CLEVELAND -- With hard hats and shovels in hand, Cleveland city leaders and construction partners ceremoniously broke ground at the site of the new Cleveland Convention Center hotel.
The Hilton Cleveland construction site, located at the former county administration building site at the corner of Lakeside Avenue and Ontario street, will link to both the Cleveland Convention Center and the Global Center for Health Innovation.
Public Square, the malls, the pedestrian bridge, this lakefront plan, this hotel is essential for its success," said Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson.
The full service, 600-room Convention Center hotel will also feature 55,000 square feet of meeting space, a restaurant, lobby, bar and recreation facilities with hundreds of jobs for the taking.
This project is not only a step forward in Cleveland’s continuing rebirth, but it's also going to employ 2,800 construction workers. When it's opened, this new hotel is going to employ approximately 450 individuals," said Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald.
The $272 million project will be paid for through a variety of public sources.
At 26 stories high, the new hotel is set to open in early 2016 and will add to an already breathtaking Cleveland skyline. Before approving the project, council members raised concerns about parking, but officials say those concerns will be addressed. The city also says it is committed to diversity and inclusion in the construction process.
Fitzgerald adds the Convention Center hotel "…will include at least 25 percent small businesses, and at least 7 percent women owned businesses and 15 percent minority owned businesses."
The groundbreaking could not have come at a better time. Cleveland is still in the running to host both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions in 2016.