Androy Hotel could undergo renovationA historic downtown hotel in Superior could soon undergo a major renovation.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
A historic downtown hotel in Superior could soon undergo a major renovation.
Garrison Companies of Kansas City, Mo., is eyeing the Androy Hotel for about 50 low- to moderate-income senior-living apartments in the heart of the central business district.
Currently, the hotel has 50 sleeping rooms and 30 apartments.
“We’re interested and we’re anxious; if it should be developed as they’ve described, it could be another interesting asset to the downtown, the Business Improvement District,” said Mayor Bruce Hagen.
Superior’s City Council met Wednesday in special session to endorse the project that could bring a $6 million to $7 million investment to the eight-story hotel built in 1924. The special meeting was held to help the developer meet its Friday deadline to apply for the low-income housing tax credits.
Councilors unanimously approved endorsing the proposed project with a $200,000 long-term, low-interest loan through the city’s 2013 Community Development Block Grant funding. The loan is contingent on a successful application for low-income housing tax credits through the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority.
The move will add points to Garrison Companies application, which would help make the project possible, said Port and Planning Director Jason Serck.
The project is contingent on Garrison getting tax credits through WHEDA, said Margie Regner, who owns the Androy with her husband Dave.
She said she knows very little about the company’s plan for the building at this point beyond Garrison’s plan to maintain businesses and employees in the Androy and maintain the historic integrity of the building during the renovation.
Garrison also plans to seek placement on the National Register of Historical Places, said Dave Bell of Garrison Community Development LLC.
Bell previously worked with Freedom Development and Consulting to plan the site of the Grandview Estates in Superior’s Billings Park neighborhood.
Regner said she expects the renovation to coincide with the reconstruction of Tower Avenue north of Belknap Street planned for 2013.
“To me … this is a no brainer,” Bell said. “It makes good sense for senior living in this area for the simple fact that on the main floor they have a restaurant, they a lounge; they got full service right there.”
In addition to the existing businesses that would remain, Bell said there are plans to add a barbershop and beauty salon, and a community center, an exercise room, internet café, computer business center on the mezzanine-level banquet room and individual storage lockers to be built in the old speakeasy. He said the building’s location also puts it in close proximity to many of the downtown’s amenities.
With the low income tax credits and preservation tax credits the company is applying for, Bell said Garrison will be able to make a healthy investment in the historic hotel.
“We can put a lot of dollars into the renovation,” Bell said. “These are going to be some nice looking units, but at the same time we’re going to be targeting the 50 percent median income, so we’re really going to be able to target the people on the fixed incomes. That’s going to be a blessing all the way around.”
During the renovation, plans include using Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards with all new EnergyStar appliances to reduce the building’s energy consumption.
If Garrison receives the tax credits it is applying for and proceeds with the renovation, Bell said the Androy would cease to operate as a hotel.