Hope for Hotel Rieger

Three city commissioners, eight firemen and a handful of interested onlookers trudged through the former Hotel Rieger building on Wednesday morning for its annual inspection.
May 24, 2010



Three city commissioners, eight firemen and a handful of interested onlookers trudged through the former Hotel Rieger building on Wednesday morning for its annual inspection.

The consensus? The building is in much better shape than most thought.

Greg Spatz and Jonathan Sandvick, the building's developer and architect, said they've put in a "substantial" amount of money fixing the roof, replacing windows and cleaning the building throughout the past several years. They hope to transform the former downtown hotel into affordable apartments with retail on the ground floor.



This same kind of BS story did ZERO to help the Keller Building. Don't give in to the historical preservationists if you want to see your town blossom again. Tear down the eye-sores and start anew. The new CAN coexist with the old just look at London.


What ever happen to the retail space that was going to be at Chesapeak?? Same stories different year...

hancrack me up

That isn't snow on the roof, it's seagull & pigeon poop. Nothing will ever happen with that structure. Open it as a haunted building & give ghost hunt tours. Friends that stayed there when Kerm Price ran it said there were screams coming from off in the distance. Many lost souls haunt those halls, not to mention the smell of urine.


It does NOT look plausible to renovate that old building. So everyone is wearing particulate masks while inside? That isn't good. It can be done, but it will cost a fortune. So, WHO'S money will be spent on this project? If it is private funding, then have at it and good luck in spending investment capital. If it involves any taxpayer dollars, I would be hesitant. Implode it and have investors spend their own money. "Broken windows" theory requires government to do something with improving the quality of the downtown. If they do nothing and the buildings continue to fall apart, it will only attract criminal enterprise and be the causal factor for people to flee into Perkins to live and shop.


Amazing....."just tear it down, its an eyesore" blah blah blah. So are you going to tear down everything that you think is an eyesore in this community? Have you noticed how many eyesores there are in this town just with regard to residences and neighborhoods?? So kick them out because their house is a wreck and an eyesore? The Chesapeake used to be an eyesore........look at it now. Oh wait ~ you can't stop long enough to see the good in that only the things that didn't happen? If you're going to put a microscope on the bad why can't you just try to see a part of the good as well?? And who is anyone to define plausible??

Did you not notice in the story that they mentioned the new owners have put several years work into the place cleaning it up? Obviously with their OWN money?? Call it rose colored glasses but I think that that is half the reason this town and this county is where it is. Lack of passion, vision, hope and mere dreams and the need for immediate satisfaction!! You want perfection now or give up and onto the next thing. Rome was not built in a day though it was built with VISION and passion.

Give the owners some credit. They have a dream that they believe in! They're working on it for gosh sakes and not giving up because its taking good old fashion hard work and patience!! Not to mention they haven't given up using the economy as an excuse. What are you doing besides sitting on the sidelines complaining about it? My theory is you've got no business casting stones unless you are willing to get involved in the solution.

Good Luck Hotel Rieger. I hope that your dream rebuilds an awesome building that brings something great to this town!!


It will cost a small fortune to remediate all the environmental problems in that hotel - namely asbestos. Let's not also forget about ADA compliance and fire code, etc. Legal compliance has made it difficult if not impossible to renovate these old buildings in an affordable manner. Whether you are for or against these compliance issues, that's the truth. That's why it is easier to tear down the "eyesore." It's not just a visible eyesore, it's a financial eyesore.

Even the US government figured that out - why do you think they are building a NEW SSA building downtown instead of renovating an OLD building? They don't want to fight their own laws.


