Hilton Cleveland Downtown Celebrates Topping Out Ceremony
Hilton Cleveland Downtown Marks Milestone in its Construction Schedule With Traditional “Topping Out” Ceremony
CLEVELAND – Sept. 30, 2015 – Today, representatives from Cuyahoga County, the City of Cleveland, Turner Construction Company, Hilton Worldwide, community leaders and other hotel project supporters celebrate the “topping out” of the $272 million Hilton Cleveland Downtown scheduled to open in June 2016. The 600-room convention-style hotel property will be located on Lakeside Avenue directly adjacent to the Lake Erie shoreline, FirstEnergy Stadium and connected to the new FirstMerit Convention Center of Cleveland and Global Center for Health Innovation.
In recognition of Hilton Cleveland Downtown reaching its highest point in construction, the topping out ceremony was attended by Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish, Dan Brady, president, Cuyahoga County Council, Pernel Jones Jr., vice president, Cuyahoga County Council, Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson, Kevin Kelley, president, Cleveland City Council, David Wondolowski, executive secretary, Building and Construction Trades Council, Jason Jones, vice president and general manager, Turner Construction Company, and Teri Agosta, general manager, Hilton Cleveland Downtown.
“This is really another exciting day for our region. Today’s event marks an important milestone as we watch our vision for a world-class hotel become a reality right before our eyes,” said County Executive Budish. “This project ties together both the Global Center for Health Innovation and the FirstMerit Convention Center of Cleveland -making it the perfect tourist trifecta. These three facilities serve as the catalyst for bringing new economic activity to our region, laying a new foundation for continued development.”
“The topping out ceremony gets us closer to the completion of Hilton Cleveland Downtown as we look forward to the 2016 Republican National Convention,” said Mayor Frank G. Jackson. “It positions us to be competitive in seeking conventions and conferences into the future.”
The project is a collaboration between the Cuyahoga County Council, Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council and the City of Cleveland. Hilton Hotels & Resorts, owned by Hilton Worldwide, will operate the hotel and provide day-to-day operations support including sales, marketing and customer service.
“This day marks a significant milestone in the long-standing relationship between Hilton and the City of Cleveland, representatives from Cuyahoga County, as well as all our distinguished business partners involved in this spectacular project,” stated Teri Agosta, general manager, Hilton Cleveland Downtown. “We are on track to open next June as originally planned and thrilled to be developing a 600-room Hilton hotel in such a dynamic market like Cleveland, given its recent resurgence. We understand the need to fulfill the demand for additional hotel rooms which will also create new job opportunities for Clevelanders.”
The 32-floor, convention-style hotel has more than 46,000 square feet of function space, including a 20,778-square-foot Grand Ballroom and 15,729-square-foot Junior Ballroom. Nine meeting rooms, featuring natural lighting with floor-to-ceiling windows and lake views, accompany the ballrooms on the third and fifth floors. On the concourse level, a subterranean passway will connect visitors to the FirstMerit Convention Center of Cleveland. The FirstMerit Convention Center of Cleveland contains 225,000 square feet in meeting space, including 36 private meeting rooms and a 32,000-square-foot ballroom.
“We are excited to celebrate this milestone in the construction of Hilton Cleveland Downtown,” said Jason Jones, vice president and general manager, Turner Construction Company’s Cleveland Office. “Personally, I’m really proud of the Turner, Ozanne and VAA joint venture, our partners and subcontractors. This ceremony is as much about celebrating our team of builders, as it is about seeing the building take form.”
The hotel topping out ceremony marks a time-honored construction custom dating back more than one thousand years. With its Scandinavian origins, local superstition held that it was necessary to appease the gods and ancestral spirits living in the trees that were cut and used in building structures. In modern times, once the top story of a structure is completed, a live evergreen is hoisted to the top of the building. For the Cleveland property’s topping out ceremony, a construction beam will be available for attendees to sign, staged on the mall the morning of the ceremony. This beam will have a small tree mounted on top of it along with an American Flag, signifying anticipated readiness for the 2016 National Republican Convention.
“The topping out is a significant accomplishment, and we are on track to complete the work in the spring as planned,” said Marty Burgwinkle, project executive, Turner Construction Company’s Cleveland Office. “We think the community will be proud of this hotel.”
In August, Turner Construction Company workers rescued a baby falcon from the highest floor of the Hilton Cleveland Downtown pre-maturely named “Hilton Hawk” by the workers who rescued it. The Lake Erie Nature and Science Center cared for the falcon until its release on September 8. At today’s ceremony, Director of Wildlife, Amy LeMonds, and Wildlife Rehabilitation Specialist, Tim Jasinski, accepted a monetary donation as well as supplies from Hilton Cleveland Downtown and its team members in recognition of their tireless work in wildlife rehabilitation.
For additional information and news about the upcoming Hilton Cleveland Downtown, visit www.news.hilton.com/clevelanddowntown and www.clevelanddowntown.hilton.com.