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Development Momentum Continues in Downtown Toledo

Rendering of the interior of the Jefferson Center

It’s been a big week for development news in downtown. As we continue to invest in our downtown, more opportunities arise to partner with our community. We could not be happier to a part of the development news.


Today, the Metroparks Toledo board voted and approved the acquisition of property along the Maumee River— along Summit and Water Street. The land is crucial for the development of the Glass City Riverwalk. The Riverwalk will connect 300 acres of new and revitalized riverfront greenspace, on both sides of the Maumee River, from the Veteran’s Glass City Skyway to the Anthony Wayne Bridge.


According to a memo sent to the Metroparks board, it “will provide opportunities for significant shoreline naturalization that will contribute to better water quality in the river and Lake Erie. Additionally, acquisition of this property will support multiple public recreational opportunities from the downtown side of the Maumee, enhance scenic views across the Maumee from Glass City Metropark, and help foster economic development opportunities in the Downtown Toledo area.” ConnecToledo secured the property in November 2020 and with the intention of selling it to the Metroparks.


Also announced is the redevelopment of the Jefferson Center into an innovation center and incubation hub with California tech-based company, Bitwise Industries. The renovation project will begin late this year with a $30 million investment. This will be Bitwise’s fifth location and its first outside of California.


Bitwise was founded by University of Toledo graduate Irma L. Olguin Jr., and is a tech ecosystem, activating human potential to elevate underdog cities around the country. "Women and people of color make up more than 50 percent of the company’s Geekwise Academy, which teaches populations that are ‘traditionally left out of the technology industry’ vital tech skills such as learning how to write computer code."


ProMedica, owners of the Jefferson Center, which will be renamed The Jeff, will seek $5,000,000 in historic tax credits for the building’s renovation. ProMedica President and CEO Randy Oostra, believes Bitwise’s philosophy aligns with ProMedica’s social determinants of health and innovation efforts.


In a press conference, Olguin said studies show that for one job created in tech, 4.3 other jobs are created in local goods and services sectors. The company focuses on training diverse and underserved communities by providing paid apprenticeships to students to learn tech skills.


ConnecToledo is excited to work with these key organizations as we advance downtown together.

About the author


ConnecToledo is a 501(c)3 organization committed to the redevelopment of Downtown Toledo. Funded by the city's leading institutional and corporate organizations, ConnecToledo is committed to facilitating public/private partnerships, promoting events and attractions, investing in planning and projects and advocating for businesses. We build the critical connections for developing vibrant neighborhoods and a strong central business district. 

Downtown Toledo