Local News: Lewis Restoration Continues (2/25/22)
Zachary Z. Zoul
The vintage renovation of the historic Lewis Hotel in downtown Cherokee continues with an upgrade throughout, including the restoration of the original, near-completed lobby and front desk that reveals remnants of the past elegant structure.
Lewis owner Zachary Z. Zoul, owner and managing member of Zoul Properties LLC, liked what he saw during a visit to Cherokee last fall, which compelled him to research and ultimately purchase the historic Lewis Hotel at 231 W. Main St.
Since November 2021, Zoul and his team have resolutely renovated the interior of the building with plans to restore it to its original historic luster.
The Lewis Hotel was built in 1899 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is a historic three-story building. The Lewis is currently a mixed use property with residential and commercial use. The second and third floors are residential apartments – one and two bedrooms. The first floor and the lower level are dedicated to commercial and office use.
Investment by Zoul Properties and commercial tenants in the property is expected to exceed $1 million. Zoul is looking for old photographs of the interior of the building to replicate the original design. Anyone with such photos should contact Zoul or the Chronicle Times.
In making the decision to purchase the property and invest in the community, Zoul said, “We have been very impressed with the Cherokee community. The City and local economic and business development officials have demonstrated a positive and progressive approach to community development. In particular, the downtown area is vital and vibrant and has a diverse mix of retail stores, offices and other commercial enterprises.
Updates to date:
• The restoration of the hall is largely complete and new furniture will be installed in the coming weeks. • The original parquet flooring in the reception hall has been uncovered.
• The former health clinic has been remodeled to its original layout as the Lewis Hotel Business Suites, and individual offices are leased.
•The laundry room has been moved from the East Bay – Main Street facade to its original location in the basement. This will allow the commercialization of the Main Street space for a business.
• Three lower level commercial spaces (original locations and layouts) have been prepared in a “shell” condition for rental.
• Seven of the ground floor apartments were ‘refreshed’ upon re-letting with new paint and flooring.
• An existing apartment is being completed as a short-term “Airbnb” furnished accommodation.
•The original reception has been restored and new “historic” mailboxes have been installed.
• Most lower level doors, frames and hallways have been painted and some have been redone, and there have been numerous plumbing and HVAC repairs and restorations.
“None of this is a major build,” Zoul noted, “just efforts to discover and bring back some original features and to prepare for additional uses and opportunities.”
More information about the historic Lewis Hotel is available at 712-469-4033 or by email at [email protected] Commercial and residential spaces are available, according to Zoul.