Toledo City Council Tuesday approved the final piece of financing developers need to renovate the vacant Berdan Building in Toledo’s Warehouse District and also approved a compromised version of a controversial law regulating the sale of cats and dogs in the city.
Council voted 12-0 to approve $2 million of federal money for the $30 million Berdan Building renovation project. Berdan LLC, the owner of the building at at 1 S. Erie St. across from Fifth Third Field, plans to transform it into 115 apartments..
The Lansing-based developers bought the Berdan this year and announced plans to renovate it into living and retail space. Berdan LLC paid $700,000 for the property, according to records on file with the Lucas County auditor.
Developers Richard Karp and Kevin Prater said the project could not proceed without the federal money.
“The next step we have is to go in for building permits, zoning approval,” Mr. Prater said. “That will take six to eight months.”
Mr. Prater and Mr. Karp redeveloped the nearby Standart Lofts, a 75-unit apartment building.
The $2 million comes from from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2.
■ DOG, CAT LAW
Regarding the new dog and cat sale law, council approved a version that would allow an existing business at Franklin Park Mall to remain open.
The Family Puppy, a southeast Michigan chain, opened in October in the mall amid controversy and protests. John Stottele, who co-owns the Family Puppy with his wife, Deb, said he often goes to Indiana to pick up puppies from about 20 primarily Amish breeders who provide him with dogs to sell.
The originally-proposed law would have banned the sale of a “companion animal” in pet shops, retail businesses, and commercial establishments unless the animal is obtained from a legitimate animal shelter, animal-control agency, humane society, or nonprofit rescue organization. The law council passed would allow all businesses operating before Jan. 1, 2014, to continue selling puppies and kittens.
The compromise version was approved 11-1. Councilman Mike Craig voted against.
The new law requires the store to pay the city a $50 fee for every animal sold that is not spayed or neutered.