Downtown hotel on the horizonPublished 7:30pm Tuesday, May 27, 2014
If City of Washington officials had their way, a downtown hotel would open up for business tomorrow morning. Unfortunately, that’s not happen yet and it continues to be on the wish list for city officials.
Two Washington downtown hotel studies have been completed by Williams Appraisers out of Raleigh in the last year.
The first appraisal was done in November of 2013. It recommended that a hotel should not be built. The first hotel study was based on the idea of a basic hotel. The analysis compared the potential hotel to the hotels built near the bypass in Washington.
In round two’s feasibility study done earlier this year. Williams Appraisers said a small 35-room boutique hotel is feasible, due to fewer rooms.
Both studies were not site-specific, according to Brian Alligood, Washington’s city manager.
The city had to have a feasibility study on the potential hotel to show possible buyers that it could be a successful business.
“There are no buyers yet, but we got a feasibility report, and it gives us something to work with,” said Mayor Mac Hodges. “We need to figure out if we can get any buyers or help somebody come up with a plan to buy it.”
Hodges said he doesn’t have a preference to whether it is a new building or if the existing Hotel Louise is remodeled.
“Whoever buys it will have their own concept what they want it to be,” Hodges said.
“They can put 80 rooms in, 100 rooms in, and I don’t think it would be enough room for 100,” said Hodges, referring to Hotel Louise. “I would just be happy if somebody put anything in there (Hotel Louise).”
Hodges’ desire for the hotel stems from the reopening of the Turnage Theater and the boat slips on the Washington waterfront.
“People can come into Washington and stay in the hotel,” Hodges said. “They can bring the boat in from wherever. I think there are some avenues for room since the closest hotel is near the bypass.”
Over the last nine years several plans have been brought to the city for a downtown hotel. In 2005, the state awarded Washington a $1 million dollar grant to go along with a $750,000 loan from the city to Progress Partners to renovate Hotel Louise.
That project, however, never came to fruition and the property continues to sit vacant.
The current asking price for the 33,400 square foot Hotel Louise is priced at $659,000. According to the listing, the buyer could receive historic restoration tax credits.