A DEVELOPER WANTS to buy this downtown parking lot that is behind The Wine Merchant, the former Rieck’s building, and the former site of the Argyle apartment building. The parking lot would be used as part of a $31 million, six-story residential and retail development. (Photo by Randy Roberts)

By LOU WILIN
STAFF WRITER

Findlay City Council will meet Monday with the developer who wants to buy a city-owned parking lot as part of a $31 million, six-story residential and retail development downtown.

California developer and Findlay High School graduate Tim Youngpeter seeks the parking lot behind The Wine Merchant and the former Rieck’s building for his proposed building in and around the former Argyle apartment building space.

The Argyle space, across the street from Marathon Petroleum Corp. headquarters, has been vacant since 2012 when the apartment building was destroyed by fire.

Youngpeter’s proposed building would house retail and parking on the first two floors, and 122 apartment units upstairs. It would offer at least as much public parking as the 58 spaces now at the city lot, plus parking for apartment tenants, according to city officials.

Council has scheduled an informal committee-of-the-whole meeting for Monday with Youngpeter. He will review further details about the project and present drawings.

The meeting will be at 5 p.m. in council chambers.

His building’s footprint would include the former Argyle space on Main Street and the 58-space parking lot behind and west of the Argyle space.

Extending his building’s footprint over the parking lot would make his venture profitable, he said.

But the city cannot by law sell property directly to Youngpeter without putting it up for auction. Blanchard Valley Port Authority would be a critical intermediary between the city and Youngpeter.

The city can only sell property directly to another government entity, like the port authority. Port authorities, however, are permitted by law to sell a property directly to a person or other private entity.

The port authority is offering the city up to $150,000 for the parking lot.

Though not all of the details have been disclosed, past Port Authority projects have involved the agency temporarily owning the land and new building, and leasing it to the eventual owner, who later buys it.

Representatives of Blanchard Valley Port Authority and Tim Mayle, director of Findlay-Hancock County Economic Development, will be at the council committee-of-the-whole meeting on Monday.

Youngpeter’s proposed building would have retail spaces on the ground floor, fronting on Main Street. The rear of the ground floor would have parking, as would the entire second floor.

The third through sixth floors would have apartments in the upper-middle price range, Youngpeter said.

Most would be single-bedroom, with some two-bedroom; and six townhouses, or two-story units, with potentially three bedrooms.

Wilin: 419-427-8413
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