Bank Interested in Buying the First Church of Christ Scientist Building?
City officials confirm that a bank is in preliminary discussions to buy the property.
The building that was recently designated the city’s third-ever historic landmark is in on the market.
And it may have an interested buyer.
City officials confirmed rumors this week that a bank is interested in buying the property.
However, the buyer and the seller are in negotiations and no deal has been reached.
“The building looks great on the outside,” said Mayor Michael Summers. “The question has been ‘who would be interested?’”
The property — including the 23,000-square-foot building — is listed for sale at $1.97 million.
“We’re not in a position to know what’s going on,” the mayor added, noting that no deal has been reached. “It’s one thing to express interest, and another thing to actually buy it.”
“That would be a very happy outcome,” Summers said.
Earlier this year, the Lakewood Heritage Advisory Board recommended that the structure at 15422 Detroit Avenue receive the special distinction — which means that the building could never be demolished.
Then, in June, the city’s planning commission made the 100-year-old structure the third historical landmark in the city — joining only St. James Catholic Church and the Oldest Stone House with the designation.
The structure now qualifies for historic building federal and state tax credits.
Designed by Charles Draper Faulkner — the architect behind dozens of First Church of Christ, Scientist structures in the Midwest — the large two-story building’s construction began in 1913.
Church services took place in the basement until the upstairs was completed in 1922.
The building, situated just to the west of the Drug Mart Plaza, was sold in 2004 to a commodity plastics trading firm, which extensively renovated the property.
And last year, the structure — most recently home to Maxxum Plastics — closed its doors and was put up for sale. According to court documents, the company ceased operations in Lakewood in 2009.
That’s when California Phone took ownership.
The company recently appealed the planning commission's ruling that the property is a historic landmark. That case is pending in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.
“There’s a bank looking at the property, but no offers have been made,” said Dru Siley, the city’s director of planning and development. “But there’s serious interest. The best way to preserve that building for the next 100 years is to have a tenant occupying that iconic building.”