Oil City finalizes Days Inn purchase

The City of Oil City on Thursday finalized its purchase of the former Days Inn hotel property, a deal that had been in the works for months.

The city transferred $507,000 to the owner of the hotel, Oil City Hospitality LLC, run by the Shah family, Oil City manager Mark Schroyer told the newspaper.

That figure includes $200,000 contributed by the Oil Region Alliance with the rest of the cost being picked up by the City of Oil City, Schroyer said.

By the time the entire transaction is finished it will cost the city “a few more dollars” on top of the payment made Thursday, according to Schroyer.

“We are looking forward to a brighter future in Oil City. Removing this structure will make way for riverfront development,” Schroyer said.

The manager added “it was a significant financial undertaking for all parties involved. Some people ask about that. We felt in the long run it was in the best interest of the city.”

Schroyer said the Days Inn site on the North Side end of the Veterans Bridge has potential to be viable, even lucrative for the city.

The city is in the process of changing locks and securing the building, Schroyer said.

The title for the former Days Inn will be transferred to the Oil City Redevelopment Authority, Schroyer said. He explained that the redevelopment authority has more flexibility when it comes to transactions and meeting with prospective developers than the city does.

The ORA will take the lead on administration for the demolition of the building, Schroyer said.

Oil City Council members last month approved a memorandum of understanding with the Oil Region Alliance and Oil City Redevelopment Authority regarding the purchase of the hotel, and city solicitor Bob Varsek gave an overview of the agreement.

The ORA will get the first option to purchase the property once the hotel is demolished and the site is cleared, Varsek said last month.

In July, council adopted a resolution authorizing the city to purchase the hotel from Oil City Hospitality LLC, run by the Shah family.

The five-story hotel, which closed in 2019, has been in a state of major disrepair for quite some time and has been vandalized over the course of this year.

The hotel has been around since the mid-1960s, when it opened as a Holiday Inn.

Several months ago, council also approved applying for a Keystone Communities grant from the Department of Community and Economic Development for $500,000 to raze the hotel.