An architect's rendering of the renovated Thurgood Marshall Building, with the proposed annex in the foreground.

An architect’s rendering of the renovated Thurgood Marshall Building, with the proposed new-build annex in the foreground. (Image courtesy Moody Nolan.)

Affordable homes for senior citizens coupled with investments in green energy could be coming to the historic Thurgood Marshall Building on East Manhattan Boulevard thanks to an innovative proposal and support from the City of Toledo. The Area Office on Aging of Northwest Ohio, Inc., NeighborWorks Toledo, Lucas Metropolitan Housing, and Community Building Partners together are teaming up to develop 86 units of affordable senior housing in the former school and administration building.

The Thurgood Marshall Senior Apartments will be affordable to seniors with a limited income. Uniquely, it would preserve the century-old structure, while adding modern additions and incorporating solar panels to allow the building to generate its own green power. The developers have proposed a new-build annex on the south end of the building with additional apartments. Between the historic building and the new annex, there will be 86 apartments, together with amentieis such as a fitness center and common gathering spaces.

The proposal envisions Toledo Public Schools–which has been supportive of the proposal–leasing the land to the development long term. TPS and the developers are also collaborating on opportunities to use the development, construction and ongoing management of the senior community as opportunities for TPS graduates to gain training and hands-on experience in high-demand, high-growth fields such as construction, clean energy, green infrastructure, and healthcare.

“We’d really like to see this as an opportunity for us to continue our partnership with Toledo Public Schools and take this building that’s been underutilized in recent years and make it an anchor in that neighborhood,” says Justin Moor, vice president of planning and program development for the Area Office on Aging, “where we’re providing affordable housing for older adults that want to live in that neighborhood or may currently live in that neighborhood, as well as opportunities for the students to get some training for future career opportunities that are in demand.”

The Thurgood Marshall proposal was made in response to the City of Toledo’s desire to use funds granted to it as part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to support affordable housing. The project was awarded $1.25 million in city ARP funds; every dollar committed by the city leverages $13 of state, federal, and private investment for maximum community benefit.

We saw the effort the city made to gain community and stakeholder input,” with its request for proposals for the use of ARP funds, says Joseph Recchie, CEO of Community Building Partners. “We listened and responded with green, healthy housing and tied it to workforce development. And we’re carrying forward the community engagement by refining our plans with further input from stakeholders.”

Moody Nolan Architects will provide architectural services for the project. Thomas Porter Architects will provide historic preservation consulting. Lewandowski Engineers will provide engineering services.

About the co-developers

The Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio, Inc. promotes the health, well-being and safety of older adults, persons with disabilities and family caregivers to foster independence. The Area Office on Aging is responsible at the local level for the development and implementation of a comprehensive and coordinated service delivery system for older adults residing in a 10-county area in northwestern Ohio. It is also responsible for regional and local planning and development of programs and services.

Neighborworks Toledo Region is a nonprofit corporation with a history of affordable housing development. The purpose of NeighborWorks Toledo is to restore and revitalize the NeighborWorks neighborhoods, primarily for the benefit of current and future inhabitants, by providing services and programs which renew pride, stimulate reinvestment and restore confidence and trust.

Lucas Metropolitan Housing (LMH), established in 1933, continues to provide affordable housing to adults, seniors, and children in its Low Income Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher, Mixed-Income, and Market-Rate housing units. LMH also provides a variety of programs and opportunities designed to improve the quality of life for its residents, with the ultimate goal of achieving self-sufficiency.

Community Building Partners empowers communities by repurposing the tools of business and development and sharing the benefits with nonprofit partners and community organizations. Their expertise in large-scale development, construction management, brownfield remediation, historic preservation, and innovative project finance lays the foundation for their work. They help their partners build their capacity through development advisory services and collaborative research and unite environmental stewardship, community investment, and exceptional design to bridge the gap from vision to execution.



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