Development possible for 4 Findlay historic buildings

FINDLAY, OH (Toledo News Now) - Four buildings, located in the 300 block of South Main Street and Dorney Plaza in the heart of downtown Findlay, have been the source of controversy, but a resolution could be on the horizon.

The buildings are prime real estate, even though they may not look the part. They were damaged in the 2007 floods and have been sitting vacant ever since, but that could change.

One developer wants to turn them into new stores and apartments.

"There's been a big upsurge of people wanting to live downtown," said Barry Niswander, owner of Niswander's Jewelers.

Niswander was one of several business owners who filed a court injunction last fall to prevent the county-owned buildings from being demolished. He says any development would be better than empty space.

"It could be rehabbed. The damage from the flood was not that severe," explained Niswander.

Many want to see the buildings get new life.

"It would be really nice to get some more stores into the downtown area, to get some more business downtown," said Jessica Bess, employee at Can Du Studio. "It'd be really nice to see downtown revitalized instead of people always going out to the mall for stuff."

Former county commissioners had planned to demolish the buildings and create a green space and county court offices. However, people like the sound of new apartments and stores more because of how expensive it is to live in Findlay.

Jim Heck of Heck Rentals could not be reached for comment about specific plans. County commissioners say the buildings would be sold at a public bid for the right price. 
Commissioners will meet with Heck Thursday, when he will present his plans. Commissioners did say there is no magic number regarding the price to sell the buildings.

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