Massive renovation project underway on two of Toledo’s most historic buildings
The Spitzer and Nicholas buildings will be converted to residential and retail space over the next several years.
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The Spitzer and Nicholas buildings have been part of the downtown Toledo landscape for more than a century.
After sitting empty for years, work to restore them to their former glory is underway.
The two buildings anchor one of the most historic blocks in downtown Toledo, known as the Four Corners. The Four Corners is the only block in Toledo where all four original buildings still stand.
Ambrea Mikolajczyk and her husband Kevin are the owners of the ARK Companies, which is partnering with the Model Group from Cincinnati on the project.
“We take old buildings forgotten about in the city of Toledo, and we breathe new life into them and make them whole. Being able to couple the history with the modernization is really pretty special,” Ambrea said.
This is a mixed-use project, including both residential and retail space.
“Our initial plans include about 400 apartments between the two buildings which will also have about 40,000-square-feet of retail space. It will be an active, vibrant, lively space again,” Ambrea said.
The project will take several years to complete.
“These are going to be 2 to 3 years out for sure. It will take significant time to organize the capital and tax credits. We have to apply for some of those at specific times, and we may or may not receive some of them. The finances will determine when we start construction,” Ambrea said.
Due to the age of the buildings, the project will not be without some special challenges.
“You put one foot in front of the other, and you forget how tough it was. The reward is so massive on the historic buildings. You forget how tough it was and everything you went through to pull the project together,” Ambrea said.
Ambrea added that one of the biggest rewards is the response to their work.
“When we’re doing historic buildings, people always come up to us and have all these amazing stories of them doing life in the buildings. Whether its parents who worked in the building or they remember going shopping there with their parents,” she said.
This project will ensure these buildings are part of downtown for generations to come.
“A lot of people I know got out of Toledo the first chance they had. Here I am. Boots on the ground, making sure I am part of preserving history and moving the legacy forward so my four kids and their kids can benefit. There is no better feeling,” Ambrea said.
The project has a price tag of about $178 million. Along with the developers, the City of Toledo, the Lucas County Land Bank, Lucas County, and ConnecToledo are all part of the project.
Lead and asbestos abatement are underway, and project leaders will apply for tax credits and grants this summer.
Actual construction could get begin in late 2024 or early 2025.
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