October 22, 2014

Elyria
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New Holiday Inn planned


Sheffield franchise could replace one at Midway Mall, Mayor Ondercin says

SHEFFIELD — Village officials are poised to approve a developer’s plans to build a 106-room Holiday Inn at the northeast corner of Detroit and Abbe roads, and it’s possible the plan could replace the Holiday Inn in Elyria.

CHUCK HUMEL / CHRONICLE
The Holiday Inn near the Midway Mall in Elyria.

Sheffield Mayor Darlene Ondercin said Westlake-based Profile Development Group submitted design plans for the Holiday Inn project on Friday, and the village’s Planning Commission will review the plans at Wednesday’s meeting. 

The facility would be built on three acres located just off Detroit Road, facing Interstate 90 and located roughly next to the nest of restaurants and storefronts at the Sheffield Crossing shopping center.

George Papandreas, president of Profile Development, said he’s still lining up financing and franchise approval, but a main step lies in gaining the Planning Commission’s blessing for the multimillion dollar project.

Papandreas said he’ll form an entity that will become a Holiday Inn franchisee, which will essentially own the Sheffield Holiday Inn. The project would exist entirely separate from the Elyria Holiday Inn, Papandreas said.

When asked if the plans could affect the Elyria facility, he said he’ll wait until Wednesday’s Sheffield Planning Commission meeting to comment.

But Ondercin was more forthcoming.

“To be 100 percent truthful, I have been led to believe this would replace the operation in Elyria,” Ondercin said.

She cautioned that she had yet to talk to anyone from Holiday Inn’s corporate offices. “It’s a relocation project.”

The Elyria Holiday Inn’s parent company is Mardeck Ltd. Inc. of Maryland. A woman answering phones at Mardeck offices Friday said company officials were out of the office and couldn’t return calls until Monday.

According to Mardeck’s corporate profile, the Elyria Holiday Inn employs about 130 people.

The Sheffield Holiday Inn would have four floors, 106 rooms, a swimming pool, restaurant, banquet and fitness rooms and all the typical amenities of a new Holiday Inn.

If Papandreas’ schedule goes as planned, he figures construction could begin in spring 2008 and the facility could be up and running by spring 2009.

Ondercin said she’s excited that the Holiday Inn will be built in Sheffield — the site was originally slated for a Hilton Gardens, but Hilton officials later pulled out — but she’s also disappointed the plan could impact Elyria.

“I knew a hotel was coming, and I knew they were working with the Holiday Inn,” Ondercin said. “They had to wait until Holiday Inn was ready to announce it. It’s been my understanding all along that it would be a relocation, and that they’d be closing the one in Elyria.”

Elyria Mayor Bill Grace declined to comment much on the matter, but said the Elyria Holiday Inn on state Route 57 “is an important facility for the county and our community.”

“It’s not wise for me to comment on something that’s speculative,” Grace said. “I hear all kinds of things.”

Papandreas said the Sheffield location’s proximity to Interstate 90 and Lorain County Community College were key features that led to site selection, not to mention the existing infrastructure.

Papandreas, who recently built an office building in Sheffield, said the village is a great place for businesses, and he’s not asking for any special treatment for the hotel — no abatements, no stipulations.

The property is currently owned by Elden Properties of Vermilion and is worth about $562,000, according to county auditor records.

Contact Shawn Foucher at 653-6255 or sfoucher@chroniclet.com.