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Published: Wednesday, 9/5/2012

Developer plans hotel for former cinema site

Retail included in $25M project

BY JON CHAVEZ
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER
Dirt is dumped behind the former Showcase Cinemas on Secor Road in this 2010 file photo. Dirt is dumped behind the former Showcase Cinemas on Secor Road in this 2010 file photo.
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A Toledo-based developer has purchased the former Showcase Cinemas site on Secor Road and plans a $25 million redevelopment of the 13-acre property that will include an upscale hotel and additional retail.

Saad “Steve” Roumaya, a partner with Key Hotel and Property Management Inc., which has built area hotels, restaurants, and small retail centers, said he plans to build an 80,000-square-foot, four-story, 114-room hotel on the site with construction starting in November if Key Hotel can obtain the necessary permits by then. The hotel will take about 12 months to build, he added.

Last week Mr. Roumaya’s company purchased the property, at 3500 Secor Rd., for $2.5 million from National Amusements Inc. The Dedham, Mass.-based theater chain had operated the cinemas until 2005 when it closed them. They were torn down in 2011.

Mr. Roumaya said the hotel brand has not been finalized, but it is known that Key Hotel has been negotiating with the Hampton Inn chain. In 2009, Key Hotel submitted plans to the Toledo-Lucas County Plan Commission for construction of two hotels on the site, including a Hampton Inn.

Mr. Roumaya said whatever chain the group eventually affiliates with, the hotel will have the latest amenities and room rates in the $90-to-$100-a-night range.

“We’re confident in that it will be good for the area,” he said. “We’ve been working with both [ProMedica] and [the University of Toledo] and they’ve both been looking for a good corporate hotel.”

The Key Hotel group has developed a Fairfield Inn off Alexis Road in Toledo, a Holiday Inn Express in Oregon, and a Hampton Inn in Bowling Green. 

Mr. Roumaya has developed, among other properties, the Del Taco Restaurant on Secor Road and the accompanying strip center that contains Scrambler Marie’s restaurant and Bassett’s Health Food store.

Mr. Roumaya has been interested in redeveloping the Showcase Cinemas property since 2008 but the timing hasn’t been right, he said. 

“We’ve been waiting for the market to come back better. Everything is now in order and the city of Toledo has been very cooperative,” he said.

The city has plans to repave Secor Road, from I-475 south to Central Avenue starting next spring. The city also has tentative plans to extend Executive Parkway east across Secor Road to provide better access to the new development.

Mr. Roumaya said the accesswill be needed because the hotel will take only three acres, and he has plans to develop the remaining 10 acres of the site once the hotel is finished.

A site plan contains a possible 30,000-square-foot building and room for another 25,000-square-foot building for either office or commercial use. There are also lots available for use by small restaurants or retailers.

“We have been talking to a fitness center outfit, a medical office user, a bank, a few restaurants, even a possible pharmacy,” Mr. Roumaya said. “I think there’s going to be a lot of interest. We’ve been working on this a while and have had some good interest all along.”

Steve Serchuk, a broker and retail expert with the Toledo office of Signature Associates Inc., said the hotel and additional retail should have a significant positive effect on the rest of the Secor Road retail corridor. Mr. Serchuk had been marketing the cinemas site on behalf of National Amusements since 2007.

“What the hotel is going to do is it is going to be another shot in the arm for the Westgate area and the local economy. Employment will go up from the mixed use there and it should enhance the marketability of the old Food Town and F&M Distributors stores,” Mr. Serchuk said.

Mr. Roumaya said he doesn’t think his new hotel will harm three nearby competitors, the Ramada Hotel and Conference Center, the Comfort Inn-Westgate, or the Red Roof Inn.

“We didn’t look at it as competition. They’re at different price points from us,” he said.

Contact Jon Chavez at: jchavez@theblade.com

 or 419-724-6128.



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