The owner of the old Apex Hotel on West Park Street hopes a $282,000 county loan will cover remaining interior renovations needed to convert the building into new apartments.
The Urban Revitalization Agency Board agreed Tuesday to give Bob Wilcox a $282,284 loan, with a possibility of it stretching up to $295,000, at a fixed rate of 5 percent over 20 years. The loan is subject to collateral assurances.
Board member Bob Brown said the project is just the type envisioned under the Uptown tax-increment finance district. It captures property tax dollars from new developments so they can be reinvested in the area.
Renovation work in the four-story building at 429 W. Park St. already is under way to create three new studios, a couple of two-bedroom apartments and 13 one-bedroom units.
There are still four tenants in older apartments now.
“It has been hustle and bustle for the last month,” said Wilcox, a dentist who started Wilcox Properties, LLC in 2013.
The building was built in 1916 as the Placer Hotel but was purchased two years later and renamed the Apex Hotel. It was quite modern for the time, with Murphy-in-a-door beds, showers and expensive furnishings, according project information from Wilcox. Rooms were combined and made into apartments over the years.
Wilcox said the building still needs extensive interior work done, including electrical wiring, plumbing, installing tubs, painting drywall, cabinetry work and redoing hallways. Work is also needed on the hardwood floors, in a common room and laundry room.
“I’m hoping it can be done in six months,” he said.
The goal is to blend old Butte architecture with modern elements to create “affordable luxury-style” apartments that would be rented in the range of $650 to $800 a month.
There used to be a large electric sign on the front of the building that said “The Apex Hotel.” Wilcox said he is working with John Weitzel in Butte to create a replica sign with wording changed to “Apex Apts.”
Wilcox said it the project should fit in nicely with other hopes and plans for enhancing the “West Park Corridor” that connects the Uptown Butte business district to the Montana Tech campus.