Five development teams, including Fallen Timbers developer General Growth Properties Inc., have responded to Toledo's request for Marina District proposals.
Steve Best, Toledo real estate commissioner and Marina District project manager, said yesterday some or all of the firms would be invited for interviews, beginning about Oct. 11.
He said Mayor Jack Ford wants to move quickly to pick a developer, but he could not predict when that would happen.
All the proposals are for mixed-use projects of residential and commercial development, excluding, at least for now, consideration of a new arena.
The proposing companies are:
●General Growth Properties Inc., of Chicago.
The company is planning a 130-acre retail village called the Shops at Fallen Timbers near U.S. 24 and I-475/U.S. 23 in Maumee.
●Pizzuti Cos., Columbus.
●Labor-Management Fund Advisors LLC, Troy, Mich.
●TDC Enterprises Inc., Cincinnati.
●Transwestern Commercial Services Inc., Chicago.
Mr. Best said the next step is to find out if the companies are financially capable of moving forward.
He said the administration decided in early August not to seek fully developed proposals, but instead to ask developers to step forward and show their qualifications. He said the change in strategy was made at the request of business advisers and bankers in Toledo as a way of generating responses.
Don Monroe, executive director of the River East Economic Revitalization Corp., said: "I'm glad we're at this juncture and now we can move forward."
Council President Louis Escobar said he expects a task force or committee to be named to review the proposals, but he has heard little information about the developer search.
The 125-acre Marina District area is on the east side of the Maumee River, between the Martin Luther King Jr. and the I-280 bridges. The property includes the shuttered Acme Power Plant that would have to be razed or reused.
The city and the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority have received $6 million in state grants to clean up the property. Mr. Best said the environmental remediation is 19 months into a 30-month schedule. The foundation for a riverwalk already is being started, he said.
The Marina District development was conceived in 2000 as a $175 million development of residences, stores, restaurants, theaters, offices, hotels, and a marina.
But two developers have dropped out already, largely over the city's reluctance to take on large debt to finance a new arena.
The mayor's current approach is to separate the arena from the Marina District.
Mr. Ford has said he is waiting for a response from the University of Toledo on a proposal to jointly develop a new arena, possibly in the downtown rather than on the east side.
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