Saddler says interest shown in Marting’s and Babcock buildings

By Frank Lewis

November 26, 2013

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

Second Ward City Councilman Rich Saddler, chairman of The Parks, Service, Buildings, Recreation and Cultural Committee, says there may be interest in two of the city’s properties, including the Marting’s building.

“On Nov. 12, the committee discussed the Marting’s building and what to do with it; what can be done with it,” Saddler said. “We did decide, as a committee, to pass it over to Councilman (Kevin W.) Johnson’s Economic Development Committee, for January to discuss and figure out pricing or whatever, and add it to the Ohio website, to see if it’s feasible to sell it or what to do with it.”

Saddler said his committee feels that it is time to put the Marting’s building issue behind them.

“It has been way too long in this town and it has been a huge hurdle, and I think this might be the best answer to go with the Marting’s building,” Saddler said.

The city purchased the building from the Marting’s Foundation on May 29, 2002, for $2 million, and it has been a point of controversy since. At one point voters told the city it can not spend money to rehab the building. So it has been sitting, unoccupied since the city bought it.

“At our December meeting we will be introducing conversation about the Babcock building,” Saddler said. “There has been a couple of calls to me here in the last week or so from people showing interest in purchasing those buildings (Marting’s and Babcock), that would like to renovate them and to expand their businesses. So I think we’re going to put that on the fast track for the December meeting for discussions and what to figure out on doing something with those properties.”

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.