sudden "portside" will earn its name... because they ought to just pull a big ship beside it and just haul piles of Toledoans money OUT of toledo.

On the other hand, many redeeming arguments can be made for it. It probably would attract new dollars from all across the state. It probably would be a thriving business that would serve as another major downtown attraction, further complimenting the Arena and the Stadium. And it would generate buzz and it would make Toledo, to a lot of readers, look progressive.

I don't know if I could support it or not.

But I COULD support a Dave and Busters or Jillians -like establishment there. THAT would be interesting.

Also worth noting: I'm not sure others have noticed the extent to which the actual structure is deteriorating. It may just be cosmetic, but many of the outside surfaces are in need of repair. In many locations the concrete has crumbled and the rebar is exposed.

I side with the 2nd half of Shane's comments as I believe the good will out weigh the bad. Even if it only lasts 10 years, it will generate some wealth, it will draw crowds, it will draw wealthy people to the region and it will provide adult entertainment for all citizens.

The negitives are there too, but in this case, I feel that the good out weighs the bad. The best part is..it will be sold and off the city books as a expense. They cannot afford to maintain the buildings and utilities of all the downtown buildings it owns. It's sucking up developement and infrastructure money without just cause. The City needs to divest itself of this property, the Erie Street market and several other failed attempts at controling everything. Then we might actually see some streets getting paved and some sewer work done correctly.

...on "Toledotalk" has a comment by "tomtom" that brings up an important point. COSI received a loan from the state, and there is anti-casino legislation in Ohio. Ain't reality a bitch!

Old South End Broadway

http://www.toledotalk.com/cgi-bin/tt.pl/article/6785/COSI_Defeated__Tole..., has a comment from "tomtom" that makes an important point: COSI benefited from a bond issue from the state of Ohio. There are conditions that limit the use of the property to "cultural" matters. Unless we can convince the state entity involved that a "Dave and Busters" is of great "cultural" significance we won't see it at Portside.

Old South End Broadway

..."Quoting form the Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission website, 'the facility must be used as a cultural facility available to the public for the term of the bonds issued to fund the improvements, typically 15 years.'

"That pretty much rules out Casinos (illegal in the state of Ohio), or bars, or restaurants, or luxury housing, etc. You also can't just plow down the building to make a park on the riverfront. Pretty much the only thing you can move in is something like a COSI. To bad the citizens didn't support what they already had. I suppose the city could just let it sit idle for the 15 years of the bond issue. How long did they let the failed 'Festival Marketplace' sit boarded up? Sounds like a typical strategy for the citizens of Lucas county."

Old South End Broadway

we're still building that?

I thought that was just a reason to tax people and spend the money on nothing.

MikeyA

MikeyA

Yea

Because lord knows Detroit isn

I agree Shane.

I remember some time back I hoped we could get an ESPN Zone like resteraunt in the marina district. That's basically the same as a D&B but with more of a focus on sports. That'd do well there.

MikeyA

MikeyA

Well.. I think there ARE upsides to a casino, but I have to disagree that it will "generate some wealth."

It WILL pay windfalls to some people, but it will take FAR MORE than that from others, as the casino owner is going to take a fair cut as the man in the middle. As for creating wealth, a city-wide raffle would do just as well.

And yes, it will create some Jobs, but ANY use of that property will create some jobs.

The only chance a Casino has at creating wealth would be economic stimulation at surrounding businesses. But any casino is going to have restaurants, give out comps to those restaurants, and perhaps even own the attached hotel, keeping all the profits "in the family."

Now.. if some how a deal was struck to "profit share" with the citizens.. whether through a higher tax rate, even "profit sharing" with the city, or compulsory "donations" to a fund that will somehow benefit the public at large. Something like that might come closer to tipping the balance.

But make no mistake, a Casino--unless it's truly and wholly locally owned--is a giant conduit of cash that pulls from the pockets of Toledoans--and thusly the pockets of toledo business that currently gets those dollars--and sucks it directly out of the region into the thick bank accounts of SomeCorp, Inc.

Ya know.. it's really not an easy decision. Unless you buy in to dogmas in either direction, you have to admit a lot would come down to specific details that are just speculation at this point.

I can say this, though: I'd rather see it a casino than an empty building on city welfare.

A casino could be placed there if the city gave the land to the Wyandot Indians of Michigan. The giving of the land could be percieved as cultural and the land would then fall under protection of the federal government as being a terriotial land of Native Americans.

Other than a change to the state's constitution (which I can't see passing) this is the only other way I could see a casino being legally placed anywhere in NW Ohio.

MikeyA

MikeyA

If COSI collapses, then the bond issue "cultural" obligation is discharged, right?

At any rate, it's none of my business to support or impede the use of that property. Once some private entity gets ahold of it, as long as they obey zoning, building and nuisance laws, the essential public interest is served. The rest is up to INDIVIDUALS. If you like the business that moves in, then frequent them yourself.

No, that's the Erie St Market.

Detroit was a shit hole WAY before the casino's got there.

Great idea.

The Eastern Shawnee and Odawa could lay claim to the area, also.

But the Attorney General has made it clear that there will be casino's, family values and all that and never mind the treaties that are/were broken.

http://toledoohioneighborhoodconcerns.com/blog

And getting casinos didn't "fix" anything at all. It's still shitty.

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