Joe Celusta, Republican candidate for Toledo City Council, on Friday called for a national contest to find a new owner of the vacant Clarion Hotel in South Toledo who will restore it.
Mr. Celusta is one of four candidates to fill the Council District 2 seat vacated when former Councilman D. Michael Collins was sworn in as mayor Jan. 2. Also running in the special election Tuesday are appointed incumbent Matt Cherry and Robert Vasquez, both Democrats, and independent Marcia Helman.
Mr. Celusta said the deteriorating hotel at 2340 Reynolds Rd. is an eyesore that, once razed, will become a vacant lot. He said the winner of the contest, as judged by a panel of civic and business leaders, could get a three-year tax abatement.
Mayor Collins has said the $842,000 demolition will be paid for with grants. City Council voted in February to demolish the building to attract a chain patio-furniture retailer interested in making a $3 million investment in a nearby former Kmart store on Reynolds.