In spite of public rumors — some spread by social media, some otherwise — the Cleveland Daily Banner office building is not expanding, moving, renovating or remodeling, but its 25th Street …
In spite of public rumors — some spread by social media, some otherwise — the Cleveland Daily Banner office building is not expanding, moving, renovating or remodeling, but its 25th Street neighbors are.
Demolition and construction projects on both sides of the newspaper's printing and office complex has generated interest, and concerns, for Banner patrons.
Racetrac Petroleum, on the west side of the Banner, is in the midst of construction for one of its new prototype fuel distribution centers. The new center will be located where the former Raceway convenience and fuel distribution store had been for years. The Raceway store closed late in 2018.
Preliminary work has virtually been completed, and huge, fuel storage tanks were being placed on site Thursday. Construction of the store, to handle local and over-the-road motorists and local consumers, will now get underway.
Handling the preliminary site work is the J.C. Curtis Construction Company, a general contractor in Chattanooga.
Liz Howell, communications manager for Racetrac in Atlanta, said the construction is expected to be completed this summer, with a tentative opening date in June.
On the opposite side of the newspaper (to the east), the first stage of a renovation/upgrade project is nearing completion at the old Economy Inn motel.
Owner Vikram Vashi said the project has been kicked off with demolition of approximately 50 percent of the 36-year-old motel. The tearing down, and removing, is the rear half of the building.
Local contractor Doug Saffles is in charge of the demolition, and according to Vashi, may be contracted for some of the follow-up work.
Vashi said tentative plans are for renovation, upgrades and landscaping for the front half of the building, the office and lobby area. There is expected to be extensive remodeling of the exterior and interior of the building, still standing, and landscaping around the structure.
"We have not yet made definite plans, but this is what we're considering," Vashi said Thursday. He added the family is exploring options for the rear portion of the property.
"I would like to consider conveniences people want, when considering an overnight or extended stay," he added. He said it might include a small eatery, or even a pool.
Vashi said he would be announcing final construction plans, once they have been determined.
"We need to get plans to the city (Cleveland Planning Office) by the end of the month," he said.
The motel owner said the property was on the real estate market recently, but negotiations were not successful. He said they then decided on renovations and demolition of a portion of the building.
The Economy Inn was constructed in 1983-84, and purchased by Vashi in 1996.
The Racetrac contruction to the east will be one of the corporation's new, prototype fuel distribution centers, and an upscale facility with conveniences for travelers, or local individuals and families.
Berry Engineering of Cleveland has been assisting with plans for the facility
It is expected to have 16 fuel distribution stations.
"Outside all our new stores, you will find clean, well-lit parking lots, while there will be thoughtful elements and outside seating options," said Howell.
Included in the interior of the store will be a Swirl World frozen dessert station, which will have 10 flavors and 41 toppings. Howell said there will also be a spacious coffee area, and abundant counter space for snack needs, or even the opportunity of a full meal.
She said the store will have a more-shoppable layout, ample seating for travelers or local residents, free Wi-Fi and improved lighting.
The new Racetrac store will be set back a greater distance from 25th Street, deeper into the property than the Raceway store was located.
With preliminary work virtually completed, the store will soon be rising along 25th Street , targeting a June, 2019, grand opening.
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