Views get­ting bet­ter on Broad­way

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) - - FRONT PAGE - By Richard Pay­erchin rpay­[email protected]­ingjour­nal.com @MJ_Jour­nalRick on Twit­ter

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.

Look­ing up

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.”

Water­front views

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.”

Ground level

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.

BRI­ANA CON­TR­ERAS — THE MORN­ING JOUR­NAL

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.

RICHARD PAY­ERCHIN — THE MORN­ING JOUR­NAL

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.

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