As I questioned in the initial post about this issue, if the building is in disrepair, why not cite the owner in Toledo Municipal Court? According to the release, they did and having the city take over ownership is part of the 'plan' to address the outstanding orders of the court. Under the plan, the owners would pay a $40,000 settlement for utilities along with $30,000 reimbursement for costs incurred by the city. They'd also pay outstanding property taxes. The city would then own the property and demolish all but the Super Fitness.
Of course, I think the city missed the fact that there is also a tanning salon as well as a beauty salon in the portion of the building that houses Super Fitness because they state in the press release that Super Fitness is the "only functioning business."
Here is the press release:
Toledo Mayor Michael P. Bell and City Councilwoman Lindsay Webb (D-District 6) today announced a plan to acquire and demolish the former North Towne Square mall and prepare the land for future development.
The mall has been vacant for several years and current property owners have allowed it to fall into disrepair. In recent years the city has cited the owners for multiple code violations which have led to court filings and a judge’s order to remediate the danger the building poses to the community. The notable exception has been Super Fitness, a popular health and fitness complex that has remained the only functioning business in the former mall. Under the plan, Super Fitness will remain open as a stand-alone facility.
The proposed agreement would turn ownership of the property over to the city with the three affected owners paying $30,000 in costs incurred by the Departments of Neighborhoods and Inspection, a $40,000 settlement to cover outstanding costs owed to the Department of Public Utilities, and all outstanding property taxes paid in full before the city accepts title and demolishes the building. The current owners would only be eligible to re-purchase the property for development if the city is reimbursed the total cost for demolition services.
“This proposal is a sure bet for North Toledo and a sign of good things to come,” said Councilwoman Lindsay Webb.
The project would not use city general fund money, but instead would rely on U.S. EPA Transitioned Brownfield Revolving Assistance Grant dollars administered by the city’s Division of Environmental Services. The same fund was tapped to demolish the former Southwyck Mall in 2009.
“The plan we have put together will allow us to remove blight from the north Toledo community and specifically the surrounding businesses,” said Mayor Michael P. Bell. “It will also provide us another strategically located site ready for future development.”
The authorizing legislation has been sent to Toledo City Council for consideration and will first be considered at the November 22 Agenda Review meeting.