Thursday, April 3, 2008

Cleveland's Ameritrust (Breuer) Tower: Déjà Vu All Over Again

The Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that another bid has been received for the Ameritrust Tower (also known as the Breuer Tower, after its architect). Well, maybe we should say it’s the same bidder as before, just a differently structured bid. The bidder (again) is Willoughby, Ohio’s K&D Group, a local residential developer. The new bid is for the minimum asking price of $35 million, but this time does not involve K&D needing a loan from the county.

The April 3 print edition of The Plain Dealer says that this new plan, however, puts the taxpayers “on the hook” for about $4 million if the deal goes through, which is the cost of finishing the asbestos removal from the tower.

I’m glad to see that the complex will be in the hands of a company that has a sense of vision for the area and the city. It seems obvious to me that the County Commissioners have been a clueless, ineffective bunch in handling this whole deal and the building itself.

K&D bids again for downtown Ameritrust site

Posted by Joe Guillen April 02, 2008 11:58AM

For the second time this year, Cuyahoga County appears to have a buyer for the downtown Ameritrust site, where officials once envisioned a new county headquarters.

The bid, submitted by the K&D Group, of Willoughby, is similar to a previous bid made by the company. K&D proposes a $200 million mixed-used development of condominiums, hotel and office space at East Ninth Street and Euclid Avenue.

The county rejected K&D's previous offer, made Jan. 15, because the county prosecutor's office determined the bid fell short of the $35-million minimum the county sought. K&D offered $35 million for the property today.

The asking price is the equivalent of the county's net investment in the property when it was put up for sale in November. After K&D's first bid was rejected, commissioners agreed to spend another $4 million to finish removing asbestos from the 29-story Ameritrust Tower.

Commissioners put the property up for sale after private developers showed interest in buying the site. All three commissioners say a new, mixed-use development there would benefit the community more than a new county headquarters.

County Administrator Dennis Madden said he believes the latest K&D bid meets the county's requirements.

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