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2023 Year In Review

January 23, 2024 Announcements

In 2023, the Land Bank didn't just clear weeds. We planted seeds of hope in the cracks of forgotten properties, nurturing them into life-changing opportunities for our community.

Changing Lives

When A'Daris Welch saw the home for sale, he knew it'd be his. The last time he'd been by, it was empty. Weeds were growing in the front yard, and old paint was peeling off the walls. Now, it had a new roof, a new furnace, and a new foundation. The Land Bank had done a lot of work, and as a first-time homeowner, he knew he could finish the job.

Today, it's a place his whole family calls home. From the front porch, living room, or backyard, he's excited to spend his days in the house. By making investments, whether large or small, the Land Bank is creating life-changing opportunities.

In 2023, the Land Bank:

This year, we look forward to launching additional lead safe improvement projects as we deploy a $1 million award through the Lead Safe Ohio Program.

Creating Homeowners

Picture this: sunlight streams through sparkling windows, bouncing off freshly painted walls. Lorraine Randall smiles, her eyes brimming with joy as she runs her hand along the smooth countertop of her brand-new kitchen. This isn't just any house; it's her dream home, and it wouldn't be possible without the Land Bank.

Ms. Randall's story is just one of many. Behind every beautifully restored home is a story of hope, resilience, and a community coming together. The Land Bank isn't just building houses; it's building brighter futures, one family at a time.

In 2023, the Land Bank:

  • Closed on three move-in-ready home renovations in the Secor Gardens and Clinton Park neighborhoods, setting a new high comparable sale each time.
  • Through our Property programs, we sold and preserved 39 buildings, with 80% expected to be owner-occupied when the renovation is complete.

This year, we are thrilled to offer more move-in-ready renovation opportunities in the Old West End, Garfield, Clinton Park, and Library Village neighborhoods. We are also determined to learn more about the Welcome Home Ohio Program and how it can deliver additional affordable homeownership in Lucas County.

Renewing Neighborhoods

William Slaughter had never owned a brand-new home before, and he had certainly never had this many people in his living room! But thanks to a partnership among Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity, the Junction neighborhood, and the Land Bank, great things are happening on Belmont Street.

Mr. Slaughter's newly constructed home is the first of up to 15 homes to be built in a corridor of the Junction neighborhood. Through the Land Bank's acquisition toolkit, we're proving that vacant land is an opportunity, not a liability. Without the land, we cannot do what's needed to remake the neighborhood. But with it, the sky's the limit!

In 2023, the Land Bank:

  • Invested over $400,000 to grow wealth and improve health in core neighborhoods through our Neighborhood Justice Fund, including sturdy wood fencing at Mr. Slaughter's home to give him a quiet and enjoyable backyard.
  • Became the owner of over 400 previously abandoned vacant lots, offering them back to the community as side lots, urban gardening and farming sites, adopt-a-lot partnerships, and new construction opportunities.

This year, we'll unveil the Junction Neighborhood Gateway at the intersection of Collingwood and Nebraska, building a safer space for students walking to school and fostering a beautiful place that highlights what's best about the neighborhood.

Developing Opportunities

For most people, the demolition of the eyesore on Elm Street was long overdue. For Mary Sumner, whose daughter Cindy was tragically killed at the property, the demolition meant closure. With the Land Bank's help, the monument to her sorrow is finally gone. Now, green hills roll into the horizon and neighborhood chickens peck at the bugs in the new grass. It's a space we think Cindy would have loved.

In 2023, the Land Bank:

  • Completed over $6 million of cleanup projects with funding from the Ohio Department of Development and the City of Toledo, transforming abandoned commercial properties in our neighborhoods into gateways and green spaces that residents can take pride in.
  • In the marathon redevelopment of the Spitzer and Nicholas buildings, we crossed a crucial milestone with the award of a $10 million state historic tax credit, the largest single award in Toledo's history! It only came to fruition thanks to the tireless efforts of The Model Group, ARK Development, the Land Bank team, and heroes like Brandon Sehlhorst and Paul Toth.

This year, we are hoping to hear that our request for over $20 million of brownfield remediation and building demolition funding for Lucas County projects is granted. If it happens, we can't wait to show you how much more we can get done!