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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -
As the former NorthTowne Square Mall is almost completely demolished, the city of Toledo is looking at the possibility of converting the site into an off-road playground.
Enthusiasts of the 4x4 are known to travel great distances to put their vehicles to the test at off-road courses, and Toledo Public Service Director Ed Moore is coordinating efforts to plan for a new off-road destination in Toledo.
"We feel that Toledo is home of the Jeep, and it'll only be right for us to have a trail here where off-roaders can bring their 4x4s, bring their Jeeps," said Moore.
Since the city has control of the former mall property, Moore believes that could be an ideal location.
"We're evaluating a number of sites. NorthTowne is a prime location. It'll be a good reuse. We'll have to look at the size of it if everything's going to fit," said Moore.
Moore is beginning his search for grant funding opportunities. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has $400,000 worth of funding through its Recreational Trails Program, which helps communities develop trails for all-terrain vehicles.
"We have the Overland Club right here in Toledo that has connections to clubs all around the country. What we're hearing is, if Toledo builds it, they'll come," said Moore.
Moore says hosting future "Jeep Jamborees" would help drive new business to town, and it's possible the city will look at multiple locations to have a series of off-road courses.