Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Purchase of Southwyck? Reality sets in

Well, as I've been saying all along, Southwyck is owned by private individuals and, until those people want to do something with this empty mall, nothing can happen.

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.


Chad Quigley said...

Money Pit with vipers

Roo said...

Ahh - the fine art of speculating ---- while using taxpayer money.

Why would anyone want to buy a piece of pie that can't be cut away from the pie itself? Pure lunacy.

No reasonable person (I know, that term does not fit this situation) would NEVER agree to this. I don't care what Dillard's promised. If the other owners of Southwyck are not prepared to sell, then having a corner of an abandoned property is useless.

I don't blame Dillin. He is a businessman, and he runs his business like a business. For him to hesitate at jumping in on this is only prudent. Carty should leave development to developers.

And City Council should remember that we have major budget deficits looming (again) and there is no urgent need at this point to jump on this bandwagon.

Just my $.02.

Tim Higgins said...


Is anybody asking "Where is the money coming from?" Council just approved money for the MLK bridge, the Erie Street Market is in the red, who know's what's going to happen with COSI, and city infrastructure still needs a major overhaul. All of this during a period that show Toledo cash short. Why are we in such a hurry to spend money that we don't have on projects that don't need to happen NOW? The body that was Southwyk Mall is barely cold, and the city seems intent on burying it and moving on.

Maybe our Mayor and City Council could use some impulse control therapy?

Robin said...

Another thing that just doesn't make any sense to me. The city has no business buying this property. It would be cool if another developer came in and snaked the offer. LOL!

Black Swamp Road Geek said...

How about putting those capital improvement dollars to resurfacing Southwyck Boulevard....Oh wait, that is what those dollars are for so Toledo can't do that

No wonder the streets in Toledo are so bad

Hooda Thunkit said...

"I can only hope that cooler minds prevail in this venture"

On Toledo City Council?

I sincerely doubt it!

There's hardly a backbone/spine amongst them...

In the end Larry and our "beloved" mayor (gag) will grab all of the glory, while we get stuck holding the bag again. . .

Does anybody out there know what the going kickback is on a $1 mil. "deal" these days?

Just wondering...

Brian Maxson said...


I wasn't going to say Ed Bergsmark and Beacon Place and 10,000 "reported" dollars have absolutely nothing to do with today's development and real estate transactions environment.

There are laws now, remember?

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