We are happy to announce that we closed on the Acquisition of the historic Randolph Hotel in Downtown Des Moines that occurred last Wednesday, November 20th! As of the closing date, management of the property was transferred over to Sherman Associates, Inc. This Acquisition is the third historic hotel that Sherman Associates has acquired in Iowa over the last 5 years along with the historic Russell-Lamson Hotel in Waterloo and the historic Roosevelt Hotel in Cedar Rapids. And like the Roosevelt & Russell Lamson, the end use at the Randolph will include residential housing with retail on the first floor. However, both the Roosevelt & Russell Lamson were converted to residential housing several decades prior to our acquisition. The Randolph operated as 117 room hotel until just recently.
The property is located on the corner of Court Avenue and 4th Street. Its history dates back to the early 1900s, when it opened as the first tall and only “absolutely fireproof hotel” in the City. Among its many offerings, the grand lobby served as a gathering place for weary travelers; the commercial storefronts have housed pharmacies, cafés and shops; and even the basement was home to a barber shop. Over the years, the building has undergone numerous patchwork renovations that includes the absorption of the two neighboring buildings on either side.
Most recently, however, the property had been operating as a form of low-barrier housing and charged its residents a daily rate with no contract. Although the property wasn’t fully operating as an apartment complex, our team and the City of Des Moines worked together to come up with a relocation plan that would benefit all parties involved. Over the past three months, Sherman Associates has worked with Primary Health Care, Inc. to assist in the implementation of our relocation goals. Many of these residents faced high barriers to finding housing options – whether it was income, criminal history, or inability to understand the situation at hand – and PHC was able to provide the hands-on attention to detail and service that put the residents at ease.
The Randolph will be the 5th multi-family housing project developed by Sherman Associates in the Court Avenue district, just blocks from Vine Street Lofts, Metro Lofts, Rumely Lofts & Water Street Brownstones Condominiums. This property stands as one of the few remaining buildings left untouched and underutilized as the neighborhood has grown with the abundance of new restaurants, night life and entertainment. The Randolph will provide three commercial spaces along with the Lobby on the first floor, approximately 55 market-rate apartments in the upper floors, and tenant amenities and storage in the basement. Finishes will complement the historic nature of the building and provide an open floor plan for residents. In-unit amenities include a washer and dryer, beautiful historic windows, and stainless steel appliances. Residents will also have access to a fitness room, a café with free wireless internet, and first floor retail which will consist of an anchor Restaurant and 1-2 smaller tenants.
The Construction Financing & Tax Credit Syndication Closing are anticipated to occur in the 1st quarter. The conversion of the 117 room hotel to 55 apartments will take approximately 10 months with an anticipated opening date in late 2014 / early 2015.