The redevelopment of the Hotel Grim into a multi-family apartment building took an important step toward reality this week when the partnership leading the effort closed on the purchase of the property. “After so many months and a lot of hard work from a lot of people, I’m very pleased to have crossed this important threshold,” said Tom Anderson from Cohen-Esrey Development Group, the lead developer on the project. On completion in late 2020, the property will contain 93 rental apartments in a mix of efficiencies, one-, and two-bedroom units. Cohen-Esrey expects to begin interior demolition work in the next few weeks.
Originally constructed as a luxury hotel in 1925, the Hotel Grim has been vacant since 1990 and fallen into deterioration. Restoring “The Grim,” as it’s frequently referred to in Texarkana, to its original condition and into productive service, has been a major focus of City officials for years. “This is a huge milestone for the Hotel Grim project and for our entire community,” said Mayor Bob Bruggeman. “We look forward to the continued revitalization of this iconic structure in our downtown.”
Cohen-Esrey became aware of the opportunity in early 2018 when they were invited to participate by Jim Sari who had worked on the project for several years. Sari’s efforts were instrumental in lining up several crucial funding sources and in convincing Cohen-Esrey to consider participating. “On my very first trip to Texarkana, I came away with three impressions,” says Anderson. “I knew the building had tons of possibilities as well as many challenges due to its deteriorated condition. I could also see how much opportunity there was for a renaissance of the downtown area due to the great historic ‘bones’ the buildings around the Grim had. Finally, I was extremely impressed with the folks I met with at City Hall and the downtown business community. I had a strong feeling we could get this done by working together.”
“The Cohen-Esrey led development team has been an instrumental partner every step of the way,” said David Orr, Director of Planning & Community Development. “There have been countless hours poured into this project from our city team, developer team, community members and elected officials that have made this project vision a reality.”
The Hotel Grim was originally named to honor William Rhodes Grim, a successful businessman, banker, and railroad man who passed away in 1924, just as the project was being completed. For many years, The Grim was the “Crown Jewel” of downtown Texarkana and many long-time residents have fond memories of attending weddings, proms, and other civic functions in the property. When complete, the $25 million renovation of the building will restore portions of the building, including the grand lobby and the Palm Court Room, and convert the former hotel room floors into modern apartments.
Cohen-Esrey Development Group is the development arm of multi-family housing company, Cohen- Esrey. Based in Overland Park, KS, Cohen-Esrey is actively engaged in the acquisition, management, ownership, and development of market rate and affordable housing in over fifteen states and growing.