|By Gary T. Pakulski, The Blade, Toledo,
OhioMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
March 28, 2009 - Six months after owners of a shuttered Southwyck-area hotel promised to straighten out financial problems, troubles have grown.
A Florida bank is seeking to repossess the former Clarion Hotel & Conference Center through foreclosure, claiming the owners have defaulted on $2 million in loans.
In addition, Lucas County this week filed a $222,430 lien against the 11-story hotel, 2340 South Reynolds Rd., for unpaid hotel/motel taxes.
The 261-room high-rise is one of the first Toledo sites seen by travelers exiting the Ohio Turnpike.
It was built in 1974 in a commercial development boom spawned by the opening of the Southwyck Shopping Center.
However, the closed mall is to be torn down this year, and the surrounding commercial corridor has struggled for years with suburban flight and retail vacancies.
Hotel owners couldn't be reached for comment.
But, in a complaint filed last month in Lucas County Common Pleas Court, TransCapital Bank, Hallandale Beach, Fla., said owners failed to make mortgage payments.
The hotel has been owned since 2006 by Toledo Hotel Investment Group LLC of Miami Beach.
The Greater Toledo Convention and Visitors Bureau was disappointed to see the hotel close, but doesn't believe there is a glut of rooms in northwest Ohio.
Dave Nolan, who recently took over as president of the organization, said he hoped to do a better job of recruiting meetings and conventions to help fill rooms.
The Reynolds Road hotel operated as a Ramada Inn for many years and, together with a high-rise hotel across the street, was among the most popular stops for visitors to metro Toledo. The neighboring hotel was converted for church use five years ago.
The Clarion stopped renting rooms July 1 after Ohio officials suspended its license for failing to pay Ohio sales taxes.
Managing director Jay Joshi told The Blade last October that owners were ironing out the problems and expected to reopen.
But the business later closed entirely.
The Clarion Hotel Westgate, which has different owners, was not affected by the problems.
Contact Gary Pakulski at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6082.
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