Report: Hotel Bentley Repairs To Cost Between $7.6-$8.8 million. According to a recent report, the Hotel Bentley, which is currently on the market for $12.2 million, will need between $7.6 and $8.8 million worth of repairs and renovations in order to effectively function as a four-star hotel. The report was written by Glenn Stewart, a Lafayette-based real estate investor and entrepeneur, and Carol White, a local real estate developer and investor. (In the interest of full disclosure, Carol White is my mother, and she is not interested in purchasing the Bentley). The ten page report was composed after meeting with local and national engineers, local and national architects specializing in luxury hotel design, local government officials, current and previous ownership, and local business leaders. It is important to note that none of the repairs are the result of the decisions made by current ownership; they are simply the reality of running a four-star hotel in a 98 year old building. The report makes the following suggestions: 1. HVAC upgrades: $325,000 2. Individual Room Decoration: $1,408,000 3. Individual Bathroom Repairs: $264,000 4. Individual Bedroom Repairs: $226,000 5. Hallway Upgrades: $900,000 6. Basement Upgrades: $500,000 7. Remodel of Accessory Space at Corner of Jackson and Main: $300,000 8. Repair of External Wall Masonry and Wood Eaves, Soffits, and Fascia: $300,000- $1,000,000 9. Renovation of Main Floor: $500,000 10. Renovation of Mezzanine Level: $1,250,000 11. Addition of New Motor Entrance: $1,500,000- $2,000,000 12. Miscellaneous: $150,000 From an investor's perspective, the Hotel Bentley, even at a substantially reduced price, does not make sound financial sense. The report mentions several state and federal incentives for which the Bentley could qualify, but even with these in place, it will still be difficult to achieve an adequate return on investment. I am more than willing to answer substantive questions on the specific details of the report. Currently, I believe that the only way to ensure the future success of the Hotel Bentley is through a public/private partnership. It will be difficult, if not impossible, to find a buyer who can assume the risks involved in such a massive undertaking. Without the repairs, the hotel could function, but it wouldn't function as the type of hotel that patrons expect. Furthermore, without the HVAC repairs, the hotel's utility bills could be astronomical. In other words, the repairs are absolutely necessary for the Bentley to regain its stature. I am sharing this information with the community because I feel that the Bentley is a critical component of any plans for downtown Alexandria. It is also one of Alexandria's most recognizable landmarks, and we should all appreciate its historical significance in shaping the landscape of Central Louisiana. Will it sell? That question can only be answered if two things happen: 1) Current ownership must acknowledge the risks involved, appreciate the fact that the hotel does not come with goodwill (or an operating business), and reduce the asking price. 2) The local government must find a creative way of inticing a private investor(s) by offering to assume some of the risks involved. The hotel will never belong to any single owner; it will always belong to the people of Central Louisiana. To that end, the government should find a solution that creates some type of public/private partnership for the hotel's management. (Remember that the Holiday Inn in Downtown Alexandria also operates because of a public/private partnership).