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Published: Friday, 5/23/2014

City files lawsuit against owner of the Spitzer Building

BY MARK REITER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
The Spitzer Building at 520 Madison Ave. closed earlier this year. The Spitzer Building at 520 Madison Ave. closed earlier this year.
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The city of Toledo spent $15,000 to keep a landmark building facing foreclosure earlier this year from falling into disrepair and now authorities want the owner to repay that money.

A lawsuit filed today in Lucas County Common Pleas Court against Kory Ergur and his Ergur Private Equity Group, LLC, asks for repayment of the $15,000 city council approved in the land bank contribution as well as $5,999 in unpaid water and sewer bills on the Spitzer and the nearby Nicholas Building, which Mr. Ergur also owns.

The landmark Spitzer Building – a one-time hub of Toledo’s legal community – has been under the control of court-appointed receiver Patrice Spitzer since January, 2011 when the Spitzer Building Co. foreclosed on the two buildings in Common Pleas Court.

The 117-year-old Spitzer Building, at 520 Madison Ave., closed in December because low occupancy failed to provide enough rents to pay for maintenance, utilities, and repairs.

The city and the Lucas County Commissioners each contributed $15,000 to pay for preventative maintenance to keep the 10-story building from falling into disrepair.

On March, 17 - several weeks before the building was scheduled to be auctioned at a court-ordered sheriff‘s sale - Mr. Ergur provided a check for $922,632 to pay off a substantial amount of the foreclosure judgement on the two properties.

A bulk of the payment, $828,560 was given to the Spitzer Building Co. to satisfy the judgement on the unpaid note for the two buildings, with the rest distributed among the receiver, the clerk of courts, and the sheriff’s department.

Currently, Mr. Ergur is up to date on the buildings’ property taxes. However, court records show that a number of liens unrelated to the foreclosures have been placed on the Spitzer property since Mr. Ergur acquired it.

The claims include liens filed by Continental Secret Service, which provided security for the building, for $28,931; Toledo Building Services Co., $10,760 for cleaning services; Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation, $7,067 for unpaid employees insurance; Columbia Gas of Ohio, Inc., $119,083 and Toledo Edison Co. $33,124 for unpaid utilities, and the Downtown Self Improvement District, $3,021.

David Mann, president of the Land Bank, said $34,657 was given by the agency to the receiver for the Spitzer stabilization and was additional to the funds provided by the county commissioners and city council.

"We have been in contact on a regular basis with Patrice Spitzer who still is the receiver to obtain reimbursement on those costs,“ Mr. Mann said. ”We expect to accomplish that through the receiver.“

Contact Mark Reiter at: markreiter@theblade.com or 419-724-6199.



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