For once the JOKER is right on the mark. Tear down these eyesores from Jackson street all the way to Wayne Street on both sides of Market street. Close down all car traffic and make a walking mall with Hoty type strip mall monolithic buildings. The watch, tinkets and trash and cell phone vendors will flock to downtown. Use the eminant domain concept to purchase the current owners' stake. Maybe, just maybe, by making the space available and buildable, some anchor or two will see what it can be. Need a template, look at Santa Monica, California. Anchor stores and small shops thrive in a car free environment one block from the water.

smoke and mirrors

The key words here are "affordable apartments".Affordable to singles and couples with a good income or affordable to singles and couples with low/no income.You can't have it both ways becouse the two will not coexist together in the real world.

hancrack me up

re: ritt:
Yes, yes & yes to your first 3 questions...and the Chesapeake Display & Packaging Overpriced Efficiency Sized Retirement Community Apartments & Snake Pit to me is still an eyesore. The time it WASN'T an eyesore was when there were 75 cars in the parking lot, running 3 shifts, semis coming in & out all hours of the day & night & gainfully employed people walking in & out those doors. Now the place is a DUD just like the rest of the downtown. No one can afford to live there but old rich people, and the three people that occupy the building are greatly outnumbered by hundreds of thousands of black snakes that occupy the nice warm sub-basement (great area for breeding).
I'm very surprised they didn't find any dead bodies in any of the rooms from meth/crackheads who expired there. I've driven by in the wee hours & seen dim lights on in the upper floors. If Vandals can get in to rip out iron heat registers then bums can easily get in & out as well.
Besides, those rooms are crammed too close together. I would want my own "half a floor" if I had to live there. Those rooms are too small for a family of ANY size to have to live there. People were smaller back when this hotel was still a hotel & meant for 1 or 2 people at the most per room. There would have to be MAJOR ripping out of walls to convert these into apartments. Is there even a presidential suite?
This area is in dire need af a BIG animal hospital. This would be perfect, with a built in "Ronald McDonald House" type area for out of town patient's owners to sleep overnight.
And name me one business (other than a soup kitchen) that would open a shop in a dead zone like that? The view from the roof is nice, but look out any window & see : 1. Someone on the Register FunCam spying on you, 2. A brick wall, 3. an empty parking lot with 2 exciting mail boxes to look at, 4. the old unemployment office/ad agency, & 5. An abandoned dry cleaners (I believe) taken over by the SR. WooHoo!
Only way you'd see me in there is with ghost hunting equipment & a sidearm for protection from current residents.
p.s...Why was no one informed of this tour? When's the next one?


If its torn down, i just hope to god whatever they put in its spot actually is suited to a downtown setting. People dont value anything anymore when it comes to city planning, architecture, and design...and the result is drab and unstimulating, downtowns that nobody cares about anymore. Everybody loves something as long as its new and the car can be parked at the front door. America is slowly losing "real" places. Places worth caring about. I would prefer the building be saved but whatever happens....there needs to be a definite vision of whats to come afterwards and how its going to integrate with downtown as a whole.


And i would strongly recommend the books...
"Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream" by Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk and Jeff Speck


"The Geography of Nowhere" by James Howard Kunstler.

...to any City Commissioner, progressive thinking developer, or any citizen who knows downtown needs to be revived, but cant concieve of any real idea as to how it can be done. Just a suggestion.

columbus avenue

Hey Downtowner! Are you talking about the new Social Security Building on Wayne & Washington that is built of 2x4s, styrofoam and stucco that kind of looks like a Greek public bathroom at a beachfront resort?


Holy crap. I hate the new social security office so much.


Read between the lines on this story.
I believe, if we go back to when this project was proposed, it was to be developed into more-or-less "upscale housing". Now the developer admits he is seeking finanicng form the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program (that's the due date he refers to with OHFA). That would be income-restricted housing for people below 60% of median income

hancrack me up

It says on their website "annual leases $495 a month". For that you could stay at the Comfort or Colonial Inn for that & have a pool plus be where all the action is- in booming Avery.
They should just auction off the building for $5 to the Erie Metro Thug Youth Donation Committee" & let them turn it into a giant Metro Housing palace, complete with midnight basketball & graffiti making sessions on the rear of the building (like it has now).


Hey now, no hating on Avery, There IS a Mickey D's and a Subway..; )


Hancrack, you sound like you worked there, I did for about 3 yrs in the late 70's when it was still Westvaco. Had to laugh when you were talking about the sub basement, I was helping main't take some stuff down there and we opened the elevator door and shined a light in there, there were about 10 pairs of BIG rat eyes staring back at us. Also that place had the biggest spiders I have ever seen. Freakin' huge.


I hope Wadd & Pervis don't make this another Keller.