Clarion Hotel demolition funding plans headed to council - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Clarion Hotel demolition funding plans headed to council

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Broken windows, overgrown grass, and graffiti covered walls.   It's an unwelcome eyesore to surrounding neighbors and businesses in the South Toledo community.

That's why council members earmarked $300,000 from the Capital Improvement Fund earlier this week to tear down the old Clarion Hotel.  Leaders want to ideally sell the land after the building is knocked down to recoup the money.  The entire project is projected to cost about $950,000.  State and county loan dollars could cover the rest of costs.

"We're not just giving money away, we're using this as seed money to bring money back into the city and bring development in," says councilman Rob Ludeman.

The council leader says a number of businesses are interested in the area.  National furniture chain 'At Home' is already in the process of buying the old Kmart building and plans to invest millions to make it ready to use.  But none of this is possible if the hotel doesn't come down.  On June first, a fire broke out on the third floor and arson is the suspected cause.

"It's incumbent that we tear it down now because after the fire last week...it's a safety matter," Ludeman tells 13abc.  "Obviously there's been drug use going on in the building."

Paddy Jack's on Heatherdowns opened up around the corner from the abandoned hotel last year.  The manager completely supports the demolition plan and thinks neighbors will too.

"People riding by, they see the broken windows and everything else it just doesn't look good for the community," says Nick Rice, the general manager.  "I don't think the taxpayers wouldn't mind. People who ride by it everyday, I'm pretty sure they're sick of it."

The city is still in the process of getting the title to the building, but if all goes as planned, it could be gone by mid-July.  Council members have already approved the capital improvement dollars, but would need to sign off on the entire funding plan at the next council meeting on June 17.

"If they take it down, even if they just level it out and make it just a grass field, that would be a lot better for us," says Rice.

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