TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - New life is on the horizon for an old vacant downtown Toledo hotel.
According to the Louisville Title Agency, which is trustee of the former Hotel Seagate, a Chinese investment firm has purchased the property for $600,000. The Chinese firm Five Lakes Global already owns the Park Inn Hotel next door. It appears the Hotel Seagate was purchased by a separate Chinese firm.
Louisville Title says the sale came about through Toledo Mayor Mike Bell's connection with Chinese investors. The announcement comes just days after Bell returned from his fourth official trip to China as mayor.
Records indicate the vacant hotel was sold Nov. 14 by National Republic Bank of Chicago to an undisclosed new owner with the Louisville Title Agency as the trustee. The sale price was listed at $600,000. Six years ago it was sold for $4.6 million.
"This is great. I'm glad someone finally purchased it. Hopefully they'll reinvest in the building, ultimately in Toledo. It's a positive step forward in our downtown community," said Councilman Adam Martinez.
Martinez, a commercial real estate broker, says the property has great potential due to its location.
"I'm hopeful they'll redevelop this into something nice that will help promote the Huntington Center, the restaurants supporting the Huntington Center," said Martinez.
Richard Nachazel, president of Destination Toledo, says the building's future use most likely will be what it was built for back in 1970.
"The most logical use would be to renovate it as a hotel. It has the infrastructure - albeit older - for that purpose. It has meeting space," said Nachazel.
Nachazel says more rooms next to the Seagate Centre will help attract more convention business to town.
"In our business it's called 'committable rooms.' There would be more committable rooms out of the inventory for conferences than we would have now," explained Nachazel.
While the property is current on taxes, it has been considered an eyesore. Still, city leaders believe the transaction is a positive step towards cleaning up blight in the city.
"We're enthused that somebody cares enough about the project and the property to buy it with for me the assumption that it'll be upgraded to a successfully commercial property. So we're pretty happy about it," said Nachazel.