Sale of historic Lane Hotel pending; closing scheduled next month

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 177 views 

A contract is pending for the sale of the historic Lane Hotel, a focal point in downtown Rogers. Closing is scheduled sometime in July and depending on what the new owners have planned, the new property could be part of the “buzz” in downtown Rogers.

Rogers real estate agent Craig Hull, who has represented the sellers in the transaction, said he couldn’t discuss details, including the buyer or the sale price or future plans for the building which opened in 1928 as a hotel. In its later years, the hotel was converted to a nursing home but has been closed for about a decade.

The building has about 42,000 square feet on five floors, including the basement, said Hull, who is with Hull and Associates Commercial Real Estate. As a hotel, the building featured 72 guest rooms and about 20 of those rooms had to share a bathroom. Some of the hotel furnishings have been donated to the Rogers Historical Museum. Hull said workers spent last weekend removing the furnishings that were left from the nursing home. Some of the vintage pieces from the hotel were left for use.

The sellers are 92nd LP, a Bergen, N.J. holding company. The asking price was $1.999 million, Hull said, but he couldn’t disclose the actual sale price. Hull has had the building listed since 2009 although the building went on the market in 2005 by another realtor who died.

Several years ago, a committee of building professionals organized by the Rogers Main Street organization developed a plan for renovating the building which had a $6 million pricetag, Hull said. City officials have been quiet about the sale.

The building was under contract a year ago but that deal fell through when the contract expired, Hull said. 

Once called “the palace of the Ozarks,” the hotel has hosted famous Americans in its heyday, including aviator Amelia Earhart, boxer Jack Dempsey and actor Errol Flynn, according to the building’s history. Built in a Spanish Colonial design, the building features detailed wood carvings in the dining room and a carved wooden front desk that is the length of the lobby, observers have said.

Hull said there is a “sister” to the Lane Hotel in downtown Harrison, called the Seville Hotel, featuring a bar and restaurant. It was restored at one time by the same group which restored the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, he added.

“It was a hard deal to make,” Hull said. “I hope the new owners make it a real treasure for Rogers for years to come.”

City leaders are eager to see more development in the downtown region – so much so that the city is spending nearly $450,000 for an economic development plan specifically for downtown. They are also spending $5 million more on redevelopment and expansion of green space at Lake Atalanta, on the eastern edge of downtown.

“The buzz has started. … A number of real estate transactions have occurred or are pending. There are at least four different transactions in the contracts in the last two months. Developers are getting ahead of the curve and tied to a specific location in anticipation of what might happen,” Hines said recently.