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Toledo: Downtown: Nicholas Building & Spitzer Building

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It's all over the Toledo news today. The historic Nicholas Building, once the tallest in Ohio, has shut its doors! This is the second time in Toledo history a building that once held the title as the state's tallest has been abandoned (the Toledo Trust Tower was the other one- it's now apartments). The location of the building is right in the heart of the CBD, the intersection of Madison and Huron. So Toledo now has three vacant high rises (Nicholas Building, Fiberglas Tower, Madison/Nasby Building) all within close proximity to one another.

 

Article published September 15, 2009

Lights out, doors shut at Nicholas Building in downtown Toledo

Tenants hastily leave downtown landmark

By LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

 

The last tenant of an historic downtown office building moved out Monday morning, leaving another dark, empty hulk on what had been the crossroads of Toledo’s central business district. Toledo Edison turned off the power yesterday afternoon at the 17-story Nicholas Building, which has stood on the northwest corner of Huron Street and Madison Avenue since 1905. The landmark building — once host to more than 5,000 workers and an estimated 10,000 daily visitors — was an ancestral home to some of Toledo’s largest local companies: Owens-Illinois Inc., Owens-Corning, and the former Libbey-Owens-Ford.

 

CONTINUED ON BLADE SITE

http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090915/BUSINESS03/909159997

 

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"a building that once held the title as the state's tallest"

 

Not sure where they're getting that info - Cleveland's Rockefeller Building was built in 1903 (230 feet tall), and there are two Burnham-designed buildings in Cincy that were built in 1903-1904ish that are even taller.

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^I believe the height and floor count they listed is not the real total. That's the number from emporis, which excludes the top couple floors. It likely is taller than 230 feet when you include the utility floors.

 

There are not very accurate heights available for Toledo's pre-1930 towers. But you know a 19-story office building (17 rentable floors) would be taller than 192 feet. It looks taller than the Commodore Perry (a former hotel with a similar floor county), which is 226 feet.

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Just an FYI, the old First National Bank Building (Fouth & Walnut Centre now) in Cincinnati was built in 1904 and is 255 feet tall while the Bartlett Buliding was built in 1901 and stands 252 feet.  Both taller AND older than the Toledo structure(s).  And both also have utility floors that are likely not counted.  And keep in mind, the City Centre Building in Dayton was built in 1904 and is 274 feet.

 

Hell, the DeSales Church is 230 feet tall and it was built in 1879!  So, I say, DeSales wins!


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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I have not been able to locate a full image of the building on this site, but Zack caught the building here before the 5/3 logo was removed:

 

102_1664.jpg

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Just an FYI, the old First National Bank Building (Fouth & Walnut Centre now) in Cincinnati was built in 1904 and is 255 feet tall while the Bartlett Buliding was built in 1901 and stands 252 feet.  Both taller AND older than the Toledo structure(s).  And both also have utility floors that are likely not counted.  And keep in mind, the City Centre Building in Dayton was built in 1904 and is 274 feet.

 

Hell, the DeSales Church is 230 feet tall and it was built in 1879!  So, I say, DeSales wins!

 

I doubt Nicholas Building is over 250 feet tall, so in 1905, City Centre in Dayton would have probably had the title. However, I take all height numbers for old buildings with a grain of salt.

 

Case in point, emporis lists the 10-story Spitzer Building at 233 feet tall! It's right across the street from the Nicholas, and anyone who has seen the buildings in person knows that Nicholas is a lot taller. Perhaps they mixed up the numbers for the Spitzer and Nicholas Buildings? Still, the Blade wrote this:

 

When it was constructed, the now-vacant building was the tallest building in Ohio at 192 feet, and was one of the city’s first structures with a steel skeleton. But the Nicholas Building’s tall steel frame hides a hidden, ancient secret below ground: It rests on 1,200 oak logs driven into the ground as a base for the columns that support the structure. It is the same method used by ancient Roman builders to construct buildings on marshy ground.

