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IRG Rubber City and Summit Development to Begin Development
of a 136-room Hilton Garden Inn in East Akron, Ohio

A June 2014 Opening is Planned

By Jim Mackinnon, The Akron Beacon JournalMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

May 18, 2013--East Akron is getting a Hilton.

Ground will be broken this summer for a 136-room, five-story Hilton Garden Inn on a 3-acre parcel off East Market Street between Goodyear Hall and the Ganley Auto campus, the developer says.

The approximately $18 million project is expected to open in June 2014, said Peter Goffstein, senior vice president for Industrial Realty Group, the company developing the former Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. campus into what is now being called the East End.

"We're approved. We have our financing in place," Goffstein said. "The process with Hilton has been completed."

Hilton Garden Inns cater to business and so-called "mid-market" travelers. Corporate parent Hilton said there are more than 500 Hilton Garden Inns worldwide. In Northeast Ohio, there is a Hilton Garden Inn in Twinsburg, one near Akron-Canton Airport, several in the Cleveland area and one in Wooster. Room rates at those hotels range from $109 to $129 nightly, according to Hilton's website.

The 88,000-square-foot East Akron Hilton is a joint project of IRG Rubber City LLC and Pittsburgh-based Summit Development Inc.

"Big picture, it's a great addition to our project. It's a great addition to the city," Goffstein said. The East End hotel will have a full restaurant and bar, pool, fitness center, meeting rooms and more, he said.

The hotel will front East Market Street on land bound by Cook Street, Mary Street and Kelly Avenue.

The new hotel is part of what Goffstein calls the "Phase II" part of the East End project, the initial renovations of the former Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. corporate headquarters and Goodyear Hall across the street. IRG will be turning the approximate 1.7 million square feet of space into a mix of offices, retail and residential. IRG calls its concept for the properties "live, work, play."

Goffstein said he expects Goodyear corporate visitors will proportionately make up the highest number of users of the new Hilton Garden Inn. The new Goodyear corporate headquarters is less than half a mile away off Innovation Way, formerly Martha Avenue.

Akron hospitals, the University of Akron and other downtown businesses are also projected to help generate visitors and fill rooms, Goffstein said. The hotel also will be attractive to visitors of companies in the upcoming East End office space, he said.

The location off Interstate 76 also means "it's a great location just for travelers," he said.

IRG is working on other restaurant concepts for the former Goodyear headquarters building and in Goodyear Hall, Goffstein said.

The closeness of the Hilton Garden Inn and Goodyear Hall, which has a 1,500-seat theater, means businesses will be able to make use of both facilities for large meetings and other events, he said.

Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or jmackinnon@thebeaconjournal.com.

___

(c)2013 the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)

Visit the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio) at www.ohio.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services NYSE:BX,



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