CLEVELAND - Changes are coming to Ohio City's famous and supposedly haunted Franklin Castle.
On Monday, the city of Cleveland Planning Commission unanimously rezoned the castle property at 4308 Franklin Boulevard to allow for three residences. Ward 3 Councilman Joe Cimperman told NewsChannel5 the rezoning was a condition of a pending sale and redevelopment of the historic castle and rear carriage house.
Cimperman would not reveal the identity of the alleged buyer except to say that it is a young woman with "the willingness and the wherewithal" to turn the space into her home and create two additional rental appartments.
As of this report, the Cuyahoga County Fiscal Officer, formerly the County Auditor, has no record of the property being sold.
According to county records, the current owner, Michelle Heimburger, purchased the 20-room mansion in 1999 for $350,000.
A fire severely damaged the castle later in 1999 and the building has been boarded-up ever since. Earlier this year, the carriage house was also damaged by fire.
The sandstone castle was originally built in 1865 as a residence for the family of German immigrant and banker Hannes Tiedemann.
The deaths of several members of the Tiedemann family at the property during the 1800s have long-fueled claims that the structure is the most haunted house in Ohio. Various subsequent owners added to the lore by offering ghost tours and hosting Halloween parties.
Councilman Cimperman said the new buyer is already working with an architect and has plans to "bring the property back to what it should be."
"Somebody wanted to turn it into a museum. We talked to people who wanted to turn it into a school. Somebody else wanted to turn it into a nightclub," said Cimperman. "Those are all great ideas. But when you have someone who is actually going to live there -- it makes you feel like this is coming back to where it should have been all along."