Why Chinese Investors are Buying in Toledo
June 10, 2011, By Dan Bobkoff
Toledo Mayor Michael Bell is serious about Chinese investment in his city. When he gives you his business card, one side is in Chinese. His office is adorned with Chinese screens and other gifts from his travels there.
“America is always waiting for people to come to them,” says Mayor Bell. “Well, we’re on the other side now and we have to be able to reach out and market ourselves.”
A year and a half in office, the independent Mayor’s efforts are paying off. His first trip to China was in September. Five months later, he sold a struggling city-owned restaurant complex to two Chinese investors for more than $2 million. Bell and economic development folks in Toledo say these deals are all about relationships. They’ve worked hard to make those connections and pitch the Chinese on the many opportunities in this unfamiliar city.