Plans to turn Delaware’s historic Perkins House, located at 235 W. William St., into a hotel have fallen through more than a year after the development received final approval from Delaware City Council.
Developer Jim Manos planned to build a 43-room hotel, called the Wesleyan Inn, as an extension of the historic Perkins House, which was to be fully restored. The Perkins House, which was built in 1880 and is currently in a state of disrepair, would have been connected to the hotel via a short, glass connector or catwalk.
Manos’ timeline at the time of the development’s approval was for the hotel to be completed and ready for OWU’s spring commencement ceremony this year. Now, the home has a “For Sale” sign in the front yard.
After getting approval for the Wesleyan Inn proposal, Manos said he began other projects in Delaware such as the renovation of the floors above Sandusky Street Antiques for eight future lofts. In taking on that project and others, Manos said he has encountered many problems with labor and getting things accomplished on schedule, which has turned him off to the idea of trying to accomplish what needs to get done with the hotel.
“Business is so good with the economy that it’s been tough (to secure labor),” Manos said. “Guys will come give you a quote and then two days later, they’re working down the street (at another site).”
“I do (development) as a hobby, and the labor force is very difficult right now like I’ve never seen it,” he added.
Given the costs associated with constructing the Wesleyan Inn and the likelihood of a lengthy timeframe for the full buildout of the hotel, the idea began to make less business sense. Manos said the funding for the hotel, which he estimated to be around $3 million by the end of the project, was already secured and not an issue. However, he didn’t want to lay millions of dollars on the line and not be able to rely on contractors to do their jobs.
As part of the Wesleyan Inn project, West William Street would need to be widened to accommodate a turn lane into the hotel. Manos said he was receiving $275,000 quotes for that project alone, which he noted the city refused to partake in any cost-sharing.
Council voting down the rezoning of the residential property directly west of the Perkins House, which ultimately forced Manos to downsize the number of rooms he was proposing in the original plan, also played a significant role in his decision not to proceed with the hotel.
Manos said he now rents out that residential home for $1,350 a month and isn’t interested in demolishing it as part of the hotel plans anyway.
While he has received some offers to purchase the Perkins House, Manos said there have been “no takers” as of yet. He said he has considered possibly turning the home into a law firm or maybe even office space or apartments should he ultimately continue owning the home.
“I will do something with the building, but I don’t yet know what,” Manos said. “I don’t mind owning it (and waiting).”
However, Manos said that if the building were to sell in the meantime, he would likely be done with the property.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.