The owners of Cascade One, a landmark downtown Akron building, have paid off their debt, and the building no longer is in foreclosure.
“We look forward to keeping the building in the first-class condition it is now in,” said Larry Levey, one of the owners of the 23-story Cascade One Plaza, also known as the PNC Building.
In related news, the Babst Calland law firm, headquartered in Pittsburgh, has expanded its energy practice by opening an office in the building at South Main and Bowery streets.
Levey, an area developer, and partners in Cascade Plaza Associates LLC bought back their mortgage for less than the $6.8 million they owed.
Levey declined to reveal the exact amount, noting the partners paid “slightly less” than the amount owed.
Summit County Common Pleas Judge Mary Margaret Rowlands on Monday dismissed the foreclosure action, which was filed in late May by the lender, U.S. Bank.
Area attorney Steve Pruneski, statutory agent for Cascade Plaza Associates, said earlier this month the foreclosure action caught the building’s owners by surprise because they had begun talking with the bank about buying back the mortgage.
The property — like commercial buildings throughout the country — has suffered from vacancies in the tough economy.
However, Levey said the vacancy rate at Cascade One/PNC Building — about 20 percent — compares well with other downtown Akron office buildings.
The new tenant, the Babst Calland law firm, is occupying about 4,000 square feet, nearly half of the 10th floor, in the Cascade Building, according to Kurt Weber, chief marketing officer of Babst Calland.
Weber said many clients are using the firm for its experience in the growing oil and gas drilling industry in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The legal practice also has opened an office in Charleston, W.Va.
Cascade Plaza Associates, headed by Arthur Goldner of the Chicago area, bought the Cascade One/PNC Building in 1999, improved it, attracted new tenants and secured a new $9 million mortgage on it in 2002.
Levey, one of the local owners of the property, also is involved with the controversial proposal by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to build a Walmart and Sam’s Club in Copley Township, replacing older stores in Fairlawn.
Meanwhile, another prominent downtown property, Akron’s Key Building, remains in foreclosure.
This 101-year-old building, at 159 S. Main St., is to be auctioned at a Summit County sheriff’s sale June 29. The building, south of Bowery, has been appraised at $9.528 million. Bidding under state law will start at $6.352 million.
Ezra Burdix of DTM Real Estate Services, the court-appointed receiver that is managing the property, has said potential buyers have toured the building. He said the building is being marketed in hopes that a private sale will attract a bigger price than the sheriff’s sale.
Burdix has said the property is about half vacant. Nevertheless, he said, “it is a good building and a good opportunity.”
The property is owned by 159 Associates Ltd.
Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781 or firstname.lastname@example.org.