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The Keefer Hotel in downtown Hillsdale. Col­legian | Julia Mullins

While the Keefer Hotel project remains in its pre-devel­op­mental phase, archi­tects, con­tractors, and interior designers are making strides every day to move the project forward. 

Brant Cohen, ’18, an asso­ciate for C.L. Real Estate LLC, and said this early phase is taking just as much time as the developer expected due to the com­plexity of the project. 

“We’re going to get to ground­breaking as quickly as we pos­sibly can,” Cohen said. 

After final­izing its pur­chase of the Keefer in October 2018, C.L. Real Estate said it hoped to begin con­struction in the early months of 2019, according to an earlier article from the Hillsdale Daily News

Cohen, however, said C.L Real Estate never spec­ified when con­struction would begin.

“We didn’t have a start date,” he said. 

Due to the building’s age, Cohen added, archi­tects must pay careful attention to every detail, from pipes to light­bulbs. 

Nathan Watson, general manager for C.L. Real Estate LLC, said the developer is in the process of final­izing the design. 

“We are about 60 percent through con­struction doc­u­ments, so we have 40 percent more to go,” Watson said. “And we are working on our con­struction costs.” 

Watson added that C.L. Real Estate aims to start con­struction in early 2020, and the con­struction process should take 12 to 15 months.

Cohen said C.L. Real Estate wants the com­munity to be proud of the Keefer Hotel, and he is con­fident that the ren­o­vated hotel will provide an “oppor­tunity for the city.”

Tax Increment Finance Authority Chair Chris Sumnar echoed Cohen. 

We believe that the Dawn and the Keefer projects will be cat­a­lysts for addi­tional investment in our downtown,” Sumnar said.  

The Keefer will become a bou­tique hotel with 34 total rooms. The rooms will consist of six suites, two extended-stay units, and the remaining rooms will be a com­bi­nation of double and queen beds. 

The updated hotel will also contain a full-service restaurant open to both the public and hotel guests.

In addition to the restaurant, Watson said that the Keefer House LLC will lease store­fronts to local busi­nesses who offer very inter­esting and high-quality products. 

The revival of the Keefer Hotel will provide mul­tiple new job oppor­tu­nities for waiters, recep­tionists, porters, and security.

“This is a great project,” Cohen said. “We want to see it done and we’re going to get it done. It just takes time to do things right, and we want to make sure we take our time. We don’t want to rush it.”

Julia Mullins con­tributed to this report.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with addi­tional infor­mation.