Ohio renews plans to develop Lake Erie island site

property as part of South Bass Island State Park
The Lonz Winery on Middle Bass Island is shown Monday, June 18, 2001. One person died and 75 people were injured when the winery's concrete patio buckled and dropped them into an empty cellar on July 1, 2000. The State of Ohio now owns the 123 acre property as part of South Bass Island State Park. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Ohio parks officials are looking for a private investor to help the state develop a former winery on Lake Erie’s Middle Bass Island.

The old Lonz Winery site has been closed since a terrace collapse in the summer of 2000 killed one person and injured 75 more.

Ohio now owns the property and has talked for years about what to do with the shuttered winery. Past suggestions for a conference center, restaurant or museum haven’t moved forward.

The head of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources announced Thursday that the state is ready to work on a private-public partnership to develop the winery.

Director James Zehringer says the state is open to a wide range of potential uses for the winery and its landmark building that towers over Middle Bass.

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