Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The Whitney Hotel on Devine Street in Columbia is up for sale and could become a permanent home for residents.
The hotel is under contract with Estates Management a Midlands based company. Their hope is to renovate the 75 one and two bedroom suites as condos for people to lease.
The Whitney made headlines last year when University of South Carolina student athletes receiving reduced rates for staying there.
The university was penalized for committing NCAA violations.
"The Whitney has been a great asset they have brought tourists in from all over the country," said Jennifer Suber with the Divine Street Association.
About 30 years ago the Whitney Hotel was orginally built as condos.
It was later converted into a hotel after tax laws on condo ownership changed, now its up for sale.
"Our first reaction was that we were surprised that they weren't doing well," said Suber.
The hotel now has a contract with Estates Management, and they hope to take the building back it its first use condominiums. Suber says business are on board with the change.
"Now those people can come on a consistent basis, they can shop at the shops, they can go to the restaurants and really be a part of Devine street."
"We are going to put a substantial amount of money into revamping the interiors and the exteriors as well as the landscaping around the building," said Teresa Hodge, Project Manager with Estates Management.
Hodge they're next step is to obtain zoning approval for become multi-family use and adding a few more parking spaces.
"After that process happens then there is a variety of things that have to happen for closing and what not but we would like to start the process as soon as possible," said Hodge.
Suber says the upgrades to the building and bringing permanent resident to the area will help local business.
"We know that they have a wonderful track record of having beautiful and environmental projects and so we know they will do a wonderful job with the Whitney as well," said Suber.
The zoning meeting is next Tuesday at 10 AM. If the project goes through the developer expects to begin renovation in about a month and rent or leasing will be between %850 and $1,200 a month.