Stories Behind The Buckeye State
Tuesday November 21st 2017

Columbus’s LeVeque has new owner

 

Detail on the upper levels of the LeVeque Tower - Photo by Andrew Wood

The LeVeque Tower—the building with, by far, the most character in the Columbus skyline— has been sold to a new owner. Not that it should come as a surprise. The terra cotta masterpiece, designed by Detroit architect, C. Howard Crane, has been sold a few times over the years, often for less than its initial selling price.

In fact, that’s where the story of the LeVeque starts. It was originally commissioned by the American Insurance Union (AIU), switching hands only after a financial fall in the Great Depression—a time when the AIU had no choice but to sell the structure in an effort to pay off its policyholders. In 1945, namesake, Leslie LeVeque, and partner were able to purchase the building at a fraction of its original construction cost.

The iconic, 47-story tower has endured many changes since then; the latest of these was reported Friday, March 11th, by the Columbus Dispatch. The building has been sold to a consortium headed up by local commercial real estate developer, Casto. The LeVeque, while still in decent physical shape, has been fighting a high percentage of vacancy over the past few years. Company chief, Don Casto, told the Dispatch that plans may include converting some of the vacant space into luxury apartments, as well as a restoration for the façade and communal areas. The partnership picked up the building for around $4 million dollars, a stark contrast to the $8.5 million it sold for in 2005.

Let’s hope that Casto can give the LeVeque the boost it needs to remain the shining jewel of Columbus.

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Sources:
Columbus Dispatch– “LeVeque Tower, a Downtown icon, changes hands
Columbus Business First- “LeVeque Tower bought for bargain; Casto to lead renovation
Wikipedia- “LeVeque Tower

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