Views getting better on Broadway
With some windows broken out and pieces of the west facade removed, the Broadway Building may look worse than in the recent past.
But there is work and there is progress inside and outside the structure at 301 Broadway, said Lorain Port Authority Executive Director Tom Brown.
Construction has begun to revive the structure and transform it into the new Ariel Broadway Hotel, a project developed by Ariel on Broadway LLC.
Cleveland businesswoman Radhika Reddy has led the project, working with the Lorain Port Authority.
Local officials gathered at the building in August for a project kickoff, but work was stop-andgo in the fall while Reddy and the Port Authority finished the paperwork on financing the $8 million project.
But there is progress inside in the new year, Brown said.
Crews inside sometimes work from the bottom up, sometimes from the top down.
Brown said he’s impressed with the work.
“For me, getting the carpet out of the basement because it was so bad, odorwise and water damagewise, and just seeing the changes, getting the net down on the front,” he said.
Brown referred to the protective netting installed to catch any masonry that fell off the facades facing Broadway and West Erie Avenue.
On the north and east areas
of the fourth floor, the room walls have been torn out to create an open space.
There are piles of wall studs, insulation and air ducts on the floor.
“There’s a lot to do; this is the ugly demo part of it all,” Brown said. “But it’s fun to see the progress.
“A couple weeks ago, these were all — you can see the outline, these were all hotel rooms.”
Brown was referring to the lines on the floor that marked where the partitions once stood.
The best rooms had two windows, but opening up the floorplan creates a wall of windows with a panoramic view over the Port of Lorain.
“If you can imagine tables up here now — I mean, it’s pretty good views, right? This is how we sold the buildopen
ing to Radhika,” he said.
The event space will be an area backed by a bar, restrooms, catering room and bridal suite.
The only obstructions to the sightlines are the steel beams integral to the structure of the building.
It is cool to see the riveted look of the building’s bones, Brown said, but those columns may have to be covered to recreate their historic appearance.
Even with the gathering space, there will be 13 hotel rooms remaining on the fourth floor.
An elevator will go to the roof, which will have a wood deck with the same footprint as the fourth floor, but with open-air views of the Lorain Lighthouse, the Black River, the Charles Berry Bascule Bridge, Black River Landing and Broadway, Brown said.
“Right now, the most fun part is being able to see the view,” he said. “And I’m excited about that roof.”
On the second and third floors, crews are starting to prime the walls of the rooms.
On those floors, there will not be radical changes for the layout, but there will be fresh paint, carpet and furniture, with updated bathrooms, hardwood-style vinyl floors and new windows.
“Your basic structure’s going to remain the same, we’re just redoing the hotel rooms,” Brown said.
The elevation sits lower than the fourth floor, but the second and third floors offer perspectives on how Lorain’s
“So even on the first floor from the restaurant, you used to look at the iron ore. You couldn’t see the river, you couldn’t see the lighthouse. Now you see the river and the lighthouse.”
— Tom Brown, executive director of Lorain Port Authority
waterfront has changed in the last decade.
People don’t remember that when the hotel was open, Black River Landing wasn’t developed yet and the Lorain Pellet Terminal still stood across the street, Brown said.
“So even on the first floor from the restaurant, you used to look at the iron ore,” he said. “You couldn’t see the river, you couldn’t see the lighthouse. Now you see the river and the lighthouse.”
On the second floor, “here you were looking at an old train yard, there you were looking at iron ore pellets,” Brown said.
Those are gone now and Black River Landing has replaced the rail yard.
“So even on this floor, your views of the lake are pretty spectacular,” he said about level two. “Even your view on this floor used to be of pellets; now you’ve got a straight view of the lighthouse.”
In the lobby, crews will replace ceiling tiles and wood with water damage.
Some of the features of the first floor lobby area will remain intact if they are of high quality, but the space largely is a blank canvas if an entrepreneur wants to create a restaurant there.
The workers have found key cards and other materials that were left in place when the hotel shut its doors, Brown said.
“You’re looking at all these funny old things, you’re like, holy cow, times change since 2004,” he said.
The first floor will have retail and office space.
In the basement, there is a pool, sauna and glassed-in exercise room.
“I like this modern workout facility, it’s my favorite,” Brown said of the tired-looking weight machine.
Eventually, there will be meeting space on the basement level and the pool area will open to a lower patio, Brown said.
This view shows the fourth floor of the Broadway Building from the doorway of the stairwell. It will become an event space when the building is renovated to become the new Ariel Broadway Hotel at 301 Broadway, Lorain.
This pool and exercise area in the basement of the Broadway Building will become open to a patio once the building is renovated to become the new Ariel Broadway Hotel at 301 Broadway, Lorain. Construction has begun inside the building, with the upper floors offering great views of the Port of Lorain, said Lorain Port Authority Executive Director Tom Brown.