The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

May 16, 2014

Hotel Ashtabula renovations wrapping up

ASHTABULA — Office equipment moving into a historic shell marks a new chapter in the rebirth of the Hotel Ashtabula.

Signature Health is the first tenant in the remodled old hotel and provided evidence a renovation plan more than two years in the making can bear fruit.

“We’ll be finishing up the end of May,” said Charlie Borsukoff, construction manager of JCI Contractors. “Signature Health is looking at moving in the first week of June.”

The building is owned by 4726 Main Avenue, LLC (comprised of four  partners/developers), Sandvick Architects of Cleveland is the architect, and JCI Contractors is the construction company that remodeled the 94-year-old hotel.

In November 2011, Jonathan Lee, president and CEO of Signature Health, signed a lease with the owners of the building. He plans to move all of Signature’s Ashtabula offices into the former hotel.

Work began in August 2012, and passersby watched bulldozers removing top soil on the property just south of the old hotel and turn the area into a landscaped parking lot. On the outside of the brick building, workers sandblasted, replaced mortar joints and worked on the front sandstone.

Inside the six-story, 109-room former hotel, JCI’s construction superintendent, Nick Pizzi, said saving the hotel’s high ceilings, wide hallways, fixtures, windows and woodwork took a little longer than expected, but it was worth it.

Workers removed every pane of glass from the lobby’s magnificent windows and reglazed them, allowing the southern sunlight into the lobby, he said.

The hotel boasts 177 windows in 11 styles, Pizzi said.

Except for the lobby’s original windows, all of the hotel’s windows have been replaced with new. The marble staircase and tile floors were restored and polished, he said.

The hotel’s former lobby will be Signature Health’s waiting area. The front desk in the lobby is where clients will check in for their appointments.

The renovation project’s total price tag came to $4.1 million.

Burn’s Kid College, which was on the east side of the first floor, has moved to 4314 Main Ave., (the former Social Security office) and the space has been transformed into a pharmacy.

Borsukoff said two new elevators have been installed, and Signature Health will occupy four floors with an option to move into the fifth and sixth floors.

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