October 25, 2014

Medina
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Medina council wins bid, buys Masonic Temple at auction for $258,500

Medina's Masonic Temple, 120 N. Elmwood Ave., was built in 1924. The building, along with the attached theater, 139 W. Liberty St., was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002. (FILE PHOTO)

Medina’s Masonic Temple, 120 N. Elmwood Ave., was built in 1924. The building, along with the attached theater, 139 W. Liberty St., was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002. (FILE PHOTO)

Medina officials won the Masonic Temple, 120 N. Elmwood Ave., at auction Thursday with a bid of $235,000. The bidding started at $45,000 for the historic building.

Along with a 10 percent broker’s fee, the total cost is $258,500 — $8,500 more than what the city had offered to buy the building last fall before the deal fell through.

“It was very close in price,” City Council President John Coyne said. “I think that is less than a percent difference, so that is fine.”

Council voted 5-0 at a special meeting Thursday morning — less than four hours before the auction began — to authorize city Law Director Greg Huber to bid on the property.

Coyne said Council will have to call a second special meeting to confirm the purchase amount. Council is on break for six weeks.

“After that, the process starts on what we are going to do with the building,” he said.

Coyne cited safety issues as a big concern for the city moving forward. The property includes the Masonic Temple, which was built in 1924, and the adjoined theater, which was built in 1937.

Mayor Dennis Hanwell said owning the property opens up the planning process for the future.

“What it does is offer us some other alternatives in the planning process,” he said. “It promotes items identified in the downtown strategic plan.”

The mayor said Council and administration still are looking to construct a new municipal court complex on the east end of City Hall in the parking lot, but “nothing is set in stone.”

“It does give us some considerations for parking that could assist the facilities in the future,” he said.

Hanwell said the property could be used for a parking facility, but would like to see parts of the original building remain intact.

The 23,000-square-foot building was appraised by the county auditor at $369,470.

The city came to an agreement with the Masons last fall that would have allowed the city to purchase the property for $250,000.

The deal fell through after Masonic leadership changed and they told the city that MC Real Estate was not authorized to sell the property.

The temple was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.

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