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Council OKs Hotel Study in Lakewood

Measure approved to spend $7,000 on a feasibility study to examine whether a hotel could work in the city.

During the past several months, a committee of city and business leaders has met to discuss .

Their brainstorming sessions resulted in taking the first step Monday to explore the issue further.

Council unanimously OK’d spending $7,000 — from the city’s economic development fund — on a feasibility study.

Ward 3 city councilman Shawn Juris, who first pitched the idea to council in April, has been active on the committee.

The group has 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.

“From the feasibility study, but also without any preconceived ideas, I would expect that an operator could come in and convert office spaces,” he said, noting Lakewood Center North could be a potential location. “But it may not be that simple.”

Some of the early feedback suggested that a hotel off of Interstate 90 would make the most sense.

“Personally, I believe it makes more sense to put it in the city itself so that the other businesses around could benefit as well,” he said.

He also noted that the plans may not necessarily call for a large hotel, but perhaps a smaller boutique hotel.

“Nothing is off the drawing board,” Juris said. “Everything is on the table right now.”

The study will seek to identify several components, such as how many guests could support a hotel, where the guests would come from and other market conditions.

In years past, previous studies showed that the city couldn’t support a hotel. But city officials say the issue keeps popping up again — and noted that it’s time to reconsider the issue.

Lakewood-based has already provided voluntary feedback to the committee. 

The company will be one of the groups likely to bid on the project, Juris said.

Patty Ryan, the executive director of the , said recently that a feasibility study is the next logical step.

Among other reasons, Ryan cited the new 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 .

“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.

Pat Ballasch July 03, 2012 at 04:10 PM
An already successful small model is the bed and breakfast. These charming spots (when done properly) are a main stay in popular tourist towns. They also don't require tax abatement. Lakewood has some charming large homes that could fill the bill. Start thinking rezoning a couple of areas close to our business district. You don't need to reinvent the wheel. This type of thing has been popular all over.
Timothy Carroll July 03, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Most logical place would be the Foran property on Sloane next to the Pink Apartments.
Valerie Suttmiller July 03, 2012 at 07:52 PM
It is great to hear that a hotel/motel project is in the works for Lakewood. I live and work overseas, but come back to my hometown every few years to visit relatives. Rather than burden them, I prefer to stay at a hotel or motel. However the pickings are very slim in Lakewood. The last few times I’ve stayed at a major name motel on Clifton close to 117th St. For a long-term stay at an economical price, and proximity to family on the northwest side, they were the only choice. However I felt uncomfortable in the daytimes because of people who lurked around the parking lot, and nighttimes, parking in the dark and walking from my car was worse. Plus, the motel needed a major overhaul to include cleaning, repairing, and updating. They also have no elevator, which makes arriving at night and hauling luggage upstairs quite a burden. Many times I thought, if only I had the money, I’d build a lovely hotel right in the center of Lakewood. Now it appears that could actually come to be! Johnstown, PA, (my 2nd hometown) half the size of Lakewood, has a Holiday Inn right in the center of town. It is a very unassuming structure, but very classy inside. They have one of the best restaurants in town, cater parties and weddings, and a pub where not only guests but locals regularly frequent. Pat, the idea of a bed and breakfast is good, and would be a welcome addition, but a major name hotel, tastefully done, I believe would be a real plus and drawing point for Lakewood.
Pat Ballasch July 03, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Wasn't there a proposal for a hotel next to Cliff Side (Sloane and Detroit). Someone said it was blown off thinking the new condos would need space for a second phase of Cliff Side (The Foran project) I question the need for using public money to study the need for a hotel. A hotel business will do their own study if they feel locating in Lakewood would be in their best interest. Try putting the word out to possible interested parties. Please get out of the mind set you need to give away public money to attract business. The opportunity should stand on it's own merit. Buy the way, how much public money has been spent on Cliff Side? Anybody out there know?
Pat Ballasch July 03, 2012 at 08:57 PM
How about both?
ian king July 05, 2012 at 02:46 AM
A model hotel that could work in downtown Lakewood is already in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. CITY FLATS HOTEL is in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids and is in a renovated former jewelers five story building. It has achieved LEED Gold Certification and features 28 unique guest rooms. It has a great street level lounge which offers local brews, wine and small plates. The hotel also has a great coffee shop which serves fair trade coffee 24 hours a day! In fact, Lakewood should take some leads from Grand Rapids: one of the top eco friendly cities in USA; in the top 50 bicycle friendly cities; and has over 92 downtown restaurants, bars, clubs and coffee shops - most of which are easily walkable from City Flats Hotel.
Pat Ballasch July 05, 2012 at 02:26 PM
The side of a tall cliff may not be the most cost effective solution for a structure. Building on that location has some BIG expensive challenges. You need to realize that type of slope needs to be properly supported. (Check your geology notes. The top of that property really want's to relocate to the bottom.) If you recall the Sloane property also has a problem with access from the lower level. Someone would need to acquire property (or access) from the Metro Parks. There's probably no great reason to disrupt the present park set up. Especially for a private project.

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