Tuesday, December 18, 2018 Medina 29°

Local Medina County News

Property owners offer Courthouse Commons for sale to county

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Two local businessmen say they have a solution to the cramped conditions in the Adult Probation Department on the ground floor of the Medina County Courthouse.

They propose the county either purchase Courthouse Commons at 60 Public Square in Medina or lease the third floor of the building.

Mark Dorman, president of Legacy Advisors LLC, and Tracy Green, president of IRG Realty Advisors LLC, have owned the building for 12 years.

They have offered it to the county for $1.6 million. Green said they bought the building for about $1 million and made about $800,000 in improvements.

Dorman, who also sits on the Medina County Port Authority board, said Legacy is the anchor tenant in the building, which has 4,401 square feet to lease. He said his business takes up most of the first floor of the building formerly known as the Bank One building.

He said the Bailey Law Firm leases much of the second floor. The third floor is vacant, which would be where the probation department could move. There would be space in the building for future expansion for probation or another department to locate.

The county is working on plans to expand the courthouse by 44,000 square feet at a cost of $23 million, County Administrator Scott Miller said.

Dorman said, “It’s a good time for us to exit as investors and it’s a good time for the county to acquire this relative to the fact they are going to need the space anyway.”

Dorman said he’s always thought the county “would be the logical tenant in that building, given (that it’s) adjacent to the courthouse.”

Dorman and Green had a handout showing the county could buy the building for almost the same cost of leasing it.

“For the price of renting the third floor, you could buy the entire building and solve a huge space need issue for Medina County,” Dorman said. “As we understand it, the county is under consideration for a massive physical planned expansion on the Square. With the county not having an appetite to raise sales taxes and revenue, we view it not only as a potential business partner, but a great opportunity to acquire additional vacancy and space for the Medina County administrative footprint.”

Green said changing the name of the building to Courthouse Commons made the most sense. He said they made some recent capital improvements:

  • Every window in the building was replaced at a cost of $75,000
  • A $150,000 HVAC unit was put on the roof of the building for $150,000
  • An improvement to the elevator control panel cost $75,000

“You’re looking at a fully improved building, aside from the roof that was recently patched in October,” Green said.

“The building has never been in better shape and better occupied. Perhaps this provides an exit strategy for us and, more importantly, a better deployment of taxpayer dollars for Medina County citizens.”

Green said the roof might need replaced for about $30,000 in perhaps five years.

“Other than that, the building is structurally great,” he said. “It was built in 1981. We’ve maintained it well.”

Green said IRG would continue to manage the building for the next three years at no cost to the county, if it purchases it.

“At the end of the day, it’s excellent use of taxpayer dollars, we feel, by avoiding a significant capital expansion cost of the current courthouse,” Dorman said.

There is a 30-space parking lot behind the structure. It also has internet service from the Medina County Fiber Network.

Miller said if the county purchases the building, expansion work at the courthouse might be postponed.

He said several other county buildings need work. Some would be funded by sales tax revenue.

Commissioner Pat Geissman said this is not the first time the county has looked into buying the building.

“I thought we should have purchased it (about 10 years ago),” she said.

Dorman said the courthouse is “bursting at the seams.”

“We, too, thought the county should have owned the building 10 years ago,” he said. “If you thought you should have owned it then, you really should own it now.”

Other news

  • The county’s 2017 budget is expected to be approved at next week’s meeting, Finance Director Mike Pataky said.
  • The Community Improvement Board disbursed $13.2 million to local school districts from sales tax revenue this year:
    — Brunswick, $3,405,690
    — Medina, $3,186,782
    — Wadsworth, $2,250,784
    — Highland, $1,473,634
    — Cloverleaf, $1,095,678
    — Buckeye, $1,033,981
    — Medina County Career Center, $422,703
    — Black River, $265,134
    — North Central, $32,669
    — Medina County Board of Developmental Disabilities, $22,729
    — Rittman, $10,216.
  • Commissioners approved a memorandum of understanding between the Medina County Sheriff’s Office and Medina city, Medina Township, Montville Township and Chatham Township to submit a Local Government Safety Capital Grant application to the Ohio Development Services Agency to enhance and upgrade the county’s emergency communications center.
    The funding request would not exceed $100,000, with a local match of $25,000.
  • David L. Williams was appointed to serve as Geissman’s alternative on the Medina County Planning Commission for 2017.

Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.

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