LaSalle Hotel Sells To Local Buyer Paul Clarke

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The LaSalle Hotel in Downtown Bryan has a new owner after the city sold to a local real estate development company Wednesday afternoon.

New owner Paul Clarke has plans for turning the hotel into a full service luxury hotel.

The LaSalle Hotel has been a landmark in Downtown Bryan for 85 years with new plans to make it a luxury hotel destination.

"We are getting out of the hotel business," said Bryan Mayor Jason Bienski.

Wednesday afternoon Mayor Bienski signed the closing documents to sell the hotel the city has owned since 2001 to Paul Clarke of Clarke & Wyndham Real Estate Development Services in Bryan.

"The LaSalle has been a catalyst in Downtown Bryan for many years. It helped spur further growth and redevelopment, but it was time to move in a different direction," said Bienski.

The hotel had been on the market for nearly a year with a selling price of $2.6 million.

Bryan paid $1.2 million in 2001 when the hotel had fallen into disrepair and was in foreclosure.

They spent nearly $700,000 in renovations.

"It will go back on the tax rolls... I think we're looking at $60,000 to $75,000 in taxes a year," Bienski said.

New owner Paul Clarke says it will still be a boutique hotel but become a new destination with more expensive rooms.

"Well we're going to upgrade the hotel into a four or five diamond property this fall and over the winter. And adding suites, event venue space, wine bars and some various things like that. Were very excited about the project," Clarke said by phone.

Full plans for the LaSalle are expected to be released next month but the new amenities should be here by football season.

This is the third hotel owned by Clarke & Wyndham.

They also own the Vineyard Courts Hotel in College Station, and the Vineyards at Chappel Lodge Wedding and Event Center in Austin.

Further details on the annual costs for operating the LaSalle Hotel were not available from the city.