LORAIN — New life will be coming to the Broadway Building as early as next summer, the Lorain Port Authority announced Thursday.
According to a news release, which Lorain Port Authority Executive Director Tom Brown flew to Mayor Chase Ritenauer via a small drone at the end of the annual State of the City address, the building’s developer will be partnering with Cobblestone Hotels to open a new hotel at the corner of Broadway and East Erie Avenue.
On Feb. 16, Ariel on Broadway, which is operated by Cleveland-based Radhika Reddy and Annette Stevenson, finalized the agreement to bring a 55-room hotel to the area that “will fill the void of hotel rooms that currently exist in the city of Lorain.”
Brown said the port wanted to announce “a really good piece of news” at the State of the City and the new hotel, called Ariel Broadway Hotel by Cobblestone, was just that.
“There’s been a lot of stop and go in the past with this project and we really wanted to show that we’re full systems go on it now,” he said. “We wanted to share that with everyone here.”
The agreement marks the end of a troubled development history for the building, which formerly served as the Spitzer Plaza Hotel until 2005 when it closed due to low occupancy rates.
In 2016, Chicago-based developer ReTown attempted to put together a development plan for the building but issues with funding for the $12 million project, including a loss of historic tax credits, caused the deal to fall through.
The building’s former owner, Spitzer Great Lakes Ltd., reached an agreement with the Lorain Port Authority in December to donate the building to the authority for two years and then to Ariel Ventures LLC after that.
According to the news release, the hotel, which Brown said likely will cost about $10 million once it’s completed, will have rooftop and fourth-floor event spaces, along with restaurant, office and retail space opportunities.
“It’s amazing what’s going on with the Broadway Building, a building that’s been a symbol of a downtown that people think has seen its day,” Ritenauer said. “‘Why even mess with downtown?’ I get asked. All the sudden you have other projects and this building, which is being put back into public use with a banquet facility and a restaurant.”
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