A sheriff's auction set for today to conclude foreclosure proceedings and dispose of downtown Toledo's Nicholas Building has been postponed indefinitely.
The auction process for the building, located at 608 Madison Ave., ended abruptly Wednesday morning when the building's owner, Koray Ergur, appeared at the Lucas County Treasurer's Office and produced a cashier's check for $226,129 to pay off the back taxes owed on the 17-story building. The check also covered the court costs associated with the lengthy foreclosure proceedings involving the aging structure.
A spokesman for the treasurer's office said it was not clear who provided Mr. Ergur with the money for the cashier's check because Mr. Ergur, as head of his EPE Spitzer Building Co., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June citing debts of $11.2 million and unspecified assets of between $100,000 and $500,000. Mr. Ergur controls Toledo's Spitzer Building, which also is in foreclosure. The Spitzer Building was to be auctioned until Mr. Ergur's bankruptcy filing halted the proceeding last month.
Before the cashier's check payment on Wednesday, the Lucas County Auditor's Office said the Nicholas Building had an unpaid tax bill of $180,805. The Spitzer Building also has unpaid taxes, currently over $339,000.
Attorney Scott Ciolek, who represents the Spitzer Building’s court-appointed receiver, said the bankruptcy filing was another attempt by Mr. Ergur to delay the sale of the Spitzer Building.
But why Mr. Ergur would pay off the tax liability on the Nicholas Building a day before the sheriff's sale is unclear.
“He could have just shown up at the sale and bought the building,” Mr. Ciolek said. Mr. Ergur, who listed his residence in the bankruptcy filing as San Francisco, but who at times has resided in Toledo, could not be located for comment.
In February, Mr. Ergur was arrested in Toledo and jailed after failing to appear for a hearing for alleged fire code violations relating to the Spitzer Building. He was found guilty in March of the code violations and fined $2,000.
Mr. Ciolek said it is unclear what happens next to the Nicholas Building now that the tax bill has been paid. “For sure, it means the auction won't be held but it also moves forward all the liens against Mr. Ergur. All his creditors all have judgments against him,” the attorney said.
Spitzer Building Co., which represents the Spitzer family estate, which sold Mr. Ergur the Spitzer Building, has the first lien position against the Nicholas Building, Mr. Ciolek said. A second position creditor has a multimillion lien against Mr. Ergur, he added.
“Hopefully he shows up again in Toledo with big checks for all his other creditors,” Mr. Ciolek said.
Contact Jon Chavez at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6128.