Comfort Suites hotel project nears approval in Liberty
By Jeanne Starmack
Investors are nearing approval for a $6.5 million hotel development on Belmont Avenue.
A 90-unit Comfort Suites would be built across the street from the Station Square restaurant, said township Administrator Pat Ungaro.
There is empty land there where a Ramada Inn once stood. The property owner demolished that hotel, he said.
Perni, Perni Equities LLC of Hubbard owns the property, he said. Investors include the Holiday Inn in Boardman, he said.
Financing and zoning requirements are already in place, Ungaro said. He said that land in front of the hotel site has been re-platted, but he would not say what businesses might locate there.
The Trumbull County commissioners were expected to vote this morning on a 49 percent, 10-year tax abatement for the development.
“It’s a done deal,” Ungaro said.
He also said if the commissioners approve the tax abatement, it also will have to be approved by the Ohio Department of Development.
The state is involved because the area falls under the Community Reinvestment Area program, or CRA, he explained.
According to the Ohio State University Extension Service website, the CRA program permits municipalities, townships or counties to designate areas where investment has been lagging to encourage revitalization of the current housing stock and the development of new structures. Residential, commercial and industrial projects are all eligible.
Ungaro said he expects that once the tax abatement is approved, developers will break ground quickly, likely in the spring.
“I believe they will approve it,” he said. Tax abatements are an incentive to attract development, he added.
“It’s great news. It’s probably going to happen,” said Trustee Jason Rubin. “It’s a good project.”