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$1.6 million purchase of building on Medina Public Square declared 'win-win'

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    The owners of Courthouse Commons, on the corner of Washinton and Broadway streets, have offered the building for sale to Medina County to house the Adult Probation Department.

    BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE

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    Architect James Duber, of StudioTechne Inc. of Cleveland, speaks to Medina County commissioners Tuesday about assessing county buildings.

    BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE

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MEDINA — Medina County commissioners passed a resolution Tuesday that authorizes the purchase of Courthouse Commons for $1.6 million to help ameliorate space issues.

The property at 60 Public Square, owned by real estate holding company Gazebo Investments LLC, is part of the county’s relocation plan that will move the prosecutor’s office to the second floor of the building and the Adult Probation Department, which now is housed in the basement of the county courthouse, to the prosecutor’s office at 72 Public Square.

To finance the purchase, county Treasurer John Burke will cover it through “manuscript debt.”

With manuscript debt, the county will borrow between $2.5 million and $3 million at 2.5-2.65 percent interest and pay for the cost of Courthouse Commons, renovations to the prosecutor’s office and architectural fees to James Duber of Studio Techne Inc. of Cleveland, who was hired to assess county buildings and provide long-term facility goals.

“Basically, it’s the county issuing debt to (itself),” Burke said. “Instead of going to the public and selling a bond, they are coming to me as the investment officer and saying, ‘Would you invest so much money in this project?’ ’’

Burke called the transaction a “win-win” proposition. He said if the county issued a bond, it would cost $90,000 to $100,000 in interest. With manuscript debt, it will cost between $3,000 and $10,000 in interest, he said.

“We’re going to look at competitive rates,” he said. “You’re going to get it cheaper than you’ll be able to get it in the market.

“It’s a very inexpensive way to cover a good purchase item. I’m glad to help.”

Courthouse Commons was built in 1970 and once housed Banc One. Business partners Mark Dorman and Tracy Green, owners of Gazebo Investments, purchased the three-story building in 2004 for $1 million. Green is president of the real estate property management division of IRG Realty Advisors in Richfield.

One of Dorman’s other companies, Dorman Legacy Advisors LLC, will remain on the first floor of the building for five years from the date of closing, as per terms of the sale.

“The county (buying the building) is a logical exit path for us,” Dorman said.

“We negotiated a fair price for the building with the occupancy rate, the quality of leases and the capital improvements we’ve made. They are basically buying a fully improved building when you consider the HVAC, elevator (and other improvements). It’s a win-win for all parties.”

The sale of the building has been talked about for several years, he said.

“It makes sense for everybody.”

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



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