McMenamins says it’s ready to start work on Elks Temple in Tacoma

Plans to renovate the 102-year-old Beaux Arts building have repeatedly been delayed as cost estimates soared and other projects took priority. Now the company says it’s on track for an early 2019 opening, thanks in part to local investors.


McMenamins has announced it plans to start construction on the long-awaited Elks Lodge in Tacoma next month.

The Portland-based developer has planned to renovate the 102-year-old Beaux-Arts-style building at 565 Broadway since it bought the property in the depths of the recession for $1.2 million.

Mike and Brian McMenamin talk about the extra millions that will go into the heavily damaged old Elks Temple that they’re redeveloping into a restaurant, hotel, brewery and performance space.

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Since then, McMenamins has announced multiple opening dates for the hotel.

The project was beset with delays as the company sought more investors and completed the Anderson School project in Bothell.

This time, McMenamins says, it’s different.

The company has raised $11 million from more than 50 investors and plans to start construction in October, the company announced Friday. Some investors are Tacoma residents, financing at least $150,000 apiece.

“Our vision for Elks Temple has been warmly received by Northwest investors,” Mike McMenamin, co-founder of the company, said in a news release. “We’re pleased that they have committed the funds to give new life to this historic building.”

Last year the company discovered it would cost much more than initially thought to rehab the historic downtown structure.

Initially the company thought it would cost about $18 million to fully renovate. Last year, McMenamins said it might cost about $32 million to restore.

When open in early 2019, the property will include 44 guest rooms (down from an initial plan for 46). It will include historic art and spaces for weddings, meetings and live music.

McMenamins has more than 50 properties throughout Washington and Oregon.

This fall is setting up to be a busy time for McMenamins as it juggles two other sites in various stages of progress, in addition to Elks Temple.

In March, McMenamins announced its Port of Kalama project as next on the to-do list.

The Columbian reported in July that the Kalama hotel project, modeled after an early-1900s Hawaiian inn, was still on schedule.

That project hasn’t…

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