As we move into a new year, Oil City residents are asking the same two questions they’ve been asking for months — what’s going on with Milan Adamovsky’s buildings and the Days Inn hotel?
Adamovsky, a software engineer from New Jersey, made a big splash about a year ago when he bought up several large properties in the North Side business district. But not much has been heard from him in recent months.
And Days Inn general manager Sachin Patel told the newspaper back in July he had hoped to have some rooms in the hotel up and running by the Oil Heritage Festival later that month.
Oil City manager Mark Schroyer said this week he hasn’t had any contact for several months with Days Inn management personnel.
The newspaper spoke by telephone Friday with Patel, and he said the hotel will be “open this year for sure.”
The hotel has had two water main breaks, causing some damage to the building, Patel said. He said he is waiting on insurance regarding the water damage.
Patel added that he is also waiting for warmer weather to paint the exterior of the building before he reopens the hotel.
Patel said he is also waiting on things he has ordered for the hotel to arrive, some things are on back order and his packages are arriving “little by little.”
Schroyer noted that hotel management cooperated with the city during the Clarks concert that was held in Justus Park as a highlight event of the Heritage Festival.
“They let us use several rooms for dressing rooms and a staging area and we appreciate that,” Schroyer said. The concert drew a very big crowd to the park.
Schroyer said he sees people coming and going at the hotel to check on things occasionally. He added that the city is “very disappointed” that the hotel is not open.
“We anticipated the hotel would be up and operational and it has not been,” Schroyer said.
Oil City Hospitality, a private company based in Richmond, Virginia, bought the hotel in December 2020 from First Western SBLC Inc. of Dallas, Texas.
The bank was the sole bidder for the 106-room hotel at a Venango County sheriff’s sale in mid 2020.
The hotel, a landmark that leads to the North Side business district off the Veterans Memorial Bridge, was built as a five-story Holiday Inn at a cost of $1.6 million.
It opened for business in August 1965 on a 3.5 acre site formerly occupied by the Pennsylvania Railroad depot and freight houses.
The hotel was later renamed the Arlington and became part of the America’s Best Value Inn chain.
In 2013, it became a Days Inn as part of the Wyndham Hotel chain.
The newspaper has reached out to Adamovsky in recent weeks for an update, including twice this week, but the telephone calls went unanswered and unreturned.
“After a lot of enthusiasm and little work, there has been nothing,” Schroyer said. He added he is “disappointed with the lack of activity and if he (Adamovsky) has plans he has not been keeping the city in the loop.”
Adamovsky bought three properties — the former National Fuel Gas headquarters at 308 Seneca St., the IOOF Building at 220 Seneca St. and the Grandview Estates furniture store building at 202 Center St. — in December 2020.
In February 2021, he closed the deal on 217 Seneca St., site of the former Isaly’s store, and 106 Center St., a corner building that previously housed the Rosen, Rosen and Varsek law offices.
All five deeds were transferred from the sellers to Adamovsky and his various limited liability companies. The sales agreements ranged from $159,000 for the National Fuel property to articles of agreement for the others.
Adamovsky held three “town hall” meetings in the former Grandview Estates building — one each in February, March and April. But no get-togethers have taken place since then.
To date, he has mentioned only one finite business venture — opening an upscale ice cream parlor at 106 Center. There’s no timeline for that project.
After purchasing the properties, Adamovsky formed the private Bring Back Oil City Pa. Facebook group, where people who joined could discuss and share ideas. The page currently has more than 2,000 members
A look at the page shows volunteers did some interior demolition in the 217 Seneca and 106 Center buildings over the spring and summer months.
In late October, Adamovsky posted to the group looking to hire people to clean, move things and do odd jobs for him in his buildings.
Most recently, on Dec.24 he wished everyone a Merry Christmas.
Many people are wondering where Adamovsky is, and newspaper staff members continue to field inquiries from curious residents either via email or as they are out and about around town.
Someone recently took to the wall of the former Grandview Estates building and wrote “Where is Milan” near the main entrance.
“We’ve seen this before in Oil City. I was hopeful, but I’ve seen this before,” said Ron Gustafson, an Oil City councilman and longtime local contractor.
Gustafson recalled how the old Lincoln School building and Brody Block had also been purchased by people who came to town with ideas about what to do with their newly acquired buildings, but the structures weren’t fixed or maintained.
In the end, both the Brody Block and the Lincoln School were torn down after deteriorating further.
“It seems to be all talk and no action, it happens too often…When people can buy buildings cheap, it attracts speculative people,” Gustafson said.
Oil City mayor Bill Moon also said he has not heard anything from Adamovsky or the people involved with the Days Inn.