Don't Miss Out!Get our latest newsletter sent right to your inbox

Email Sign Up

The Four Corners

Reimaging Downtown Toledo

Redeveloping Our Historic Treasures

The History

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.

The Opportunity

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 in order to "catalyze" other important developments in the neighborhood.

This is exactly what the Land Bank and partners are now doing.

A redevelopment feasibility study was launched with Sandvick Architects in summer 2021 and is expected to be completed by early 2022. This study will help to identify the demand for re-uses of the properties, including residential redevelopment, retail, hospitality, and office. It will also help the Land Bank and partners plan for any immediate investment needs and consider the long-term cost of redeveloping these sites.

The Land Bank will use the completed feasibility study as part of a public and transparent RFP process that will work to attract developers and proposals for these buildings in 2022.

On April 26, 2022, the Ohio Department of Development awarded the Land Bank $1 million for brownfield remediation work in the Spitzer Building. This huge investment is a shot in the arm toward the overall redevelopment of these buildings. An application for funding to do the same work in the Nicholas Building remains pending.

The Redevelopment Partners

From owners to development professionals, the Redevelopment Partners are working together to make key decisions regarding the future of these important buildings. The members are:

  • The Land Bank: David Mann, Joshua Murnen, and Stephanie Shackelford
  • The City of Toledo: Brandon Sehlhorst, Marc Gerdeman, Rosalyn Clemens, Karen Poore
  • The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority: Thomas Winston, Brian Perz
  • The Board of Lucas County Commissioners: Doug Born
  • ConnecToledo: Paul Toth, Cindy Kerr

Interested in learning more?