TOLEDO, Ohio — Two of downtown Toledo's oldest buildings are finally ready to be redeveloped.
The Lucas County Land Bank released a request for proposals Monday for the long-vacant Spitzer and Nicholas buildings. The Land Bank acquired both properties in 2020 through tax foreclosure after they were abandoned by their out-of-state owner Koray Ergur.
The RFP will be released in two phases.
The first phase - announced Monday by the Lank Bank - will identify up to five developers with the experience and ability to complete redevelopment projects of this magnitude. The second phase is expected to begin in September.
The Lank Bank worked with the city of Toledo, Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, Lucas County Board of Commissioners, ConnecToledo and the Downtown Toledo Development Corporation over the past two years to best position each building for redevelopment.
In October 2021, the Lank Bank spent $585,000 to repair the Spitzer's roof and skylights to prevent additional water damage. In April, the Ohio Department of Development awarded the properties $1.39 million for asbestos, lead paint and hazardous materials abatement through the Brownfield Remediation Program.
In May, Sandvick Architects conducted a feasibility study on the buildings. The study determined each property has the potential to be converted into a mixture of residential apartments and retail and commercial space.
The Land Bank believes $100 million is needed to make that vision a reality.
“There is unprecedented demand to shop, play and live in downtown Toledo,” Land Bank President and CEO David Mann said. “We believe that the redevelopment of these historic buildings can meet that demand and catalyze additional economic investment in the central business district.”
The 11-story Spitzer Building was built in the 1890s and closed in 2014 due to safety concerns. It was home to Toledo's legal community for many years.
The 17-story Nicholas Building was closed in 2010 after its largest tenant relocated to another downtown location.
The Spitzer and Nicholas buildings stand at the intersection of Madison Avenue and Huron Street. It is the last corner in downtown Toledo where all four original buildings remain.