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Owners of former Mitchell hotel plan to ‘breathe new life’ into property with 90-unit apartment complex

To make way for the 90-unit apartment complex, the property will be reconfigured in a way that entails the apartments wrapping around the east side of the building from the parking lot to Havens Avenue on the west side of the property, forming a loop.

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Shown here is the front entrance of the former Ramada Hotel on the west side of Mitchell, which will soon be transformed into an apartment complex. The longtime Mitchell hotel closed in January.
Sam Fosness / Republic
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MITCHELL — A longtime Mitchell hotel that shut down in January could soon welcome a new look and provide workforce housing for the area.

Owners of the former Ramada Hotel and Conference Center are seeking to transform the large hotel into a 90-unit apartment complex dubbed Flats on Havens. The plan received the support from the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission on Monday when the commission unanimously approved the conditional use permit and Tax Increment Financing district for the hotel to become a workforce apartment complex.

“We are going to breathe new life into the property by allowing it to be workforce housing,” said Nate Stencil, a representative of the entity that owns the property called Stencil Group. “When completed, it will be a modern facility.”

According to Stencil, the entire building will undergo major renovations, including exterior upgrades, parking lot improvements and a new roof. The windows along the building will also be replaced, Stencil noted.

Built in 1968, the property housed some of Mitchell’s most popular hotels for more than five decades. When the hotel was operating as the Ramada prior to its closure in January, it was equipped with 152 rooms, an indoor pool, a restaurant and conference center.

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Stencil said utilizing the aging building as a hotel was “not financially feasible.” Turning it into an apartment complex is the new path forward for the longtime Mitchell staple, Stencil said.

“It’s an old structure. We’re trying to come up with some alternatives to be financially feasible and update the building to a more modern use.

The apartment complex aims to provide affordable housing for Mitchell area residents. A mixture of one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments are primarily the type of dwelling layouts included in the apartment complex design.

To make way for the 90-unit apartment complex, the property will be reconfigured in a way that entails the apartments wrapping around the east side of the building from the parking lot to Havens Avenue on the west side of the property, forming a loop.

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The former Ramada Hotel in Mitchell will be reconfigured into an apartment complex. The east side of the building is among the areas that will welcome the new apartments.
Sam Fosness / Republic

Plans show the indoor pool will remain when the transition to the apartment complex materializes. However, the pool will become an outdoor pool that residents would have access to. The existing roof structure above the pool will be torn down, allowing the pool to become an outdoor amenity for residents.

“Due to the nature of the way it’s set up, we have hotel rooms on both sides and courtyard rooms. We need to eliminate the roof in that area for code and fire regulations,” Stencil said of the reconfiguration of the building, located at 1525 W. Havens Ave. “We need to get mostly the mechanical stuff and finishes redone on the inside.”

A Tax Increment Financing District, more commonly known as a TIF, will also be utilized by Stencil Group to help fund the remodeling work of the hotel for it to become an apartment complex.

“Due to the amount of work that needs to be done to create the housing, we are pursuing a housing TIF district that would be restricted to rents below 80% of the median area income. It would be like a workforce housing rent level for the community,” he said.

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"Our room occupancy was very, very good this year. Staffing was impossible," Ramada manager Dan Sabers said.

Related Topics: MITCHELLHOUSING
Sam Fosness joined the Mitchell Republic in May 2018. He was raised in Mitchell, S.D., and graduated from Mitchell High School. He continued his education at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, where he graduated in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in English. During his time in college, Fosness worked as a news and sports reporter for The Volante newspaper.
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