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Published: Thursday, 2/9/2006

New life possible for old complex

BY GARY T. PAKULSKI
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER
Many windows are broken out on the upper floors of the Ira Apartments on Parkside Blvd. at Dorr St. Many windows are broken out on the upper floors of the Ira Apartments on Parkside Blvd. at Dorr St.
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Abandoned and boarded up for nearly 15 years, the historic Ira Apartments could soon see new life.

Current owners, who gave up their own hopes of restoring the Tudor-style building on the edge of Toledo's Westmoreland section, have a tentative deal to sell to a developer who has experience with historic structures.

"It looks very good," said Lew Ellis, of the nonprofit Preferred Properties Inc., which is part of the current ownership partnership.

Mr. Ellis declined to identify the prospective buyer of the apartments on Parkside Boulevard at Dorr Street.

Paint and plaster have fallen off the walls, and the floors are littered in the building. Paint and plaster have fallen off the walls, and the floors are littered in the building.
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Owners accepted the development firm's purchase offer about a month ago, and officials are investigating to make sure renovations are feasible, Mr. Ellis said.

Neighbors have long complained about the condition of the building, which has been vacant since 1992.

Built in 1928, the complex is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. With four stories and 38 units - some with fireplaces - the building was originally owned by local real estate investor Sam Davis, who advertised the building's "wood-panelled lobby" and full-length mirrors."

The tentative purchase price is unknown, but the building is listed with the Toledo office of Signature Associates for $375,000.

Mr. Ellis said the sellers haven't taken the property off the market in case the deal falls through.

Real estate agent Germano Bressan, who has had the listing for about six weeks, said the building has salvageable hardwood floors but will require new heating, plumbing, and electrical systems.

The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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Current owners obtained an estimate of $3.2 million for full restoration. But that figure is several years old, Mr. Ellis said.

Preferred Properties, which promotes housing for people with disabilities, had planned to reserve a portion of the building for that use.

After purchasing the property in 2001, the owners made two stabs at renovations.

But financing, which was contingent on federal tax credit and other public programs, didn't come together, he acknowledged.

They have been trying to sell it since mid-2004.

"It will be a proud piece of Toledo to bring that building back," Mr. Ellis said. "It's too bad we couldn't get it done."

Contact Gary Pakulski at:

gpakulski@theblade.com

or 419-724-6082.



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