A New Hotel in Downtown Lakewood?
During the past few months, a committee of Lakewood city and business leaders has met to discuss that possibility. A feasibility study could be coming soon.
Looks like some folks around town would like to bring hotel to Lakewood.
During the past few months, a committee of Lakewood city and business leaders has met to discuss that possibility.
They’ve talked about capitalizing on some of the development in downtown Cleveland — think casino and Medical Mart — as well as the development along Detroit Avenue in Lakewood.
Now, it’s time for action.
Ward 3 city councilman Shawn Juris has been active on the committee, and on Monday night, he pitched the idea to the rest of city council.
“There exists an opportunity in Lakewood to attract a hotel,” he said, highlighting the city’s large number of out-of-town guests. “Not necessarily a large hotel, but maybe a boutique hotel. As in many things in economic development, it’s not as easy as ‘we want one, so let’s get one.’”
Juris asked for council’s input on a proposed feasibility study to examine whether a hotel could succeed in Lakewood.
If council gave the go-ahead, the study would cost an expected $7,000, with the cash coming from the city’s economic development fund.
In years past, previous studies showed that the city couldn’t support a hotel.
“In my several years here, this idea has popped up a number of times,” said Dru Siley, the city’s director of planning and development.
“The hotel issue is an interesting one, but my hope is what we could gain from professionals. What are the obstacles for having a hotel? If there are obstacles, then we would know them. We need to understand our market.”
He noted that even just a few years back, a hotel in Lakewood might not have needed a hotel.
“But with the shifts we’ve seen in downtown, and the tens of millions of dollars invested, we do now,” he said.
Lakewood-based Hotel and Leisure Advisors has already provided voluntary feedback to the committee.
Patty Ryan, the executive director of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, said a feasibility study is the next logical step.
Among other reasons, Ryan cited the new University of Akron Lakewood campus and the surrounding “destination” restaurants as attractions.
“A hotel is just another piece of the puzzle,” she said.
One of the ideas she’s floated for possible locations is some of the vacant space at Lakewood Center North.
“Would you want to have a wedding there? Maybe not, but it would be a logical (spot),” she said, adding that other discussed locations are along the Rocky River or along Interstate 90.
“This is why we’re doing a feasibility study,” she said.
Diane Helbig, the co-founder of Vision 21 and the president of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, said that Lakewood should capitalize on some of the multi-million-dollar projects in Cleveland — as well as Lakewood's.
“They’re going to be building them in Cleveland, we’ve got to get one in Lakewood,” she said. “We’re a destination city.”