Property owner: Deal is off the table

By David Skolnick


Downtown property owner Lou Frangos says a proposed deal to sell three buildings to his former partner is off the table.

But his former partner, Pan Brothers Associates, says Frangos is responsible for the deal collapsing.

Also, the two parties are in litigation over this failed deal.

Frangos and Pan, who had been in court since 2010 over financial issues, seemed to resolve their differences in July.

The two parties announced in July that Frangos of Cleveland had sold his 50-percent shares in Realty Tower Apartments at 47 Central St., the Stambaugh Building at 44 E. Federal St., and that structure’s adjacent parking lot and deck to Pan.

In exchange for those properties and other considerations, Frangos took full ownership of the First National Bank Tower at 1 Central Federal St., the Harshman Building at 101 E. Boardman St., and the former St. Vincent De Paul Society Building at 235 Wick Ave.

The two had shared ownership of those two buildings equal.

Also as part of that deal, Frangos gave Pan until the end of September to buy those three buildings.

“The time has come and gone,” Frangos said Wednesday.

“As of right now, there’s not going to be a sale. They didn’t close in time. They had the option to buy.”

David Rizzuto, director of operations and finance for Pan, a New York City-based company, sees it differently.

“Frangos made promises to sell the buildings to us and Frangos didn’t deliver on those promises,” Rizzuto said, declining to be more specific.

He did say: “We followed through on our part of the purchase and remain committed to proceeding with the purchase of the properties. At this time, this matter is pending before a court” in Cuyahoga County, which is where Frangos is based.

Dominic Marchionda, who owns several downtown properties, is partners with Pan on the two buildings and the parking deck the company bought from Frangos.

He is also 50-50 partners on the proposed purchase of the three other buildings.

Marchionda owns several downtown properties including the Wick Building at 23 W. Federal St. that he bought from Frangos and Pan, and Erie Terminal Place at 112 W. Commerce St. from Frangos.

Exterior brick on the First National Tower fell to the ground Saturday.

Scaffolding will be put up with an engineer providing a report on what needs to be done to make repairs by Friday, Frangos said.

The repairs should be done quickly, he said.

Rizzuto added: “Unfortunately, until the court has an opportunity to address this matter, Frangos remains responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the building.”

Frangos said he recently finished a major repair project to the Plaza Parking Deck and Building at 53 S. Champion St. He previously estimated the improvement work at $2 million.

Frangos also owns the Chase Building at 6 Central Federal St., and a vacant building at 213 W. Boardman St., which also includes a parking lot.

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