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Wednesday, July 30, 2014
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Published: Sunday, 7/23/2006

Marina District has right leader in Dillin

Seven molasses-coated Lemmon Drops to nibble on while waiting for Suri Cruise's first public appearance:

  • The good thing about developer Larry Dillin, who is quickly turning into northwest Ohio's version of Donald Trump, is that he doesn't name everything after himself.

    If Mr. Trump and Mr. Dillin had traded projects in recent years, we'd have Trump Commons (instead of Levis Commons) and Trump Village at Southwyck (instead of The Village at Southwyck).

    But Mr. Dillin does have a naming clunker in his past: Esplanade at River East.

    OK, so he is associated with that head-scratcher of a name for the Marina District only because he was part of a development team that was led by Bruce Douglas.

    Now, in what feels like a back-to-the-future twist, Mr. Dillin is the master developer of the Marina District.

    He is the Marina District's fifth developer since 2000. I won't be surprised if he's the final one.

    A decade down the road, Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner's decision to have Mr. Dillin lead the $150 million project will be viewed as a home run. A grand slam.

    In real time, though, the community's reaction was subdued. There was no sense of exuberance, even though the project has the potential to transform Toledo into one of those trendy "hot" cities.

    In Toledo, grains of salt are the size of eggs. So many ambitious proposals, so many disappointments. The 125-acre Marina District has become the land of empty promises.

    Mr. Dillin says the right things. ("What happens in the Marina District now is going to define Toledo for several decades to come," he said at Tuesday's news conference.) And, as he proved with Levis Commons, he does the right thing.

    He's just what the Marina District needed.

    More than that, he's just what Toledo needed.

  • While I concede to the "money talks" element Chuck and Jackie Sullivan plan to donate $6 million to the University of Toledo, with $5 million earmarked for improvements of Savage Hall playing in a state-of-the-art downtown arena would have been a quicker route to the next level for the school's basketball programs. I mean, it's not like they play before capacity crowds on campus.

  • The Toledo metro area's retailing community seemed to handle the addition of three Wal-Mart stores without much problem. Now, let's see how it handles the arrival of three Wal-Mart Supercenters the first of which opened last week in Holland.

  • If some obscure magazine comes out with a "Cities with the Best Synchronized Stoplights" list, Toledo had better be on it.

    I have a greater appreciation for Toledo's synchronization every time I drive to Indiana via U.S. 24. I don't think I've ever made it through Waterville or Antwerp without having to stop.

  • Danny Thomas Toledo Express Airport? If we are going to change the name, we might want to think about dropping the "Toledo Express" part.

  • Rossford High School is making drug tests mandatory for students who want to participate in athletics or extracurricular activities. I can't see it passing the "cost vs. rewards" test.

  • You know a politician is getting desperate when he or she uses 9/11 images against an opponent in television ads.

    Take U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine, for example.



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