Currently, the Glyndon Hotel and adjoining spaces on Main Street sit vacant, save the Republican headquarters that is occupying part of the space. Rodney Davis plans to change all of that, turning it into a destination spot for travelers and a staple in the community for the residents.
Davis and Bryan Kirby spoke to city commissioners during Tuesday's workshop.
Built in 1889, the Glyndon Hotel has seen its fair share of noteworthy faces, such as Vice President Alben Barkley, Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, and several governors, as well as businessmen and educators from all parts of the world.
Davis' plan hopes to bring the former hotel into the 21st century by completely gutting the inside of the building and bringing it up to code. Since the whole first floor of the building and those that sit next to it vacant are considered commercial, Davis plans to use it as such.
"If you look at first the floor, this is all what we considered commercial property, and it'd remain that way. You've got the old Penny's front space right here, Martin's law office here, Water Main's here and this is the old Woody's restaurant," Davis said. "What we'd like to do is take that restaurant space and take the first floor of the hotel and dining room and make that back into a restaurant facility."
The new Glyndon Hotel will feature a bar, lobby and dining room as well as 35 hotel rooms on the second floor and possibly a private dining area. There will be walkthroughs to access the new event center, which he hopes would accommodate roughly 400 people, that will go where the former JC Penny used to be, too. The back of the former Penny's would be transformed into a pilot brew system to make craft beers or ciders.
"We are serious about this to the extent that we have partners in place to do this," Davis said.
With the issue of parking already a conversation in Richmond, Davis has already taken partial responsibility to accommodate his future guests, which included buying the old Parks Auto Body on Third Street and valet vehicles.
Davis, a local lawyer, has already applied for historical tax credits through the state, and by doing so, he said the exterior of the building will see some changes.
"This is something that would change downtown Richmond, in my mind, in a way that nothing else will be done. It will bring people here," he said. "For whatever reason, craft beer, craft wine places, they draw people in and they typically draw people in that aren't afraid to spend a little money, they're not complaining about paying $8 for a pint."
Another added bonus is the jobs that the new Glyndon Hotel will bring with it. Davis said he expects more than 50 jobs to come from the venture.
But while what he has dreamed up may come true, Davis is grounded in reality in knowing that some ideas might have to be tweaked or changed to ensure its up to code and subject to change.
Kirby presented several options of what could be pursued as funding and what could not, noting one option was the Kentucky Section 109 Loan Guarantee Program or having the city of Richmond seek a letter of credit from a banking institution.
Reach Kaitlyn Brooks at 624-6608; follow her on Twitter @kaitlynsbrooks.