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Shame...and some people actually believe sprawl/push&pull factors has nothing whatsoever to do with this phenomenon that outpaces any gains we make in CBD's, here...  Pitiful... and such a nice building. Toledo is so prone to sprawl even if simply from a geographical standpoint...flat lands/farm lands making it so easy. My sister lives in Toledo.

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Shame...and some people actually believe sprawl/push&pull factors has nothing whatsoever to do with this phenomenon that outpaces any gains we make in CBD's, here...  Pitiful... and such a nice building. Toledo is so prone to sprawl even if simply from a geographical standpoint...flat lands/farm lands making it so easy. My sister lives in Toledo.

Ah, sprawl has nothing to do with this one as the suburban offices are vacating too, and these workers wanted to stay downtown. I'd blame it more on Toledo's ungodly economy before anything else right now. That means whole metro, not just Downtown. Plenty of suburban offices have been abandoned too. The whole region is sinking.

 

Toledo actually has the least sprawl of any metro in Ohio. Flatness does not have to lead to sprawl. Plenty of hilly metros are way more sprawled than Toledo, take Cincinnati for example. I guess I have to post it again...

 

ohiopopulationmap.png

 

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Shame...and some people actually believe sprawl/push&pull factors has nothing whatsoever to do with this phenomenon that outpaces any gains we make in CBD's, here...  Pitiful... and such a nice building. Toledo is so prone to sprawl even if simply from a geographical standpoint...flat lands/farm lands making it so easy. My sister lives in Toledo.

 

Ah, sprawl has nothing to do with this one as the suburban offices are vacating too. I'd blame it more on Toledo's ungodly economy. That means whole metro, not just Downtown. Plenty of suburban offices have been abandoned too.

 

Toledo has the least sprawl of any city in Ohio. Flatness has nothing to do with it.

 

Sorry, sprawl has a lot to do with it at the root of it all..  This sort of thing was happening in Toledo's CBD before we can blame the economy. As for the suburban areas getting hit.. Maybe this has something to do with the 3rd/4th ring sprawl that is pulling away from that too....to the point it is bumping into another community that is also being hit.  I travel every last speck and inch of this state with my work.....Look around, it is quite clear...so very obvious. We need to get out of denial. There is only one way to help fix this but it will never happen in a 'home-rule' state...  It was tried in the 70's.

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^I was speaking in this one instance. Other times in Toledo's history, yes, offices in Maumee and Perrysburg took business from Downtown. That's just not happening today. The suburbs are losing companies too. The depression has been pretty widespread in metro Toledo. Sylvania is just about the only place that hasn't been hit hard (though it has still declined more than the national average), but Sylvania has little in the way of office market. It doesn't compete with Downtown, Maumee, or Perrysburg.

 

There are no third or fourth ring suburbs outside Toledo, only a couple far flung satellites that are in every bit as bad of shape as Toledo. Nothing is pulling business away. Business is falling off the face of the earth. Nearly all of Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan is getting destroyed. This is a much bigger collapse than just metro Toledo...if anything, it started in Detroit. And Toledo looks like it can't escape its Detroit fate. :cry:

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Toledo is actually a very "unsprawled town".  I don't think sprawl took this structure, rather Toledo's stumbling job market.  i agree with C-Dawg on this one. 

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Dayton has two closed skyscapers (small ones, though) and one thats nearly closed (the aforementioned Centre City Offices).

 

Is the only big one in Toledo thats shuttered?

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^No.

 

The 30-story, over 400,000 square foot Fiberglas Tower is shuttered and the 10-story Madison Building is shuttered too. The Madison Building is right across the street from the Nicholas. The Fiberglas Tower is three blocks away on St. Clair. This is a lot of abandoned office all within a couple city blocks. I hope they can be reoccupied. The big thing right now is winterizing the Nicholas, getting all the water of the system, etc. No one did that with the Fiberglas Tower, and its pipes burst some years back.

 

The Nicholas underwent a lot of renovations and is in great shape, so I think it will fill up once the Toledo economy recovers. The Fiberglas and Madison need some work, but thank God no one is planning to tear them down. Toledo is trying hard to preserve the building stock it has. I assume most projects will be on hold until the economy turns around in the area.

