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Published: Friday, 3/26/2010

First batch of properties being sold by receiver

BY GARY T. PAKULSKI
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

A strip center at one of the priciest commercial corners in metro Toledo is among the first batch of properties being sold by a receiver overseeing the liquidation of a Springfield Township development firm.

Sealed bids are due by April 20 for the 10,000-square-foot retail property at Sylvania Avenue and Talmadge Road near Westfield Franklin Park mall. Home to a Biggby Coffee shop and office of Kelly staffing services, the center at 4204 West Sylvania, was built three years ago by Timberstone Development Group Inc. in the second phase of its Talmadge Town Center project. Timberstone, whose two top officials filed personal bankruptcies last year listing more than $60 million in debts each, spent $4.6 million in the last decade to assemble just under three acres at the busy intersection. Officials marketing the properties acknowledge that they are worth less than they were before the real estate crash. But the sites are still valuable, they said.

"This is considered the top corner in town," said Kurt Pollex, a retail specialist at CB Richard Ellis/Reichle Klein, which is helping market the site.

biz TIMBERSTONE 5   received 03/25/2010     Photo source: Wilsonh Auction & Realty Co., Ltd.   ***   NOT BLADE PHOTO     Former offices of Timberstone Group Inc., 1630 Timberwolf Drive, Springfield Township, Ohio. biz TIMBERSTONE 5 received 03/25/2010 Photo source: Wilsonh Auction & Realty Co., Ltd. *** NOT BLADE PHOTO Former offices of Timberstone Group Inc., 1630 Timberwolf Drive, Springfield Township, Ohio.
NOT BLADE PHOTO Enlarge

The strip center is one of six Timberstone properties being marketed by Wilson Auction & Realty Ltd. of Bryan. The parcels include Timberstone's former headquarters at 1630 Timberwolf Drive; the Ford Street Shoppes in Maumee; Chesterfield Plaza Shopping Center in Maumee, and DeVeaux Village Shopping Center in West Toledo.

The Skutch Co. Ltd., court-appointed receiver in the Timberstone liquidation, is accepting sealed bids through mid to late-April on the properties.

Also on the market, and set for auction at noon April 22, is a 22-acre site at 3750 Silica Rd. in Sylvania Township that once served as the home of the Pioneer Gun Club. A Timberstone-affiliated partnership bought the property in 2005 for $1.1 million, nearly double the price of four years earlier, Lucas County records show.

Timberstone, formed in 2003, assembled investment partnerships that bought land across northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan for retail, residential, and office developments. The firm shut its doors last year in a wave of creditor lawsuits.

At Sylvania and Talmadge in Toledo, the receiver is also selling - in separate transactions - a one-acre vacant lot, an electronic billboard, and a 27,000-square-foot office building that houses a National City Bank branch (soon to be a PNC Bank). Not involved in the Timberstone liquidation is a second strip center at Sylvania and Talmadge, unofficially known as Talmadge Town Center Phase 1. Timberstone sold the property to California buyers before financial troubles began to build.

Despite turmoil in the commercial real estate market locally because of problems nailing down financing for purchases of investment properties, real estate agents predict the auction will attract significant interest.

"What we have in this offering is quality real estate with good locations and good income potential," said Wayne Wilson of Wilson Auction.

While acknowledging that financial success eluded prior owners, he said buyers will have the benefit of "today's prices rather than prices of three or four years ago."

Additional Timberstone properties across the region are expected to go up for sale in coming months as various lawsuits work their way through the court system, Mr. Wilson said.

Contact Gary Pakulski at:

gpakulski@theblade.com

or 419-724-6082.



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