The developers of the former Hotel Denison have begun working on cleaning up the building and are planning on announcing their plans in a public event in the near future.
Casey Shires and Steve Rumsey with Cross Development purchased the building recently. The two men are Denison natives and expressed interest in the building wanting to preserve the historical nature of the structure.
Denison Development Alliance President Tony Kaai said the building is a key structure to the city of Denison.
“It’s a landscape dominant structure,” Kaai said. “Once the rehabilitation is complete it will be a great attraction to downtown. It will add to the beauty to the historic downtown district. It is a dominant architecture structure in Denison. It sets the tone for what we are doing downtown.”
Kaai said the DDA spent three years looking for the right developer to take on the project. He said the first developer the DDA brought in backed out and the two who ultimately purchased the property stepped in.
Shires and Rumsey’s attorney Brett Evans said they are very excited to be doing something for the city.
“They are attracted to the building because of their roots,” Evans said. “They both saw the potential that building has, what a great asset for the city that it could be. They both see it as the catalyst it could be for the whole downtown trade area. They see it as something that can be the focal point of downtown.”
Evans said the men have been working hard to clean the building out from everything left behind by the previous owner and the tenants who occupied the structure.
Evans said the men have been concentrating on the retail building on the ground floor. The roof was of concern, and Evans said the men were well aware of the condition of the building and are taking the costs of fixing things into account as they develop their plans. He also said the men have plenty of experience in developing projects ranging from retail shopping centers to apartment buildings.
Evans expects the pair to have something to announce within the next three or four weeks.
“The retail area is where a lot of the work is they are trying to get it safe and secure,” he said. “They don’t want the building to deteriorate any further.”
Richard A. Todd is the Denison area reporter. He can be reach at RTodd@HeraldDemocrat.com.