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Dayton has two closed skyscapers (small ones, though) and one thats nearly closed (the aforementioned Centre City Offices).

 

Fidelity and ?

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Boy I hope you guys all don't know these building heights off the top of your heads. :-)

 

Oh, I'm sure they do! :D


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Moderator Note: Activity for these two neighboring downtown towers - the 17-story Nicholas Building and the 10-story Spitzer Building - is starting to heat up.  Some posts from the Toledo Demolition and Preservation thread have been moved into this new thread.

 


This is just unbelievable. This was the tallest building in Ohio when it opened, so incredible history. It also is located on the best historic intersection in the city, and easily one of the best in Ohio. Toledo just can't catch a break. You'd think with the rock bottom prices on these historic landmarks, this type of stuff could be avoided. This is a 225,000 square foot building that sold for 300,000 dollars. That's hard to wrap your head around.

 

Historic downtown building falling apart from neglect

Nicholas without power, water floods basement

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA

BLADE STAFF WRITER

Published: 10/8/2012

 

The 17-story Nicholas Building was once a hub of activity and a financial stronghold of downtown Toledo.

 

But in 2009, just a year into a new ownership and on the year of its 105th anniversary as a downtown landmark, the building was shuttered.

 

Still vacant three years later, it is slowly crumbling from the inside out, and groundwater has flooded the basement because the pumps that formerly kept it dry are idle, the power having been cut off.

 

“It’s amazing how quickly a building deteriorates when it is empty,” said Patrice Spitzer, the building’s manager, who in late January was appointed receiver in the foreclosure case on the structure.

 

Mold and mildew grow on walls in the basement, which is partially flooded with water on which an oily sheen shimmers on the surface. Other spots on the lower level are corroded and falling apart. Water damage has hit the building’s street level — once home to Fifth Third Bank.

 

CONTINUED

http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2012/10/08/Historic-downtown-building-falling-apart-from-neglect.html

 

I pray to God someone saves this building. Deals like this just don't exist anywhere but Toledo:

http://www.loopnet.com/Listing/17049423/608-Madison-Street-Toledo-OH/

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More about the California owner of the Nicholas Building.  The guy sound like a real piece of work.

 

Historic Spitzer, Nicholas structures’ owner lands in jail; Alleged fire-code violations cited

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA, BLADE STAFF WRITER

Published: 11/30/2012

 

The owner of the downtown Nicholas and Spitzer buildings was arrested Thursday and held on $25,000 bond for failure to obey fire department orders.  Koray Ergur, a California developer, was being held in the Lucas County jail pending a pretrial hearing today in Toledo Housing Court.  Mr. Ergur was in Lucas County Common Pleas Court for a civil matter regarding the Nicholas Building, after which he was arrested and booked. 

 

“Judge C. Allen Mc-Connell was made aware and Mr. Ergur was arrested for violations in housing court,” said Toledo spokesman Jen Sorgenfrei. “There was at least one code violation attached to his property and he failed to appear in court, so he was arrested.  Because we were aware Mr. Ergur had outstanding bench warrants, the common pleas court and Judge McConnell were advised, the warrants were served, and an arrest was made.”

(. . .)

Mr. Ergur purchased the Nicholas Building in 2009 for $313,600.  He bought the adjacent, 10-story Spitzer Building the same year for $800,000, and owes back taxes on both of more than $400,000, according to court records.

 

READ MORE: http://www.toledoblade.com/Courts/2012/11/30/Historic-Spitzer-Nicholas-structures-owner-lands-in-jail-Alleged-fire-code-violations-cited.html

 


Building owner disputes plea on file

BY TAYLOR DUNGJEN, BLADE STAFF WRITER

Published: 12/1/2012 

 

The owner of the downtown Nicholas and Spitzer buildings is to appear in court again next week after contesting the recollections of a judge and prosecutor.

 

The $25,000 bond for Koray Ergur, a California developer, was ordered continued by Judge C. Allen McConnell.  He was held in the Lucas County jail on Friday for failure to obey fire department orders.

 

A dispute over whether Mr. Ergur, who said he would not be hiring an attorney, entered a “no contest” plea on March 12 led the defendant to shout. “I'm not guilty,” he shouted.

