A development team of architects, engineers and contractors were in Pratt Tuesday to look at the Parrish Hotel, in preparation for a renovation project expected to start this fall.

“We’re definitely going to do it,” said Jake Mooney, principal of MRE Capital LLC, Stillwell, Kansas, in the Kansas City area.

State and federal historic tax credits and federal affordable housing tax credits will reduce the cost, but Mooney was not ready to release a budget figure. The building, vacant since the 1980s, is structurally sound, he said, according to a 2011 report.

“Our structural engineer is here today,” Mooney said. “He doesn’t see any major issues.”

The plan for Parrish Lofts Development calls for 23 apartment units, with 14 of them being two-bedroom and nine one-bedroom. In a phone call in May, Mooney said the market for the apartments would be “working folks.”

The lobby area will be maintained as a “historical showpiece,” with the original terrazzo floors polished up, decorative plaster and old light fixtures. They will take a “hierarchial approach,” according to architectural historian Debbie Sheals, working really hard to keep the ground floor period-appropriate.

A retail space in the west area of the first floor will provide some revenue.

Mooney expects to begin applying for building permits in September, and at the same time, begin the bidding process for subcontractors, with an eye to beginning construction in October. He anticipates a one-year construction project.

EBH Engineering will handle exterior site development. In Tuesday’s meetings with the development team in the morning, and again with the team and city officials in the afternoon, Alan Luttrell talked about making space for 37 vehicles in off-street parking to the north and east of the hotel. It will be tight, he said, and may require some additional space east of the alley, in what has been planned as a downtown city park and farmers’ market.

“We’re working with the leadership group (who proposed the project) and the city to make it all fit,” Luttrell said, confirming that up to one-third of the proposed park may be added to the hotel project.

The park area, formerly a parking lot for The Peoples Bank, was donated to the city. The bank also owned the hotel, and would be willing to make adjustments to accommodate both projects, according to City Manager Dave Howard.

The hotel, named the Roberts Hotel when it was completed in 1930, was sold to Monte Parrish of Great Bend in 1957 and remained in operation as a hotel until 1974. An ice cream and sandwich shop, a fabric shop and a tanning salon operated on the first floor during the early to mid 1980s.