Photos by historymike
(Toledo, OH) Westgate Village, for those outside of the Toledo area, is an aging strip mall on the west side of the city. The vacancy rate is over 50%, and the quality of tenants that remain leaves much to be desired. Moreover, the site is without a true anchor.
The owner of the complex, Abbell Credit Corporation of Chicago, submitted a design to the planning commission that would renovate the shopping center. The key to the deal is the national retailer Costco.
Since taking office, Carty Finkbeiner has been dragging his feet and creating obstacles to the deal. Yesterday he announced that he will petition Toledo City Council to impose a 180-day moratorium on any development projects at Westgate.
This idea is of dubious value to the project, and the mayor runs the risk of aggravating Costco into seeking a suburban site for their outlet. Given the fact that the city has lost a significant portion of its retail base to Perrysburg, Springfield Township, and soon Monclova Township, the mayor's stance is puzzling.
While Mr. Finkbeiner's dreams of "urban villages" are creative, this is not the time to quibble over minor amenities for pedestrians. Mr. Mayor: get out of the way of progress, and live up to your campaign promises of getting results.