 

READ MORE: http://www.toledoblade.com/Courts/2012/12/01/Building-owner-disputes-plea-on-file.html

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Foreclosure ordered on 2 landmark sites downtown owned by Ergur

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA, BLADE STAFF WRITER

Published: 12/8/2012

 

A Lucas County Common Pleas judge has ordered the foreclosure of two downtown Toledo landmark buildings — one that has sat vacant for three years — and demanded sheriff sales for both.

 

Koray Ergur, owner of the 17-story Nicholas Building and the adjacent 10-story Spitzer Building, has been embroiled in a long legal battle over the buildings.  He also has been charged criminally for alleged fire code violations at the Spitzer.

 

Judge Gary Cook this week ruled on the foreclosures.  The sheriff sales have not been scheduled.  Patrice Spitzer, who sought the foreclosures, had accused Mr. Ergur of dragging out the foreclosure proceedings for both buildings, on which Spitzer Building Co. is the first lien holder.

 

READ MORE: http://www.toledoblade.com/Courts/2012/12/08/Foreclosure-ordered-on-2-landmark-sites-downtown-owned-by-Ergur.html

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Downtown structure to go up for auction

17-story Nicholas Building scheduled to be sold Feb. 14

BY JON CHAVEZ, BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

Published: 2/5/2013

 

It has been mothballed for more than three years now, but better days could be ahead for downtown Toledo’s Nicholas Building.  The 17-story building at 608 Madison Ave. is scheduled to be sold at a Lucas County Sheriff’s sale auction at 10 a.m. Feb. 14 in the county courthouse.

 

A minimum bid of $499,762 — the amount of back taxes owed on the property — is required to participate in the auction but officials connected with the foreclosure case are hoping that the property sells for more than that and, at the very least, that the winning bidder is someone who wants to restore and reopen the former downtown headquarters of Fifth Third Bank.

 

Spitzer Building Co. holds the note on the landmark Nicholas Building and the neighboring 10-story Spitzer Building at 520 Madison.  In December, Spitzer Building Co. won a foreclosure action and reclaimed both properties from building owner Koray Ergur and his company, the Ergur Group, a California private equity firm.  Both buildings were ordered to be sold at a sheriff's sale, with the Nicholas Building first to go on the auction block next week.  The Spitzer building will be auctioned in mid-May because it has extra costs associated with a court-appointed receiver that must be resolved.

 

READ MORE: http://www.toledoblade.com/Real-Estate/2013/02/05/Downtown-structure-to-go-up-for-auction.html

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Tax value revision would lower minimum bid, delays Nicholas Building sale by 3 months

BY TYREL LINKHORN, BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

Published: 2/16/2013

 

The Nicholas Building downtown will have to wait a little bit longer for a new owner.  The auction for the 17-story building at 608 Madison Avenue has been pushed back about three months.

 

The building was to be sold Thursday at a sheriff’s auction, but officials at the sale said the Ohio Board of Tax Appeal ruled in favor of a request to lower the value and with it the delinquent taxes owed.  The minimum bid was to be equal to the back taxes owed on the property.  That was to be $499,762, but with the revision the minimum bid will be lower.

 

Officials said the building is now tentatively scheduled to be auctioned May 9, the same day as the neighboring Spitzer Building.

 

READ MORE: http://www.toledoblade.com/Real-Estate/2013/02/15/Tax-value-revision-would-lower-minimum-bid-delays-Nicholas-Building-sale-by-3-months.html

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News about the 10-story Spitzer Building from the Toledo Blade:

 

Spitzer Building sheriff's sale auction draws zero bidder

 

Second auction of Spitzer Building postponed

 


Spitzer auction placed on hold

Building’s Calif. owner files for bankruptcy protection

BY TYREL LINKHORN, BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

Published: 6/28/2013

 

The final auction for downtown Toledo’s Spitzer Building — in foreclosure since last year — was put on hold Thursday because the building’s owner filed for bankruptcy protection.

 

Officials say the building will continue operating as it has been, but the delay is just the latest in a years-long legal battle surrounding the historic 10-story building at 520 Madison Ave.

