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Update Jan 2023 MLive: JACKSON, MI – Progress is being made to redevelop Jackson’s historic Hayes Hotel back to its original glory, and construction could start this year. A presentation from the building’s developer, J. Jeffers & Co. of Milwaukee, was part of the Tuesday, Jan. 24 Jackson City Council meeting. The presentation revealed construction on the former hotel is planned to start in September, and the developers showed off what the 10-story building could look like once complete.
From MLive 2015:
A promising development
The Hayes Hotel, after sitting vacant for more than a decade, is one step closer to redevelopment after a Holland-based development firm entered into a contract with the city of Jackson last month.
Geenen DeKock Properties - a development firm with projects ranging from the Hope College soccer stadium to a 56,000-square-foot hotel in downtown Holland - will work toward turning the former hotel into a mixed-use development through at least 2016.
Following is a timeline of the Hayes Hotel, from its inception in 1924 to the present state of the building - vacant and in need of development.
A plan is hatched (1924)
The idea for the Hayes Hotel was hatched in 1924 by a group of Jackson leaders who formed the Jackson Community Hotel Co. to build and operate a new 200-room modern hotel in the city. They were thrilled when the location at what’s now 228 W. Michigan Ave. became available.
Investors come forward (1924-1926)
“Jackson will have to take advantage immediately of the opportunity offered to use this remarkable site for a new hotel or lose the chance permanently,” W.R. Spencer, the group’s leader said in a February 1924 Citizen Patriot article.
Spencer, Clarence B. Hayes, A.C. Bloomfield, R.H. Loveland, Mark Marriman, P.L. Carter, R.W. Smith, F.M. Gay, J.O. Gilbert, F.F. Ingram, H.S. Reynolds and C.W. Tippy were among the investors who raised the $900,000 necessary to make it happen - roughly $12.5 million in today's dollars.
Opening day (Nov. 1926)
The hotel is named for Hayes, a local industrialist who founded the Hayes Wheel Co., later known as Kelsey-Hayes Co., which became the largest wheel manufacturer in the world.
Hayes was the first person to sign the hotel’s register on Nov. 28, 1926, during a special grand-opening sneak peek for stockholders and their families attended by about 3,000 people. The Hayes Hotel opened to the public the next day.
The boom years (1926-1964)
The Hayes Hotel quickly became the epicenter of Jackson’s social scene, and its reputation as one of the best hotels in the state grew. Its grand foyer featured gold medallions on the walls. Its floors had marble runners, and raised paneling and terrazzo floor tiles detailed the grand staircase.
Crystal chandeliers hung in the Georgian Ball Room, which hosted dinner dances and big band performances. And the Drum Room became a popular watering hole for soldiers during World War II.
New investors needed (1964-1973)
In 1964, the Civic Center Hotel Corp. was formed by about 200 business leaders who paid $350,000 to take over the Hayes Hotel. The group invested another $500,000 in remodeling the facility - about $3.8 million in 2015 dollars.
An attraction no more (1973-1975)
The hotel, however, never could get out from under its debt. In 1973, Consumers Energy, which had been using its top three floors as office space already, bought the hotel for $225,000.
Consumers leased the building back to the hotel company for $10 a month, and the plan was to keep the Hayes Hotel open until the Sheraton Inn opened in 1976. Mounting debt that was topping $8,000 a month, however, caused it to close in 1975 to ensure that sufficient funds were available to pay bills and employees.
City buys property (2002)
Consumers renovated the building and incorporated it into its headquarters next door before the city of Jackson bought the Hayes Hotel, the Consumers Energy HQ building and all the parking lots adjacent to the two structures for $2.3 million in 2002. The acquisition was part of a deal inked between the city and utility to move their headquarters to a new location.
The Hayes Hotel became vacant in 2003 when Consumers opened its new headquarters in Jackson. The city shut off the building's heat and most of its power in 2010.
Deals fall through (2003-2014)
For more than a decade, there were failed attempts at redevelopment for retail, office and living space in the Hayes Hotel. Until now, the most promising deal had the Gillespie Group buy a $10,000 option on the property in 2010. The deal would later fall through due to undisclosed reasons.
New life? (2015)
Geenen DeKock Properties - a development firm with projects ranging from the Hope College soccer stadium to a 56,000-square-foot hotel in downtown Holland - will work toward turning the former hotel into a mixed-use development through at least 2016, after signing a deal with the city of Jackson in January.
It is anticipated the 113,000-square-foot, 10-story building could house at least three separate retail, hotel and apartment developments, a press release reads. Specific renovation plans have not yet been released.