(MARSHALL, Mich) — After 10 months of renovations, Schuler’s Rental Rehabilitation Project is proud to show off Phase I of The Royal Hotel & Apartment complex during a public Open House on Thursday, December 15 from 3-6pm. The name is derived from the historic Royal Hotel which stood at the corner of Eagle and Green that was purchased by Albert Schuler in 1924.
The previously unutilized space on the second and third floors of the historic Schuler’s Restaurant & Pub
building in downtown Marshall is now home to seven new mixed-income units, four of which are reserved for low-to-moderate-income residents. The units range in size from 675 to 1,600-square-feet with five apartments (one, two and three bedroom units) on the second floor and two high-ceiling units (a one bedroom and a two bedroom) on the third floor. All have been rented and residency will begin in early January 2023.
“Schuler’s has been known for its hospitality since we first opened in 1909 and we are thrilled at the transformation that has taken place inside our historic building to create much needed housing in our community,” says
Schuler’s President and CEO Sue Damron
. “These former hotel rooms, which once welcomed travelers, had become nothing more than storage for us over the past 50 years. Now, we are creating spaces for people and families to call home. The seven apartments have been designed to reflect Schuler’s brand by mixing historic and traditional elements with an updated look and feel, right in the heart of downtown Marshall.”
Whenever possible Damron worked with local companies to bring this project to fruition, including financing through Homestead Savings Bank in Albion, architectural work from Driven Design in Battle Creek, grant application assistance from Revitalize in Mason, general contracting services with First Contracting in Ovid, and kitchen cabinetry and granite countertops from MKD (Michigan Kitchen Distributors) in Marshall.
“We couldn’t be happier with how these apartments have come together. This is small town urban living at its best,” Damron says
. “Each of these new units feature a gas fireplace, full sized washer and dryer and appliances from Michigan-founded Whirlpool.”
In February, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to announce the project would be funded in part by a $725,450 Community Development Block Grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund, along with $1.7 million in private investment and a 12-year Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act tax abatement valued at $561,000.
“The restoration of the Schuler’s restaurant building has revitalized a beloved historic fixture while building on the vibrancy and attractive amenities that already exist in downtown Marshall,” Gov. Whitmer
said in a February announcement
. “This project is a great example of how we continue to focus on supporting community efforts that fill housing needs for our residents and build a foundation for long-term economic opportunity in Michigan.”
“The City of Marshall is proud to have played a small part in the new Royal Hotel & Apartments project,” says City Manager Derek N. Perry. “The renovations and associated investment by Sue and her team are second to none, and we truly thank them for their steadfast support of Marshall’s vibrant downtown. We look forward to continued partnerships with Schuler’s Restaurant and Pub as we work together to enhance the Marshall community for its residents and visitors.”
Phase II of development will begin in early 2023 and will include the creation of five hotel rooms in one of the defined wings of the building. Reopening the hotel, which closed in 1971, has long been a dream of Larry Schuler, the fourth-generation restaurateur who is on the Schuler’s Restaurant Advisory Board. Damron said she is looking for other ways to support the local community while enhancing the Schuler brand, including the purchase of a dilapidated downtown building that she plans to turn into an event space that can seat up to 250 people.
“These are exciting times for the Schuler’s team,” says Damron, who purchased the company in November 2019 from Hans Schuler, grandson of founder Albert Schuler. “I’ve been here for more than two decades and it is exciting to be part of this next chapter as we expand and enhance our brand. But we don’t work alone. We are fortunate to have the support of our local community and regional leaders, as well as MEDC which has contributed to this project. Without these partners, this and future projects wouldn’t be possible.”
Founded in 1909, Schuler’s is noted as one of Michigan’s most iconic restaurants. With more than a century of successful years in the industry, Schuler’s remains a hospitality leader not only in Michigan, but throughout the country.