Downtown Hamilton hotel redevelopment to begin work at start of new year

Much of work on Anthony Wayne building won’t start, though, until historic state tax credit is awarded.

The process to stabilize the Anthony Wayne building in downtown Hamilton as it begins the conversion back into a hotel will start in the next couple of weeks, but a lot of that work won’t be obvious yet.

Vision Realty Group President Matt Olliges said though some work on stabilizing the building can happen now, noticeable work wouldn’t happen until the state historic tax credit is awarded. The redevelopment project didn’t receive the credit in Round 29 of the State Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program — mainly because another project outscored them — but he believes they will be successful in Round 30.

“We’ve got a good feeling that we’ll be able to get it in this next round,” he said of the program that leverages private development of historic buildings.

Applications for the next round of the state historic tax credits are due on Feb. 15 and will be awarded on or before June 30. But until those tax credits are awarded, Olliges said, “We won’t see a lot of trucks right now.”

“There’s some stuff you can do with stabilization and some stuff you can’t do before you’re awarded the tax credits,” he said.

Olliges and his team are taking the near-century-old Anthony Wayne on South Monument Avenue and converting it from an apartment building back into a hotel. Specifically, the $16 million project will develop it as a 54-room Tapestry Collection by Hilton property called The Well House Hotel. This will provide more places to stay for visitors of the nearby RiversEdge amphitheater concerts, the new Spooky Nook Sports at Champion Mill megacomplex.

Olliges said the building is empty, working with the residents and the inherited property management group to get the tenants of the now former apartment building relocated.

The Anthony Wayne was originally built nearly 100 years ago to be a seven-story, 100-room hotel. It has been an apartment complex since the mid-1960s. Hamilton City Council voted earlier this year on a development agreement with Vision AWH LLC ― the group formed to renovate the hotel and create a 2,700-square-foot yet-to-be-identified high-end restaurant at 10 S. Monument Ave. — that would provide a $2 million grant and a $1 million loan (all of which are ARPA funds) through the Hamilton Community Improvement Corporation.

The $1 million loan would be repaid once funding is secured, according to the city.

Olliges said they signed a letter of intent with a restaurant operator, but he’s not able to name the operator nor the concept at this time. However, he said, “It’s a strong operator that’s been in the restaurant business for decades.”

New Republic Architecture is the architect for the project, and Ashley Building Group is the project’s general contractor.

“I feel like we’re in a good position. We’re set for success as far as the team,” he said. “We’re still able to hit our dates with Hilton, in terms of getting the project turned over and in service by the contracted date (July 2024).”

This is Olliges’ second redevelopment project in Hamilton. His company developed the 160-plus-year-old Hammerle Building, which paved the way for the restaurant Billy Yanks and the apartments to open.

Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce President Dan Bates previously told the Journal-News that this hotel development “is huge,” but more hotels are still needed in downtown Hamilton, calling it a “corner of the city is really underutilized.”

While there would be hurdles to jump with his second Hamilton project, Olliges said, because everyone that works for the city is on the same page.

“It seems like everyone, from the guy collecting trash to the guy who’s running the entire staff, has got one goal and one mission, and that’s to keep Hamilton improving and moving up,” he said. “Instead of telling you why you can’t do something, they all work to figure out a way to get things done, to make Hamilton what everyone there wants it to be ... to being a destination.”

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