 

MORE: http://www.toledoblade.com/Real-Estate/2013/06/28/Spitzer-auction-placed-on-hold-Copy.html

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And something about the neighboring 17-story Nicholas Building:

 

Nicholas Building’s auction is scratched

Owner pays off $226,129 in back taxes, costs

BY JON CHAVEZ, BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

Published: 7/11/2013

 

A sheriff's auction set for today to conclude foreclosure proceedings and dispose of downtown Toledo's Nicholas Building has been postponed indefinitely.  The auction process for the building, located at 608 Madison Ave., ended abruptly Wednesday morning when the building's owner, Koray Ergur, appeared at the Lucas County Treasurer's Office and produced a cashier's check for $226,129 to pay off the back taxes owed on the 17-story building.  The check also covered the court costs associated with the lengthy foreclosure proceedings involving the aging structure.

 

A spokesman for the treasurer's office said it was not clear who provided Mr. Ergur with the money for the cashier's check because Mr. Ergur, as head of his EPE Spitzer Building Co., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June citing debts of $11.2 million and unspecified assets of between $100,000 and $500,000.  Mr. Ergur controls Toledo's Spitzer Building, which also is in foreclosure.  The Spitzer Building was to be auctioned until Mr. Ergur's bankruptcy filing halted the proceeding last month.

 

Before the cashier's check payment on Wednesday, the Lucas County Auditor's Office said the Nicholas Building had an unpaid tax bill of $180,805.  The Spitzer Building also has unpaid taxes, currently over $339,000.

 

MORE: http://www.toledoblade.com/Real-Estate/2013/07/11/Nicholas-Building-s-auction-is-scratched-Copy.html

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Looks like Toledo is having Dayton problems.

 

I recall back a few years ago there was a push to do apt/condo conversions in some of these old Toledo buildings...like the old Macys building.  Did that attemept fizzle out?

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Spitzer Building in downtown Toledo slated to close on Dec. 1

BY MARK REITER, BLADE STAFF WRITER

Published: 9/25/2013

 

Tenants and business owners in the landmark Spitzer Building were told today that the 117-year-old building will close on Dec. 1 and they must move out.  Patrice Spitzer, who is the head of the Spitzer Building Co., made the announcement in the lobby of the downtown Toledo skyscraper at 520 Madison Avenue.  Mrs. Spitzer, who has been the court-appointed receiver for the 10-story building since her company filed foreclosure action against the Ergur Equity Group in January, 2011, fought back tears as she told the tenants that they have just over 60 days to leave.

(. . .)

Mrs. Spitzer said the decision to close the building was made after a meeting on Tuesday with officials of the Lucas County Land Bank, which has been trying to take possession of the property.  She cited the costs in the day-to-day operations to maintain the building and the additional employees who were hired to comply with city fire code regulations as reasons for the closure.

 

MORE: http://www.toledoblade.com/Real-Estate/2013/09/25/Spitzer-Building-in-downtown-Toledo-slated-to-close-on-Dec-1.html

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More about the grand old Spitzer Building from ABC 13 News in Toledo.  Brief article with a nice video report showing the building and some of the surrounding area.  As this story twists and turns, you wonder if ABC 13's headline at the link below has hit the nail on the head:

 

ABC 13: Spitzer Bldg may be better off if owner doesn't pay taxes

 

spitzer.jpg

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^Sad, sad situation in Toledo. The city has so much potential, but such a horrific economy. :cry:

 

This should have never happened. Downtown now has four major landmarks sitting vacant within just two city blocks (three on the best intersection in the city). It's true that residential demand in downtown Toledo has been high for years (Downtown, Uptown, and the Warehouse District are the only neighborhoods in Toledo with a growing population), and there is a market for apartment conversions. It just sucks what happened to the office market. I've read it went from a high of 60,000 workers to currently around 20,000. While that's certainly not a unique situation in Ohio or Rust Belt office markets, it's just a ridiculous decline.

