In November 2018, Delaware City Council approved the development of a hotel at 235 W. William St. that would incorporate a historic house and include a museum dedicated to Ohio Wesleyan University and the Little Brown Jug.

But more than a year later, a for-sale sign is posted on the property.

Jim Manos, who submitted the hotel plan to the city, said, "I've just changed my mind on it a little bit."

His plan was to construct an addition to a house OWU professor Hiram Perkins built in 1880 to create a hotel called Wesleyan Inn.

A large factor affecting that plan, he said, is the difficulty of finding contractors willing to take on such work in a timely manner.

He said he learned about this when developing Sandusky Street Lofts, eight luxury apartments at 30 N. Sandusky St., which he said would be available for rent in the spring.

Manos, who said he is a professional financial adviser and does development work as a hobby -- said it's "tough" to find contractors because of a building boom in central Ohio.

Contractors are busy, he said, because central Ohio and Delaware County are fast-growing areas, with new construction boosted by low interest rates, low unemployment and a thriving economy.

He said one HVAC contractor told him it would be months before he could start a project for Manos.

"There's so much building. I've never seen anything like it," he said.

His fear regarding the hotel, he said, is he would need financing for a project that might take 30 months to complete before it could generate any income.

Larger developers don't have a problem with delays, he said, because they work with the same contractors on a regular basis.

The ordinances City Council approved for the project Nov. 12, 2018, limited the hotel to 43 rooms and note that 235 W. William St. is zoned planned office institutional, which allows a hotel as a conditional use.

Manos originally proposed using two lots -- 235 and 239 W. William St. -- for the hotel and its parking.

That would have required rezoning 239 W. William St. from residential to planned mixed use.

Some neighbors of the project site and several council members objected to changing the residential zoning.

The original plan was debated at length during council meetings in June, July and August 2018, before council voted it down 4-3 on Aug. 13.

Looking back on the process, Manos said, the failure of the rezoning request for 239 W. William St. also was a factor in his change of heart.

The original plan would have allowed more than 60 rooms, he said, but confining all parking to 235 W. William St. limited the number of rooms that could be built.

"You don't get as excited" about the smaller number of rooms "when you do the math on the income," he said.

Developing a hotel with more than 60 rooms would have had only slightly higher construction costs than one with 43 rooms, he said.

"The beauty of real estate is you can always turn around and sell it," Manos said.

The site would be a great location for professional offices or student housing, he said.

He also said he eventually might change his mind about the site's future if it doesn't sell.

"I love the property. I love the location. I don't mind owning it," he said.

A Coldwell Banker King Thompson for-sale sign stands at the property.

A listing at realliving.com shows the asking price as $239,000 and adds, "This former student housing property has eight bedrooms with bathroom and shower stalls on second floor. Spacious rooms, outdoor parking, and all new windows waiting to be installed. This property has tons of potential but needs work."

Manos had told council members he planned to make Wesleyan Inn "a museum in addition to a hotel. ... It will be a destination."

On Nov. 12, 2018, Manos told council he is an avid collector of original memorabilia from OWU and the Little Brown Jug harness race.

He brought to the meeting some of the items he said the hotel will feature.

They included a 1948 Little Brown Jug champions trophy, an OWU sports uniform from 1910 and a copy of the sheet music used when OWU's Selby Stadium was dedicated in 1927.

At the same meeting, city planning director Dave Efland told council the Perkins House would "be nice to preserve for our community."

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