CANTON — Two of the downtown’s former temples to finance will be on the auction block next month.
The former KeyBank tower on Central Plaza North and the former National City Bank, at 315 W. Tuscarawas St., will be offered in an absolute auction by Kiko. The sale is set for noon May 9. Both buildings will be open for two hours before the sale.
Liberty Commons — a division of Testa Cos., based in Cuyahoga Falls — acquired the two buildings in 2001. In January, the properties were transferred to PJT-Pointe West, a separate Testa business.
There are no tenants in either building, said Richard T. Kiko Jr. of Kiko Auctions. The owner has decided to convert the properties to cash and prefers using the auction option to sell the buildings, Kiko said.
“It’s really part of the cycle of life of real estate,” Kiko said of the auction plans.
Both buildings were constructed in the 1920s. The former George D. Harter Bank built the KeyBank tower, while the National City building once was home to Canton’s old First National Bank and then Home Savings.
The buildings were constructed during a time when banks featured sweeping, ornate lobbies designed to impress customers. The lobby in the KeyBank building is four stories and resembles the interior of a church. The entrance to the National City building rises three stories, while a large steel bank vault door is part of the back wall.
The main bank portion of the building on West Tuscarawas Street has been vacant for nearly 20 years after National City, now PNC, moved to 210 N. Market Ave. Offices on upper floors were leased until recently.
KeyBank moved from the Harter building in June 2016 to an office down the block at 100 Central Plaza N. A skywalk over Piedmont Court Northeast once connected the building to another office building used by KeyBank, but the walkway was removed in August 2016.
The buildings are obsolete as banks, which have moved to smaller offices that feature kiosks and automatic teller machines instead of teller stations.
“Now is a time to find a new owner with a new vision,” Kiko said of the buildings.
The auction notice points out that the buildings need renovations and updates. It’s a guess as to how much they might fetch at an auction, Kiko said.
Michael Gill, who directs the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce’s downtown development partnership, said there has been some interest in the buildings. It’s unlikely, he said, that the Downtown Canton Land Bank, which is part of the development partnership, will be bidding.
Information about the buildings and the auction can be found at KikoAuctions.com. Potential buyers can tour the buildings before the auction by contacting Brooks E. Ames at Kiko.