TARTA hub project may affect downtown business - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

TARTA hub project may affect downtown business

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An image of what the hub is expected to look like. An image of what the hub is expected to look like.
TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

TARTA wants public input on their new downtown hub project, which could negatively impact at least one downtown destination.

TARTA officials said the downtown hub would make things a lot easier for the agency. The project would do away with every bus route going in and out of downtown, and instead, all routes would stop at the hub.

But that would mean taking over most of the REU parking lot, which is often used by customers of the Valentine Theatre. Without those parking spaces, theatre officials are worried they will lose business.

"They do rely on that parking lot," said Valentine General Manager Jori Jex. "It's manned, it's visible, it's easy access to the theatre. It's affordable. It has been the main parking lot for the last 14 years, and it has served us well."

Jex said she's afraid many of the theatre's elderly customers may have a hard time getting to the building without the parking lot.

"Our feeling is that at this point, even if we had a reduction of 10 percent in our audience base, it could be devastating, not only to the Valentine, but all the local art groups that perform here," Jex said.

Jex hopes at least some of the parking spaces can be saved in the new development.

"Our hope is that there's just a global vision for what's good for all of the organizations downtown," she said. "It would behoove the city to lose a historic theatre such as the Valentine."

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