County-Owned Hilton Hotel Nears Completion Ahead of Republican National Convention
by Nick Castele
Downtown Cleveland’s new county-owned hotel is expected to be open and ready June 1, more than a month ahead of the Republican National Convention. That’s according to Jeff Appelbaum, the attorney overseeing the project.
“Hilton is moving in to all of the back-office areas,” Appelbaum said. “They’re training their employees inside the building, so it is substantially done.”
Hilton, the operator of the hotel, will employ roughly 350 people there, Appelbaum said.
The hotel will include a restaurant and lobby bar. Work is finishing up on a bar on the top floor, and rooms are being furnished.
“For the RNC, the hotel is fully rented out,” Appelbaum said. “As a matter of fact, the RNC would take more rooms in that hotel if they were available.”
He said he expects the project to cost less than the budgeted $276 million. It’s being funded with bonds paid for by a quarter-percentage-point increase in the county sales tax that commissioners approved for the convention center in 2007.
Another $10 million or $11 millionn dollars will go toward building a subsurface walkway between the garage and hotel, Appelbaum said. He’ll give an update on the project to Cuyahoga County Council on Tuesday.