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Sad news out of Toledo. This is such a great building and nice write-up by the Blade here (strong look at the history of the place). On this corner, the main intersection of the city, there are now three abandoned high-rises. All are world class historic landmarks available for record low prices. Serious investment opportunity here.

 

Published: 12/2/2013 - Updated: 23 hours ago

HISTORIC DOWNTOWN LANDMARK

Now-shuttered Spitzer Building marks era’s end

‘Grand dame’ once was hub of Toledo’s legal community

BY MARK REITER

BLADE STAFF WRITER

 

Not even cheap rents, cozy atmosphere, and personal attention to tenants’ needs could keep downtown Toledo’s grand dame alive.

 

The Spitzer Building, the one-time hub of Toledo’s legal community, closed Sunday, 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. Tenants, including some who had been there for decades, began moving to other downtown locations shortly after Patrice Spitzer tearfully announced in late September the building would soon close.

 

Read more at http://www.toledoblade.com/Real-Estate/2013/12/02/Now-shuttered-Spitzer-Building-marks-era-s-end.html#sodRBYLXmcGyisHz.99

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Land bank sues owner of downtown's historic Spitzer, Nicholas buildings

 

The Lucas County Land Bank is suing the out-of-town owner of several vacant historic downtown buildings, alleging Ergur Private Equity Group fraudulently transferred ownership of the Spitzer Building, the Nicholas Building, and the Port Lawrence Building in an effort to hinder, delay, or defraud its creditors.  The lawsuit, filed April 26 in Lucas County Common Pleas Court, names California resident Koray Ergur as the sole member and manager of Ergur Private Equity Group, which acquired the Nicholas Building in 2008, the Spitzer Building in 2009, and the Port Lawrence Building in 2015.  The suit alleges Mr. Ergur has not been paying debts to several creditors, including the land bank, and that he transferred ownership of, leased, or subleased the properties to a dozen companies that he owned or controlled “in a fraudulent effort to frustrate creditors collection of debts owed by Ergur Private Equity Group.”

( . . . )

The Spitzer and Nicholas buildings are part of what many call the Four Corners in Toledo’s central business district.  They occupy neighboring corners at Huron Street and Madison Avenue, while the historic Nasby Building and Huntington Bank building occupy the opposite two.

( . . . )

Mr. Ergur’s buildings have in the past been headed for public auction or foreclosure because of unpaid liens and delinquent tax bills, but each time Mr. Ergur made last-minute payments to resolve the debt.  A sheriff’s sale of the Spitzer Building was canceled in 2013 after Mr. Ergur appeared at the Lucas County Treasurer’s Office with a cashier’s check for $191,174 to pay off a delinquent tax bill and court costs owed.  He provided a $922,632 check in 2014 to pay off the mortgage foreclosure filed by the Spitzer Building Co., which sold the building to Mr. Ergur’s private equity firm in 2009.  In 2015 he presented a cashier’s check for $886,673 to the Lucas County Clerk of Courts Office to pay off a judgment lien that was placed on the Nicholas Building in 2008. ... Throughout the saga, the buildings have fallen further into disrepair.

 

MORE:  https://www.toledoblade.com/city/2019/05/02/lucas-county-land-bank-sues-koray-ergur-downtown-toledo-spitzer-nicholas-building

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I dont really understand these types of guys and how they conduct their business. Can someone explain to me why this guy would possibly want to just sit on these properties, owing tons of money and letting the fall into disrepair?  I could understand a scenario where hes waiting for the buildings or land they sit on to be worth more in the future or something, but it's unlikely anyone would build anything brand new, of major scale there again. A buyer would want to renovate the buildings but letting them fall apart just devalues them greatly. The guy cant be too poor if he always comes through at the last minute with 800 or 900k checks to pay off his debts. What's his agenda/end game?

 

Madison & Huron is so important to this city. With the right developer(s) making these properties truly special again, can you imagine this area of downtown with those buildings thriving. I'd love to see all three towers full of bustling offices again and restaurants and or other retail along the bottom. The whole Huron streetfront between Madison and Adam's would probably finally take off. Lots of vacant space that should not be vacant considering it's right between all the corporate offices in the center of downtown and the government offices north of Adams.

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