After being vacant for years, is there new life for Lorain's historic Broadway Building?

Posted at 5:01 PM, Aug 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-29 18:41:53-04

Time in Lorain's historic Broadway Building has stood still for years.


Monday, architect Gary Fischer showed Newsnet5’s Paul Kiska the damage time has done to the place, and the potential is has to be great again.


Fischer said plans call for converting this former hotel into 58 new apartments that would cost up to $1000 a month.


The place offers great views of the waterfront. 


"There are spectacular views of Lake Erie, the Black River, the festival and downtown,” said architect Gary Fischer.


Construction would also include a 350 seat event center that would host weddings.


"I'd like to see a piece of Lorain's history renovated and become useful and start to generate activity again for the city, that would be a positive thing,” Fischer said.


The project's developer Jim Louthen, director of ReTown in Chicago said the building is all about location.


"The Broadway Building is located at ground zero for Lorain at the intersection of the historic downtown and the waterfront,” Louthen said.


Louthen said developers are ready to invest ten million dollars into the project.


Carl Nielsen owns Nielsen Jewelers, a place that has been in Lorain and in his family for a over a century.


"We could finally get an eyesore turned into a vibrant and active building, it's got to be a growth engine for our downtown,” Nielsen said.


If all the financing works out, construction could begin by the end up there and be finished with a year and a half.


A new brew pub is already being built next to the Broadway Building.