City hopes to finalize deal on Hoover property

G. Patrick Kelley and Edd Pritchard

California developer Stuart Lichter said his company is close to finalizing a deal to purchase the Hoover property downtown.

Lichter’s Los Angeles-based Industrial Realty Group signed a contract with Hoover owner TTI Floor Care of North America in the second week of August.

The purchase agreement allowed for “due diligence” -- an intense scrutiny of the facility. It was expected to conclude in September, but the two sides extended the time.

Lichter said then that the property’s “environmental history is pretty complex,” but that was not unusual with a facility like Hoover’s, which predates environmental regulations by decades.

Lichter said Monday that the final few environmental issues are being resolved, and he hopes to have the purchase complete by the end of the year.

His company redeveloped the original B.F. Goodrich tire plant in Akron into a business and retail park called Canal Place, and did the same with the abandoned McClellan Air Force Base near Sacramento, Calif., and the NASA Manufacturing Complex in Downey, Calif.

TTI Floor Care has said it will not comment on the sale until it is final.

North Canton Mayor David J. Held said he knows no official decision has been made on the Hoover property, but he hopes a deal with Lichter will be finalized before Christmas.

“Things are progressing along and we’re hopeful,” Held said Monday. “We feel very good about how it’s going. We’re excited.”

Held said he has met with Lichter several times, including for about 90 minutes last week. Lichter was in Northeast Ohio last week working on a deal in Akron that involves Goodyear corporate headquarters.

The city is meeting with Lichter as part of a collaborative effort with state and county officials. Held said the city is prepared to help possible tenant for the property with zoning or other issues.

Lichter has said he has ideas for using the property for manufacturing commercial, retail and possible residential use.

The Repository