By Joshua Benton
Blade Staff Writer
When Denise Williams moved from Houston to Toledo in October, she had one goal in mind: to shorten her job commute.
“I lived 27 miles from my job in Houston, and the commute was 1 1/2 or two hours each way,” Ms. Williams said.
When she landed a job at Owens Corning’s headquarters downtown, she was determined to live close by.
So on Dec. 19, she became one of the first tenants in the “crown jewel” of downtown Toledo, the Commodore Perry Apartments.
The Perry was once Toledo’s grandest hotel, for decades home to visiting dignitaries. But the building, which is at Superior Street and Jefferson Avenue, had been shuttered since the 1980s until the Smallridge Co. began renovating it this year.
The 16th and 17th floors of the building opened to tenants Dec. 19, while workers continue fixing up the other 10 floors of apartments. Lower floors will be reserved for office and retail space.
Seventeen of the 24 units on the top two floors have been filled.
Jodi LaPlante, the building’s marketing manager, said most of the tenants have been young professionals age 25 to 45, but some senior citizens have made the building their home.
Rents range from $560 for a 650-square-foot one-bedroom apartment, to $890 for a two-bedroom with 1,340 square feet.
For Ms. Williams, choosing where to live was easy.
“When I visited, even though it was still being worked on, I could tell this was the place to be,” said 27-year-old Ms. Williams, who does internal audits for OC.
After her horrific commuting experience in Houston, she knew she wanted to be close to work. It does not get much closer than the four blocks from her apartment to OC.
“Now I’m spoiled. I’m just tired of driving,” she said.
She also liked the price: “Only in Toledo can you afford to live in a high-rise with this kind of view.” Her apartment overlooks the Maumee River, and she said the July 4 fireworks should be quite a show.
She said none of her OC colleagues have joined her in the building, but she’s doing her best to convince them.
“I’m trying to get them to know,” she said. “I think they’re all from around here, so they’re used to the suburban life and don’t want to live in the city.”
Ms. LaPlante said the 15th floor should open in mid-January, followed by additional floors opening until the grand opening sometime in the spring.