United Way files application for demolition

United Way files application for demolition TOLEDO, Ohio – United Way of Greater Toledo is moving forward with its plan to bring its operating expenses down by constructing a new building and demolishing its previous one. D&R Demolition & Removal filed an application today on United Way’s behalf with the City of Toledo for demolition of its vacant building located at One Stranahan Square in downtown Toledo. Rudolph/Libbe will be overseeing the demolition and Midwest Environmental Control, Inc. will be performing abatement.

The former Community Services building was vacated in October 2009, when construction was completed on United Way’s new, more efficient headquarters on the same property.

“It’s time to complete the Board of Trustees’ original plan to construct a new building that actually fits the needs of United Way and our community, and take down the previous building,” said Trent Smith, regional president of Toledo Edison and chair of United Way’s Board of Trustees.

“It was not financially feasible to keep using a deteriorating, half-empty building,” Smith continued. “And now that we’ve constructed a building that meets our needs, we will not leave a vacant building downtown.

” United Way’s plan-- publicly released more than a year and a half ago-- was to construct a new, energy-efficient building with community meeting space, take down the old building, and create a park in its place.

United Way reports that despite numerous showings and building tours over approximately two years, they have not received any written offers to purchase the old building. The cost to mothball and maintain the building at a usable and purchasable level creates an economic hardship for United Way. It is estimated at $200,000 annually to maintain the building.

“This is simply not an option,” said Bill Kitson, United Way of Greater Toledo president & CEO. “Spending $200,000 annually to keep an obsolete building usable is absolutely not our mission. We are about helping people; not bricks.”

To put that into perspective, $200,000 is more than double the amount United Way is investing in domestic violence advocacy at Family and Child Abuse Prevention Center this year. It’s also double what United Way spends on social services at Neighborhood Health Association or vision rehab at Sight Center of Northwest Ohio.

“Additionally, our plan aligns with the 2002 Downtown Toledo Master Plan,” Smith continued.

According to the 2002 Downtown Toledo Master Plan, the old building is part of the Riverfront district. The plan does not show the building as a contributing, significant, or historic building. Furthermore, the purpose of the Riverfront district is to “offer the community public gathering and celebration space and facilities” and to “create a network of parks and open space.” United Way’s current plan to demolish the previous building and replace it with a park is consistent with this plan.

“At the end of the day, we are here to serve the people of this community,” Kitson concluded. “Our Board takes that mission very seriously and has painstakingly taken every step possible to ensure they’re making the best decisions for the future of our organization and our community.” ### United Way of Greater Toledo creates lasting change by addressing the underlying causes of the most significant local issues and by bringing together a broad range of financial and human resources. United Way supportscommunity services that are accountable for delivering measurable results and advancing the common good

You can also read the Free Press story at:
http://www.toledofreepress.com/2010/02/11/united-way-seeks-demolition-pe...

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Prediction- Konop who wants to be re-elected will side with the Blade on this one. McNamara who wants to be State Senator will side with the Blade on this one.
Sorry boys, this is a private property matter and an elected representative should know the law.

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

On how long it will be until the United Way decides they need another new building because they've trashed their new HQ? If it's 30 years, I'll take the under.

With all the available office space in downtown, I don't know why they didn't just move to another building. The millions spent on the new building could help people in community, but instead they've got a LEED certified green building and two consecutive years of missing their fundraising goals. That's a large part of why I donate directly to the Cherry Street Mission and the Sparrows Nest. They do great work in Toledo without spending money on the latest in HVAC technology.

There's a city full of walls you can post complaints at

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