Despite headlines about the City of Toledo purchasing a portion of the property, this Blade story adds some reality to the prospects. (For more background, search this blog for 'Southwyck.')
Developers interviewed said the deal isn't any good without all the pieces. And it doesn't look like all the pieces will be in place any time soon - if ever. The scary part is the fact that Larry Dillin, the city's hand-picked developer for the property, has no comment on the city's plan to purchase and hold the portion of the mall for 30 days.
"Under the term's of the deal, the city would pay $1 million to the M.G. Herring Group of Dallas for the vacant Dillard's store site and an adjoining parking lot. The city would make the purchase with the intent of re-selling the property to its developer within 30 days.
But Robert Reinbolt, chief-of-staff for Mayor Carty Finkbeiner, said yesterday Mr. Dillin has not agreed to that.
The developer, he said, would prefer to delay the purchase until other pieces of the development are in place including finding tenants for the project and reaching agreement with Dillard's."
(Dillin, of course, sounding like the savvy business man that he is...)
This, alone, should give City Council some serious pause before they vote on the deal at today's council meeting. And it makes my question ('what happens if Dillin doesn't exercise his option in 30 days?') even more pertinent.
But, this is our mayor ... ready, shoot, aim. As Steve Serchuk, of Signature Associates, said, "You've either got something or you've got nothing. Currently, you got nothing. You have something when you get two pieces."
First, I don't think the city should be purchasing any portion of this land. They've picked a developer and Dillin should be the one to do the purchasing. But this being Toledo, if council members vote to do so, they should insist that any agreement to purchase is contingent upon acquiring the other portions of the mall AND they should have a signed commitment from Dillin before risking public dollars.
I can only hope that cooler minds prevail in this venture ... I'll update you after the vote.