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.