A weekend story in The Blade indicated that the Empire Building in Shenzhen, China, atop of which Mayor Mike Bell stood proudly, was developed by Wu King Hung, one of two alleged developers who want to buy more Marina District land. In fact the facility was developed by the Chun Hing Group for which no further information is available on line or otherwise. Strange that the , at the time, developer of the largest building in the city, has no webpage or other info available. One should be very wary of the claims made by Dashing Pacific and its supporters.
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My God, why are some people looking a gift-horse in the mouth? These Chinese guys want to spend their money here. What's the problem with Toledoans that they have to make sure they're not parting with property that NOBODY else wants or has the money to develop (including Toledoans)? I really don't understand some people in this town. This town and state is really going down with attitudes like this one. Toledo or Ohio, in general, will never go anywhere with this mindset.
What? You mean what the Blade printed about some developers in China that may or may not have built some building in china can't be found by someone in Toledo on the internet?
I hope you've filed a complaint with the FBI, the CIA, the TFA, and the homeland security departments. This sounds really, really cereal.
I'll bet that if you do a search on campaign promises by politicians, you'll find nothing also.
Max, are you expecting an English website for your easy-reading convenience? People in other countries (esp. repressive ones) are not as open with their personal or business information as we can be in America. I think we have a great future as a place for successful foreign people to invest money outside their own borders. Think of Toledo as a rusty, decaying Swiss bank for new capitalists.
Have you looked into their birth certificates?
I will never understand people who bitch about Chinese investment. They are spending US Dollars, are they not? Besides, there is an easy way to keep the Chinese from buying property here; open your wallet up and outbid them. If you are unwilling or unable to do so, shut the hell up and get out of the way.
Who is paying for the big dipper to travel to china and back for the benefit of his re-election? Anyone know? For sure?
open your wallet up and outbid them
There were two other bids, both of them higher, but heaven forbid, one of them was that evil union, bell would rather sell to a communist country than people right here in Toledo.
tm2 - where is a link to those bids? i would love to read about them.
TM2- the union bid was for a dollar more and for the entire property not just the part the Chinese had bid on so the Union bid was not even close to being a better offer, nor did they actually have the financing in place to make the deal, nor did they have any type of plan. The second bid was possibly better $7+ mill, for the entire property but again not sure financing is in place, or a plan in place. Also I don't think either was actually a binding bid, but rather an interest to bid.
Regardless if they had a plan in place at the moment shouldn't really matter. I personally don't believe that we should sell our waterfront to a foreign communist country. That's just my opinion.
I'm worried what will happen to it if the Chinese gets their hands on it. Are the people of Toledo going to still have access to it or will it simply be for the people who live in the condo's they plan on building?
Lots of people are hanging out there now - wouldn't want to destroy that. Huh? tm2 maybe they will dig it up and take it back to China?
"Are the people of Toledo going to still have access to it or will it simply be for the people who live in the condo's they plan on building?"
tm2 - are you suggesting that all of TT should have access to your backyard to hold a BBQ whenever it strikes our fancy?
tm2 - are you suggesting that all of TT should have access to your backyard to hold a BBQ whenever it strikes our fancy?
My backyard isn't public property.
Damn i thought i was on TT not swampbubbles. Forgive me for giving a shit of what might happen to our riverfront.
If they build condos, their backyard won't be public property either. What's your point?
Once they sell it - it is my assumption that it is no longer public property either - correct?
Wow...I still can't believe how narrow minded this area really is. While I can see the reluctance to sell our "prized" waterfront to foreign investors, who the heck is doing it now? Who's to say a domestic entity wouldn't build condos, etc. and not have public access? This area needs to realize the economy is global now. A great way to get investment is go abroad and get foreign companies who want a US presence to set up shop here in Toledo. I think I read where one of the DPG members helped build one of the largest buildings in Shenzhen. Why not get enough interest in building one on that side of the river? I'm not saying a bazillion feet, but what about a couple hundred and modern. I understand there is open space currently in the Fiberglass Tower and others, but maybe this could lead to other things like filling that up. I guess I'm just dreaming big as I'd love to see a few big buildings on that side of the river too. There could be a mix of retail and toursity type stuff.
Maybe I'm crazy, but I think this type of trip is exactly what Toledo needs. I think we should have more delegations like this going out and selling our city as a great place to set up US operations. The cost is fairly cheap, we have easy access to the transportation systems, and we have great access to younger professionals with great universities in the area. You know one thing that is lost in this that a lot of people don't understand - People do business with people they LIKE. How can you get people to like you when you are just sitting on your arse waiting for someone to come to you? I'm very intrigued by trips like this and would love to be on one of these delegations...need people who are excited about this area.
