Lucas Metropolitan Housing joins with Ohio Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, business and government leaders to celebrate grand opening of LMH's new headquarters in downtown Toledo with press conference and ribbon-cutting ceremony
Lucas Metropolitan Housing (LMH) leaders today joined with U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH-09) as well as business and government officials to celebrate the grand opening of LMH's new headquarters at the site of the former United Way of Greater Toledo building on Jackson Street in Toledo, marking the first time in the authority's 90-year history that it has consolidated all client service operations into one downtown location.
"We are eager to help start writing the next chapter in the story of the heart of the city of Toledo," said LMH President and CEO Joaquin Cintron-Vega during a press conference and ribbon-cutting ceremony this morning that preceded a public open house with guided tours.
"Company culture is the lifeblood that keeps Lucas Metropolitan Housing healthy and thriving, and a positive culture is greatly enhanced and more easily fostered and influenced when employees share the same workspace," Cintron-Vega said.
The new office brings 77 LMH employees downtown and will serve as LMH's primary administrative office to support both its Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher programs, administer homeownership opportunities and coordinate its self-sufficiency programming. The acquisition also allows LMH to consolidate four of its offices (Nebraska Ave., Byrne Rd., Indiana Ave., Belmont Ave.) into a single location, resulting in operating cost savings for the agency.
"This move will allow for efficiencies in the physical space while encouraging greater peer-to-peer interactions and relationships with managers," said LMH Board of Commissioners Chair Alisha Gant. "In addition, we believe it will result in a better customer service experience for our clients."
Conveniently located two blocks from the Government Center building and other places of interest downtown including the TARTA public transit center, the site was chosen, in part, to make it easier for its residents to access LMH services and programs with free parking in an adjacent parking garage.
"LMH's move comes at an exciting time for the Glass City's downtown core," said U.S. Rep. Kaptur, the longest-serving Congresswoman in U.S. history who helped support funding for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that allowed for LMH's move.
"A strong downtown is widely viewed as crucial for the overall health of a city, with even the surrounding northwest Ohio region standing to benefit," Kaptur said. "We can all be very pleased that LMH joins many other organizations that have invested in energizing Toledo's ongoing downtown development."
The LMH Board of Commissioners approved the purchase of the 26,060-square-foot building from United Way in 2021 for $4.95 million. The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority issued a $5.2 million tax-exempt 25-year bond transaction for LMH's headquarters relocation and renovation project. The interest rate for the bond financing was 2.9%.
"The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority is proud to be a partner in this endeavor with Lucas Metropolitan Housing and to be able to deliver the financing necessary for this project to become reality," said Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority Director of Finance and Special Projects Craig Teamer.
"We have always viewed this transaction and the relocation and centralization of the LMH headquarters to be a catalytic boost to downtown Toledo," Teamer said. "The new headquarters will not only allow LMH the opportunity to consolidate office space, but they are now centrally located in the region making themselves even more accessible to the community."
The LMH grand opening is the latest in a series of new developments in downtown Toledo. On Aug. 25, 2022, the Lucas County Board of Commissioners joined construction partners and business and community leaders to celebrate the grand opening of the renovated $65 million Glass City Center, Powered by ProMedica, and new ballroom.
Speaking in support of LMH's grand opening during this morning's press conference were Lucas County Commissioners Tina Skeldon Wozniak, Pete Gerken and Lisa A. Sobecki.
"Enough cannot be said about the importance that public and private partnerships investments such as LMH's latest example have played in transforming downtown Toledo into an increasingly popular destination to work, play, live and grow successful businesses," Skeldon Wozniak said. Toledo has been named number one in the nation among mid-sized cities for new business investment by Site Selection Magazine, and LMH's relocation helps continue that momentum, Gerken noted. There are approximately $2.2 billion worth of projects currently underway in Toledo, or recently completed, that are expected to create nearly 3,500 new permanent jobs and 1,079 new residential units.
"LMH's relocation to its new downtown space is an important development for our region, and we owe a big thanks to the Lucas Metropolitan's Board of Commissioners and the United Way for their leadership, the developers, and all those individuals who helped make this collaborative project a reality," he said.
"The comprehensive renovation of the former United Way building by LMH is a true game-changer for not only Toledo, but the entire northwest Ohio region," said Sobecki. "The Lucas County Board of Commissioners and the leaders of the Port Authority are committed to working with existing and new partners to cultivate a business- and development-friendly environment with a work-ready labor force that are essential to bring new opportunities to our community."
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-OH, could not attend today's ribbon-cutting event but issued a written statement praising LMH's relocation downtown.
"I thank the leadership, staff and partners of Lucas Metropolitan Housing for their work to make this investment in the future of LMH residents and Toledo happen," said Senator Brown.
"As Chair of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, I have focused on increasing access to safe, affordable housing for all Ohioans," he said. "It's simple - when we make housing more affordable, we expand opportunity, and we give more Ohio families a shot at the middle class. And that's exactly what you are doing here in Lucas County."
LMH's relocation and renovation effort also was lauded by HUD Cleveland Field Office Director Pamela Ashby.
About Lucas Metropolitan Housing
Established in 1933, Lucas Metropolitan Housing (LMH) continues to provide affordable housing to adults, seniors and children in its Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher, Mixed-Income and Market Rate housing units. LMH also provides myriad programs and opportunities designed to improve the total quality of life for our residents, with the ultimate goal of achieving self-sufficiency. The programs and services are the result of successful collaborations with numerous community partners.
Our current housing portfolio consists of 2,633 Public Housing units, 4,657 Housing Choice Vouchers, 322 Low-Income Housing Tax Credit units, 198 Market Rate units and 107 Homeownership Properties. There are approximately 17,500 people who reside in LMH properties. Lucas Metropolitan Housing partners with ALL people and organizations willing to exchange ideas and efforts to enhance Toledo, Lucas County and the world.