Reimagining Downtown Toledo
Launching the Development
The Land Bank and its partners desire the Spitzer and Nicholas buildings at downtown's Four Corners to be a signature urban real estate redevelopment that returns population density to this key junction, enhances street level vibrancy, and catalyzes additional inclusive economic development in the surrounding area.
After completing a thoughtful process in 2022, the Land Bank is pleased to announce that we will work with The Model Group and ARK Development to launch a $180 million redevelopment project that will bring 400 residential units and a dynamic mix of retail and commercial uses to these historic assets.
A conversation will begin in the first and second quarters of 2023 so that our whole community can better understand the opportunities with this project and how it will serve as a catalyst for other important developments in Toledo's center city.
History & Future
For 115 years, the corner of Madison and Huron in downtown Toledo has been the home of the Spitzer and Nicholas buildings. With the Nasby building and the downtown headquarters of Huntington Bank to the south, this remains the only corner where all four original buildings still stand.
These two buildings, which comprise over 500,000 square feet of total space, were among the first major skyscrapers to be built in this country. For decades, they were an epicenter of the local business community, especially the hundreds of local attorneys and law offices that once made the Spitzer building their home.
However, during a period of changes for downtown Toledo that were made worse by the Great Recession, the Spitzer and Nicholas buildings were sold to an out-of-state owner who promised grand things for these classic structures. Sadly, after more than a decade of false starts, unpaid debts, and prosecution for nuisance conditions, no plans had materialized.
So, the Land Bank, working closely with its city and county partners, took steps to acquire these abandoned buildings through receivership and tax foreclosure. Using the tools available to address such property challenges, the Land Bank took ownership in August 2020.
Control of these important buildings presents a historic opportunity to redevelop them for the betterment of downtown Toledo and the entire surrounding community. The 22nd Century Committee's Downtown Toledo Master Plan called for a strategy to rehabilitate these buildings to "catalyze" other important developments in the neighborhood. This is exactly what the Land Bank and partners are now doing.
A Feasibility Study completed by Sandvick Architects and partners in 2022 offers a dynamic vision for the Spitzer and Nicholas Buildings, with each incorporating a mixture of residential and commercial uses that will continue to breathe new life and energy into downtown Toledo. Restoring these historic buildings to their original layouts and former glory is a top priority as the Land Bank and partners begin the work to identify qualified developers.
Brownfield Remediation Program investments by the State of Ohio in 2022 will help to clean up major environmental problems with the buildings. Over $1.5 million will be used to abate asbestos, remove lead paint, and clean up other hazardous materials. This major investment is a shot in the arm toward the overall redevelopment of these buildings.
The Project Partners
From owners to development professionals, the Four Corners Project Partners are working together to make key decisions regarding the future of these important buildings. The partners include representatives from the Land Bank, the City of Toledo, ConnecToledo: the downtown Toledo development corporation, the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, and the Board of Lucas County Commissioners.