Once a downtown bakery for Wonder Bread, the building at 1101 Summit St. near downtown Toledo is being eyed by a Cleveland real estate developer for a $3.67 million conversion into residences and commercial space.
Eli Mann has submitted an application to receive financial assistance in the form of Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits to renovate the 85-year-old Continental Baking Co. building at Summit and Elm streets in the historic Vistula Neighborhood District.
The proposal, which is under review by the state Historic Preservation Office and the Ohio Department of Development, calls for transforming the building's second and third floors into 17 upscale residential units and using the first floor for retail development and offices.
With views of the Maumee River and the new Veterans' Glass City Skyway bridge, Mr. Mann said, the building has many features and amenities, including space on the lower level that would allow for indoor residential parking.
"Today, water is considered gold by many people looking to find a place to live," he said. The building "has a super view of the river."
Until the late 1970s, the building was owned by Continental Baking and was used in the firm's bread-making operations. A company that sold and serviced photocopying equipment bought the structure in the 1980s and operated its offices there until several years ago.
Ceilings in some areas of the building are 22 feet high and the multilevel design of the structure would allow for each unit to have an outside deck, Mr. Mann said.
He is leading an investment group that wants to convert the 15-story downtown Cleveland Athletic Club and three others nearby skyscrapers in that city into a mixed use of residences and offices. Applications seeking financial assistance for those projects through the state Historic Preservation Tax Credit program have been submitted as well.
Terry Glazer, chief executive officer of the United North Community Development Corporation, which includes the Vistula District, was unaware of the developer's plans for the former bakery.
However, he said any development of existing buildings on Summit would be welcomed if the plans comply with guidelines supported by the historic district.
"The future of Summit Street is extremely important not only to the neighborhood but to downtown as well," he said.
The project is the most recent development projects involving the conversion of old downtown-area buildings into apartments units.
A Michigan developer recently purchased the Triangle Building and has received approval from city council to renovate the 107-year-old warehouse into apartments.
Kathy Steingraber, volunteer director of Toledo's Downtown Warehouse District, said a development like the one proposed by Mr. Mann would be desirable because it would offer market-rate housing.
"We are absolutely saturated with low-income and subsidized housing, which have been overbuilt and above what there is demand for," she said.
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