The eventual revival of the historic Hotel Beaumont in the city’s downtown may have skipped its original proposed timeline, but the project developers say they are still committed to restoring the site back to a functioning hotel.
Mack Patel, whose company purchased the almost 100 year-old building over two years ago, told the Enterprise this week that the pandemic obviously scrapped any plans to start construction last year, but the project was still going to move forward eventually.
“We’ve been working on several projects simultaneously, including this one, but timing is everything,” Patel said. “The pandemic played a big role in delaying our plans, and even now the material costs and available materials are hard to track. We were barely getting to that point in the process when the pandemic started.”
Representatives from the firm Patel was considering hiring in order to secure the historical preservation credits for the project were supposed to tour the building right before government-mandated lockdowns began in late March of 2020.
He said the firm quickly canceled the tour, which was the first move in a cascade of delays.
Based on very optimistic estimates, Patel said work could resume by the late spring or summer of next year.
The currently empty Hotel Beaumont was completed in 1922 for $1 million, about $16 million in today’s economy.
During its heyday, it’s ballrooms hosted many proms, galas and other community events until it was converted into a senior living home in 1977. It closed in 2011.
Despite a few attempts to develop the property along the way, like when it was sold to California-based hotelier Seth McCormick in 2014 for $1.1 million, it’s remained empty since it closed.
Another development plan was presented in 2017, but it also never came to fruition.
Patel, who owns eight hotels, four of which are Hampton Inns, was already looking at creating a hotel in Beaumont but had been looking near Walden Road in south Beaumont.
Two new hotels from a local real estate developer opened on Walden Road in 2019, further growing Beaumont’s hotel corridor.
The building, which has 26,700 square feet, was most recently valued at nearly $1.1 million, about $200,000 less than 2019, according to the Jefferson County Appraisal District.
The building has 11 stories with two ballrooms at the top.
News of Patel’s company, Beaumont Developers LLC, possibly revitalizing the building broke in September of 2019 when applications for tax incentives were delivered to the city.
Patel’s incentive application anticipated the cost of construction between $5 and $9 million for the 138-room hotel with an estimated construction start date in September 2020 and a completion date of January 2022.
The deadline has already come and gone, but Ward II Councilman Mike Getz recently toured the building with Patel and said he was reassured that the developer was still serious about the project.
“A tremendous amount of vandalism has occurred, but he said he was committed to going forward with the project,” Getz told the Enterprise.
Along with graffiti and damaged property, Patel said vandals broke fixtures and clogged drains in the building that have resulted in two separate floods inside the Hotel Beaumont since his company purchased the property.
He said the damage was “devastating and upsetting,” but Beaumont Developers is trying to secure cooperation with the city to better secure the building until work can begin in earnest.
Written by Jacob Dick