The principal partners in a deal to build a $10 million, 30,000-square-foot Comfort Suites hotel and banquet facility gave a presentation on the project Sept. 10 at the regular meeting of the Liberty township trustees.
"I didn't know if it was the best time to start something, but Radius came to me and said they've been looking at the property for some time now," said Dr. V.C. Perni, who owns the old Ramada Inn property that will be the site of the project.
Perni, a Liberty resident, bought the property in 2008. It had been vacant since 2001 following a fire. Perni said he spent $1.2 million to buy the land and another $250,000 to have the building demolished.
Scott Yeager, president of Radius Hospitality, will manage the hotel and own 30 percent of the investment.
"We want it to be beneficial to the people who come to the hotel, but we also want it to be beneficial for the people of Liberty so that they have nice new facilities they can come to," he said.
Radius owns and operates the Holiday Inn in Boardman.
In addition to the hotel and banquet center, the group also intends to develop the front of the property, closest to Belmont Avenue, with at least two restaurants and a retail shopping center.
The hotel will sit at the rear of the nine-acre property.
The $6 million, 17,576-square-foot hotel will be comprised of 87 suites that include bedroom and sitting areas with in-suite microwave and refrigerator, and free wireless access. The building will have a pool and fitness facility.
The $3.5 million, 12,432-square-foot banquet center will boast a minimum of 350 seats, a rear landscaped wedding terrace with gazebo, and bridal suites with a grand staircase leading to the wedding terrace.
There will be 135 parking spaces allotted to the banquet center and 90 spaces to the hotel.
While the hotel will not include a restaurant, Comfort Inns offer a free continental breakfast.
The front-most property, a 1.3-acre lot, is budgeted for a 4,000-square-foot building with roughly 100 parking spaces, while the 1.12-acre lot next to it is intended for a 3,000-square-foot building and about 90 parking spaces.
Below them, on the lower side of the entry road, the shopping center is budgeted for about 7,500-square-feet and the lot will offer about 80 more parking spots.
Yeager said they will soon begin looking for the right franchises to fill those buildings.
Now that the renderings have been done and rough plans are established, Perni said the next step is to finish all the architectural designs. Mann Architects of Akron did the renderings and are contracted for the blueprints. Then the team will approach the banks for financing and simultaneously seek construction bids.
Yeager said he expects the hotel will bring 30 new jobs and the banquet center will be similar.
Yeager and Perni both said they expect a spring groundbreaking and the project should take about a year to complete.