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Anonymous company considers lot purchase in Triad Business Park

An anonymous company is considering purchasing 6.5 acres of land from the city of Toledo as part of a $300,000 deal that would also contribute to the redevelopment of two historic downtown buildings.

The agreement, if approved by Toledo City Council, would allow Louisville Title Agency for N.W. Ohio, Inc., a local title company, to purchase a parcel in the Triad Business Park for $292,950 on behalf of another company that is considering developing the site for manufacturing operations. The land sits just north of Monclova Road and just west of I-475.

Once the agreement is approved, the company would have a year to ultimately buy the site or not. Representatives for Louisville Title Agency declined to comment when reached Monday.

The city also will request council approve $100,000 from the proceeds to be used for assessments on the Nicholas and Spitzer buildings — located downtown at 608 and 520 Madison Ave., respectively — if the deal goes through.

The Lucas County Land Bank now owns those buildings after the land bank board voted in August to accept the deeds to the structures. The buildings were previously owned by Ergur Private Equity Group, and had been in various states of vacancy, disrepair, and without utilities throughout the years. Tens of thousands of dollars in property taxes were also owed by Ergur Private Equity.

“We need to understand their current condition,” Brandon Sehlhorst, commissioner of economic development, said about the buildings. “It’s a risky proposition for a developer to take on without knowing the condition of [the buildings].”

The Spitzer Building, the one-time hub of Toledo’s legal community, closed in 2013, turning the historic landmark at Madison Avenue and Huron Street into 10 stories of emptiness and ending a 12-decade relationship with the central business district.

Cousins A.L. Spitzer and Ceilan M. Spitzer, both capitalists and investment bankers, hired local architects Bacon and Huber to design the building, constructed between 1893 and 1896. Its success prompted the cousins to enlarge the building with construction of a 10-story addition along Huron Street four years later.

The cousins started construction in 1905 on the 18-story Nicholas Building — named after their grandfather, Nicholas Spitzer. The Nicholas Building was once the downtown headquarters of Fifth Third Bank but has been vacant since 2009 when utilities were cut off because of unpaid bills.

For reasons that are forgotten or unknown, the Spitzers eventually ended their partnership; A.L. Spitzer took ownership of the Spitzer Building and Ceilan Spitzer gained control of the Nicholas.

According to the Triad Business Park property proposal, the anonymous company is considering a number of locations for its project and does not want to disclose its identity until a final location is selected.

The site is located off Technology Drive, near Ohio Department of Transportation and Allshred Services, within a joint economic development zone among Monclova Township, Maumee, and Toledo. Each municipality collects one third of the income tax revenue from the zone.

Though officials don’t know what company it is, Mr. Sehlhorst said they do know it’s an industrial manufacturing company. It’s also not an existing Toledo company, meaning that no city jobs are moving out of the city as a result of the proposal.

Mr. Sehlhorst said the company would invest about $12 million into the site and bring approximately 20 full-time equivalent jobs if it moves forward with the purchase.

With this potential sale, Mr. Sehlhorst said, that will be the last of the city-owned parcels located in Triad Business Park. The city has been selling off its parcels in that area for decades after its initial plan to annex that property into the city fell apart.

The business park itself is doing well, Mr. Sehlhorst said.

“There’s not a whole lot of availability over there still, which is good,” he said.

Toledo Councilman Rob Ludeman, chairman of council’s Regional Growth, Development & Small Business Enterprise Committee, said council had previously approved selling the parcel for the construction of a self-storage facility, which didn’t end up moving forward.

Mr. Ludeman prefers this latest proposal because he believes it would bring more jobs to the area.

“I think this is a better fit even not knowing who the company is,” he said.

Approving sales to anonymous companies isn’t new, Mr. Ludeman said.

He cited a 50-acre sale that council approved last year for a mystery company in the same business park.

This deal would bring jobs to the area and provide the city with additional income tax revenue through the joint economic development zone, Mr. Ludeman said. And the using part of the proceeds to assess the Nicholas and Spitzer buildings would further benefit the city.

“I think it’s a good game plan,” he said.



Posted By: The Blade on October 26, 2020.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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