From WTOL 11 News Toledo:
New life for an old hotel began Wednesday with the demolition of a blighted historic south Toledo property.
Lucas Metropolitan Housing began the demolition of the old Park Hotel on Wednesday morning at 201 Knapp Street.
In its place, LMH will build new apartments for individuals between the ages of 18-25, who may be experiencing housing instability or aging out of the foster care system and in need of assistance transitioning from high school to adulthood.
The demolition coincides with National Homeless Youth Awareness Month.
Data from the Toledo Lucas County Homelessness Board shows 1,590 youth experiencing homelessness in Lucas County for 2022, with 592 between the ages of 18-24 experiencing housing instability due to a number of factors. Those factors include leaving foster care, aging out of child welfare, transitioning from high school to adulthood and family breakdowns or other issues.
The Park Apartments will include 41 one-bedroom apartments and four two-bedroom apartments. It will include spaces for socialization, counseling and education resources along with a community room with an attached kitchen, a fitness space, laundry and storage.
"Beyond shelter, the new Park Apartments will stand as a cornerstone for our most vulnerable young adults, offering them not only a stable home but also a pathway to essential services that will pave the way for a brighter future,” Coleen Ali, city of Toledo Manager of Tenant and Landlord Services, said.
Officials expect that the building will be fully leased in under four months once finished.
Tenants for the apartments will be referred through Lucas County Children Services, the Lucas County Juvenile Justice Center and Continuum of Care, the Toledo Lucas County Homelessness Board.
"Many of these various partners who are currently working with young adults, who are often times at a certain age no longer have access to their resources," LMH Deputy Executive Director Rachel Gagnon said. "So we want you to be able to pick up where they left off, have warm, handoff and continue to support that they need so that they can build cast-off self-sufficiency."
LMH will partner with Harbor for support services, which will include mental health and behavioral support, workforce development job opportunities, childcare, and food and transportation assistance, according to Gagnon.
"Whatever the individual needs, we're here to support them," Gagnon said.
Read WTOL 11 News' article "Lucas Metropolitan Housing kicks off demolition of abandoned Park Hotel for planned affordable housing for young adults."