LET’S NOT GET too excited yet.
But there’s a deal on the table to buy the Beacon House on Third Street that, if things go well, could close by the end of the month.
The reason for the caution? There’s a contingency in the deal–not financing–that could yet derail it. We should know more within a couple of weeks.
And there’s even better news. The prospective buyer is a hotelier from out-of-state who intends to convert it into a hotel. Sure seems like a good idea for a property that’s within easy walking distance of NMU, the Dome, Lakeview Arena, Vango’s, the Casa, and scores of other restaurants, bars, and shops on Third Street.
The Beacon House, which had provided lodging for hospital outpatients and their families, has been vacant for several months now while the building was put up for sale.
Which brings us to the other reason for caution. CEO Mary Tavernini Dowling thought she had a deal done a few months back but the sale fell apart at the last minute. She’s not counting her chickens yet.
She’s eager to put the sale behind her so she can focus entirely on raising the funds to build a new, tailor-made Beacon House on the campus of the new hospital out on the highway. Last we heard, they’d raised more than two million dollars for the project.
Back to the old building. As it’s now constituted, it has more than thirty guest rooms. Not enormous, but big enough to handle the visitors that NMU attracts throughout the year, or anybody who might prefer the Third Street “vibe” to downtown.
Would the developer spend money and turn it into a genuine boutique hotel? Don’t know.
First things first. Let’s get it sold and then we’ll get some answers.