The city claimed the project should had been completed and took action to try to regain ownership in October 2018. Grau filed suit in December 2018. The litigation put a hold on the project.
Part of the dispute is about the city’s move to retake ownership with a clause in the deal if the project was not completed according to the mutually agreed to timeline.
The Manchester ownership is seeking declaratory judgment, breach of contract, slander of title, quiet title, and injunctive relief. Also in dispute is whether the city improperly exercised its right of the contract clause to retake ownership.
In a counterclaim to the lawsuit, the city is also claiming damages of $811,541 in lost hotel and income tax revenue because the project did not move faster.
City officials were not optimistic about progress after the December 2020 announcement of a $4 million state historic tax credit award to the project. The project had already received a $5.6 million federal historic preservation tax credit award, according to court documents.
The project cost was estimated at nearly $40.3 million, according to Ohio Development Services Agency information. Plans for both buildings include restoration to serve as a hotel again, and the Snider Ford Building would become a neighboring microbrewery and taproom.
Built in 1922, the hotel had 91 rooms and suites, a restaurant, bar, and ballroom spaces.
The Manchester Hotel was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2014.