TOLEDO, OH – The Lucas County Commissioners joined construction partners and business and community leaders to celebrate the grand opening of the new Glass City Center in Downtown Toledo on Thursday.
“The new ballroom and major renovations throughout the convention center spotlight Toledo as a top destination for conventions, fundraising events, competitions, exhibitions, and more,” Commissioner Pete Gerken said. “Planning for this $65 million project began years ago. We’re proud to have assembled the funding to make this a reality, and we are even more pleased with the results. Work began in 2020 and hundreds of dedicated, skilled workers have contributed to this beautiful renovated and expanded facility.”
“Enough cannot be said about the importance that public-private partnerships have played in transforming downtown Toledo into an increasingly popular destination for convention planners across the Midwest. In the past three years, we’ve seen the investment of over a billion dollars in new projects,” Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak said. “The rebirth of a downtown hotel into the Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites adjacent to Glass City Center was a $76 million project to add more than 300 luxury accommodations to the downtown. Combined with the Renaissance hotel just a few blocks down the street, Toledo now has over 550 first-class hotel rooms, which is critical in attracting Midwest conventions.”
“Glass City Center is a great reflection of our ongoing commitment to support projects that add value and enrich the quality of life in Lucas County and throughout the region,” Commissioner Gary L. Byers said. “Another element that sets it apart is the installation of $1.5 million in original artwork, adding a unique feature for convention centers. The Arts Commission of Toledo did a wonderful job of selecting the artists and works. We believe that this renovated and expanded convention center will bring continued growth, new spirit, energy, and pride to Toledo and the region.”
Formerly known as SeaGate Centre, the facility needed re-branding to reflect its new look and expanded capabilities. Toledo has long been recognized as the Glass Capital of the world, and ProMedica selected Glass City Center after obtaining naming rights in 2020 for support of this major community project.
“The need for an improved convention center was detailed in the Downtown Toledo Master Plan, and it has been exciting to watch it come to fruition,” said Randy Oostra, CEO of ProMedica. “The Glass City Center is an important development for our region, and we owe a big thanks to the Lucas County Commissioners, the developers, and all those individuals who helped make this collaborative project a reality.”
“This comprehensive expansion and renovation of our convention center is a true game-changer for not only Toledo, but the entire northwest Ohio region,” Steve Miller, general manager of Glass City Center and Huntington Center, said. “The elegant, all-new ballroom is the centerpiece, but every square inch of this amazing facility has been renovated. With technology that includes full fiber backbone and Cat 6 wiring, our digital capabilities can help us attract even video game expos and competitions.”
The Glass City Center expansion includes a new 16,000-square-foot ballroom that can seat over 900 people for dinner and other events, and includes a large outdoor terrace overlooking Monroe Street with sweeping views of Fifth Third Field and the Hensville entertainment district. The ballroom is the new centerpiece of the Glass City Center, and is dividable into three separate rooms, offering high technology and lighting effects. There is a pre-function space outside the ballroom and expansive new restrooms are located nearby in the adjoining corridor.
The $67.5 million construction project also included the installation of 32,000 square feet of new glass to replace the exterior glass panels on the convention center and new windows for the ballroom addition, terrace, and stairwell on Monroe Street.
The 75,000-square-foot exhibit hall on the main floor of the center has been refreshed with new lighting and paint, and conference rooms on the upper floors have been renovated with new lighting, carpeting, paint, and wireless capabilities
In partnership with The Arts Commission, the Lucas County Commissioners have integrated $1.5 million in art throughout the new Glass City Center, building upon our communities’ strong tradition of art in public places. More than a dozen pieces are included in the art installations, and range from Erwin Redl’s “Ladder of Light” in the multi-level stairwell on the Monroe Street entrance to a mural on the Summit Street lobby by local artists Yusef Lateef and Rachel Richardson that pays homage to Toledo’s jazz heritage.
Other renovation details include the use of 1,500 gallons of wall paint, 240 lineal yards of wall coverings, and new carpeting covering 120,000 square feet of floor space throughout new and existing areas of the building.