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Identity of Midway Mall buyer remains unknown -- even to Elyria council

  • 071217-MIDWAYMALL-KB01

    Midway Mall in Elyria.

    KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE FILE

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ELYRIA — City Council members are just as anxious as residents to learn who bought Midway Mall at auction last month.

Monday night, Councilwoman Donna Mitchell, D-6th Ward, probed Safety Service Director Mary Siwierka on the scoop surrounding the new owners.

“People are asking. We all want to know,” she said.

Siwierka said Mayor Holly Brinda prior to the auction was in contact with four of the six entities that ultimately made a play for the property. But the winning company was not one of them, she said.

“The mayor has reached out to them. I’m not sure the outcome of that,” she said.

Brinda did not attend Monday’s meeting.

Midway Mall went up for auction July 12 with a final bid price for the property of $4.25 million. The online listing gave no mention or even possible clues to the new owner.

County Auditor Craig Snodgrass has said it will be up to the auctioneer to determine the next steps with the property. He said his office won’t know more about the owner until the filing of the property transfer.

The property, which included seven different parcels as one bid package, was described as an “excellent opportunity” for someone looking to “acquire a well-located regional asset with significant redevelopment potential well-below replacement cost.”

The listing, which was for 585,606 square feet of space, included J.C. Penney, which is an occupied anchor of the mall, and a retail strip center that includes Staples and several freestanding retail businesses. The building that houses Sears, which is in the process of closing, and the building that formerly housed Dillard’s are not part of this transaction. The Macy’s building is also not part of the transaction.

But new life could come to that anchor location.

Siwierka said a watercraft business that deals with the sale and repair of watercraft vehicles is seeking a rezoning for the property.

The auditor’s office lists the owners of that property as Federated Retail Holdings Inc.

A representative from a Columbus-based commercial and retail planning firm reached out to Snodgrass for information on adjacent property owners as it prepares to submit a rezoning package for an unidentified individual.

In an email to Snodgrass, the company said it would request a conditional use variance to provide vehicle maintenance in a part of the former Macy’s store.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRobersonCT.



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