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Park Inn restoration plan on track

A $64.5 million plan to restore the 15-story Park Inn hotel downtown, expand and renovate the adjacent SeaGate Convention Centre, and tear down the nearby former Hotel Seagate is proceeding on schedule with construction activity likely before the month ends.

“Everything’s very close to getting moving. I expect you’ll see some demolition there in the next couple of weeks. We still have our operating agreement with Hilton and we still have our partners, [developer] Frank Kass and [hotel operator] Steve Schwartz,” said Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken.

Last month a public-private partnership formed by Mr. Kass, of Continental Real Estate Co. of Columbus; Mr. Schwartz, of First Hospitality Group, and the Lucas County Economic Development Corp., which the county commissioners use to execute construction projects, completed its purchase of the 33-year-old Park Inn.

The partnership, which was named Toledo PI Acquisitions LLC, bought the hotel Oct. 15 from PLT Holdings LLC for $7.9 million.

Drawings depicting the interiors of a restored Park Inn are over 50 percent complete, said Lucas County Administrator Megan Vahey Casiere, who also is president of the Lucas County Economic Development Corp.

Interior demolition should begin in the next few weeks followed by renovations by Continental. When finished, the former Park Inn will be converted into dual Hilton brand hotels — a Hilton Garden Inn with 216 rooms, and a Hilton Homewood Suites with 93 rooms.

The conversion is expected to take 15 months.

Under the partnership, the county agreed to invest $35 million through the LCEDC for redevelopment. Continental and First Hospitality, which owns the Renaissance Hotel downtown, will put up $20 million. A $9.3 million clean energy loan was being sought from the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.

Under the plan, the county is to recoup its purchase costs for the Park Inn, plus the $1.38 million it spent in 2014 to buy the Hotel Seagate. Continental is expected to bear the demolition costs.

Ms. Casiere said the partnership has closed on its financing for the project, and other aspects of the project, including demolition contracts to tear down the 19-story Hotel Seagate, are close to being finalized.

Mr. Casiere said the hotel could come down starting in December.

“We are working on the contracts next month, so we don’t have a date for that yet. But we want to get the demolition of the Hotel Seagate done before the end of this year,” she said.

Work on the third part of the project — moving the entrance of the SeaGate Centre parking garage from Summit Street to Monroe Street, and building a ballroom to hold more formal events at the convention center — also is beginning. Fences around the convention center’s Monroe Street and Superior Street sides were erected on Tuesday.

“The crews were out there today and we will start working on the garage as well as some of the work on ballroom construction fairly soon,” she said. The Lathrop Co. is the construction manager for the convention center project and The Collaborative is the architect.

Mr. Gerken said the first goal is to get the SeaGate Center portion of the project completed. Construction work on the ballroom could begin by early next year, with the hotel interior demolition work and renovation taking place simultaneously.

The project was announced in mid-July and it has taken since then to get contracts drawn up, financing completed, and the hotel purchased. Mr. Gerken said the coronavirus had a slowing effect on the entire process, but there has never been any suggestion of abandoning the project by any of the partners.

“There are not many people taking risks on building a new hotel right now. But we’ve got our lenders and we’ve got our money and we’re confident that it’ll get done by the time the travel and tourism industry returns,” he said. “So we think we’re on track.”


Posted By: The Toledo Blade on November 11, 2020.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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