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Published: Thursday, 11/2/2006

After month, new landlord fails to add to tenant list

BY HOMER BRICKEY
BLADE SENIOR BUSINESS WRITER
One SeaGate has been half empty since O-I moved to Perrysburg. One SeaGate has been half empty since O-I moved to Perrysburg.
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A month after a new landlord took control of the One SeaGate office tower in downtown Toledo, no new tenants have been signed.

And Fifth Third Bank (Northwestern Ohio), which has expressed interest in moving into the 32-story building, said it would relocate employees from an office it owns in Sylvania as well as from its 17-story Fifth Third Center in downtown Toledo. But the bank has yet to make a decision, which is somewhat contingent on what to do with its two buildings.

One SeaGate, built in 1981 at a cost of $100 million, was left half empty when Owens-Illinois Inc. moved its global headquarters in August to suburban Perrysburg. O-I had said 1 1/2 years ago it would be leaving its Toledo base.

The new landlord, which took over Sept. 29, said a month ago it expected to announce tenants within a couple of weeks.

But One SeaGate LLC, a unit of RVI Group Inc., of Stamford, Conn., has not announced any.

"Progress is being made," said RVI spokesman Darrel Seife. "Everything continues to go well."

Trying to find tenants is a new building manager, Cushman & Wakefield Inc., of New York. Said Mr. Seife: "Their efforts will be professional, exhaustive, and productive."

Marketing material, however, hasn't been sent to local commercial real estate professionals, although a large "for lease" sign is visible from Summit Street in front of the tower.

Fifth Third officials, meanwhile, have indicated a decision is expected within about three weeks. But disposal of their buildings is part of the issue.

"It's a total package, with lots of pieces and parts we have to consider," said Karen Fraker, the bank's senior vice president for marketing.

The bank has about 340 employees in Fifth Third Center and 82 at the Sylvania location, including 14 in the bank branch and the bank's courier service who would not move downtown, she said.

The Sylvania facility has about 50,000 square feet of space on 2.8 acres along Monroe Street in a structure built in 1991 for what was then Capital Bank. Fifth Third bought the bank.

Contact Homer Brickey at:

homerbrickey@theblade.com

or 419-724-6129.



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