The legal case regarding Grove City's closure of the Star City Inn & Suites property, 3131 Broadway, has concluded, and the effort to redevelop the property has begun.
The city filed a notice of dismissal Jan. 17 because the current owner of the property, Jacob Sudai, ultimately chose not to appeal the order Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Judge Daniel Hawkins granted in June 2017 allowing the city to close down the motel, city law director Stephen Smith said.
Sudai said he was ready to move on and look forward to redeveloping the property.
"We are looking at various plans and once we have decided on something, we will be bringing it to the city," he said.
Sudai declined to comment on ideas he might be pursuing for redeveloping the property.
From the city's standpoint, the case's dismissal is a chance to encourage a reuse of a property that had become a nuisance and safety concern when the motel was in operation, Smith said.
The property is zoned C-2 retail commercial, he said.
"When we filed the order to close the motel, it was not a nuisance situation because it was a dilapidated, decrepit building," Smith said.
The city moved to close down the motel after seeing an increase in illegal activity at the site, he said.
In 2016, the last full year the motel was in operation, there were 362 police and emergency medical service calls to the Star City Inn.
The calls included a number of incidents involving prostitution and drug sales, Smith said.
One case involved murder.
Temesgen Zerihun, 44, died Sept. 28, 2016, after police found him with a gunshot wound at the motel, according to police reports.
The city remained opposed to redeveloping the site as another motel "because we were concerned that the same type of incidents would simply start happening again," Smith said.
The front unoccupied building on the site remains standing, but the hotel building at the rear of the property has been demolished, he said.
"The motel is officially no more," Smith said.
The court case has been at a standstill for two years.
A hearing had been scheduled for January 2018 to determine whether Hawkins would grant a one-year extension of the 2017 order he approved
Before that hearing was held in Franklin County Municipal Court's environmental court, the two sides agreed to postpone the session until Aug. 31, 2018, after the attorney representing the property owner indicated his client had hired a real estate agent specializing in hotel redevelopment, Smith said.
Dates for the hearing continued to be postponed and rescheduled until the final resolution was reached, he said.
"I think both sides are pleased not to have this case before the court any longer," Smith said.