July 31, 2014

Medina
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Medina City Council no longer looking to bid on Masonic Temple

When Medina’s historic Masonic Temple hits the auction block later this month, it’s doubtful the city will be among the bidders.

That’s because city officials say they don’t need the property anymore.

Last fall, City Council approved paying up to $250,000 for the property.

Council President John Coyne said plans called for using the Masonic Temple property as part of a new municipal courthouse complex. The temple property, 120 N. Elmwood Ave., is just south of City Hall, 132 N. Elmwood Ave.

But the deal fell through in January after the leadership of the Masonic Temple changed and the new officers said MC Real Estate, the real estate broker that negotiated the deal with the city, wasn’t authorized to sell the building.

In response, Council decided in March to modify the courthouse plans and build it as an addition to the police department and in the parking lot, on the east end of City Hall.

“It is no longer necessary for us to purchase the (Masonic) property,” Coyne said.

Mayor Dennis Hanwell wouldn’t rule out the possibility of the city entering the auction, but said City Council would have to authorize entering the bidding.

No steps have been taken to do that.

The mayor noted that the issue isn’t on the agenda for Tuesday’s regular meeting and after that, Council is scheduled to go on summer break for six weeks.

The auction is scheduled for 11 a.m. July 24 at the Crown Plaza Hotel, 7230 Engle Road, in Middleburg Heights.

Chartwell Auctions, of Cleveland, said the bidding will start at $45,000.

The county auditor has appraised the 23,000-square-foot building at $368,470, but Coyne told The Gazette in January a more realistic appraisal would be in the high $190,000s.

Built in 1924, the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.

Contact reporter Andrew Davis at (330) 721-4050 or adavis@medina-gazette.com.