AIKEN, S.C. (WFXG) - The Design Review Board approved a "90-day plan" for Hotel Aiken at its Tuesday, March 7 meeting. It entails holding the city to making minor repairs until a proposal on more extensive work is decided.

This isn’t the overhaul that’s anticipated for the property, rather a way to do small touch ups until that happens. A representative from a Columbia architecture group, Sanders Tate of McMillian Pazdan Smith, presented proposals before the board during a work session. Ultimately, Tate emphasized stabilizing Hotel Aiken for future development. In the scenario that funding is secured, he suggested a timeline of three months for design documents, two months for bidding and six to seven months for demolition construction. 

Discussions regarding Hotel Aiken were held in both the work session and regular meeting with DRB members having several questions about a maintenance plan. DRB members felt they needed a more solid schedule and cost estimates to decide on proposals. Nearly the entire board, except for one member, voted in favor of giving the city 90 days - agreeing it’s time to do something.

“I think that we have to... We owe it to the community to try to get the building cleaned up and presentable for the whole community, not just the adjacent property owners. We need to do it in a safe and secure manner where things aren’t falling off the building and injuring people.” said Ben Lott, ADRB member.

This plan includes minor repairs such as replacing broken and missing windows, cleaning the exterior and adding a patch to a hole in the roof. Lott also urged these to happen faster than 90 days, if possible.

This motion is legally binding, meaning the city is held responsible to the agreed upon obligations. The city is expected to report back to the DRB at their June 6 meeting with next steps.

The future of Hotel Aiken is of great interest to the community, as it is a landmark of the city's history and a significant part of its cultural heritage.

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