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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -
A landmark building in downtown Toledo is closing, and tenants have to look for a new home.
The Spitzer Building was built in 1896 and was Toledo's first steel-framed skyscraper, as well as the city's first shopping mall with its indoor arcade. Now, the businesses that call the Spitzer Building their home have to relocate by Dec. 1.
Affordable Auto Insurance has been operating out of the building for 15 years.
"We can find a new office," said Dana Svoboda. "This is just a shell, but we're never going to find a family and friends to work with like we have at the Spitzer Building."
Four years ago, the Spitzer Building was sold to California businessman Koray Ergur, who has not made his mortgage and property tax payments. A court-appointed receiver made the decision to close the building.
Bill Thomas with the Downtown Toledo Development Corporation says the immediate concern is for the tenants who have to relocate.
"I'm hopeful the majority of them will stay downtown," Thomas said. "I've made myself available to help them, to meet with other landlords, to think about other space downtown."
Long-term, Thomas says efforts by the county and the Lank Bank to take control of the property are key to finding a new developer.
"We've had discussions with developers," he said. "People are very interested in the building, but with the uncertainty of title and who owns the building, developers aren't wanting to get into this mess."
A sheriff's sale is set for Nov. 7. The opening bid will be for $266,000 to pay for back taxes and receiver fees. If there are no bidders after two auctions, the Land Bank can take control of the title.