LORAIN — The Broadway Building is under new management — and ownership.
Lorain Port Authority Executive Director Rick Novak said Spitzer Great Lakes Ltd., the now former owner of the building, is donating it to the port authority, which will then lease it to Broadway Partners LLC.
The former Spitzer Plaza Hotel, at 301 Broadway, is now under new management and ownership
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“Broadway Partners is a group operated by ReTown developer Jim Louthen,” Novak said. “The lease is for two years and then after that we can initiate a purchasing agreement if we so choose. It’s basically to make sure that the developer doesn’t take the property and then do nothing with it.”
Novak said the interior of the building, in addition to the exterior, needs a lot of work before the structure can really be developed.
“There are some sections of the inside that are OK and aren’t in very bad shape,” he said. “And then there are others that have been heavily damaged. It’s just a very complicated process, but I think we’re making great strides, and this will be a catalyst for the downtown area when it’s complete.”
Novak said Louthen, who was unavailable for comment Tuesday, has been working to receive state and federal historic tax credits to work on the building, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.
So far, he has received $440,203 in state historic tax credits, leaving more than $9.5 million still needed for the $10 million project.
According to ReTown’s website, the newly renovated building is expected to have 55 studio, one- or two-bedroom market-based apartments for those ages 55 and older, which would feature hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, vintage energy-efficient windows, nine-foot ceilings, in-unit climate control and in-unit washer and dryer.
The building would also feature covered parking, a fitness center, a pool and hot tub, a cedar sauna, locker rooms, a rooftop garden, a business center, an arts and crafts studio, meeting and lounge spaces and storage lockers.
The building, known as the former Spitzer Plaza Hotel, which closed in 2005 due to low occupancy rates, at the corner of Broadway and East Erie Avenue, has been a bone of contention in the community after sitting empty for more than 10 years with a crumbling exterior.
The city cited Spitzer Great Lakes Ltd. in January for failure to maintain the exterior structure in good repair, structurally sound and sanitary so it will not pose a threat to public health and safety; bricks that appeared to be detaching from the building; and two unsafe conditions violations, which said that siding and masonry joints were not maintained or weather-resistant and that veneer, cornice, belt courses, trim and other decorative features were not property anchored or capable of supporting loads.
At a May 25 pretrial hearing, assistant Law Director Mallory Holmes said Spitzer had until Sept. 1 to fix the building’s issues or the citations would go to trial Sept. 21.
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