News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Metro RTA

Lehmans


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Economy and Business


A new hotel would blend with Akron's Greystone Hall
City gives up former Masonic Temple to entice a developer
by WKSU's MARK URYCKI


Senior Reporter
Mark Urycki
 
If financing can be found, Amerimar Realty and Greystone Partners LLC hope to building a new 160 room hotel on High St. in downtown Akron.
Courtesy of Greystone Partners/ Amerimar Realty
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
The city of Cleveland looks to get a brand new hotel across the street from its new convention center. And now Akron may get the same thing.

Philadelphia-based Amerimar Realty has announced plans to construct a 160-room hotel on the site of what is now a vacant church. It would be the first new hotel built in downtown Akron in 40 years and another example of how the city keeps reinventing itself.
LISTEN: Amerimar, Greystone and downtown Akron.

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:17)


There hasn’t been a single franchise hotel in downtown Akron since the University of Akron turned the Quaker Square silos into a residence hall. Now there are three new hotels on the drawing board for the city. A Marriott is planned for the Northside neighborhood and the California developer who bought the old Goodyear headquarters is planning to turn part of that into a new hotel. 

City officials have been trying to get people interested in the former Masonic Temple, now Greystone Hall, which the city owns. Developer Bill Ginter, who turned a former BF Goodrich factory into the AES office building stepped up. He says Akron is second to none in reinventing itself and he wants to renovate the nearly century-old hall as part of a new hotel complex. 

“There are literally hundred of millions of dollars of very successful public and private investment that’s occurred in this community. And you see it standing outside this building. “

Similar stories in similar cities
Amerimar has turned old buildings in other cities into successful hotels. Owner David Marshall says they will do it in Akron by building a new seven-story building and use Greystone Hall for ballroom and meeting rooms. They won’t be part of a chain, either.  

“We’ve done a bunch of franchise as well as a bunch of independent hotels. We determined that the best use of this property is as an independent hotel.

Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic said getting financing for a hotel was always the problem, and it still is. The city is putting up $4 million in Tax Increment Financing and donating all but a share of the Greystone Hall.  

“Having it in private hands and be re-used in a way that makes it a more successful hotel takes it off of our books," Plusquellic says. It also takes the operating and maintenance costs off the city's hands. 

Actors Summit likes the idea of the new neighbor
One tenant using the theater in the old building is the Actors Summit. Founder Neil Thackaberry says the new owners want the company to stay.  

“A hotel of this quality so close to the theater can only help us.”  

The new hotel will include a pool and a French restaurant with outdoor seating. It’s across the street from the John S. Knight Convention Center, which is its main draw. But David Marshall sees another advantage to being in Akron right now.

 “I think the people have not completely understood what’s going to happen to the gas and oil industry. The fact that wet gas is coming out of the Utica shale and Akron is the polymer capital of the country -- put all these pieces together and you’ll be very pleased.”

Marshall is so bullish on the growing oil and gas industry in Ohio that his company recently signed a deal to buy the former Firestone headquarters in Akron and Huntington Bank Plaza in Canton.  

(Click image for larger view.)

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Ohio to appeal ruling keeping Akron's red light cameras in place
I don't understand what all the fuss is about. If you don't like tickets drive the speed limit and stop at red lights. It's really all up to you.

Who's on public assistance in Ohio?
legalize marijuana get over it,,, its here its been the main drug test scare of a lifetime. u got people that get drunk every night and work u got peoples on ...

Letters from a lost friend: A Beachwood survivor's Holocaust remembrance
What a great story -- and how important it was for both Marlene and her mother to tell it! Thank you.

Ohio lawmaker calls for an East Cleveland bailout
Instead of blaming Kasich and the Republicans for all of East Cleveland's fiscal woes, take a look at the facts. Some political entities in Ohio are too small ...

Legalized marijuana is a boon for a Cleveland-area grow light maker
Shouldn't he be in jail for paraphernalia? He knows he is selling for marijuana production.

Akron city council to vote on resolution for hiring ex-offenders
Great as a taxpayer I paid for the police to catch them, the free lawyer, the jail to house them , the food their kids eat the medical for them and all its goin...

5 of 8 rule headed for a vote
this is just another way for kasich to pass the buck and claim that it gives the local districts control. Few schools have enough money because of his cuts. T...

A passionate debate about parole in Ohio
I was heartened to hear that the legislators will consider ANY legislation to break the chains the parole board has put on these old law offenders who have serv...

Bill would allow Ohio religious leaders to refuse to do gay marriages
This is just a lot of political posturing. The free exercise clause of the 1st Amendment already protects clergy from being forced by civil authorities to perfo...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University