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Developers plan to replace motel that’s home to lower-income area residents with $9 million condo complex

Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 6:25 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX)-- Developers have presented a plan to demolish the Oak Lodge Motor Inn motel on Austin Avenue in downtown Waco.

In its place, they plan to build a $9 million complex named Dottie Oaks with 15 residential spaces and three retail spaces.

Architect's rendering of the complex, which will include residential and commercial space.
Architect's rendering of the complex, which will include residential and commercial space.(Courtesy photo)

Brian Mitchell and Julius Kramaric will spearhead the development through their JKBM Holdings LLC.

The Oak Lodge has long been an eyesore in downtown Waco and the scene of criminal activity, including shootings.

A fire in 2019 further damaged the building, which has failing walls and ceilings, broken windows and has failed repeated city inspections.

However, dozens of low-income residents still call the Oak Lodge motel their home.

The developers say they have postponed the closing date on the property until Aug. 31 to give the residents enough time to find places to live.

Waco’s City Manager Bradley Ford said the city will offer emergency rental assistance and emergency rental vouchers to the residents, who, on average, pay $50 a day to stay at the motel.

Thursday the city’s Tax Increment Financing Zone Board voted to recommend the city contribute $1.3 million to the developers to be used toward sidewalks, streetlights, and other public aspects of the development.

The TIF Zone uses some property tax revenue from the center of the city to fund revitalization efforts in the area.

The Waco City Council has the final authority on whether to approve the recommendation of the TIF board.

According to JKBM Holdings LLC’s TIF application for the funds, the property will be purchased for $2 million.

The group will also spend $516,000 to demolish the existing structure and an additional $6.8 million to construct the new complex.

Charity organizations like Waco’s Church Under the Bridge are already helping some residents obtain find new housing.

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