The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

February 6, 2013

Kids College moving north on Main

By SHELLEY TERRY - sterry@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

ASHTABULA — A daycare soon will be moving north on Main Avenue as Signature Health renovates, and eventually, moves into the former Hotel Ashtabula, officials said at Monday night’s City Council meeting.

Burn’s Kid College, now at 4726 Main Ave. (on the backside of the first floor of the old hotel), plans to move to 4314 Main Ave., also known as the former Social Security office, City Manager Jim Timonere said.

“Signature Health wants the space in the hotel,” he said.

Council approved an ordinance authorizing Timonere to enter into a community reinvestment area tax incentive agreement with 4314 Main Ave. LLC, for tax abatement at 50 percent for seven years for the renovation of about 10,000 square feet of office space.

Burn’s Kids College now employs four full-time and 11 part-time people. The move will allow the daycare to hire one additional full-time and two additional part-time employees.

The daycare also plans to make $260,000 worth of improvements to 4314 Main Ave. (the old Social Security office), according to the abatement application.

Timonere said Signature Health has submitted building plans to the Ashtabula County Building Department in Jefferson and a lot of demolition has been done.

“They have cleaned up the property,” he said. “From all that we can see, it’s progressing.”

Ward 4 Councilwoman Julie Lattimer said, “They have really kept the property nice.”

Timonere said Signature Health has replaced all the doors to meet code and they are keeping the second-floor ballroom and lobby. Two new elevators will be installed and 124 windows will be put in place. He believes the project will be done by late summer.

Built in 1920, the old six-story, 109-room hotel has been eyed by local developers and businessmen for years.

In October 2011, former city manager Anthony Cantagallo helped Jonathan Lee of Signature Health secure the lease.

In August 2012, Signature Health began construction inside and outside the building with plans to move its Ashtabula offices into the former hotel.

The company has 75 employees now and will add 15 to 20 additional employees upon moving into the new space.

The project’s total price tag is $4.1 million.