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Louisa Hotel renovation project offers opportunity for community development

A view of the brick exterior of the Louisa HotelYou’re looking at the future home of ten Chinatown-International District small businesses, new and old! Last week, Office of Economic Development staff joined our colleagues at the Office of Planning and Community Development and the Department of Neighborhoods for a tour of the historic Louisa Hotel—currently under construction.

The Louisa Hotel, built in 1910, suffered a fire in 2013 that damaged seven street-level businesses. Owner Tanya Woo and her family weren’t sure they would ever be able to restore the building, but thanks to the generosity of a local investor, the Louisa Hotel is currently being rebuilt to include 84 new apartments for those making between $45,000 and $75,000 a year, and 10 retail spaces on the street level.

Women wearing hardhats standing and talking in the construction site. As businesses in the Chinatown-International District struggle with rising rents and rapid changes in the neighborhood, the Louisa Hotel project is an exciting opportunity to connect business owners with the perfect space to run their restaurant or shop for years to come. Shanti Breznau, Business Development Consultant with SCIDpda, has worked closely with the Woo family, the developer (Barrientos Ryan) and neighborhood businesses throughout the redevelopment process. Coordinating with potential tenants early on means that the necessary nuts and bolts for a restaurant can be part of the design from the start—not an expense that a business owner has to take on when they move in. With SCIDPDA, the Woos and Barrientos Ryan working together, the building is set to open with a great mix of businesses that reflect and compliment the rest of the neighborhood.

Thank you to Tanya Woo and Alexandra Moravec and Kristin Ryan for showing us around and telling us about your work! We can’t wait to see the new Louisa Hotel building open next year. Stay tuned!