shenango inn

TANNER MONDOK | Herald The former Juniper Village at the Shenango Inn building in Sharon.

Sharon residents discussed the long-closed Shenango Inn’s future with city council Wednesday at the Educational Service Center.

The property at 1330 Kimberly Road in Sharon is owned partly by Marty Goldin, who was at the meeting to answer questions. He is in business as DLZ Capital LLC, which he owns with a partner.

“We want to find someone or a group that wants to do something interesting with the property,” said Goldin, of Brooklyn, New York City. “Something that adds to the value of the city and the community.”

Built in 1950, the Shenango Inn was a hotel that filled a need for quality lodging in the community. It was funded by public shareholders, according to the Sharon Historical Society. But the establishment never made a lot of money, as shown on stockholders annual meeting reports.

The late James E. Winner Jr. and his wife Donna bought it in 1979 and ran it as a hotel for a few years but sold it after neighbors and the city balked about having horses there for carriage rides. They then sold it to a private company for use as an assisted living residence. A second private company purchased the property and continued to operate for that purpose before closing the home.

The building has been vacant for almost three years. Goldin and his partner bought the property in the summer.

The listed price for the 5.62-acre property is $850,000. Goldin said it has been well-maintained.

Sharon residents at the meeting had different ideas about what they would like to see the building become.

“Something that draws people in and I think the thing that would help the Shenango Inn is something that’s making money,” said David Wood. “We can all remember times that we spent there. The medical society used to meet there with 200 people for a meeting. Weddings were there. So some type of restaurant situation on the first floor and I wouldn’t be completely closed to apartments. This is a beautiful building and there are a lot of people that would like a nice secure place ... as a high-end condo.”

Sharon residents also expressed concern about the building becoming a drug rehab center or public housing.

“Where we need to be cautious is the more limitations we put on the building, the higher the likelihood the building remains vacant, it becomes blighted and an eyesore to the neighborhood,” Sharon Manager Bob Fiscus said. “I think we all remember Wengler School, a good example of a building that fell into disrepair.”

But the building is in an area zoned as for single-family dwellings. In 1989, the city issued a zoning variance to allow the building to become a personal care residence.City Council would have to approve any use for the building other than as a family residence.

“Everyone is committed to move in the same direction and any changes would certainly be necessary and city council would not make decisions unless they felt comfortable that neighbors supported it.”

Goldin said he and his partner have bought similar buildings in other towns.

“We buy these kind of odd, unusual buildings and we try to find a new use for it, something that’s appropriate for the community,” Goldin said. 

Fiscus said Goldin came in from New York specifically for Wednesday’s meeting.

“I think that shows a lot to his commitment,” Fiscus said. “He cares about the city and I think he’s going to do everything he can for the neighborhood.”

City council passed out surveys asking people for their opinion on the building’s use.

Sharon residents can answer the survey, at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ShenangoInn.

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