Toledo Talk

Spitzer Building Closing

This is apparently somewhat old news; but I had not heard about this, and I searched TT and saw nothing about it:

https://www.toledoblade.com/Real-Estate/2013/12/02/Now-shuttered-Spitzer-Building-marks-era-s-end.html

The Spitzer building is closing.

I think the article pretty much says it all...

But, before this thread devolves into a snark-fest "/p/" argument over which union-suckling politician is to blame for this; how Libertarian policies could have saved it; how Toledoans 'deserve' this type of thing due to some perceived ongoing collective misguidedness; and whatever AC's angry response to those assertions will be...

I'll just say this: I think this is sad. Say what you want about any of the circumstances surrounding it...I think it's a sad day. I'll hold out hope [admittedly naive, perhaps] that maybe that fine old building will somehow get turned around, unlike most of the buildings that surround it. I don't think anyone could argue that the city hasn't lost something with the closing of that building.

created by Sohio on Jan 18, 2014 at 05:58:06 pm     Comments: 32

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Comments ... #

Why blame a politician when you can blame this douchebag?

https://www.facebook.com/koray.ergur

(Forgive my French.)

posted by justread on Jan 18, 2014 at 06:10:42 pm     #  

Is it really his fault, though?

posted by Sohio on Jan 18, 2014 at 07:47:43 pm     #  

The passage of time isn't. The vacancy epidemic isn't.

Just piss poor stewardship, I guess.

posted by justread on Jan 18, 2014 at 08:36:14 pm     #  

Sohio posted at 06:47:43 PM on Jan 18, 2014:

Is it really his fault, though?

very much so

posted by upso on Jan 18, 2014 at 10:39:05 pm     #   2 people liked this

To be fair, it isn't like the Spitzer was a showplace until Ergur bought it in '09. It has been dark and smelly for years. There isn't central air or sprinkler systems. There are only toilets on every other floor (the in between floors just have urinals). I think most of the people that were in there the last few years only stayed because it was cheap (really cheap) and they were used to it. Every one of them that I have talked to after they moved out has said "we should have done it years ago".

posted by Ace_Face on Jan 18, 2014 at 11:39:09 pm     #  

Curious what is considered cheap office space downtown and is there a website that shows office-space for rent?

posted by INeedCoffee on Jan 19, 2014 at 05:59:24 am     #  

Looks like 7 - 12 depending on location.
http://www.loopnet.com/Ohio/Toledo_Office-Space-For-Lease/

posted by MIJeff on Jan 19, 2014 at 10:57:36 am     #  

I guess I didn't scroll down far enough some spots as high as 22, but that is all over Toledo, not just downtown on that search.

posted by MIJeff on Jan 19, 2014 at 10:59:29 am     #  

I was told at one point... a few years ago now, that fort industry square had some of the cheapest square footage in NW Ohio and the building, I believe, is still quite empty.

posted by upso on Jan 19, 2014 at 01:35:20 pm     #  

I imagine if you in an area that no one wants to be in, you sure cant charge excessive prices.

posted by MIJeff on Jan 19, 2014 at 03:42:33 pm     #  

upso posted at 12:35:20 PM on Jan 19, 2014:

I was told at one point... a few years ago now, that fort industry square had some of the cheapest square footage in NW Ohio and the building, I believe, is still quite empty.

That's too bad. I haven't been in there for years, but I recall some really cool spaces in there. I think Hart Associates (advertising) used to have their offices in Ft Industry Square. And the space where the Boody House used to (think there is a Mexican joint there now) is amazing.

posted by Ace_Face on Jan 19, 2014 at 05:54:51 pm     #  

yeah, the building is still stunning. I know it has some issues with parking... and at this point with as empty it is, it's probably a tough sell.

posted by upso on Jan 19, 2014 at 06:22:05 pm     #  

Some years ago, the St. Vincent Medical Center Foundation was in Fort Industry Square, if I recall correctly.

Does Clear Channel still have a space there?

I also remember the odd Scottish restaurant.

posted by justread on Jan 19, 2014 at 06:24:54 pm     #  

Picton Cavanaugh was in Fort Industry Square about 10 years ago (later sold to Sky Bank and then Huntington Bank). Building is amazing on the inside, IMO.

posted by ajm00733 on Jan 19, 2014 at 06:39:50 pm     #  

I wonder how hard it would be to focus on one property, using FIS as an example.
Get the owners to agree to a lowest sq. ft price and then market it to all of the biz that's moved to the suburbs.

