TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - A vacant building in Downtown Toledo is about to get some new life. Developers say it's just what the area needs.
Lorenzen Realty just paid $75,000 for what was originally Kelsey's Saloon and more recently Easy Street Cafe. But it's not gong to be another bar and restaurant.
The century-old building will be turned into five, 2,000-square-foot townhouses. Each will have a two-car garage. Plans call for maintaining the architectural history of the building.
Developers didn't think Downtown Toledo needed another bar and restaurant.
"We're not really a bar and restaurant owner, "Said Justin Lorenzen of Lorenzen Realty. "We'd like more people living downtown to support the businesses down here. So we think it will be more of an attribute than competition for some of the business owners down here."
The Downtown Toledo Development Corporation (DTDC) said there is now a pent-up demand for apartments, citing a 95 percent occupancy rate. A recent residential study supports that.
Bring more people to an area, you bring more energy.
"The study says that we should absorb 300 residential units a year downtown for the next five years," said Bill Thomas of the DTDC. "That could be an additional 1,500 people downtown and what we need is the product to put those people in."
He added that Downtown Toledo has enough apartments and lofts. The new townhouses will be a nice alternative for people.
"You have multiple layers, have steps inside, stacked up in a beautiful, historic building" he said.
Architect plans will be drawn up in December. Construction will begin in January and people should be able to move in by June.
"We've had a lot of interest already. We've even had offers from people to put down deposits to hold space for them," Lorenzen said.