TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Lucas County commissioners announced a deal that's taken three years to make. Local developer Key Hotel and Property Management will build a Hilton Garden Inn/Homewood Suites Hotel on the site of the old Seagate Hotel.
Commissioners were literally in the process of tearing down the building and leaving green space behind when Key representatives saw the shell of the Hotel Seagate and started asking questions.
Jon Roumaya, President of Key Hotel and Property Management said, "We asked if it was tested, structurally tested, and it was, and we said we could really save ourselves a lot of money and use this and utilize it and maybe just add on and that's exactly what we're able to do."
Negotiating a deal with Hilton and Lucas County took 13 months but the agreement reached has the county financing $30 million in bonds to be paid by Key. After five year, the developer has the option to pay off the remaining debt plus $1 million to secure the property.
The Hilton will add 200 plus beds, some for overnight guests, but the exciting park, according to county commissioners, is the extended stay rooms that will likely attract corporate visitors and conventioneers.
Commissioner Pete Gerken says, "This is a product that now gives flexibility in our marketplace. There's something for everybody now."
Toledo needs 800 hotel beds to attract the tourists, business travelers and conventioneers it needs to compete with other midwestern cities.
But the new Hilton is connected to an outdated Seagate Convention Center.
Commissioner Tina Skeldon-Wozniak said, "You can't just build a hotel and think your problems are over. We understand how they work hand-in-hand."
So bouncing off the county's success at Fifth-Third Field, Huntington Center and now the new Hilton, expect county-led investment at Seagate Center...
Commissioner Carol Contrada says, "It is in need of some significant upgrades and I would say stay tuned for some significant announcement regarding the convention center."
Lucas County expects the new hotel to generate $600,000 in hotel and sales tax revenue.
The Hilton will have a restaurant/bar on the first floor, not the roof, which made the Hotel Seagate a popular location in its time.
Construction on the new hotel begins in the Spring of 2018 and should be complete by the end of 2019.