Bell ‘extremely confident’ in potential Marina District dealWritten by Zach Davis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Toledo Mayor Mike Bell confirmed Dashing Pacific Group’s strong interest on May 27 of purchasing part of the Marina District. Bell returned from his 10-day trip to China just 90 minutes before addressing the press of the foreign company’s interest in the land.
“I am extremely confident this [deal] will go through,” Bell said. “We cannot afford from where we came from not to change and not to look at different ways of doing business.
“I believe it was a very successful trade mission from the standpoint of being able to make business contacts that we didn’t have before.”
Dashing Pacific has resubmitted a letter stating their interest in purchasing part of Marina District, as well as an option on up to 22 acres of land. Their first offer they made earlier this year was $3.8 million for 69 acres.
A council meeting on Tuesday will begin the process of approving the purchase, which Bell estimates will take around 30-45 days.
The opportunity to deal with a foreign buyer is something Bell feels is a unique experience that will benefit the City. He made it clear that it’s not just about selling the land to just anyone, but to the best suitor.
“Selling that land is not a problem,” Bell said. “We could sell it like that if that’s what we wanted to do, but [we want] somebody that wants to productively put something on it. They are prepared to put $200-300 million of their own money into it. We haven’t seen a plan come across my desk like that.
“What I’m definitely concerned about is somebody buying the land, locking it up and then it stays an eyesore to our City for the next 23 years and somebody holds it hostage the whole time. I’m not going to let that happen as long as I’m here.”
Bell also expressed interest in moving the deal along as quickly as possible. He learned that Dashing Pacific had already entertained two other groups from the U.S. including the University of Indiana and Michigan while on his trip.
“It is important that what we realize is what we won’t do someone else will,” Bell said. “If there are other cities over there that beat us, that’s an issue for us.”