The COVID-19 pandemic brought many projects to halt, but it was no match for the city’s development, Toledo’s deputy director of economic development said.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Thursday marked the official grand opening of the Hilton Hotel in downtown Toledo, which is expected to be a gamechanger for the area.

At the corner of Monroe and Summit streets, the hotel consists of two brands under one roof. The Hilton Garden Inn is for standard travel, and Homewood Suites is for extended stays. It also includes the Napa restaurant that’s brought in business for the past couple months too.

This is just one of several other planned developments in the area.

The renovated Glass City Center is set to open in September and Detroit’s Bobcat Bonnie’s will be opening a location on Summit Street.

There’s also the Four Corners Project set for more urban real estate at the historic buildings on Madison Avenue and Huron Street.

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Sandy Spang, the deputy director of economic development for Toledo, said development downtown signifies increasing interest in the area.

“We’re seeing so much development, so much interest in downtown,” she said.” We’re also seeing development happening all along the riverfront where the Glass City River Walk is.”

The COVID-19 pandemic brought many projects to halt, but Spang said it was no match for the city’s development.

“COVID did not stop the development of downtown, so we’re seeing new businesses, new amenities to downtown,” she said.

It’s not just about getting brick-and-mortar businesses to set up shop, Spang said. The memorable experiences they provide to those who patronize them is what matters.

“Even today, when retailers think about opening new locations, they often include experiences with it,” she said. “So, I think people want to be able to come downtown and have interesting experiences.”

Spang is optimistic about the outlook for downtown’s new developments.

She said each addition brings more jobs too.

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