Cuyahoga County Council has put the final OK on hundreds of millions of dollars to build its hotel project in downtown Cleveland. ideastream's Nick Castele reports.
The 600-room hotel will go up next to the Cleveland Convention Center and Global Center for Health Innovation. Inside visitors will find ballrooms, meeting spaces and a bar on the top floor.
The county is budgeting $272 million. Most of that money will come from county bonds -- paid off largely with a sales tax county commissioners approved in 2007 for the convention center and medical mart.
Council approved the plan last night in three votes, each 9 to 1. The only opposition came from Republican Councilman Dave Greenspan, who said he wouldn't take on debt for a hotel that private companies could be building without government help.
"I would urge my colleagues, this is the opportunity where we've always asked, When have we crossed the line where it's too far to go back?" Greenspan said. "These votes today are that point."
But fellow Republican Councilman Jack Schron, who's running for county executive, described the hotel as the third key part of a downtown project that would bring visitors to the heart of the city.
"Are we taking a risk? Of course you do," Schron said. "But that's what big ideas are all about."
The county plans to finish the hotel by April 2016.