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Published: Saturday, 5/21/2005

Arena study to wait until mayor s return

A promised study on how and where to build a new Toledo sports and entertainment arena will have to wait until after Mayor Jack Ford returns Tuesday from a shopping center convention in Las Vegas.

Mr. Ford, who turned 58 Wednesday, said he agreed to delay the already-overdue report one more week because he would not have had the time yesterday to look at it. He said he was preparing for a three-day trip to the International Conference of Shopping Centers convention in Las Vegas, starting tomorrow.

Mr. Ford is leaving for the convention tomorrow and is scheduled to give a PowerPoint presentation at the convention on Monday on Toledo s use of information technology to issue building permits online. Joining Mr. Ford in Las Vegas will be Bill Carroll, the head of economic and community development. Mr. Ford said they have meetings slated with three or four parties considering retail development in Toledo.

City officials have been expecting the arena report for about two weeks.

Yesterday, Jim Russell, senior vice-president for development services for the Pizzuti Cos. in Columbus, said their study is basically finished. He said it s being held until the mayor s schedule clears in about 10 days. The location, size, financing, and parking arrangements for the proposed arena are key issues in how the 125-acre Marina District will be developed. Pizzuti is also still working on detailed plans for the Marina District.

The Marina District would fill formerly industrial land bounded by Main Street, the Maumee River, Front Street and the I-280 and Martin Luther King Jr. bridges. The developers have envisioned housing, commercial development, restaurants, and boating facilities, including a ferry terminal.

The city and the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority are nearing completion of a $6 million environmental cleanup of the Marina District site paid for by state funds.



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