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Published: Thursday, 12/6/2001

Madison Building sale gains backing of city panel

A plan for the city of Toledo to sell the historic Madison Building to a Detroit developer was approved yesterday by city council's economic development and planning committee.

With the committee's favorable recommendation, council will consider an ordinance to make the sale final when it meets Tuesday. The proposal calls for the city to sell the building - actually, the adjoining Nasby Building, built in 1891, and the Wayne Building, built in 1924 - for $75,000 to Sharon Madison Polk and her husband, Robert Polk, principals in Madison Madison International of Michigan.

The firm proposes a $15.8-million renovation of the structures into shops, offices, housing units, and a parking garage, financed in part by federal historic tax credits. Steel facing that has covered the buildings since the 1960s will be removed and the original facades restored.

The city became the owner of the Madison Building at Madison Avenue and Huron Streets in downtown Toledo in January, 2000, after its former owner threatened to demolish it. The city has spent more than $200,000 to mothball the building.

The Nasby Building, considered Toledo's first skyscraper, was named for Petroleum Vesuvius Nasby, an internationally known fictional character former Blade editor David Ross Locke created.

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