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LaSalle Hotel working with City of Bryan to bring hotel up to code standards

Published: Jun. 25, 2021 at 4:12 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - The owner of the LaSalle Hotel in Downtown Bryan is working with the City of Bryan after multiple rooms were designated a “dangerous structure” by the city’s building and standards commission.

Since January, the hotel only had six of its 55 rooms available after an inspection in October 2020, but in April the remaining rooms were closed following a city inspection.

On Monday, according to city documents, the Bryan Buildings and Standards Commission held a special meeting after the owner of the hotel requested it. In that meeting, the commission approved a request by owner Janak Patel to reopen 13 more rooms if he can get a structural engineer to pass those rooms through an inspection and have the report approved by a city official.

This approval comes after the commission was told that multiple improvements had been made, including stairwell lighting, water tanks, a rusty door and a loose gas line was secured.

Still, the city says that many windows remain out of code, noting rust on the wooden window frames.

The LaSalle Hotel ownership sent a statement to KBTX regarding its months long conversations with the city about how to best get the hotel back to being fully operational.

“As a Nationally Registered Historic Hotel, the LaSalle Hotel and its ownership deeply cherish the historical value of the property. While last year brought many challenges, the LaSalle Hotel is currently only able to offer 6 rooms to its guests and will hopefully soon be able to operate a total of 19 rooms in the near future. The current ownership is eager to fully reopen all 55 rooms and suites as quickly as possible and looks forward to working with the City of Bryan to assure all appropriate steps are taken to soon once again provide a beautiful experience to its guests and the visitors of Downtown Bryan. The LaSalle Hotel’s ownership hopes to soon become completely operational and again fully support its fellow downtown small business owners and bring more of the tourism, vibrancy, and economy downtown Bryan deserves to experience.”

Michael O’Brien, a professor in the Texas A&M University School of Architecture says historical structures like the LaSalle are tricky. With it being deemed historical, it can sometimes be difficult to keep the structures integrity but update it to today’s codes.

“Kind of trying to make the building stock safer and safer and safer over time without losing the character and flavor and without losing the functionality,” said O’Brien.

The hotel has been told by the city that they have until Nov. 1 to be in complete compliance. Hotel ownership says they hope to be done sooner, especially in time for football season.

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