The Spitzer Building, foreground, on Madison Avenue is open. The Nicholas Building, background, closed last month.
Toledo's downtown Nicholas and Spitzer buildings, which were both put up for sale in September, were done so under a sealed-bid real estate auction.
Conducted by a commercial real estate office in California, the auction will close Oct. 31.
Any bids for either or both buildings will be opened and considered, said Bill Thomas, senior vice president of operations for the Toledo division of Ergur Private Equity Group, which owns the buildings.
"There is no absolute price and the owner has the option to reject any and all bids. It's not an absolute auction where … a bid of $15 walks away with a building," Mr. Thomas said.
But if a bid is reasonable, it could become a basis for further negotiations, he added.
The Ergur group paid $314,000 in 2008 for the Nicholas Building at 608 Madison Ave. The building closed in September with the tenants vacated and power shut off because of unpaid bills.
The Spitzer Building at 520 Madison Ave., across Huron Street from the Nicholas Building, was bought by the Ergur group in April for $800,000. It remains open and about half filled.
Lyman F. Spitzer, principal owner of the Spitzer Building, said the Ergur group made a down payment on the building and provided a promissory note for the remainder of the purchase price. But further payments have not been made.
Mr. Spitzer said he and a group of Spitzer family members are the first mortgage holders on the building.
"We're very concerned about the Spitzer Building and the Nicholas Building and we want to see them succeed," he said.
Mr. Spitzer said Ergur group founder Koray Ergur has been cooperative about finding ways to aid both buildings.
"If I can find him a reasonable financial offer for the Spitzer Building, he has said he will sell it," Mr. Spitzer added.
If the auction is unsuccessful, Mr. Spitzer said negotiations are ongoing with a local investor interested in acquiring the Spitzer Building.
A deal could materialize by the end of the month, he added.
Meanwhile, Mr. Spitzer said his immediate concern is for the Nicholas Building. "My great-grandfather built that building, so I'd like to see it utilized," he said.
Mr. Thomas said a two-story building at 323 North Huron St. that was part of the Nicholas Building purchase may provide help. The building, the former site of Neumann Jewelers, has a purchase contract with closing set for the end of the month. Mr. Spitzer said he was told sale of that building could net $100,000.
Mr. Thomas, while not disclosing the sale price or buyer, said that, if the sale occurs, it may provide him with funds to restart the utilities and get the Nicholas Building winterized.
No one was available for comment at Ergur group offices in San Francisco.
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