A run-down former Holiday Inn in Muskegon Heights has a new owner.
P and V LLC purchased the property from the city of Muskegon Heights for $30,000. The city took ownership of the site after the previous owner failed to pay taxes.
The sale included conditions: that it be used as a hotel. The building's been boarded up for nearly a decade and in the 1960s, it was the area's premiere hotel.
Even Richard Nixon once stayed at the hotel. That was in June 1964, after he was vice-president but before he was president.
On Tuesday, Oct. 25, workers were dismantling the structure. The demolition work is expected to take several months.
After the building is down to its bones, other work crews will began renovation work.
"They started work on the building the day they paid the check, they got right down to business," said Jake Eckhol, the Muskegon Heights city manager.
City leaders in Muskegon Heights hope P and V LLC can make the hotel site profitable. It's prime real estate along Seaway Drive and in a high-visibility location in the city.
"It is a great opportunity for the Muskegon area, and for the city of Muskegon Heights especially," Eckholm said.
He points to the number of events in Muskegon County that attract large crowds of visitors.
"And the rooms are not always there to support the level of people we get into town," Eckholm said.
Chicago area businessman Navin Patel said by phone it will take his company one-full year to get the hotel open. He has experience renovating distressed hotel property sites.
Patel plans to operate the hotel as an independent after proving that is sustainable, then he will market the site to national chains.
The city's sale to Patel also requires that he make a minimum investment of $300,000 into the project.