Been a while since we've had much to say here about the big re-do out at Mineral Wells' Baker Hotel -- the 82-year-old wellness resort that, fingers crossed, is soon to be resurrected by a team including Jeff Trigger, who led the Stoneleigh makeover here in Dallas.
But the occasion of Saturday night's Dallywood Schmoozefest at the Texas Theatre, where the lineup of locally produced shorts includes a preview of Kevin Pruitt's doc on the Baker Hotel's remodeling, it seemed like a fine time to check back with the developers for the latest on the project.
Back in September, they estimated they'd begin the remodeling sometime this spring, and re-open the hotel two years later. Today, Chad Patton with Southlake-based Hunter Chase Capital Partners says that while they're in good shape with all the tax credits they'd been hoping for, they still need an investor to guarantee the potential shortfall in meeting their $1.7 million debt service. "Unequivocally, this is the last step in the project," Patton says. "The guarantor could look like a real hero."
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I'd also been wondering if Governor Rick Perry's suggestion to slash funding for the Texas Historical Commission could have any impact on the Baker Hotel's redo, but Patton says they hadn't been counting on the THC for any direct funding, just recommendations from the THC staff for the historical tax credits they're lining up from the federal government.
So while the wait for this last investor could delay the project some, Patton says "it's a shovel-ready project. It's teed up and ready to go."
Incidentally, while Pruitt says the preview his documentary screening tomorrow is the same cut that's been up on YouTube, he says he's looking forward to seeing it in front of an audience for the first time. He hopes to do more shooting next month, and again once remodeling work begins in earnest.
And Pruitt adds this: "I am now under a development contract with a national production company (can't really use their name yet) to start shopping a reality show based on the restoration of the Baker and the surrounding townsfolk."