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Transforming the Triangle

July 29, 2022 Projects

The heart of the Burroughs neighborhood has a new face.

When the Land Bank launched RISE Neighborhoods in the Burroughs neighborhood in Toledo in 2018, our first stop was the Burroughs Neighborhood Organization (BNO). BNO is a group of passionate residents and business owners that work to make their neighborhood better. We know that the Land Bank is most successful when we work directly with people and build on their goals.

One of the first things that we heard about was the Triangle, an island of land owned by the City of Toledo that sits at the heart of the neighborhood. Although hundreds of cars and people passed by it every day, it gave them no indication of where they were.

Without a firm identity, especially to others, a neighborhood can struggle for attention and resources. But strengthening the connection between people and the places they share - classic placemaking - is one of the core reasons that the Land Bank created RISE.

After renovating four vacant houses and selling them to new homeowners, demolishing some of the most blighted buildings, transferring dozens of side lots, and helping homeowners invest in their homes, we rolled up our sleeves with BNO to re-invent the Triangle.

Ideas sprung forth, including a flag stand with stone markers of the branches of the armed forces and brick markers honoring Toledo veterans who have served our country. In addition, a permanent sign that welcomed people to the Burroughs neighborhood was a high priority.

To make this all happen, the City of Toledo offered a District Improvement Grant to BNO, and the Land Bank supplemented this funding with its own resources. The Board of County Commissioners also made a sustainability grant to BNO to plant flowers and beautify the land.

After lots of planning and hard work by BNO and its President Robert Worthington and the Land Bank's own Shantae Brownlee (pictured above with David Mann), the Triangle was re-born.

According to Robert, "People passing by tell us it looks good and we're doing a good job. Veterans with their names already there have been impressed and grateful."

Local leaders are impressed too. "It's awesome and a great investment of Toledo's dollars in order to make the neighborhood better," said District Councilman and Council President Matt Cherry.

For years, the intersection of South Avenue and Airport Highway has been the center of the neighborhood, but unless you lived there, you probably didn't know. That's all changed now.

If the Bermuda Triangle is a place where things are lost, the new Burroughs Triangle is a place where a neighborhood has once again been found.