City buys Spring St. properties


Plans to construct a hotel on Spring Street in Delaware are now officially dead following the city’s purchase of the land where the hotel’s construction was proposed. The city recently purchased the now-closed NAPA auto parts property, the auto repair shop property, and two adjacent properties that are currently vacant lots, during an auction held by Auction Ohio..

The city purchased the four parcels for $750,000, the minimum bid set by the auctioneers, and was the only bidder to bid on all four parcels.

In February, the hotel seemed on the verge of becoming a reality when a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) for the building design was granted by the Delaware Historic Preservation Commission, sending the project to the Delaware Planning Commission where the building plans were approved.

Indus Hotels, a subsidiary of Hilton, had previously received a COA to raze the existing buildings on the properties located at 7 and 27 Spring Street to make way for the hotel’s construction. At that time, renderings for a six-story, 118-room hotel were also approved.

The hotel was to be branded as a Tru by Hilton hotel, a relatively new brand that now has approximately 150 hotels around the country.

Like so many things, however, the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the hotel’s prospects, and the resulting economic downturn has forced the developers to cancel their plans in Delaware. With the parcels now under city ownership, there are no immediate plans for development according to Delaware Economic Development Director Sean Hughes, although he added the city will be “strategic” with any future development.

The properties will be part of efforts to attract redevelopment opportunities along the Spring Street and South Sandusky Street corridors, according to Delaware Community Affairs Coordinator Lee Yoakum.

“This area has been underutilized,” Hughes said. “The purchase allows the city to move forward to put the parcels back into productive use and provide something that will help keep downtown Delaware moving forward.”

According to Hughes, the city will now form a Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) to begin moving forward with potential projects for the Spring Street properties. A CIC is meant to “allow the city to more efficiently issue a public request for proposals asking companies to submit their ideas for partnering in redeveloping the parcels,” Yoakum said.

“With the tremendous success we have had with our downtown, we are confident that this area will attract considerable interest,” Hughes said of the CIC.

“A Community Improvement Corporation acts as a development agency and increases the ability of the City of Delaware to be flexible and proactive in its development efforts,” Yoakum added. The CIC’s creation must first be authorized by city council.

The City of Delaware recently purchased via auction the properties pictured at 7 and 27 Spring Street. City of Delaware recently purchased via auction the properties pictured at 7 and 27 Spring Street. Joshua Keeran | The Gazette

By Dillon Davis

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Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.

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