Toledo Talk

Southland Shopping Center

At Christmas time, I was at Southland (driving through Arby's) and noticed the decay of this one time destination shopping center. The only noticable stores that are still there are Krogers, Dollar Tree, Big Lots, and Family Dollar... There are still a few small places, but still a lot of empty places...

What does the owner of the proerty have planned? Is this going to become another empty shopping center like Southwyk?

Thoughts on it?

created by jim30529 on Dec 29, 2010 at 03:11:49 pm     Business     Comments: 24

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I'm not sure who owns it, but Southland used to be a thriving place. Then in the 90s, you had to look over your shoulder in the parking lot because of a string of muggings. Now, it's just dying out, unfortunately.

posted by renegade on Dec 29, 2010 at 04:03:14 pm     #  

There was a thread about Southland somewhere in the past 6 months...jr?

posted by oldhometown on Dec 29, 2010 at 04:25:39 pm     #  

The problem is the shopping center is stuck in a 1960-70 format. Too much wasted space in the parking lot, stores sit way to far away from the roads, buildings need major upgrading, rents are probably too high for trendy places where the abundent student body of UTMC can hang out and socialize, limited access, and virtualy no sinage to tell you who occupies the few remainng store fronts. They should subdivde the parking lot and build much like Westgate did. Maybe an Ikea as an anchor and some Internet gaming theater (not like the Internet Cafe popping up all over the place) where young patrons can play, study, and enjoy a good cup of brew all at the same time. If I had the funds I might consider opening something up along these business lines.

It's not location, location, location as much anymore as it is marketing, marketing, marketing.

posted by KraZyKat on Dec 29, 2010 at 04:36:27 pm     #  

the sad thing is that all of the previously exciting places in south toledo are just dying and it is becoming a ghost town. It used to be restaurant row also and now there are a few but there are mostly boarded up buildngs of what used to be reataurants..I dont know if the city just wants the money of those who live on the west side and ottowa hills or what but I hate that my only option for a movie is to drive 30 minutes..or get on the eway..both options I do not take advantage of.. I grew up in the hole that once was southwyck and it is so sad that the city let it die...

posted by beetlejuice on Dec 29, 2010 at 04:39:32 pm     #  

Lol at these Southland shopping center threads.

The next time you are at Southland, drive north on Byrne and look around. When you get to Airport Hwy, turn either left or right and again look around.

posted by 6th_Floor on Dec 29, 2010 at 05:29:14 pm     #  

Another free piece of advice...while in the area, keep your doors locked, especially if after dark.

I can't believe people actually still wonder why high-end retail isn't occupying space at Southland.

posted by 6th_Floor on Dec 29, 2010 at 05:31:27 pm     #  

KraZyKat, what does the parking lot matter? Everyone drives anyway.

What else could be the parking lot be used for? More stores? Those would just sit empty. Parkland? What does parkland have to do with shopping? Nothing.

You're still hanging on the hook of marketability, and that means stores that people want to go to. As soon as the first store space became open, the management was at fault for not filling it. And then another. And another.

The larger argument is more dire. There aren't enough businesses to fill out all this vacant commercial space. A lot of this space should be rented out for cheap money, but the owners are fuckers and refuse to do that. So the wrecking ball is really the only solution. And the bankers who are still backing the huge bubble in commercial property, won't allow that either. So you're stuck. Get used to seeing vacant and boarded-up property in Toledo.

posted by GuestZero on Dec 29, 2010 at 06:05:50 pm     #  

6th_Floor, what are you saying? Be plain. You're making a few statements that revolve around a central theory about the social makeup of the area. Don't be bashful. Just come out and say it.

posted by GuestZero on Dec 29, 2010 at 06:07:42 pm     #  

here aren't enough businesses to fill out all this vacant commercial space.

How much of this commercial space would be rented if there wasn't such a thing as Internet commerce?

We'll never know. The Internet is here, people can make money with a business that doesn't depend upon having a brick-n-mortar storefront, and vacant storefront/retail space will continue to be more common than not.

posted by oldhometown on Dec 29, 2010 at 06:19:26 pm     #  

A high number of people living in the various nearby apartment complexes are lower income. Some of the complexes on Airport are housing projects. A glorified ghetto per se.

Thus, the area cannot support higher-end retail. Possible lower-end retail has competition from a nearby Wallmart.

The plaza across Glendale from Southland seems to be doing well, albeit smaller stores and eateries.

Even the Byrne/Heatherdowns area, which appears to have higher per capita income households, nowadays is a checkerboard of empty commercial real estate.

posted by 6th_Floor on Dec 29, 2010 at 06:45:14 pm     #  

So, to extend the idea of plainness-in-speaking, 6th_Floor, you're saying that the Southland area is afflicted by social ghettoes? So, who lives in those ghettoes? Could you be bothered to characterize them? By manner of dress? By hair styles? By choice of skin lotions?

posted by GuestZero on Dec 29, 2010 at 11:55:17 pm     #  

GZ, it seems that you have your own explanation.

Once upon a time, Front Street in East Toledo had several car dealerships. Where is the outcry for them to return there? Why did they leave?

Why doesn't Neiman Marcus & Saks Fifth Avenue open stores at Southland and/or Front & Main?

Taylor Cadillac bailed from downtown. Why would they do such a thing? That location has remained empty since they moved.

