Christmas has come early this year for land owners and landlords of property in sight of Westfield Franklin Park mall.
That's because the multi-million dollar expansion of the mall has proven so successful that buyers of land along Talmadge Road and Monroe Street have broken the $1 million an acre barrier and landlords for the first time are getting well in excess of $20 a square foot per year.
"The expansion at Franklin Park mall has created a lot more excitement than was predicted and there was a very high level predicted," said Dave Long, a retail specialist with CB Richard Ellis, Reichle Klein in Maumee.
"There's no doubt the hottest area in town is the intersection of Monroe and Talmadge," said Sam Zyndorf, a retail specialist with the Toledo office of Signature Associates.
Property sale prices are at their peak because there is so little vacant land near the mall, experts said. Other buildings in that area could be torn down to make room for new retail, they added.
Ken's Flower Shop at Talmadge and Sylvania Avenue was recently sold for $1.75 million and a small office building behind it on Sylvania was sold for $775,000.
A minimum bid of nearly $1.5 million is required for an upcoming auction of the Lifestyles for Ladies Only gym on Monroe Street across from the mall. And east of the shopping complex, a parcel on Monroe just sold for $1.2 million for a ribs restaurant.
An executive from the Timberstone Group, which bought the Ken's location and the office building, said the prices are well worth it.
"It's a very powerful area," said Mike Ducey, whose company in the past year developed a small shopping strip next door. "We just wanted to put all the pieces together to make it a property that functions smoothly."
The company has yet to decide what it will put on the Ken's and office site, which is less than an acre. He said it may be a restaurant or high-end stores.
Being in sight of Franklin Park is key to commanding top dollar, said Pete Shawaker, a partner in Michael Realty Co. in Toledo.
"Access is the key," he said.
Retail space in that area is now commanding close to $25 a square foot per year in rent, and might go as high as $30, he explained. Previously, $20 a square foot was considered a good price.
Property near the mall but not next to it or across from generally means a lower sales price.
For example, a two-acre site to the east on Monroe recently fetched about $1.2 million, or $600,000 an acre, said Mr. Shawaker. The buyer, Big Ten Ribs Inc., is tearing down the former Valiton Motors car dealership to put up a Famous Dave's restaurant.
Contact Mary-Beth McLaughlin at