Better, not bigger: Restoration work planned for historic hotel in downtown Clare

A multi-million dollar renovation of a historic building has been announced in downtown Clare.

The Doherty Hotel was built in 1924. Nearly one hundred years later and hotel owner Dean Doherty has announced plans for a historic-minded renovation of the building.

Doherty has hired the Saginaw-based construction management firm Spence Brothers to restore the exterior of the building to its original condition. Masonry long-removed from the façade will be replaced. Storefront windows will be added at the street-level.

The changes better reflect the original design of the hotel.

"A primary focus of our project has always been improving the façade of the original hotel," says Doherty.

"Rather than get bigger, we wanted to get better. While the updated rooms and bar will be important, we wanted to bring back the historic façade to Downtown Clare."

Also planned is the complete renovation of hotel rooms found on floors two through four. Layouts will be improved and modern amenities added. There will be 21 upscale rooms as a result, including three with kitchenettes.

The historic restoration and renovation project is estimated to cost $6.2 million. Developers are currently seeking a commercial facilities exemption tax abatement from the City of Clare and will incorporate Federal Historic Tax Credits.

While work will begin to restore the historic hotel to its original appearance, Doherty is also working to bring the hotel into the 21st century. He has installed eight new Tesla Super Charging Stations on the property, which will be operational after the Memorial Day holiday.

The Doherty Hotel is located at 604 N. McEwan St. in downtown Clare.

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