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Galion’s historic Central Hotel re-opened its doors to the community on Dec. 5, after more than one year of renovation work. The property owner and lead financier for the project hosted a re-opening ceremony for their partners and the community.
In early 2015, Central Hotel Apartments, Ltd., which owns the building, relocated all of the residents after structural concerns were discovered. Over the past 18 months, the Central Hotel underwent a major restoration project.
The total cost was $5 million, after several cost overruns. The Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing raised the investment capital for the project through a public-private partnership. The City of Galion provided a loan from the Revolving Loan Fund in the amount of $980,740, and the OCCH secured remaining financing from Chase Bank, Fifth/Third Bank, Huntington Bank, Key Bank and several other lenders.
“We have managed over 750 projects, but we have never seen a building in this condition. Without help from the city and other partners, we would have had to walk away,” OCCH President Hal Keller told the crowd during the ceremony.
Mayor Tom O’Leary noted the Central Hotel pre-dates the Civil War and the uptowne area grew around the structure. “Getting the uptowne area filled is part of the city’s vision,” he said. “The hotel is a critical part and, more importantly, it’s home for a lot of people.”
Ruscilli Construction Company, Inc., performed the construction, which included shoring up the foundation, and an interior demolition of one section of the building then rebuilding it from the ground up. All 30 living units were remodeled as well. “We have been in business for over 70 years and never encountered challenges like this,” Lou Ruscilli said.
Kip Lewis of the OCCH was recognized for his contributions to reopening the hotel. Keller noted that Lewis was involved in the project every step of the way. Lewis assembled the design and construction teams, and managed the project. The community room will be named in Lewis’ honor.
Also during the ceremony, Wes Goodman, State Representative for House District 87, presented an accommodation from the Ohio House to the Central Hotel.
Mary Linn, a Central Hotel resident, thanked everyone who helped with the restoration. “This is a great place to live. It’s good to be home again,” she said.
Tours of the building were offered to attendees.
The Central Hotel contains 30 apartment units for senior and income disadvantaged citizens. Sixteen of the units are currently occupied. For leasing information, call 419-462-5950.