The opening of the Grim Hotel renovation project is no longer gloomy

TECHARCANA, Texas. The historic Hotel Grim, built in 1925, originally had eight floors. It closed in 1990 when it was considered an abandoned hotel.

The Grim project manager expects the building to reopen in June.

At 103,200 square feet when it was built, it was the second tallest structure in Texarkana, strategically located on the Arkansas-Texas side of the State Line, according to the City of Texarkana, Texas project summary.

The hotel was once considered the “pearl” of the city. As developments moved out of the once-abandoned city center, the resurrection of the historic site’s prospects looked bleak as each year passes and the opening date continues to be pushed back.

Ideas for the renovation of the Grim Hotel with the revitalization of downtown Texarkana are moving forward, where a sign reads “Hotel Grim Apartments are Coming…” and what appears to be black duct tape covers what appears to be the once-scheduled reopening date.

Brian Hall, project manager for general contractor Cohen-Esrey, said the delay was primarily due to restoring the stability of the structure, but work was underway to finish the new apartments in the building. Hall said the project was one of the toughest he had to deal with.

“It’s just an old building with a lot of character, a lot of problems. It’s just that it’s not being built as fast as you think… I’ve built a lot of old buildings. This is one of the most difficult. Most of them yes, but this one definitely takes the top spot,” he said.

The Grim was named after banking, railroad and lumber magnate William Rhoads Grim, and in 1925 the 250-room hotel cost nearly $1 million to build.

Today’s restoration project is being funded by a $26 million funding package, including local contributions from the city, a District Stabilization Program loan, Environmental Protection Agency funds, and housing and historic tax credits.

All apartments will be affordable, as funding also comes from the federal low-income housing tax credit program.

Thus, the household income of possible qualified residents cannot exceed 60% of the local average. Which, according to the 2020 US Census Bureau, was $46,408 for Texarkana, which means a marginal income of about $27,845.

Everything looks promising for the Grim Hotel, which will soon become the Grim Apartments Texarkana.

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