June 28, 2016

Mostly cloudy

City Council calls special meeting to enter Masonic Temple auction

MEDINA — City Council will conduct a special meeting Thursday morning to authorize Law Director Greg Huber to bid on the Masonic Temple, 120 N. Elmwood Ave.

The meeting is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. — less than four hours before the auction will begin.

If Council approves the ordinance, it would allow Huber to bid up to $250,000 at the 11 a.m. auction at the Crown Plaza Hotel, 7230 Engle Road, Middleburg Heights.

Bidding starts at $45,000.

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

Last fall, the city authorized the purchase of the temple as a site for a new municipal courthouse. The deal fell through when Masonic leadership changed and told the city MC Real Estate, the real estate broker that negotiated the deal with the city, wasn’t authorized to sell the building.

Coyne said earlier this month that the city no longer needed the property because the city is moving forward with plans to add on to the Police Department in the parking lot on the east end of City Hall.

But Coyne said it still made sense to bid on the building.

“We might need it in the future,” he said.

Coyne said he consulted with Council members and the administration.

“We all agreed that if City Hall ever needed an expansion, it would be good to own that property,” he said.

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

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

Andrew Davis About Andrew Davis

Andrew Davis covered Medina city government for The Gazette from January 2014 to May 2015. Contact The Gazette's news department at (330) 721-4065 or areanews@medina-gazette.com.