Ohio Firm Has Eye on Windsor Manor

Windsor Manor and its more than 100 apartment units could soon be under new ownership, as a Cleveland developer has asked for Wheeling City Council’s help in obtaining low-interest financing to purchase and renovate the building.

During their 5:30 p.m. meeting today, council members will vote on a non-binding resolution granting preliminary approval to issue up to $5 million in revenue bonds for the project on behalf of Arbors of Windsor Manor LLC, which “intends to acquire, rehabilitate and equip” the downtown residential facility, according to the legislation.

An actual bond issue would require formal approval by council following a public hearing, while the resolution officials will consider today is designed to show a conditional willingness to move forward as the company sets up a financing structure.

City Manager Robert Herron referred questions regarding details of the proposed project to the developer.

Arbors of Windsor Manor’s principal officer is listed as Joseph Bobeck, president and chief executive officer of Great Lakes Financial Group in Cleveland. He could not be reached for comment Monday.

The building’s current owner is Joseph Skilken & Co. of Columbus, Ohio, which maintains apartment complexes in Ohio and Florida in addition to Windsor Manor.

West Virginia law permits counties and municipalities to issue such bonds for commercial or industrial projects, essentially acting as a conduit for the funding but assuming no obligation for the debt. In fact, the law forbids local governments from contributing to the cost of those projects through their general funds.

Herron said the bond issue would help the developer obtain low-interest financing. The bonds are also tax-exempt.

Herron said council took similar action in 2003 and 2004 when members issued bonds to finance the expansion of Oglebay Park’s Wilson Lodge, although they were issued on behalf of the Wheeling Park Commission, which is a public agency.