AUBURN, Ind. (WANE) – The historic Auburn Hotel has a new owner, and an area nearby is set to possibly transformed into the site of “high-end” hospitality the classic car city was once known for, according to a media release from city officials.

Kevin Minard and the Auburn Development Group finalized the purchase of the hotel, located at the corner of Ninth Street and Main Street, from the Eddy family late last month, city officials announced Thursday.

The deal had been in the works for two to three years.

Minard and the development group also purchased properties 410, 414 and 418 South Main Street next to the Moose Lodge.

Historic Auburn Hotel in downtown Auburn.
The Auburn Hotel has stood at Ninth and Main streets in downtown Auburn for more than a century.

Plans for that property include the demolition of buildings there and the construction of a new building that will include commercial space on the first floor with multi-family housing on the floors above, the media release said.

Demolition is expected to begin in the coming weeks with new construction possibly beginning in the spring.

The development group is also taking the next six to eight months to assess the viability, safety and potential of the hotel. Preliminary plans have the second and third floors being turned into living space while the retail space on the first floor will remain, the media release said.

“We want to take the time and care to do this in a way that honors the significance of the building in an era-appropriate manner,” Minard, an Indiana native currently living in Chicago, said in the media release. “Our intent is to end up with a structure that will last another 100 years or more, while maintaining or replicating as much original detail as possible.”

Minard and his partners were attracted to the building out of a passion for historic properties and the unique opportunity to participate in meaningful economic growth in Indiana, according to the media release.

They are “actively exploring the viability of integrated parking solutions, as well as a potential revival of the high-end hospitality for which the Auburn Hotel was once known,” the media release said.

“It’s an intriguing old building that has a great deal of history and character, and it’s such a rare privilege to work on something with the intricacy and artisanship of these pre-1900 buildings,” Minard said in the release.

The first floor is currently being used for commercial and retail space and that will not change, according to the media release.

“The City is very excited to see the transfer of ownership of the property finalized after years of striving to acquire it,” said Mayor Mike Ley in the media release. “We are equally excited about the vision for redevelopment of the property.”