By Eileen Bailey
WEST POINT – Once heralded as West Point’s finest building in the 1930s, the Henry Clay Hotel is making a comeback as affordable, secure housing for senior citizens.
The Henry Clay Hotel reopened its doors in June as an alternative for retirement living. Administrator Stan Maynard said about $2 million was spent renovating the hotel, which is a project of United Methodist Senior Services. The hotel has 27 one- and two-bedroom apartments equipped with compact kitchen areas and ceramic-tile baths.
Since its opening, about 10 residents have moved into the hotel. There are 17 vacancies for couples and singles who are 62 years old or older, Maynard said.
“There was a need for secure housing for seniors,” he said. But so far only two residents are from West Point.
The hotel offers a variety of features for residents, Maynard said.
Rent starts at $425, but lower rates are offered for seniors with income less than $10,500 who meet requirements set by the hotel. The two-bedroom apartments are about 660 square feet, and the one-bedroom apartments are about 371 square feet.
The building has a pharmacy that was in the building before it became retirement apartments. It also has a “high-tech” security system, Maynard said.
The hotel is located in the downtown area within walking distance of several businesses and churches.
West Point leaders and economic developers contacted United Methodist Senior Services in 1987 about restoring the landmark. Citizens have raised $85,000 of the community’s $100,000 contribution to the project.
This was not the first time the community got behind the Henry Clay Hotel.
The hotel was built in 1930, replacing the old Holt Hotel, when several West Point businessmen banded together to provided a modern hotel for the city.
According to old news accounts, the Chamber of Commerce asked businessmen and civic groups to purchase $50,000 worth of preferred stock to go along with a bond issue of $50,000 to provide $100,000 for constructing and furnishing the hotel. The total investment by the hotel’s opening was $177,000.
The Henry Clay, which had changed owners several times, remained a hotel until 1987 when it finally closed it doors.