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Published: 10/11/2007

Developer Dillin unveils 'urbanized' version of Marina District

BY TOM TROY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Artist's rendering of marina. Artist's rendering of marina.
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Amother view of marina rendering. Amother view of marina rendering.
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Saying he was investing his own money, as well as that of a partner, Larry Dillin unveiled an urbanized version of the Marina District on Thursday and promised that work will start in the spring on the first 550 rental and for-sale homes.

Mr. Dillin said $75 million would be invested an improvement on the $50 million he committed to earlier in the year.

Mr. Dillin will build four-story apartment buildings with office and retail space, while business partners and brothers Alan and Wayne Nowakowski will build three-story rowhouse townhomes for sale.

Prices could start as low as $125,000 for a purchased building. Work on the so-called vertical development would start in 2008, with units ready for occupany in 2009.

Mr. Dillin s announcement, in an office building overlooking the Marina District and with Mayor Carty Finkbeiner and other dignitaries present, heralds the first planned investment of private funds in the long-awaited riverfront project.

Conceived in 2000, the Marina District has been largely cleaned of environmental pollution, except for the large former Toledo Edison power plant. The city has built a boat marina, and the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority is nearing completion of a $3.1 million marine passenger terminal adjacent to the boat marina.

Mr. Dillin s project builds on a $10 million city investment in a proposed riverside street and park designed to show off the investor potential and demonstrate that the city is serious about the project.

The layout of the project has changed slightly since an earlier version in October. Mr. Dillin said the project is more urban, with more housing density and less open parking. It will center on a riverfront plaza, have more connections with the Garfield neighborhood across Front Street, and will include what he called an urban beach next to the river.

The city is deeding over to Mr. Dillin a 65-acre section of the Marina District in exchange for his commitment to follow through on at least $50 million in private investment.

The 125-acre proposed Marina District is on the east bank of the Maumee River, bounded by Front Street, Main Street, and I-280. The former industrial area has been the subject of three previous development proposals that did not come to fruition.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com.



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