CUYAHOGA COUNTY -- Cuyahoga County has put 13 buildings up for sale and many are expected to attract interest from developers.
By selling its headquarters, the county needs to find a new home that will boost activity in some downtown neighborhood
Most of the buildings are located downtown and downtown boosters see the timing as perfect to continue the momentum of casino, Flats East Bank and Convention Center/Medical Mart projects.
"It's an exciting opportunity, coming at just the right time, " said Downtown Cleveland Alliance Vice President Michael Deemer.
Many envision the county building next to the Convention Center/Medical Mart as being valuable because of its prime location and a possible home for a hotel or needed parking.
Also on the block, the notorious money pit Ameritrust project that many envision as a mixed use office and residential complex.
Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald said geting rid of that will be good for the county's psyche.
"There's one person in there, the custodian...The unfortunate thing is they overpaid for it and it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to get what was put into it," FitzGerald said.
Downtown apartments are 97 percent occupied. Deemer said, "There's built-up demand."
FitzGerald pledges that all proposals will be scrutinized in public.
"There will be no sweetheart deals," he said.
Some envision the old May Company Building or largely empty Huntington Bank Building as being logical locations for the new county government complex.
Construction workers are hoping for more development to keep them busy.
Deemer said, "This will keep paychecks coming into Cleveland...Everything the county is doing has the potential to be transformational."
Consultants value the 13 buildings at $30 million but that may be hard to get in a depressed real estate market.
Also included in the mix, the now-vacant Juvenile Justice complex on East 22nd Street.
FitzGerald says the county will also save millions of dollars by no longer having to maintain unused or underused buildings.