People are asking city council to contact IKEA. These same bozos on city council supported going forward with building the marina district? To be filled with condos and shopping in one of the lowest socioeconomic parts of NW Ohio?

If there was $$$ to be made or competitive advantage to be gained at Southland, they already would have a store located there.

How about instead following the instructions in the linked photo below?

posted by 6th_Floor on Dec 30, 2010 at 12:21:28 am     #  

IKEA is not coming to Toledo. I don't know where people got the idea, but the stores usually serve much larger markets. Detroit (5 million metro) has one. Chicago (9 million metro) has two. By the company's thinking, Toledo already has one - 60 miles up the road in Canton.

While most people would love to see a new and more happening Southland, it will probably stay like it is until an optimistic developer buys it up, or enough stores leave and the owners decide to raze it, which could take years.

Since they are right next door and stand to benefit, UTMC should throw their political weight behind a new Southland as a way to spruce up and revitalize that part of town.

posted by mixman on Dec 30, 2010 at 08:49:51 am     #  

Some of the businesses from this center have relocated down the street to the Walmart area, which is typical of the big box store plan. Newer buildings and more car counts.

posted by Hoops on Dec 30, 2010 at 09:33:36 am     #  

"one of the lowest socioeconomic parts of NW Ohio?"

The East Side used to be one of the nicer parts of town, but the scumlords (not regular landlords, there are some decent ones left) who bought up most of the property over there refuse to put any money into their "investments" which only attract more people who don't give a rats ass about how they live.

posted by tm2 on Dec 30, 2010 at 09:38:40 am     #  

Mixman is correct. Toledoans seem to insist that if we only contacted the Ikeas, the Whole Foods, the Trader Joe's, they'd all have some kind of epiphany and expand into this market. Truth: If this market were viable for these stores' demographics, they'd already be here.... Mixman's observation that Ikea defines its markets regionally is right on the money, and yes, for us to have a mere 45-minute drive to Canton (I've timed it, it's exactly that) means the Michigan Ikea store is "ours" by Ikea's defintion.

We might do well to stop wishing and hoping for national retailers to come here, and maybe think a bit more about how we can support the local businesses already here, and how we might help folks with an eye toward operating nonchain, local retail businesses and/or restaurants. I would remind everyone, for example, of the drug-store wars that left a number of intersections pockmarked with vacant hulks of ugly cement-block buildings. Just sayin'....

posted by luvtoledo on Dec 30, 2010 at 10:21:27 am     #  

tm2, while the east side used to be filled with decent hard-working-blue-collar folks, it was never an area viable for high-end retail.

Who did these slumlords you are posting about buy those houses from?

Answer: from people that decided to move to Oregon, Rossford, and other suburbs (higher socioeconomic) areas.

When things such as food and fuel find true price discovery, the people that are financially overextended or will soon find themselves overextended, that left for the suburbs and larger homes, may be forced to return.

posted by 6th_Floor on Dec 30, 2010 at 10:34:55 am     #  

tm2 are you not thrilled your paycheck funds the "slum lord", it's great that Americans work to pay for our own demise.

Maybe if our Federal Govt. actually held these "slum lords" to a higher standard it wouldn't be so bad.

posted by dbw8906 on Dec 30, 2010 at 10:35:46 am     #  

If not for landlords/slumlords people seem to despise, many of the homes still occupied in the Oak and Starr neighborhood would be completely empty, generating no property tax revenue, and complete messes.

Returning to discussing Southland, what makes the situation worse there is many of the subdivisions in the Byrne/Glendale area were built in the 1960s. Nice homes with decent household income, but now too many of the area's apartment complexes are section 8, so forget about stores like IKEA locating at Southland.

posted by 6th_Floor on Dec 30, 2010 at 10:46:06 am     #  

It was a beautiful shopping center. In the 1970s and 80s the area bounded by Southland, Heatherdowns, Swan Creek and Reynolds Rd. was the place to be. A great community. Looks like those families moved on to Perrysburg, Holland, Monclova, and Maumee and now patronize Fallen Timbers and Levis Commons. Poorer folk moved in. It is sad to live through and see the decay of a great city because you remember how alive and vibrant it once was.

posted by ilovetoledo on Dec 30, 2010 at 11:04:09 am     #  

Does anyone remember the deli in Southland? I believe it was called Warzy's. That place always smelled good. They had a special sauce for their subs. I would kill for one of those subs.

posted by Molsonator on Dec 30, 2010 at 12:50:12 pm     #  

Joseph's realty who used to own Joseph's supermarkets built Great Eastern, Miracle Mile and Southland shopping centers. I don't know what happened to them or if they still own the properties. They got out of the grocery store business after one of the Joseph family was robbed and shot aand killed at their store on Cherry St.

posted by FrankG on Dec 30, 2010 at 01:10:14 pm     #  

Molsonator, I sure do remember Warzy's, they had coffee beans in bulk which could be ground to your liking. Also Southland had a state liquor store and a Lane's Drugstore. Sure hated to see the Sears home/lawn/garden store close. In the NE corner of Southland there used to be a bakery that had good donuts and sweet rolls <drool>.

posted by flinty on Dec 30, 2010 at 10:31:29 pm     #  

6th_floor, I distincly recall the auto dealerships on Front Street; they were Brown Pontiac and Lownsbury Chevrolet. Bought my first car at Lownsbury, cost $2,100.

posted by flinty on Dec 30, 2010 at 10:37:20 pm     #