Wednesday, December 11, 2013
(Continued from page 1)
Hotel developer Jim Brady stands outside the former Portland Press Herald building, left, at Congress and Exchange streets last week. Brady is converting the site into a 110-room hotel, with plans to open in spring 2015.
Photos by Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer
A hotel developer is buying the former Portland Press Herald building, above, on Congress Street, with plans to convert it into The Press Hotel.
Sigfridson said he worked with Brady through his former venture, The Olympia Companies, a developer in the Portland area from 1999 to 2009. The company completed more than $200 million in development projects, including five hotels, three office buildings and three mixed-use projects.
Then Brady went to Italy, but Sigfridson said it's almost like he never left.
"My impression is that he kind of stepped right back in where he left off," Sigfridson said.
In the meantime, other developers have begun building or renovating hotels in downtown Portland. In all, the downtown supply of hotel rooms is expected to increase by about 50 percent based on projects already under way.
Brady admits he's a little uneasy about that. "I do have concern about the total amount of supply of rooms coming into the marketplace," he said.
However, Brady said The Press Hotel would be a full-service, boutique hotel with historic and newspaper themes that would not compete directly with the bulk of Portland's hotels, which he said are bland and offer more limited service.
He also believes waiting to open in 2015 will give consumer demand more time to grow into all of the additional room supply.
Portland Regional Chamber CEO Chris Hall said Brady was able to convince him with market data that Portland's tourism industry can accommodate all of the additional hotel rooms being built in the city.
"He did an extraordinarily good job of making the business case for these investments," Hall said. "I was persuaded."
J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:
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The current owner had already gutted a great deal of the building’s interior space, as seen in the central stairwell ...
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... and the old second-floor newsroom.