A noted developer of upscale housing in California is now making a pitch to turn the historic Eastern Star building in midtown Sacramento into a Hyatt hotel.
Beverly Hills-based Hume Development is proposing to build a 133-room extended-stay hotel in the vintage 1928 Eastern Star Hall that faces Sutter’s Fort on K Street.
The proposal would revive one of central Sacramento’s small cadre of grand brick buildings, this one designed in the same Romanesque Revival architecture style as the city’s I Street train depot.
The structure at 2719 K St. is on the Sacramento Register of Historic and Cultural Resources. Built for the Order of the Eastern Star, a Masonic women’s group, it has been shuttered and in need of repairs in recent years, city officials said.
Hume was not immediately available for comment.
The Hume proposal calls for the building to be remodeled, with three additional stories added to the existing five-story structure. The proposal is being vetted by the city’s Preservation Commission.
The project involves rehabilitating the front elevation, interior lobby and staircase, as well as some new facades.
The 82,700-square-foot hotel project would be the second small hotel proposed recently for that area of midtown. Restaurateur Randy Paragary is building another hotel two blocks away.
Another boutique hotel, the Hyatt Centric, is now under construction at 7th and K streets in the Marshall Hotel building, and the city is proposing another larger hotel as part of its planned expansion of its downtown convention center.
Paragary, who is building the 105-room Fort Sutter Hotel at 28th Street and Capitol, said Wednesday he had not heard of the new proposal and at first expressed skepticism about the idea, noting that the Eastern Star building has structural issues and lacks nearby parking. But when told Hume is the developer, he was more positive.
“He’s very credible and has a strong aesthetic,” Paragary said of Hume. “If anybody can do it, I think it would be him.”
Paragary added that he doesn’t see the new project as directly competitive with his project, which is part of the Tapestry Collection by Hilton. The Hume product would have kitchens and would appeal to extended-stay visitors, he said, while his own hotel will not include kitchens and generally will target visitors planning shorter stays.
In any case, he said, “there’s room for more than one hotel in this part of town.”
Paragary called the Eastern Star a “beautiful and very impressive building.”
Sacramento City Councilman Steve Hansen said he is supportive of the idea of adding more hotel rooms in the central city, saying the city is still several thousand short of where it could be.
He warned, though, that the Eastern Star developer will have to work closely with the city, the preservation commission and the area residents to assure that the reuse of the building is suitable.
“We have a lack of as many as 2,000 hotel rooms in the central city for larger events,” Hansen said. ”It’s exciting to see smaller hotels that meet the needs of downtown and midtown.
“The balancing act for this site is that the Eastern Star is a treasured building and whatever project comes along has to respect the heritage and it will be very important that they listen to the community as they go forward.”