I keep hearing about small groups moving back downtown after realizing prices are now so low. No one is really marketing that aggressively...

posted by upso on Jan 19, 2014 at 07:00:50 pm     #   1 person liked this

Kind of an issue for existing tenants and existing leases.

posted by justread on Jan 19, 2014 at 07:22:54 pm     #  

justread posted at 05:24:54 PM on Jan 19, 2014:

Some years ago, the St. Vincent Medical Center Foundation was in Fort Industry Square, if I recall correctly.

Does Clear Channel still have a space there?

I also remember the odd Scottish restaurant.

Last I knew, the WIOT/WCWA studios were still in there. CC moved all the offices over to South Superior, but the studios stayed in Fort Industry Square. Over time, while I was there, certain people, the ones lucky enough to be able to get away with it, snuck their offices back over to Fort Industry, not only because the building was nicer but also to escape the OFFICE-SPACE atmosphere over at the main building (Andy Stuart was as close to a real-life Bill Lumbergh as you could ever hope to meet). Bob Martz, Jim Felton, and Tom Staudt did this; and Denny Schaffer had a really nice studio suite, at one time, in what used to be the General Manager's office.

There was always talk of moving those two stations over to Superior, but it didn't happen while I was there. Thank God. Incidentally, WCWA must have had the best view out their studio windows of any radio station in Toledo: overlooking the river. Great for sunrises, watching ships go by, and fireworks.

That building, by the way, was supposedly partially built with timbers from the original Fort Industry. Or, so I was told. Apparently it is quite haunted. Grizzly Brown at WIOT was convinced a civil war soldier's ghost was wandering the halls at night; once or twice I caught Griz himself walking up and down the halls trying to "make contact with Johnny Reb." His words. They also had a hard time keeping security guards, because evidently they would see creepy things while doing night rounds. After hearing all this, I'd walk in and out at late hours as quickly as I could.

The best part of the building was the northern elevator lobby. The Water street level was nicely restored, and on the Summit street level, the elevator was exposed. It was pretty cool.

Whether or not any of that Clear Channel stuff is still up there, I am not sure...maybe oldhometown knows?

posted by Sohio on Jan 19, 2014 at 10:49:02 pm     #   1 person liked this

justread posted at 06:22:54 PM on Jan 19, 2014:

Kind of an issue for existing tenants and existing leases.

In what way?

posted by Ace_Face on Jan 19, 2014 at 10:49:24 pm     #  

So 7-12 means per square foot? That sounds oddly high. I have a small apartment that is 600 square foot, so that would be $4800/month at $8 sq/f and I only pay $400 /month.

Could just rent an apartment cheaper for a small office :)

posted by INeedCoffee on Jan 20, 2014 at 05:46:04 am     #  

INC: Typically, in commercial real estate, the square foot dollar amount represents the annual rent. So, in your example, that $4,800 woulde be divided by 12. There are various types of commercial leases. Some include maintenance and janitorial services, some do not.

posted by Foodie on Jan 20, 2014 at 06:41:38 am     #  

Ace_Face posted at 09:49:24 PM on Jan 19, 2014:
justread posted at 06:22:54 PM on Jan 19, 2014:

Kind of an issue for existing tenants and existing leases.

In what way?

Sometimes cheap promotional pricing for "new" tenants will cause "loyal" tenants at a higher rate concerns. Especially when it is part of a campaign, as suggested.

posted by justread on Jan 20, 2014 at 06:56:25 am     #   1 person liked this

justread posted at 05:56:25 AM on Jan 20, 2014:
Ace_Face posted at 09:49:24 PM on Jan 19, 2014:
justread posted at 06:22:54 PM on Jan 19, 2014:

Kind of an issue for existing tenants and existing leases.

In what way?

Sometimes cheap promotional pricing for "new" tenants will cause "loyal" tenants at a higher rate concerns. Especially when it is part of a campaign, as suggested.

