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Published: Monday, 1/24/2011

Chinese pair near $2.15 million deal for Docks


Two Chinese real estate investors have agreed to buy the city-owned Docks restaurant and entertainment complex along the Maumee River in East Toledo for $2.15 million, officials with the Bell administration confirmed Monday night.

Dean Monske, Toledo's deputy mayor of external relations, said the two investors have wired $100,000 into an escrow account held by Louisville Title. A purchase agreement is to be delivered Tuesday to each of the 12 Toledo councilmen who must still approve the transaction. The city owes $1.66 million in bonds on the property, which would leave $490,000.

Mayor Mike Bell met the investors when he and a delegation of Toledo-area business people in September took an 11-day economic development trip to China. The group met with about 120 chief executives in five different cities.

The identities of the two investors was withheld by the administration.

Scott Prephan, owner of Prephan Enterprises in Perrysburg, who took the lead in organizing the trip, said their desire to remain anonymous is cultural.

"In China, people like to keep their business quiet," said Mr. Prephan, a real estate developer and co-owner of a China-based firm that services industrial machinery.

Mr. Monske said keeping their identities private is also advantageous for Toledo.

Efforts to get comment from the Chinese investors Monday were unsuccessful.

Mr. Monske said the pair has used an intermediary to form a company named Dashing Pacific Group LTD for the purchase and that neither investor would be listed as a principle in the public filing.

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