Toledo Marina District July 2008 Update
July 16, 2008 Toledo Blade story :
July 16/17, 2008 WSPD story :
July 18, 2008 WSPD story :
The city is waiting for Developer Larry Dillin to secure a letter of credit to back the city-issed bonds for the project, a major concern for city councilman Mike Collins. Councilman Mike Craig, who represents the district where the project is planned, is confident that the funding will soon be put in place.
Meanwhile, crews tore down the former Brenner Marine building, which is the final step in clearing the riverfront land for a park.
July 17, 2008 Thurber's Thoughts blog posting titled Why Toledo City Council didn't approve the Marina District financing :
The new development agreement requires that Dillin submit to the city "an acceptable construction Letter of Credit (LOC) in the amount of at least $8.3 million" at or prior to closing. But it also includes this wording: "... Developer shall provide to the City the financial institution's commitment to issue the LOC prior to passage of the legislation ..."
As we learned in Mayor Carty Finkbeiner's press conference yesterday, Dillin has not been successful in getting a letter of credit from any Ohio bank and is now looking at foreign banks and investors, due to the credit conditions in the States. If he had to provide the LOC prior to closing, council could have passed the legislation committing $10 million in public funds to the construction of infrastructure and the park. However, since Dillin has to provide evidence of a financial institution's commitment to a LOC prior to passage of the legislation, council postponed the vote Tuesday with no explanation.
It should be clear that the reason for the delay is because Dillin doesn't have such a commitment.
Aug 22, 2008 - WNWO - Marina District Project in Jeopardy? :
Phase one would put a road through the property. Phase two would include the construction of the river side park. And phase three would include internal roads for stores and housing. Dillin says this will move the project along faster. "So we can accept the bids, get the work started this construction season. Try to get the road built before the end of the year.", Dillin says.
But Councilman Frank Szollosi isn't so sure about the plan. "There's no sense at this point building a road to nowhere", Szollosi says, "If the market doesn't think it can make money on the Marina District, why should the city of Toledo think it can make money on the Marina District?"
Aug 25, 2008 - WSPD - City Council to Vote on Revised Marina Plan :
Just a month after Toledo city council approved one financing plan to jumpstart the Marina District project...they'll vote on a revised proposal. Council president Mark Sobczak is ready to vote yes on whatever it takes. Council members George Sarantou and Betty Shultz also appear ready to approve the plan.
Councilman Frank Szollosi, however, is skeptical, because the revised plan would require more public funding. It's unclear how the vote will turn out because only half the council members showed up for a committee hearing last week spelling out the new plan.
Audio quote by Betty Shultz :
"The mistake that we stand to make if we do not go forward with this is that the city dies."
Toledo politicians must be taking oratory lessons from Opal Covey.
Jul 27, 2005 Toledo Free Press story about Covey who was running for mayor of Toledo :
Feb 25, 2008 Toledo Blade story where Toledo City Councilwoman Wilma Brown expressed concern about the possibility of Toledo's 25-year-old temporary 3/4 percent tax levy failing to pass on March 4 :
I don't understand why Betty Shultz feels the Marina District project is vital to Toledo. After all, we have flowers. In the spring of 2007, Toledo City Council voted to waste taxpayer money on flowers at entryways into Toledo.
Aug 27, 2008 - Toledo Blade - Retooled Marina plan gets council approval :
Councilmen Frank Szollosi and Michael Ashford voted no on both ordinances. Mr. Ashford initially voted yes on the ordinance approving the loan, but later asked for a re-vote and voted no.
Mr. Dillin said the publicly funded roadway and park will be the catalyst for what eventually will be a $320 million private residential and commercial development. Mr. Dillin, who offered a personal guarantee to repay loans for the Marina District, told council he would walk away from the project if his personal financial information was made public.
Under the plan, $6.86 million will be assembled for construction of a Riverside Drive, extending along the river north from Main Street.
The money will come from a $1.5 million grant from the Ohio Department of Development, the $3.5 million loan from the State Infrastructure Bank to be repaid by Mr. Dillin, a $660,000 grant, and $1.2 million paid by Mr. Dillin for at least 14.66 acres in the southwest quadrant of the Marina District.
The remaining $11.3 million that will pay for the public park, which is to have fountains, a clock tower, performance space, and boat docks, will be funded with $5 million from the Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission, $2.5 million in 20-year general obligation bonds from the city paid by special assessments on Mr. Dillin's property, the $2.4 million from the land purchase by Mr. Dillin, and an additional $1.4 million from Mr. Dillin.
The city already has spent $1.84 million for water and sewer infrastructure at the Marina District - bringing the total to $20 million.
In other business last night, council:
- Approved a $1.5 million U.S. Environmental Protection Agency brownfield loan to the owners of the vacant Southwyck Shopping Center for asbestos removal and to demolish it by the end of the year.