Appraisal a blueprint for what could be

Published 10:16 pm Monday, July 4, 2016

The appraisal of the St. James Hotel gave insight into what a flagship hotel company might want to do with the historic building.

The assessment was completed by Hotel Appraisers and Advisors and estimated the hotel’s value at $900,000, well below the $1.2 million figure the city had used for talks with businessman Mark Peterson, who eventually decided not to buy the property.

While the appraisal wasn’t a favorable review of the hotel, it did provide a lot of usable feedback that the council can use in trying to move forward. During the nine months the council spent discussing a sale with Peterson there were so many “what ifs” in the process.

How much was the hotel really worth? What would the cost of renovations be? If those renovations were made, how big of a difference would it make in the hotel’s future?

Hotel Appraisers and Advisors, a third party, answered all of those questions in explicit detail. The appraisal recommended using the bottom floor of the Dallas Seed Building as space to lease out to restaurants, retail stores or to be used as a banquet hall.

It recommended using the top floor of the Dallas Seed building to add on another 27 guestrooms, along with other amenities like an exercise room and vending areas.

While a national hotel brand might come in and have a different viewpoint on how to use the space, the appraisal at least gives them somewhere to start. The appraisal might make it easier for executives to envision what the St. James Hotel could be, instead of just looking at what it is — a failing historic hotel with a lot of potential.