An overwhelming majority of Aurora voters voted for the Bertram Inn & Conference Center to be redesigned from industrial to mixed-use classification for the 16.4-acre property.
Of the votes cast, 807 – around 78% – supported the change to the zoning map and 222 were against it. This is based on final but unofficial results from Portage County’s electoral authority.
Rob Benjamin, vice president and director of real estate at Heritage Development, said the company plans to convert 75 hotel rooms into 25 to 30 upscale condos to improve Bertram’s bottom line. That would leave 149 hotel rooms. The planned renovation work requires the reallocation as the first step for approval.
“We’re not making any external changes,” said Benjamin. “We’re going to be making some improvements inside the building, and we’ll likely have a separate condominium entry outside.”
More:The application to rededicate the Bertram Inn, Issue 2 would support the conversion of rooms into condominiums
After the vote was confirmed, Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin said that Heritage Development, which proposed the reallocation, must seek conditional reallocation for multi-family development.
“I’m glad the reallocation passed because mixed use is a much more appropriate use for the property than industrial use, which was the original reallocation,” she said.
The property is located on the north, east and south sides in the upscale Barrington neighborhood. Assuming Heritage Development receives a Conditional Zoning Certificate, Womer Benjamin said the next step would be to submit plans for a major renovation.
Benjamin hopes the renovations can start later this year.
Reporter Bob Gaetjens can be reached at 330-541-9440, [email protected] and @bobgaetjens_rc.