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High-End Crowdfunding Experiment Tries to Turn Vacant School Into Hotel Complex

@denschaal

Skift Take

If everything is about “local” in the hotel business these days, this development project in Bothell, Washington, is the epitome of such efforts.

— Dennis Schaal

It’s a sleek public relations move for the McMenamins brothers to label their drive to find investors to convert a vacant school in Bothell, Washington, into a 73-room hotel, meetings’ space and restaurants as “crowdfunding,” but they are doing something special to revive communities and create attractive destinations nonetheless.

Family owned McMenamins Inc., an enterprise controlled by brothers Mike and Brian McMenamin, is trying to raise $8 million, with a minimum investment of $250,000 from qualified individuals, banks and other private entities under amended SEC rules, to turn the empty Anderson School in Bothell “into a vibrant community hub and travel destination,” the company states.

The total cost of the Anderson School project is estimated at $26 million.

Investors would purchase Anderson School Properties LLC securities, and would “receive an 8% per annum, noncompounded, preferred return on invested capital,” the company states.

It is not exactly a kickstarter campaign, but it may attract enough investors to actually get this project going because McMenamins Inc. pulled off similar neighborhood revitalization and hotel projects elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest, specifically in Troutdale and Portland, Oregon, among other locales.

Based in Portland, McMenamins Inc. operates 52 hotels, brewpubs, restaurants and entertainment facilities in Oregon and Washington.

Considering the trend among hotels to emphasize the uniqueness of their local communities, the Anderson School project fits right in with these initiatives.

Here’s a video outlining the specifics of the Anderson School project:

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