Renovations are underway at the Tri-Cities hotels that Fortify Holdings, a company out of Portland, purchased last summer. Fortify paid $31,582,430 for the five properties that Benton and Franklin counties had assessed at $17,587,310.
The Observer and her intrepid side-kick Bob recently made a street-level inspection of the five. Several interiors appear to be stripped down to the studs. None of the hotel conversions look close to the finish line.
“We’re not estimating any completion dates at this time,” Fortify’s local representative Robert Jacobs told the Observer in a telephone interview.
Workers were busy at the Fortify hotel conversion at 1520 N. Oregon Ave. on Hwy 397 just south of the I-182 exit in Pasco.
At this location new windows have been installed, air-conditioning units have been removed and the interiors appear to be stripped down to the studs. The Pasco planning office said that the project has two building permits.
Just east of Columbia Grain and Feed at 1800 W. Lewis in Pasco, this hotel has several buildings which don’t appear from the street to have had renovation work.
Pasco’s permit office told the Observer that Fortify had applied for building and right-of-way permits for this location.
This hotel sits just south of the Columbia Center Mall.
According to the city of Kennewick’s permit website, 7901 W. Quinault has a plumbing permit and has applied for a mechanical permit.
Wall studs can be seen through the windows from the street.
This hotel at 615 Jadwin Ave. in Richland sits next to the 3 Margaritas restaurant.
Windows have stickers indicating that they are new. Studs are visible through the windows.
“No permits have been issued yet,” according to City Manager Jon Amundson in an email to the Observer.
Most likely to have some part opened soon
For months a sign in front of the building at 1515 George Washington Way in Richland has advertised commercial space for lease. Recently, fences have been moved back to allow access to what had been a restaurant and the hotel lobby. Perhaps a commercial tenant has been found.
Amundson said in an email, “…a building permit for the hotel conversion was issued on February 25, 2022, and work continues to take place,”
A retirement home driveway enabled us to get a closer look at this hotel that is across the street from Thomas Jefferson Elementary School. Peering through the windows from the car we could see that some of the partitions between rooms, typically around 250 square feet, had been removed.
Jacobs confirmed that some bigger apartments could be created. “It depends on the property but definitely some units could be enlarged,” he told the Observer.
Fortify representatives have never provided an estimate for the rent for the new apartments in the Tri-Cities. Apartments at their hotel in Spokane, The Imperial, are advertised at $1145 to $1290 a month.
Based on the recommended maximum of 30 percent of gross income for rent, a worker would need a yearly income of $45,800 (about $22 an hour) to afford a $1145 a month apartment.