It's still pretty quiet in the Marina District. I've been down there a few times this past year. Mostly what you hear is the gulls squawking. We only get occaisional word of exciting plans for the development of the site by its new Chinese owner/investors, Dashing Pacific.
I have faith that this development will happen. Too many good people - led by Mayor Mike Bell - have put too much on the line for this to be all smoke, no fire. It would be nice to actually see something though. And not just at Marina District. The restaurants at The Docks seem to be doing OK. And a different Chinese investor group has purchased one of our struggling dowtown hotels. Plans for business development of the hotel sound like good news too. Now we need some business to develope.
The Chinese still have some selling to do to the Metro Toledo community. People want to see something new from our new partners. Or even something old.
Almost 25 years ago, The Toledo Zoo had, on loan from the Wolong Natural Reserve in China, two Giant Pandas - Nan Nan and Le Le. Our zoo was one very few, worldwide, to have the privlege of housing China's precious Pandas. i remember the sense of community pride.
So there has been an international connection between Metro Toledo and China before. Nothing much happened with that after the Pandas left in November, 1988. But maybe, if things go well, we'll have a return of the Pandas someday. That would be very cool.