Ya know...going back to my dream big comment - why not pitch Toledo for the new home for Sears? They are unhappy with the corporate culture in Illinois so why not say - hey..we have a ton of land if you want to build or you could have the Fiberglass Tower the way you want it for a fairly cheap rate. Just a thought...again, maybe I'm crazy.
This area isn't going to get any better just sitting around and not doing anything. Despite what some people think, we are not the center of the universe and we aren't entitled to anything. This area is only what the community makes it. If the community wants to make it better, then act - like what they are doing right now.
AV, you do make some interesting points. Maybe I'm just being overly paranoid.
tm2- the last time someone built condos on the river seemed to workout OK. Oh wait the City filed eminenent domain and let a a private business build their headquarters there. As for the Chinese let them build Condos at least we would get the property taxes from them.
prized water front - actually, it is. i've said it before but it may be the best thing carty accidently did. other than the national economy and the low-burning coruption that is toledo politics, the marina district will prove to have been a good idea. granted, the road to nowhere is a relatively small though very prominent mistake used to pillory (sp?) the whole project.
i agree with AV - with certain due diligence provisions, why would we care who develops it? given dearth of open office space and the limited need for retail it seems logical that it should be primarily upscale reisdential - residential creates the demand for other uses and can help to re-occupy downtown - but that is a developer decision based on input from the plan commission and market studies.
these delegations are why marco polo went east and the spanish sailed west - yes, it is good business for toledo. it will also add to the conversion of china to a market economy and eventually a democracy - though that may be a very painful birth for them and the world. and the big idea of sears coming here, or some such entity, is not outrageous at all - glass autos bikes and oil production all came here from other places at one time.
"Our" riverfront is currently not much more than a repository for washed up dead fish and flotsam and jetsom.
But for the occassional big event on the downtown waterfront, it goes largely unused. I can't tell you how many times I've driven down Summit St. - any time of year but I'm referring mainly to the warm weather seasons - looked down onto Promenade Park and see absolutely nothing going on.
Toledo doesn't utilize its precious waterfront, it wastes it - and it's a damn shame.
I was in Akron and Cleveland this past Saturday and was pleasantly amazed at the hussle-bussle going on in both cities. Akron, of all places, has seen a re-birth and it appears to going well. In my conversations with some locals, it sounds like the situation in Akron (rust belt city with major employers going by-by) was (maybe still is) much like Toledo. Sounds like the political climate there was much the same too. Apparently, they've found a way to overcome it and make things work again. I'm not so sure Toledo ever will.
On a slightly different note, we attended the final performance of Cirque de Soleil last night. It was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen in my life. We were very surprised to see how few were in attendance. The ushers told us that sadly nearly all of the performances were not well attended. Again, what a shame. A world class event in our own backyard and relatively few go. I admit the tickets were a bit pricey but a price we gladly paid for such a phenomenal and (for us anyway) likely a once in a lifetime opportunity.
AV is comes from the one track thinking of the "Union Way". It's the only rail this town has ever ran on and if you tried something else you got ran over. The world has moved on from the Union Way, sadly Toledo is still grasping at past success trying to figure out why what was good in 1973 doesn't work in 2011.
The world rolls forward every day at an astounding pace and Toledo is still doing a card check.
Some interesting points here and dbw, you've stolen my thunder a bit, in a good way, because I am glad it was brought up. I am not a native to the area, so I'm seeing this city with foreign eyes myself. I truly am a believer that paradigms and thought processes can change over time. After all, look what happens to us from childhood through adulthood. In terms of this city, and others in our Rust Belt region, one word seems to speak to me: Evolve. For Toledo, this means the need to evolve, but many seem quite afraid of the word. I don't go around quoting authors much, but I stumbled across one, Mike Mahler, who mentioned five reasons that people failed to evolve.
1. Many people fail to evolve due to self-destructive addictive personalities.
2. Another reason why people fail to evolve is they spend too much time talking about personal traumas and not enough time taking empowering actions.
3. People often fail to evolve because their perception of life, whether conscious or unconscious, is too comfortable.
4. Many people fail to evolve as they donít value opportunities.
5. Some of our beliefs often prevent us from evolving.
So, it's a bit of a shame that some (notice I said some, not all) people in this area are afraid to adapt with societal, hell, global paradigm shifts and would rather live life in a box.
djimpelr: Your objective observations are dead on. However, I've been in Toledo since 1980 - waiting for that evolution. When I first came here, downtown was just completing a major metamorphosis and a lot of people thought all those shiny new buildings downtown would equate to a wonderful future for Toledo. That did not happen - largely due to reasons you outline above.
