|By Jaegun Lee, Watertown Daily Times,
N.Y.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
July 08, 2011--CAPE VINCENT -- After seven months of renovation, the historic Roxy Hotel is set to reopen with a fresh new look in the coming week.
Shannon J. Akey of Akey Enterprise, the general contractor for the job, said the Roxy will not be open this weekend for Cape Vincent's French Festival as planned, but should be able to welcome customers by Wednesday.
The inside of the three-story, 117-year-old building was gutted over the winter to build 15 new hotel rooms on the second and third floors.
"The property has changed 100 percent. There's nothing remaining from the old hotel except for the main door," Mr. Akey said.
The bar, restaurant and hotel lobby are ready for business, but some paint work on the second and third floors is yet to be finished.
The building also is pending final state inspection and the bar is awaiting its liquor license.
"We're at the peak of the mountain right now. We're almost at the point where you can walk right in and rent a room," Mr. Akey said.
Trevor R. Brunet, the Roxy's general manager, said all of the rooms are air-conditioned and furnished with wooden furniture, have private bathrooms with either a bathtub or a shower and will have a wall-mounted flat-screen TV.
The rooms will cost either $125 or $135 per night, depending on the size of the bed, he said.
Developer Michael A. Treanor spent about $2 million -- including the $1.5 million Restore New York grant secured for the project by the Cape Vincent Local Development Corp. -- on the makeover.
The building has been closed since Memorial Day last year after the old bar equipment, furniture and antique decorations were auctioned off. Roxy's former owner, James D. Ashton, sold the historic hotel to Mr. Treanor in October.
A mobile home and 10 old Army barracks made of metal in the back of Roxy, which were used as motel rooms, also were removed for the construction of five two-story garden apartments.
John B. DeFrancesco, former president of the Cape Vincent Local Development Corp. and a member of the grant committee of the corporation, said these rental units will have two bedrooms upstairs and a kitchen and living room on the first floor.
Initially, Mr. Treanor hoped to reopen the Roxy in June, but the construction work was delayed partly because of an "unusually cold" winter in addition to the lack of electricity and heating in the building.
"Overall, it was a challenge. Roxy's a historic building and you're building within a box you have no control over," Mr. Akey said.
He said the hotel and restaurant look great now that Roxy's renovation work is coming to an end and he is happy with the progress the workers have been able to make despite the difficulties they faced during the early phase of construction.
Mr. Treanor has renovated the former Bradley Building in Watertown, turning it into a mixed residential/commercial property; restored the Buckley Building in Carthage, and converted the former Adams High School into a 30-unit apartment complex.
He also plans to convert the vacant Woolworth Building on Watertown's Public Square into 60 market-rate apartments.
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