–by Sylvania AdVantage Staff
PUBLICATION DATE: 02.07.17
As the ink dries on the paperwork for the sale of Maplewood Marketplace in downtown Sylvania, Mayor Craig Stough and members of Sylvania City Council can take a moment to reflect on the project. “This is a success story for the city,” Mayor Stough remarked.
Under the then Mayor James Seney, the city acquired the run down vacant building in 1994 for $200,000, invested in its renovation, and leased the space. The city invested $1,244,000 in the building since they purchased it and has collected over $800,000 in rent.
In 2015, the city began to solicit offers on the fully leased building and has had five legitimate offers since that time. The mayor and city council members accepted what they deemed to be the best offer of $1.1 million at the Jan. 17 Sylvania City Council meeting. “The Maplewood Marketplace is now a viable part of our downtown. It is time to return this property into private hands and consider it a success story for the involvement of city government,” Stough said.
“The city has the long term perspective and vision to identify and assemble important property parcels as they become available, clear those properties of old structures as needed and make them ready for private redevelopment. This has been a successful strategy for bringing new development to several properties in and around downtown, and allows the city to help guide how the properties are redeveloped and used,” Mayor Stough offered.
“And the city is prudent with its resources. We buy properties at the right price and are prudent, good stewards of our resources,” emphasized Sylvania’s Economic Development Director Bill Sanford. “There certainly has been strong economic development implications because of the city’s decision to purchase significant properties,” he pointed out.
“Some years ago, the city acquired the two duplexes next to the Sylvania Heritage Center Museum primarily to insure additional parking for the Maplewood Marketplace. The availability of parking was a big reason Interrupt Marketing relocated to the Marketplace. This is just another example of economic development at work,” he added.
Some of the properties the city has purchased, readied for development and sold to private developers, investors or end users in the past 20 years include the Main Street Post Office building, the former Sterling store that now houses Element 112, the properties for the Wingate Hotel, the Root Office Building and the River Centre Clinic. Most recently, the city purchased the Koepfer home on Maplewood Avenue next to the municipal parking lot, primarily to expand the parking, which has been completed. In addition, a private developer acquired the home and is renovating it for commercial use.
The city currently maintains the deeds for the land that comprises the SOMO district and the Baptist Church on Holland-Sylvania Road. “Our purpose is not to hang on to real estate but to wait for the right development,” Sanford noted.