The furniture has been removed and protective fences raised around the now-vacant Rodeway Inn on East Loockerman Street. All that's needed now is the wrecking ball.
In place of the 51-year-old building, Thomas Kramedas said his family will build a Home2 Suites, an extended stay facility that's a new addition to the Hilton Hotels brand.
Kramedas is president of Axia Management and son of Avelina Kramedas, who owns the property.
"The Loockerman East property is where my grandparents started in the 1950s with The Hub restaurant and Quality Inn motel," Kramedas said in an email to the Dover Post. "I'm proud to redevelop this property and make it an attractive gateway to downtown Dover."
Because of the new hotel's central locale at the corner of U.S. Route 13 and Loockerman Street, its guests will be able to walk to local attractions, have lunch downtown or go for a run around Silver Lake, he said.
"I feel this will be a great place to stay when visiting Dover," Kramedas said.
According to the Hilton website, the Home2 Suites brand was launched in 2009 and already has 14 hotels throughout the country. The hotels feature larger rooms than conventional hotels, with kitchen facilities and other amenities sought by people who will be staying for more than just a day or two.
His family, which owns numerous properties throughout Kent County, has been a Hilton franchisee for years, Kramedas said. The Home2 Suites concept was perfect for Dover as it will attract military personnel, contractors and relocating families.
"We are also looking forward to accommodating guests from the new Kent County sports complex that will be opening soon," he said.
The old Rodeway opened in 1962 as a Quality Inn hotel with 94 rooms. It was long associated with The Hub restaurant, now TGIFridays, which also was owned by the Kramedas family.
The new project, which has been under development for four years, will keep the TGIFridays restaurant and a set of attached office buildings but will include an 11,230-square-foot retail facility with a total of 237 parking spaces.
The four-story Hotel2 Suites will be of brick construction with the main entrance to the east. The retail shops will be one story tall, with an exterior of brick and stone veneer. The front of the shops also will face Loockerman Street.
The city of Dover's planning commission approved the project in May 2011. One year extensions of the site plan approval were granted in May 2012 and again in May 2013.
Kramedas said construction will start this July following removal of the old building and swimming pool from the 4.3-acre site.
The new 90-room hotel will open in May 2014.