The dilapidated motel property at the east end of Liberty Avenue in Vermilion, next to Brownhelm Cemetery, is soon to be converted to recovery housing.
"McKenzie Woods is an old motel arrangement at the east end of Liberty next to the Brownhelm Cemetery," stated Mayor Jim Forthofer at the Vermilion City Council meeting on July 22, 2019. "It had passed into ownership of the Lorain County Land Bank. They recently sold it to Roads To Hope."
At a Lorain County Commissioner's meeting, Commissioner Kokoski asked the mayor to help Road To Hope (RTH) get established.
"The Services Director and I met with the RTH management to discuss City of Vermilion requirements for their project," said the mayor. "Our intention is to help them negotiate any obstacles and get their project going."
RTH has seven other recovery housing locations in Elyria, Sandusky and Oberlin. The Vermilion property will house Road to Hope’s substance abuse recovery participants. RTH also intends to move its administrative offices from Elyria to the Vermilion complex. A complete renovation of all the buildings is being planned. A target date of November 1, 2020 has been set for the property to be operational. Construction will begin this November. The complex will consist of eight two-bedroom units, four one-bedroom units, and will house 20 adults.
"This is the same group that runs Genesis House in Vermilion Township across from Beulah Beach," said the mayor. "It was facilitated by Erie County Commissioner Pat Shenigo, who has nothing but positive things to say about RTH."
The project contributes to the clean-up of the east end of Liberty and is compliant with the RT 6 Corridor Study at no cost to the city, according to the mayor.