SHEFFIELD — The commercial area on state Route 254 will get even busier with construction of a new Homewood Suites by Hilton hotel.
Ground was broken Wednesday for the 97-room inn, which will be built on Transportation Drive in the northwest quadrant of the interchange near the EMH Sheffield Medical Building and the Montrose KIA dealership.
The hotel, expected to cost about $8 million, will become the 30th property to be built by a 13-partner company that includes Sunrise Hospitality Inc., which owns and operates a number of major chain hotels in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan an Pennsylvania. Its holdings including the 99-room Hampton Inn and Suites that opened in July at Midway Mall adjacent to the Ohio Turnpike.
“This is our first venture with Homewood Suites and Hilton,” Mitesh Patel of Sunrise Hospitality Inc. said during Wednesday’s groundbreaking ceremony.
The extended-stay hotel, which will cater to business travelers, will be 75,000 square feet or about 10,000 square feet larger than the Hampton Inn at Midway Mall.
“The rooms are larger as they contain kitchenettes and other features,” Patel said.
The hotel will be built on a three-acres behind the closed Route 254 Diner that is now an extension of one of the area car dealerships.
“We’ll extend the entrance road a bit, but otherwise we won’t have to tear anything down to make way for it,’’ Sheffield Mayor John Hunter said.
Sunrise Hospitality and its partner firms operate hotels for major chains including Holiday Inn Express, Choice Hotels and ISG, according to Patel.
The company will construct its first Marriott hotel in the Akron area in coming months.
Between 80 percent and 90 percent of the company’s hotels are around interchanges of heavily traveled highways.
“We’re always near major highways,” according to Patel, who said most of the firm’s hotels achieve a 60 percent occupancy rate within a few months of opening.
The Hampton Inn and Suites in Elyria reached 75 percent occupancy within a week of its opening, Patel said.
“You always have a ramp-up period, and for us it’s generally four months,” Patel said.
Hunter said the village first began talking with Hilton officials two years ago about locating a hotel there.
“The success of the village is tied to the success of business here,” Hunter said.
The Homewood Suites is expected to be ready by July or August.