Work is under way on the first of two new hotels that will spring up from what was formerly the site of a vacant West Toledo cinema.
The hotel, a four-story, 108-room Hampton Inn and Suites, is expected to open in July, 2014. A second hotel and retail and restaurant space will follow. Developers expect to spend about $25 million on the entire project.
“We’re excited. It’s a good thing,” said Steve Roumaya, a partner with Key Hotel and Property Management of Toledo, which is developing the site.
Officials said Tuesday at a groundbreaking ceremony and news conference that walls would begin going up on the Hampton Inn in six to eight weeks. Construction of the second hotel, a 92-room Holiday Inn Express, is expected to begin later this year.
The 13-acre property at 3500 Secor Rd. was formerly home to Showcase Cinemas. The theater closed in 2005 after more than 40 years in business. It sat vacant until it was razed in 2011. Mr. Roumaya’s company bought the property for $2.5 million that same year.
“The reason we wanted to be in the Westgate area, this area here is in need of a new hotel,” Mr. Roumaya said.
“You’ve got the University of Toledo, you’ve got Toledo Hospital, you’ve got other hospitals. There’s a lot of demand for a new corporate hotel, which is what we do. So there’s a need. We’ve been working in this area, trying to get a site here, for probably four or five years.”
Looking at the development from Secor, the Hampton Inn will be on the right-hand side, near the rear of the property, which borders Middlesex Drive. The Holiday Inn Express is planned to be adjacent to the Hampton Inn on the property’s north side. Retail and restaurant space will be in front of the hotels, Mr. Roumaya said.
In addition to the two hotels, developers plan to have space for five to eight other businesses.
“We’re working with a few people,” Mr. Roumaya said. “We’ve got a couple retailers and the restaurants. Within 60 days, we should be officially announcing one or two more.”
He said a deal was all but done with one casual dining chain.
The work is expected to create about 600 temporary construction jobs. Officials with Key said they expect to have more than 300 people on site daily at the peak of construction. The hotels are expected to create about 100 permanent jobs, while the retail and restaurant space is expected to add another 150 permanent jobs.
The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority has financed $2.3 million of the $9 million Hampton Inn project through a loan. The city has allocated $350,000 to extend Executive Parkway east of Secor Road to serve as an access road for the development.
The city is also in the final stages of a $5.4 million project in which it is rebuilding an approximately 1-mile stretch of Secor Road that runs between Central Avenue and Monroe Street.
Toledo Mayor Mike Bell said it’s good when the city is able to help foster development with those sorts of infrastructure projects. He also said the project is proof that things are headed in the right direction, and that its completion should have a ripple effect on the local economy.
“Once this business is created here, we’ve got all the other businesses that are around that are going to benefit from this,” the mayor said. “What I want to be able to say is thank you, thank you to these business people who are willing to step up in Toledo. What we need is more business people who are willing to step up in Toledo and reinvest. This is such an important time in Toledo’s history, and the turnaround is starting to occur.”
Toledo Councilman Tom Waniewski, who represents the district that includes the development, also praised the project.
“This area provides a lot of the funds that allow this city to do things. And this is no different,” he said. “We had a big, boxy, ugly, vacant building that showed movies. Today we’re beginning the first scene of another very successful story.”
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