“This is a critical step to creating a new and welcome gateway for our community. Champions Park and Clark County will benefit by keeping overnight guests here to experience all our community has to offer,” Board of Clark County Commissioners President Melanie Flax Wilt said.
The project will be a joint venture between Dillin LLC, a regional developer, and Middletown Management, an award-winning hospitality company. The two developers were “awarded” the Marriott franchise on Tuesday, a statement from the two developers said.
“This location is perfect for hospitality services,” Larry Dillin, president of Dillin LLC said. “We are thrilled to have a Marriott banner for the location and look forward to complementing hospitality with service and restaurants that will truly add to the energy already created at Champions Park.”
Dean Blair, Executive Director of the Clark County Fairgrounds and Clark County Agricultural Society, said he is thrilled the hotel will be “part of the Marriott family.”
The fairgrounds already have a “great” relationship with the Marriott property located in downtown Springfield, Blair said, as the property has offered booking deals for guests attending the county fair and Wake The Lake speedboat competition.
“We are so excited to expand and strengthen our partnership with Marriott,” Blair said. “This gives us so many more tools for selling the fairgrounds, the county and the city and that’s just great news for everyone.”
The county purchased the armory site through the Clark County Land Reutilization Corporation, also known as the Land Bank, in 2019 for $125,000 with a loan from the county commission with plans to demolish and redevelop it.
In July 2020, the commission and Clark County Agricultural Society agreed to move forward with a roughly $3 million facelift for the fairgrounds over the next couple of years.
The agreed-upon renovations included upgraded gates with fencing and landscaping at the entrance and adjacent area north of I-70 on Ohio 41, a pedestrian drop-off location, a new fair office and space for the development of a hotel and restaurant on the former armory site.
At that time, Land Bank Executive Director Ethan Harris said the land was still pending sale but as soon as the sale closed the county had plans to “enter into a joint venture with Dillin LLC to reinvest the proceeds back into the gateway and fairgrounds.”
On Wednesday, Dillin said “land pre-development” had already begun on the other renovations and has “launched” on SpringHill Suites.
Dillin is a longtime regional property developer. He took over the development of the Austin Landing project in Miamisburg in 2016 until its sale in late 2019. He was also behind the Levis Commons development in the Toledo region.
In mid-2020, the City of Springfield entered a consulting contract with Dillin LLC to come up with a redevelopment plan for the former Kroger building on South Limestone Street.
Facts & Figures:
120: Number of rooms in new SpringHill Suites hotel
$3M: Total cost of renovations coming to the Clark County Fairgrounds over the next couple of years
$125,000: How much the Clark County Land Reutilization Corporation purchased the former Army National Guard armory for in 2019