The temperatures may have been chilly, but bright sunshine greeted the opening day of construction on The Lodge at Seaside, a 65-room luxury hotel at 250 First Ave., formerly the City Center Motel.
For hospitality workers, construction team members, city and county officials, putting shovels to the ground was a way of marking the launch of the $11 million construction project.
Seaside Lodging co-owner and managing director Masudur Khan called it a “dream come true,” 10 years in the making.
“We are shooting for an upscale hotel,” Khan said. “It’s a new market in Seaside. We think everyone who comes to the hotel — young, middle-aged or older, regardless of their age — will have a good time.”
Guests at the four-story property will have a swimming pool, game room, meeting room, ocean views and high-end amenities.
Seaside Mayor Jay Barber, one of several local luminaries to pose behind the shovels, said he saw the project as linked to the nearby convention center renovation, which finished construction in early September. The facility grew from 46,000 square feet to 55,000 square feet, an increase of nearly 19%.
“The fact that we’ve expanded the convention center means a demand for more rooms, more hotels,” Barber said.
Barber commended Seaside Lodging and Khan, who also owns Seaside’s River Inn and the Inn at Seaside. “He’s doing not only doing great work here, but all over the city. It’s a great day.”
Executive director of Clatsop Economic Development Resources Kevin Leahy said the property demonstrates the growth of the hospitality industry and the need for more upscale hotels in Seaside.
Project manager Jeremy Miller said the crew was about one-third complete with demolition, which started with the teardown of the City Center Motel last week. A 12-room motel at 210 South Downing, also owned by Seaside Lodging, will continue operation as a separate entity.
Construction of the Lodge at Seaside is expected to be complete at the end of next May.
Miller said the hotel is being built with resiliency in mind.
“Everything is per code, with what’s required,” he said after joining others in the ceremonial groundbreaking. “I’ve got no doubt that if the tsunami should come, this hotel will last.”