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I was in Toledo just this past week. I could definitely pick up on a different energy in and around Downtown than what I observed the last time I was there about a year ago. The Mud Hens were getting ready to play at Fifth Third Field and plenty of people were walking towards the stadium. There appeared to be more restaurants around the stadium than before, and from what I could tell they looked fairly busy, even for a weekday. It also appears that some additional housing/apartments/lofts have become available. What before seemed like a city downtown ready to roll up the sidewalks at 5 pm now looks like a city downtown on the verge of a revival, at least in some parts.Elsewhere, particularly around Adams Street, I noticed a few more businesses open than during my last trip. Several attractive yet vacant/underused buildings in that area hold quite a bit of potential for redevelopment. It's too bad the University of Toledo exists on the city's outskirts, as the presence of a major university in or near downtown would serve as a catalyst for further investment and redevelopment, much as the University of Akron, Youngstown State and Cleveland State have done for their respective cities. Even locating branch of UT or Bowling Green downtown could make a meaningful difference.I'm admittedly not a huge fan of casinos as a form of economic development, but I can't help but wonder what effect Toledo's casino might have had on its downtown, had it been located there instead of further away, given what's currently happening in Cleveland. Granted though, Cleveland already has a lot to see and do around its downtown, so a casino there seems like icing on an already quite tasty cake.Toledo definitely looks like it has some promising projects in the works and potential for the expansion of existing ones, but I also can't help but feel like it is still missing some key pieces and a more detailed economic development strategy that will carry it forward long-term. Unless I have overlooked something?
^I'm sad to hear about Adams becoming a hipster hangout, though I guess it was bound to happen given the location. Toledo's greatest point of pride was there weren't any hipsters (Toledo didn't take kindly to those types, and they always ended up moving away). "Welcome to Toledo: No Hipsters for 50 Miles!" A few years ago, all the potential hipsters went to Village Idiot in Maumee, which did a good job keeping them out of the city. Toledo always had an alternative crowd, but it never devolved into hipsterdom like you'd find in most cities. I guess that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that hipsters aren't just a fad. They're another peg down the cultural ladder of America. If it can happen in Toledo, it can happen anywhere. I still think whatever "scene" develops in Toledo is going to be extremely limited. Toledo culture just isn't aligned with hipsters (Toledo is way too masculine and hard-headed). It will never have a hipster scene like Chicago, Columbus, or from what I'm hearing, Cincinnati. It will be contained to a couple of bars, you can be sure of that. In an ideal world, there would be no hipsters, but in a city the size of Toledo, I guess there are bound to be a few bad apples in the bunch.