After sitting vacant for more than two years, the stately Levis House in Ottawa Hills soon will have a new resident. It’s the first time since 1990 that someone other than a University of Toledo president will live in the 6,457-square-foot Georgian Colonial mansion.
The University of Toledo Foundation listed the property for sale in November, 2015, seven months after it closed on a new president’s home two miles away. A January, 2015, appraisal for the house and its 1.9-acre lot also included two lots behind the home and valued the package at $835,000.
The foundation initially listed the home and lot at 3883 W. Bancroft St. for $649,000, but reduced the price over the months. It sold Nov. 30 for $421,000 — just under the Lucas County auditor’s value of $438,400 — to David Langendorfer Jr. He could not be reached for comment on Monday.
“I think it’s just much more indicative of what the market value is,” UT Foundation President Brenda Lee said of the sale price. “There is a lot of maintenance and renovation that needs to be done to the house.”
The foundation painted and made minor repairs to ready the house for sale but did not undertake any major renovations.
Lucas County Auditor records show the Levis House is one of the higher-priced sales in the last three years in its Ottawa Hills market area, which includes that surrounding area but not all of Ottawa Hills. One home sold in May for $450,000 and another sold in June for $355,000. All others were below $330,000, auditor records show.
The UT Foundation’s other two lots near the Levis House, at 2073 and 2087 Carriage Hill, sold for a combined $59,900 to David and Rachael Novak on Nov. 29, according to county auditor records.
Ms. Lee said she believes Mr. Langendorfer will use the Levis House as his private residence while the Novaks intend to build on the vacant land.
The Levis House was built in 1920 and is named for its one-time owner J. Preston Levis, the late Owens-Illinois Inc. board chairman and longtime UT trustee.
A UT-related trust paid $475,000 for the property in 1990, and soon after the house underwent about $370,000 in renovations paid for with private funds. Three UT presidents — Frank Horton, Daniel Johnson, and Lloyd Jacobs — have lived there, while former President Vik Kapoor chose to live at his Wood County residence during his tenure.
The Levis House features eight bedrooms, four full bathrooms, three half bathrooms, a six-stall garage, and an in-ground swimming pool. Ms. Lee said it cost the foundation about $50,000 a year to maintain the home while it sat on the market.
Proceeds from the sale will go toward maintenance costs for the current president’s house, a 7,253-square-foot contemporary home built in 1984. The UT Foundation purchased that home on Forestvale Road in April, 2015, for $922,000 and spent another $272,000 for renovations before President Sharon Gaber moved in.
“We needed a house that was more conducive to entertaining,” Ms. Lee said.
The University of Toledo pays the foundation $1 annually on a 20-year lease for the Forestvale Road property.
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