There is a community within the community of Northwood arising on the grounds once occupied by the Woodville Mall.

The Enclave is planned as a mixed use development that exemplifies Austrian Economist Joseph Schumpeter’s conclusion that capitalism is a process of “creative destruction” (“The Enclave takes shape in Northwood,” Sunday).

Woodville Mall was an innovative retail development when it debuted in 1969 as the first fully enclosed shopping complex in Greater Toledo. Now, the Enclave at the 120-acre site acquired by Northwood upon the mall’s bankruptcy promises an exciting rebirth. 

A $9 million community center will give Northwood 26,000 square feet of gathering space for events and a state of the art health and recreation

facility. Similar facilities have become a well-used attraction for their community and the same outcome is likely for Northwood. 

The combination of single-family, townhomes, an apartment complex, and senior living facility create housing options for residents in every stage of life. Moreover, professional offices will create employment possibilities. 

Northwood officials expect nearby employers First Solar and Amazon to create demand for housing in the Enclave. 

Designation as a community reinvestment area provides a 100 percent tax abatement for 15 years, adding momentum to the development. 

Proximity to I-75 and I-280 made development of the old Woodville Mall site inevitable. But Northwood city officials were wise to solicit and listen to citizen input that rated the mixed use development far ahead of industrial, warehouse, office or retail reuse.

From blight to delight in Northwood with civic will and a plan that meets a market-based need promises to be both a positive repurposing of the Woodville Mall property and an major improvement to the quality of life for the entire city.