When I came here, I could not figure out why Toledo wasn't a booming metropolis with all of it's geographic assets. It took me some time to figure out exactly why. But I did. Quite simply, it's the people. The majority seem content with the status quo - and will fight tooth and nail to maintain it. And they've succeeded in doing so.
So here sits Toledo in all of its non-evolving, anti-business and progress splendor. Slowly but surely dying on the vine. Shrinking in population year after year. Neighborhoods in continuing decline, vacant homes everywhere - including the "nice" neighborhoods. Oh, we have some very attractive attributes that everyone is well aware of. But when there is no one left here who can afford to patronize them, then what?
It isn't too late. If Toledo were to evolve, all of those geographic assets are still in place. Toledo's potential is limited only by its population - the majority of whom seem content with the aforementioned status quo.
After 31 years, I still see politics and anti-business as usual. Actually, both seem to have gotten worse - or at least the perception of them has. And, for someone looking at Toledo as a potential location for their business, perception is reality.
But Foodie and djimper when the going gets tough and when the time comes for hard choices our established leadership shits their pants. Ask why Ms. Webb had to use the restroom when the future of our city services was on the line? Could it be the pressure caused her to have a moment of bowel weakness? She doesn't have the stomach to make such tough choices it seems. Isn't it funny how she claims to be for the "working man" but has never had a real job in her whole life? Look up her bio, it's one taxpayer funded scam to the next.
But her and other union reps are bought and paid for buffoons who will not only get elected because they stand on a podium and scream "union" and "middle class" but they will get raises and promotions see Edna Brown, Teresa Fedor, D. Micheal Collins. Doesn't matter to most people in Toledo that the ship is going down, just as long as it says "SS Local" on the side everything is good in T Town.
You'll get no argument from me dbw. Ms. Webb is the council person for my district and I believe she's about as useful as a screen door on a submarine.
At first, I was concerned about the Chinese investors because many Chinese companies are owned by the Chinese government - or have them as a majority partner. My personal preference is not to sell our land to a foreign government.
However, after doing research, I learned that Dashing Pacific does not have the Chinese government as a partner or owner, etc... so my concerns evaporated.
As it stands now, I don't really care what they put on the location, so long as they put something and make money from it. If they make money, there will be tax income to the city, county and state and we will all benefit. That shouldn't be a problem for anyone.
A bigger problem than anything so far discussed is the machinations of our city council which send strong anti-business messages to potential developers, giving our area a negative reputation for anyone who might even remotely think they'd want to invest here.
As for the waterfront, there are deed restrictions already in place for the actual waterfront portion of the Marina District, ensuring that the public access to the water remains, regardless of what is built there. But I will agree with an earlier post that the actual riverfront area is, especially at this time of the year, inundated with flotsom and dead fish. That's not always the case, but with the heavy rains we've had, it's especially bad this year - not just in the downtown river, but all along the edges of the river and the lake.
And to add to the other comments about the lack of ability of Toledoans to change...well, I've said for a long time: Toledo is like a drug addict - It hasn't hit rock bottom yet to know it needs to change.
Recently on the marina district property, I watched a Northern Mockingbird sing its comical repertoire of songbird impersonations. So something positive is finally happening with that land. Killdeer and Song Sparrows are also using the marina district property. Nature has moved in, but the birds won't pay taxes.
uh oh jr, maybe this is why the chinese wanted to buy the property! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bird's_nest_soup
The Chinese like their bird's nests. China hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics. The Beijing National Stadium was nicknamed the Bird's Nest.
I made the original post when I was in doubt that the delegation was getting the straight story about who built what. My fear was that the Dashing folks were pointing and saying "We built that" without any proof that they really did, or that they were not financed by the government. If Maggie has found solid proof that they are on the up and up, I will buy that as her creds are OK with me. Now the problem may be that some exotic bird will take up residence on the property and prohibit building there. Damn.
Congratulations to all of you who realize that we now live in world thatís driven by a global economy, the USA can still be a major player, however, for those who believe major manufacturing will return to this area; sorry itís not going to happen. Manufacturing now demands employees with technical skills and a team attitude, the days of high school dropouts working for big money with no skills and union protection are over. If you need proof look at Honda, Toyota and BMW who have established successful non-union plants in this county.
