Downtown Toledo Revitalization Case Study: The Berdan Building / by Matt Rubin

Downtown Toledo is making a roaring comeback. Fueled by consumer demand, public-private leadership and a flood of investment dollars, downtown apartment buildings are bursting at the seams, retail businesses are rushing to open their doors and companies are enthusiastic about the prospect of relocation to the city’s urban core.

There are several multi-million dollar projects leading downtown Toledo into this new age of vibrance and vitality. These projects are satisfying demand by bringing to life buildings which have sat vacant for decades.

The Berdan Building - 401 Washington Street

The Berdan Building is a sleeping giant in downtown Toledo. This grand, red brick, historical landmark is located across from the Mud Hen's Fifth Third Field in the heart of downtown Toledo's Warehouse District. The 130,000 sq. ft. site is a key development project designed to bring residents and new businesses to this vibrant neighborhood. 

Driven by the downtown market's razor-thin residential vacancy rates, this mixed use, 115-unit residential complex represents a tipping point for residential real estate downtown.  

Berdan Sketch.jpg

Built in the early 1900’s, the Berdan Building was originally a manufacturing and distribution hub for a major midwestern grocer. Since 1985, the building has sat empty but not forgotten. In 2013 the Berdan Building was sold to Michigan-based urban developers, Richard Karp and Kevin Prater, with plans to revive and repurpose the warehouse into a mixed use, retail, and 115-unit apartment complex (WTOL).

The renovation of the Berdan Building is well underway. One of the first steps of the rehab was a thorough deep clean of the exterior brick, bringing back the brilliance of the historic facade from decades of weathering. Recent efforts have focused inward with the buildout of unit walls and other interior framing.

The Berdan Building is just one of many revitalization efforts in the Warehouse District and once complete in 2017, will draw more residents and patrons to the downtown area.

Stay tuned for our third and final post of this series where we'll provide an overview of the crown jewel of downtown Toledo development, the ProMedica Downtown Campus project. Sign up for our email updates to receive the next post directly in your inbox and receive a FREE whitepaper about a vision for the 600 block of Adams Street.