Twenty-five years ago, Sandusky acquired a number of empty stores on Columbus Avenue, including the J.C. Penney store, to spearhead downtown development. A three-story parking garage was eventually built on this land after demolishing the stores. We now had plenty of parking for fewer and fewer stores and shoppers. The garage did fill a large empty space at the main intersection of downtown, but no one could shop in it and it did not draw people.
More than 20 years ago, one of the first wave-action pools in Ohio was built on city property. It was hoped the pool would draw crowds to enjoy it and the entrance fee would help support city finances as well as maintain the pool. Several years passed and the pool became more of a liability than an asset and it had to be closed.
It has been said that history repeats itself. There is a need to step back and review again the reasons the city is considering building a number of high-rise residential buildings on irreplaceable public lands.
It is true the developers will be paying a price for these lands, but at what cost to the people of Sandusky? Is the loss of one of this city's most valuable assets a good trade off for walls of concrete and steel?
Proponents of the Marina District Project would have us believe that his project will revitalize the city. Will this project clear the empty crumbling factories no longer in use? Will this project help to sell all of the vacated homes throughout the city? Will this project bring many new businesses to our downtown area?