Hotel seeks tax break

WARREN – A hotel developer is seeking a 49 percent property tax exemption for an 87-suite facility it’s planning to build where the old Ramada Inn once was on Belmont Avenue in Liberty.

Trumbull County commissioners are expected to get the ball rolling today on the request by Perni & Perni Equities LLC by accepting the group’s application for and permitting the county’s Planning Commission to prepare a draft agreement for the 10-year exemption.

”It’s going to take a few months to get all the work done,” Commissioner Frank Fuda said. ”This is just the start of it.”

The agreement must be reviewed, according to Ohio law, by Liberty School District officials and approved by county commissioners, township trustees and the Ohio Development Services Agency, a process that should take about two months.

The $6.5 million Comfort Inn project, which may include a conference center, will be built in the Belmont Avenue Reinvestment Area, a 3.5-mile stretch of Belmont Avenue from Gypsy Lane to Tibbetts Wick Road designated a community reinvestment area by the state last year.

The CRA program allows for the offering of incentives, including tax exemption of up to 50 percent for a maximum 10 years on commercial and residential properties in the area.

”The board is cautiously optimistic at this point, as far as the end result, that the state will approve,” the tax exemption, township Trustee Jodi Stoyak said.

The facility will sit on nine acres at the rear of the property and will include a 500-seat banquet facility along with 87 suites.

The Ramada Inn closed in 2001 and the property has been vacant since 2008, when the building was demolished.

It’s an investment being led by Liberty resident, Dr. V.C. Perni, along with other doctors and Canton-based Radius Hospitality, which will be a 30 percent owner and manage the new hotel.