Officials break ground on Hotel Clovis renovation project

Freedom New Mexico: Kevin Wilson Clovis Mayor Gayla Brumfield addresses the crowd to open the groundbreaking ceremony Friday morning at the Hotel Clovis. The hotel, closed since 1983 and in possession of the city since 2004, will be converted into an apartment complex.

Benna Sayyed

Stephen Crozier believes each building project should be authentic, and vary in design, construction and environmental efficiency.

When the Taos real estate developer looks at the dilapidated Hotel Clovis — once among the city’s economic strengths — he envisions an opportunity to revive the city’s downtown area.

Crozier plans a $12.8 million renovation of Hotel Clovis that will include apartments and business space.

“I think what really strikes me most about the hotel and the downtown area is the historic nature and the historic spot that you have in the downtown area,” said Crozier, one of a half-dozen speakers at Friday’s groundbreaking ceremony for the project. “I’ve been to many different towns in New Mexico and they’re all beautiful in their own way, but you really have something special.”

Crozier was the only developer to respond to the city’s 2009 request for proposal to redevelop the hotel.

“I think having the building renovated will be good for downtown, and I think it will provide housing that we really need in the area,” said Gaye Cooke, a Clovis Realtor among a crowd of about 75 business owners, city officials and residents at the groundbreaking. She moved to Clovis right after the hotel closed in 1983.

“I’m excited to see it happen finally,” she said.

Mayor Gayla Brumfield said the goal is to save the historic building and revitalize the downtown area, as well as provide quality, attractive and affordable housing.

“This community is like one family,” Brumfield told the crowd, the construction project the biggest downtown Clovis has seen for more than 30 years. “We really work hard together and that’s the only way that this was accomplished. This really is a big deal. A lot of communities want to do this, but they are unable to do so for whatever reasons. But we came together and we did it, and in one year from now we’re going to be totally amazed at how beautiful it’s going to be down here.”

Brumfield said the renovation would address the city’s “critical need of affordable rental housing” by providing homes for 60 families. She also said it would create 150 construction jobs.

According to Crozier, the new Hotel Clovis will consist of 31 loft-style apartments on floors three through nine of the main building, 29 similar units in a new adjacent structure, and 8,000 square feet of commercial space.

The first floor of the main building will house the leasing office and rooms for socializing, laundry and kitchen use.

The hotel’s second floor will hold the ballroom and possibly a venue for local artists to display their work. Both buildings will offer a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom loft-style apartments. The facility will also offer an on-site daycare with an outdoor playground.

“For us to be able to redevelop the hotel into something special moving forward is a wonderful opportunity and that’s why I decided to take it on,” Crozier said.

Crozier said the project would leave as small of a carbon footprint as possible by striving to reach the highest level of environmental sustainability — producing as much energy as it consumes and the use of non-toxic building products.

Most of the estimated $12.8 million project cost is backed by $10.5 million worth of federal tax credits Crozier’s been allotted by the state’s mortgage finance authority.

City officials and Crozier expect the complete the hotel project to be completed by December 2012.