SPOKANE, Wash. - A Spokane man is trying to pull together a plan that would restore the Ridpath Hotel to its original luster.
The landmark downtown property has been boarded up for three years now and is considered a safety hazard. But Steve Antonietti has plans to change that.
Antonietti has grand plans for the three buildings that make up the Ridpath Hotel complex. On the gutted first floor Antonietti wants the Ridpath to once again offer food and services to downtown workers.
"On this wall at Stevens and Sprague become a European deli. In the first slot we're to build a little company called the New York Deli, where the local people and the people who stay in the hotel will be able to get New York-style sandwiches," Antonietti said.
Antonietti envisions calling the new hotel the Ridpath Grand, and will stay true to the original property by offering dining on the tower's top floor. He also has plans for the adjacent Halliday Building to be getting a facelift as well.
"We're hoping to put three more stories back on this building with a restaurant on top that will have the ability to do outside concerts in that open air venue that will be on the roof of this building," Antonietti said.
However one of the things that kept the Ridpath vacant so long is the property is owned by so many different owners. Antonietti thinks he can raise enough money to buy the half dozen or so parcels that make up the complex and make the Ridpath whole again.
Another potential roadblock is funding.
On his website, SaveRidpathHotel.com, Antonietti heralds the revitalization of the Davenport Hotel as an example of another historic building that was saved from years of decay and disrepair.
But the Davenport Hotel's revitalization wasn't a grassroots effort. That project was undertaken by local developers Walt and Karen Worthy, who spent millions of dollars restoring the hotel to its original glory.
It's not clear if Antonietti has the financing on hand to revitalize the Ridpath, however. On his website Antonietti says he is looking for "a few great Spokane people" to help restore the Ridpath, asking specifically for "interested people to help with financial support."
Antonietti, on his website, says he's seeking "business partner(s) and commercial lending partner(s) for the acquisition of these properties and the capital outlay for the new remodel, staffing and marketing of the newly developed properties."
In order to get a return on their investment sooner, Antonietti is calling for plans not to renovate the hotel all at once before opening it, but to renovate it in "three-floor blocks", which would allow for the hotel to be open for business while renovations would continue in increments, opening more floors as they're finished, until the renovation of the hotel is completed.
Antonietti thinks he could begin remodeling the hotel within the next six to nine months.