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Developers Hope to Break Ground Next Month on $25 Million
Hotel-Retail Project in Toledo, Ohio

Plans Include Two Five-Story 100 to 125-room Hotels

By Jon Chavez, The Blade, Toledo, OhioMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Jan. 22, 2013--Developers of a hotel and retail project on Secor Road where a theater complex once stood say they could break ground on the $25 million plan as early as next month.

Joe Swolsky of RL West Properties, who is working with Steve Roumaya, a partner with Key Hotel and Property Management Inc., said the two men have applications pending with the Hilton chain and the Holiday Inn chain for affiliations for the hotels they are developing on the 13-acre property at 3500 Secor Rd.

"Hilton told us we'd hear from them by the end of this month," Mr. Swolsky said. If approval comes, as expected, the developers plan to break ground for a five-story, 123-room hotel room that will operate in the $100-a-night price range.

"We're planning to have a groundbreaking in February or March on the first [hotel] and then breaking ground a year later on the second one," Mr. Swolsky said.

The second hotel also is to be five stories with about 100 rooms, he added.

Mr. Swolsky provided details of the development project on Thursday to Toledo City Council members. The developers are asking the city to extend Executive Parkway across Secor Road and along the development project's southern border.

"We have to provide details to the city before they will agree to extend the road, and we have to show we are providing financing," Mr. Swolsky said.

The project is being financed through bonds from the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, and with funding from Farmers and Merchants State Bank.

The two hotels are anchoring the project and will use three acres, but the remaining seven acres will be for additional tenants.

Mr. Swolsky said that after ground is broken for the first hotel, there are plans to break ground soon afterward on the rest of the development.

He said the developers are close to signing tenants to occupy medical offices, two restaurants, and some small retailers.

He declined to name them.

Mr. Roumaya said last year other potential retailers on the site could be a fitness center, a bank, and possibly a pharmacy.

He developed the adjacent Del Taco restaurant and the accompanying strip center, which includes Bassett's Health Food store.

Mr. Swolsky said the developers sought financial backing for their project from several regional banks but those banks are not lending money for commercial development projects following the recession.

If not for a community bank like Farmers & Merchants bank, the project might have stalled, he said.

The site was purchased by Mr. Roumaya and his partners last year for $2.5 million from National Amusements Inc.

The Dedham, Mass., theater chain operated a five-theater cinema complex on the site for decades until it closed in 2005.

The theaters were torn down in 2011.

Contact Jon Chavez at: jchavez@theblade.com or 419-724-6128.

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(c)2013 The Blade (Toledo, Ohio)

Visit The Blade (Toledo, Ohio) at www.toledoblade.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services



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