The Courier » New owner, new life for downtown Findlay building

New owner, new life for downtown Findlay building

THIS VACANT, 128-year-old downtown Findlay building has a new owner and a promising future. Among the possible uses for the five-story, 8,400-square-foot building at the southeast corner of Main and Crawford streets: high-end housing, commercial use, or a company’s regional office or headquarters. (Photo by Randy Roberts / The Courier)

By LOU WILIN
STAFF WRITER

A vacant, 128-year-old downtown Findlay building has a new owner and a promising future.

Local businessman Mike Mallett has bought the former home of Muddy River Bicycle Co. and Finders Records, 401-405 S. Main St.

Among the prospective uses for the five-story, 8,400-square-foot building at the southeast corner of Main and Crawford streets: high-end housing, commercial use, or a company’s regional office or headquarters, said David Owens, chief executive officer of Mallett Enterprises Findlay.

Mallett Enterprises has been in discussions with a variety of different parties which have different ideas about what to do with the property.

“We have our toes in quite a few bathtubs, if you will,” Owens said. “There’s a lot of interested parties, and we’ll consider all offers.”

One party would like to have commercial uses on the ground floor and have all other floors be residential, he said.

Another party is interested in offering “upscale communal housing” in which residents would have their own bedrooms and share a kitchen, computer room, TV and media rooms, large country club-style showers and restrooms, Owens said.

High-end communal housing is more common in metropolitan areas.

Some corporations also are interested in the building for a regional office or headquarters, Owens said.

“Mike Mallett has felt for a long time that this building, when restored, will be one of the most prominent buildings in the city on one of the best pieces of land in downtown Findlay,” Owens said.

The building was erected in the 1890s and was named the Adams Block. It was originally constructed as a four-story building, replacing a three-story building that preceded it. A couple of years later, a fifth story was added by the Masons, who built a grand ballroom, the remnants of which are there today.

The building later became known as the Commerce Block and housed several government offices, retail shops, medical and dental offices, and commercial office space.

It would became widely known as the Finders Building when the record store moved in. The 2007 flood closed Finders Records Tapes & CDs.

Finders Records President Greg Halamay, then owner of the building, used 403 S. Main St. as a makeshift warehouse for his Bowling Green record store. He removed the flood-damaged carpet and gutted the basement to maintain the foundation’s integrity.

Muddy River Bicycle moved into 403 S. Main St. in mid-2011. The bicycle shop closed several months ago when its owners encountered family illnesses.

Halamay remained as owner of the building, until recently selling it to Mallett.

In keeping with history, the name of the building will return to the Block, Owens said.

“It is our plan to locate and procure as many old photos and artifacts of the building as possible — from the original construct up to the most recent tenant — to adorn the common areas and celebrate the rich history that this structure has experienced,” Owens said.

Mallett Enterprises is a venture capital company whose businesses include Alexandria’s restaurant on Crawford Street, the Findlay Parking Garage, LiveShopper, the Kirk Warehouse, the Davis Building, and ITX Healthcare.

Wilin: 419-427-8413
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