San Benito Texas Hotels
When Patti Dittburner thought of the Stonewall Jackson Hotel in San Benito, she had the idea of reviving a decaying landmark from more than 50 years ago. In 1998, her husband, the developer Larry DITT, made a $1.5 million attempt to renovate the ailing Cortez Hotel in the heart of Weslaco. A year later, his son Todd Aune started a renovation project that has so far cost about $6 million, he said. Partida Flores said she plans to continue renovating the $2.5 million project, but until then, the mammoth project will only be remembered as part of her father's legacy.
As part of the project, the group plans to turn the restaurant area into a cookery school while the hotel will become a nursing home, Cantu said.
De La Rosa told the Morning Star that the development team first approached the city with the concept in December 2017. De la Rosa told the Morning Star they hope to have a pre-development agreement by October.
In the case of San Benito, the Morning Star reported that city officials had offered the city land as a site for a project instead of the project. Instead, the developer has contracted the 140-acre site on U.S. 281 and Benita Boulevard in SanBenito County. De La Rosa said they had already seen initial plans for the 100-hectare site. They are also trying to obtain approval for what they already have under contract with the Texas Department of Public Health and Human Services (TDSHS) and the San Antonio Police Department.
All three cities, Arlington, Fredericksburg and Kemah, have received existing authority from the Texas Department of Public Health and Human Services (TDSHS) for their convention centers and hotels. A convention center or hotel can receive a state tax exemption if it is located in a community that owns at least 10 percent of the land and property in the area. If this facility is directly connected, the building, which is mainly used for congresses, must be located as a separate structure either from the Congress Centre or from the hotel.
In 1997, she and her husband planned to buy the building for about $300,000, records show, and in 2009, Cuevas and Esmeralda Nelson bought it from Patricia T. Brown for $126,491. Jo-Rae Wagner had planned to transform part of downtown when she bought the five-story building in the early 1990s for a total of $1.5 million, or about half a million dollars, according to city records.
City officials have described the proposed stadium as a multipurpose arena that will be devoted primarily to baseball during the sports season. But the project is part of an effort by the Texas legislature to strip the city of the ability to use hotel taxes for economic development. The Texas Hotel and Lodging Association (THLA) reports that HB 4347 has added 19 cities to the list of cities that have already exercised their right to use hotel and occupancy tax revenues for certain types of economic development. A number of previously approved Texas cities are close to finalizing plans to participate in the projects.
Patti Dittbrenner said restoring the old hotels with the charm of their heyday required a long-term commitment. De La Rosa said the city is not investing its own money in the project, but added that it needs to upgrade and expand infrastructure within the development zone.
He plans office space and perhaps a boutique hotel on the second, third and fourth floors, but no retail space on the first floor.
Pi Dittburner said the old four-story building eventually became an eye-catcher in the heart of downtown Weslaco. It became known as the Reese Hotel after the Harling Housing Authority began operating the Heritage Manor in 1970. I think it is wonderful to restore the building to its original state, "said Ditt-Brenner, spokesman for DITT, who is responsible for revitalising the Wesel city centre on the city's main committee. In 2011, Wagner opened its version of Reese's, which includes a restaurant, bar, office and boutique hotel, as well as a fitness center.
The old Cortez Hotel is now known as Villa de Cortzes and is part of a project to revitalize downtown Weslaco. Built in 1927, the Grand Hotel served as the hub of the city, which had developed into an agricultural centre.
Guests only stayed on two of the eight floors of the building, and when Matamoros businessman Marte Martinez bought the hotel in 1986, the restaurant was closed. Ricardo Partida and Alma Flores, who said they invested in hotels and restaurants, said they were working to rid the hotel of drug users and prostitutes. In 1998, the couple opened Villa de Cortez, which has ballrooms, restaurants, retail and office space.
Decades of decay prompted city officials this month to ask owner Omar Cuevas to upgrade the building and ask tenants to vacate it. Acevedo, who works as a lawyer, and his wife, Maria de la Cruz, bought the buildings in 2006.