Entertainment District announced for Rossford

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ROSSFORD (13abc, Action News) - A development group announced, Wednesday, it will build an entertainment district in Rossford and link it to Hollywood Casino.

Construction may not begin until late 2017 but the planning has already begun.

Developers say three million people visit Hollywood Casino each year but there is not much to do.

Dallas Paul, a broker with NAI Harmon Group, the firm ready to develop 20 acres of land across from the casino, says, "Right now, they come to the casino and leave. Nothing keeps them here."

Wednesday, Paul announced a $60-million hotel with a conference center... a 100-thousand square foot retail shopping area and up to five casual and high end restaurants.

It's called Project Red. Red standing for Rossford Entertainment District.

Daytrippers who come to the casino will now have options to stay longer in the area and spend more money.

Rossford mayor Neil Mackinnon says, "It means opportunity. It means jobs and it means tax revenues."

One special feature is an aerial gondola that will link the shopping with the casino.

It's an exciting development that's starting to get off the ground.

Ed Harmon, of NAI Harmon Group says, "We have interested parties and now its completing contracts."

Construction wouldn't start until late 2017 and take until 2020 to complete.

The space to be used borders behind Selkirk and Lenmore Streets across from Hollywood Casino.

They are quiet, dead end streets that will soon change once construction begins.

Mark Kwiatkowski told 13abc reporter Bill Hormann, "I was going to retire here, you know. Live on a dead end street, no problems. Now we're going toh ave everyone down here."

Marv Sondergeld said, "I think it's going to be a very big inconvience here. I hate to see it come."

Developers promise the district will fit the area and that property values could increase.

And by offering more entertainment options to people willing to visit the casino, the bet is those visitors will stay overnight instead of just an afternoon.

But that's a tough sell on Selkirk Street.

Randy Wayton said, "I'm figuring eventually they'll buy us out so maybe they'll give us a good price."

Residents also worry about a loss of privacy with an aerial gondola flying overhead several times a day.

Construction begins after the Ohio Department of Transportation builds an access road into the complex.

Rossford believes this entertainment district will enhance Toledo tourism.

Both Toledo and Penn National Gaming support this project.

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