I personally think it's a foolish idea to build an office tower at the marina district. However, the Chinese should be welcomed here to lose their money as equally as others.
Downtown Toledo already has more than enough vacancies. Entire buildings are vacant. Increasing office square footage nearby, across the river, will increase that problem.
Retail outlets, at the location are a worse idea than an office park.
Keep in mind, this property has been vacant for many years. If a great deal of money could be made building there, something already would have been built at the site.
These days the area of Front & Main is more likened to being skid row than anything else.
I don't believe the Chinese are really interested in building manufacturing facilities here. Too many unions, high costs, and regulations, etc. However, if Toledo could land the medical research facility, that would be fantastic news for the entire region.
Sorry folks, its too late. Toledo is dying on the vine. The incompetent, crooked and low IQ leaders that have been running this town the last thirty years have let this decline get to far. Get out while you can.
It will only get worse around here.
PS: Don't forget to vote for the 3/4% tax again like good little lemmings!
Geez....Just when I started to feel OK about the Chinese "Investors", Ms. Yuan, "Tina" at parties, signs her name another way. Now she is Juen Siu Hung. The Blade says she would answer no questions while with Mayor Bell, because her translator wasn't present. Makes you wonder how the Mayor communicated doesn't it. Maybe her translator is the same "handler" who booted Channel 13 from the story they were doing at the square.
Don't put any stock into the fact that they don't have a descriptive website. We're talking about China, where you literally cannot log into facebook while you're there. Google has to go through all kinds of loopholes to operate. They're extremely censored, so not having a lot on your website is not cause for alarm like it would be here.
TFP just posted an article too: http://www.toledofreepress.com/2011/05/27/bell-extremely-confident-in-potential-marina-district-deal/
In the Toledo Free Press story that upso linked to above, Mayor Bell is quoted as saying about the Chinese investors/developers:
Maybe not across Bell's desk, but similar Marina District proposals have wafted across the desks of others, especially if adjusted to today's costs.
2. In 2003 on Mayor Ford's desk, a plan from developer Bruce Douglas with an unknown cost, but it was probably more than 100 bucks.
The Marina District, which the Douglas proposal calls "Esplanade at River East," would be built on the east bank of the Maumee River between the Martin Luther King, Jr., and I-280 bridges.The Douglas proposal would include 1,100 housing units; the arena; neighborhood retail stores; a marina; a commercial/entertainment center, and a 16-foot-wide riverfront walkway, or esplanade, dotted with restaurants. The 8,100 to 10,000-seat arena would cost $63.9 million and could be done in two years, according to AMC/Hunt Groupís proposal.
4. In 2006, on Carty III's desk, a $150 million plan from Larry Dillin
Apr 10, 2011 Toledo Blade story titled Marina District proposals swirled for a dozen years :
I still cannot understand why a business group planning to earn profits would want to build retail in that part of town. Regardless, one has to be impressed with the NY Times article. Now they are even talking about building some single-family homes in the area? Is the 5,000-seat amphitheater still part of the master plan?
Whether or not this all flops upon completion, Toledo at least will look nicer from those driving along I-280.
I posted this artilcle because it draws attention to the fact that someone wants to invest in this town at a level greater than any other town outside of NYC, and our idiot gov't is too stupid to let them. Leave them alone and let them build whatever they want.
The most impressive thing about the currant Chinese proposal vs the ones mentioned by Jr, is that the Chinese don't appear to be wanting loans from the city, or tax credits, or abatements. Every other proposal I have ever seen dealing with downtown Toledo was by businesses who were willing to do the development and make any available profit as long as they didn't encumber all the risk. How many "developments downtown is the city still paying on because the development was a good deal for the developers but screwed the city.
Your police department guards a rock against vandalism:
There's so many buildings tagged in the city, some of which could almost qualify for Mandarin.
I have no problem with the mayor ordering TPD to watch a rock that is very symbolic to those willing to invest millions into our local economy. I am very optimistic about enjoying the Marina District in a few years.
The Blah is just sensationalizing the issue; as if one more officer on the street would have prevented any of the shootings over the weekend. We all know that officers only show up AFTER the shooting occurs.
...as if one more officer on the street would have prevented any of the shootings over the weekend.
BTW, does it seem like we are having a gang war with all these drive bys and middle-of-the-street shootings recently...only nobody wants to call it that?
OHT, I have heard the recent arrest of several large drug dealers in town is responsible for the violence, as others rush in to fill their shoes and territorial disputes arise. But it could just be hearsay.
Give em all guns and a nice place out in swanton to shoot at each other.