Well, if I am the landlord, I tell the existing tenants that I need to do what I need to do to fill the vacant space. The existing leases were contracts between two willing parties. They may be pissed that new tenants get a lower rate, but to me that's like complaining when the TV you bought for $900 goes on sale a week later for $500. IMHO the existing tenants should be glad there are tenants filling the building. It may make possible for them to pay lower rates when it is time for them to renew. It also may help allay concerns that the landlord will be forced to sell the building or lose it to foreclosure or whatever due to low occupancy.

posted by Ace_Face on Jan 20, 2014 at 10:43:14 am     #  

I know nobody likes to hear this, but lowering rent is the last thing downtown needs. Rates in downtown Toledo are already ridiculously low, and having one property drive their rents down to gain tenants is just going to require everyone else to drop theirs to compete. If landlords can't make money, they close, and when that happens, buildings go vacant again, and the supply builds, and prices drop further, and downtown dies.

A general rule of thumb in downtown is $8/sf commercial, $10/sf residential. At those rates, there is very little flexibility for developers/landlords to make site improvements, beautifications, etc. For instance, lets say you have a 30K SF building that needs a new room. That roof will cost you $45K whether you're in Toledo, Columbus, or wherever. But the Columbus guy is bringing in $13/SF vs your $8/SF, which means he has an additional $150K/yr to work with.

Everybody always likes things to be cheap, if not free, but if everyone in the process isn't benefiting, it's bound to fail. It would be great if Grumpy's cut their prices in half, but before long, the windows would boarded up and there would be a "For Sale/Lease" sign on the door.

The ideal solution would be for there to be enough demand in downtown that rents increased by a couple dollars per square foot. I guarantee that if developers knew they'd be getting the breathing room of a couple more dollars per square foot, there would be renovation projects happening on every block of the city.

posted by Johio83 on Jan 20, 2014 at 11:50:42 am     #  

*needs a new roof

posted by Johio83 on Jan 20, 2014 at 11:52:24 am     #  

Ace_Face posted at 09:43:14 AM on Jan 20, 2014:
justread posted at 05:56:25 AM on Jan 20, 2014:
Ace_Face posted at 09:49:24 PM on Jan 19, 2014:
justread posted at 06:22:54 PM on Jan 19, 2014:

Kind of an issue for existing tenants and existing leases.

In what way?

Sometimes cheap promotional pricing for "new" tenants will cause "loyal" tenants at a higher rate concerns. Especially when it is part of a campaign, as suggested.

Well, if I am the landlord, I tell the existing tenants that I need to do what I need to do to fill the vacant space. The existing leases were contracts between two willing parties. They may be pissed that new tenants get a lower rate, but to me that's like complaining when the TV you bought for $900 goes on sale a week later for $500. IMHO the existing tenants should be glad there are tenants filling the building. It may make possible for them to pay lower rates when it is time for them to renew. It also may help allay concerns that the landlord will be forced to sell the building or lose it to foreclosure or whatever due to low occupancy.

There are more "mays" in there than a 5 year calendar.
I am guessing that you are not the landlord.

I was just throwing out the idea that it may be problematic. Not a guarentee.

If you can get a landlord to agree to this downward pressure on rent idea, maybe you can get the bank to lower the loan. Both seem herculean tasks, all things being equal.

posted by justread on Jan 20, 2014 at 11:59:47 am     #  

Or even a guarAntee. :)

posted by justread on Jan 20, 2014 at 12:01:08 pm     #  

But it's not Koray Ergur's fault and stuff.

http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2014/03/17/Spitzer-Building-removed-from-sheriff-sale-list-after-owner-makes-payment.html

posted by justread on Mar 17, 2014 at 09:35:58 pm     #  

I don't know how paying $1m for the building makes any sense now that the few tenants that remained have left. Unless it makes it easier to redevelop without any tenants to object.

posted by Ace_Face on Mar 17, 2014 at 10:03:17 pm     #  

I do not understand the logic and timing of making this payment. someone please help me understand.

posted by Hoops on Mar 18, 2014 at 10:45:57 am     #  

I wonder if he has other projects/deals going on that he can't get into credit problems with? Something else is going on.

posted by Molsonator on Mar 18, 2014 at 11:02:34 am     #  

Hoops posted at 10:45:57 AM on Mar 18, 2014:

I do not understand the logic and timing of making this payment. someone please help me understand.

He keeps making payments just in time to keep the property from reverting to the Spitzer family, who holds the note on it.

It's called "slow-rolling."

posted by justread on Mar 18, 2014 at 04:26:34 pm     #  

One more time, with feeling. http://www.toledoblade.com/Courts/2014/05/23/City-files-lawsuit-against-owner-of-the-Spitzer-Building.html

posted by justread on May 23, 2014 at 09:02:46 pm     #