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Nov. 26, 2012

Leader Building Still Seeking New Owner

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

The Leader Building, a Class B office building in downtown Cleveland, hit the auction block on Nov. 13. Despite fetching a high bid of nearly $7.7 million during an online auction, the property won’t be sold.

Constructed in 1913 on the former site of the Trinity Episcopal Church, the high-rise used to house the Cleveland Leader newspaper.  According to its Web site, the building’s quality and craftsmanship are unmatched in the city. The Carlyle Development Group paid $4 million for the building in late 2004. Building amenities include two full-service restaurants, a deli, a cigar and convenience store, a barber shop, a shoeshine stand, a coffee shop and dental offices.

Although the Cuyahoga County Fiscal Office says it is worth $2.7 million, it attracted a high bid of almost $7.7 million at the auction running from Nov. 13 to  15. And it was not enough, as the price did not meet the reserve, an unpublished threshold set by the owner.

The downtown Cleveland office market is gaining momentum as city officials offer businesses favorable tax incentives to relocate to the CBD. Companies are now vacating space in the suburbs and establishing a presence in the core. According to Marcus & Millichap, in the last 12 months transaction velocity accelerated by 30 percent as local buyers purchased Class B and C  assets  at attractive prices.

The 16-story Leader Building is situated at the intersection of East Sixth Street and Superior Avenue, in the heart of Cleveland’s CBD. It is close to both the new casino and the future convention center, in a location that makes it very desirable for both companies looking to move downtown or developers seeking to turn it into apartments. This might explain why the owner is in no hurry to sell.

Photo credts: www.theleaderbuilding.com/
Charts courtesy of Marcus&Millichap