Key Building in Akron sold to Las Vegas private equity company
By Katie Byard
A Las Vegas private equity fund is the new owner of the Key Building in downtown Akron.
Moonbeam Capital Investments LLC bought the 11-story office tower, which has been hit with vacancies, for $1.2 million, according to Summit County property records.
Property records show the 1911 building is appraised for tax purposes at roughly $9.4 million.
The building at Bowery and South Main streets lost two major tenants in 2011 and was foreclosed on last year.
It’s unclear whether Moonbeam Capital purchased the building via an online auction for the property this year.
Summit County property records show the building changed hands late last month. Auction officials have declined to give information about the outcome.
Officials with Moonbeam Capital could not be reached for comment.
Moonbeam Capital says on its website that it “has extensive expertise in the redevelopment of distressed commercial and residential properties.”
Adele Roth, Akron city’s development manager, said the sale of the Key Building is “a great sign ... a good thing for the city.”
Roth said she has met with property managers hired by Moonbeam and, “It seemed like, from that meeting, that this is not an owner that just wants to flip it. ... It sounds like they’re going to be making long-term improvements, looking for tenants.”
Ezra Burdix, with the property management company, said in an interview Friday that Moonbeam plans to “make the necessary investment to bring the building back to its former, greater days. The tenants are all excited about it.”
Burdix’s DTM Real Estate Services Inc., based in Indianapolis, previously served as court-appointed receiver for the property.
Burdix said he and other DTM officials are happy to see the building with an owner that has “direction and vision. When you’re a receiver, you’re just trying to maintain. You’re not trying to implement a vision.”
Moonbeam Capital says on its website that it owns more than 9 million square feet of real estate nationwide. Steven V. Maksin, an attorney, is founder and CEO of the company.
Lorin Schultz, an account executive with NAI Cummins Real Estate in Akron, is marketing the property for lease. Schultz had earlier worked with Burdix while the building was in foreclosure.
The property was nearly 70 percent vacant when it went to auction in February. Burdix, on Friday, declined to provide a more recent vacancy figure.
The building lost a major tenant — KeyBank — in 2011. That was when the Cleveland bank opened a new branch and regional headquarters one block south on South Main.
Additionally, White Hat Management, another large tenant, moved its offices in 2011 to nearby Main Place, an office building constructed in 1992. White Hat is one of the state’s largest for-profit managers of charter schools.
Together, KeyBank and White Hat occupied about 40 percent of the space in the building that boasts about 160,000 square feet of rentable space, according to Auction.com.
White Hat Management is owned by David Brennan, an Akron businessman.
Brennan was among a group of law partners who bought the building — then called the Society Building — in 1984.
It was unclear whether Brennan remained a partner in the company — 159 Associates Ltd. — that owned the building when it was foreclosed on by U.S. Bank National Association,
Byard, K. (2013, May 24), Key Building in Akron sold to Las Vegas private equity company, Akron Beacon Journal Online, (May 24, 2013), www.ohio.com/business/key-building-in-akron-sold-to-las-vegas-private-equity-company-1.398667