NEW PORT RICHEY — The city has received two grants that will be a big boost for continued redevelopment of the historic Hacienda Hotel while it remains up in the air what the city will do with the building.
New Port Richey received two grants totaling $550,000 from the Florida Division of Historical Resources last month that will provide funding to continue restoration efforts at the Hacienda, on Main Street in the heart of downtown, where $1 million worth of work already has been done with state grant money, including a new roof last year.
This year's grant money includes $500,000 that the city will match with $250,000 — a total of $750,000 to install new windows and doors at the landmark 1927 hotel. A second grant of $50,000 will also be matched by $50,000 from the city to be used to restore the hotel's historic patio and entry areas, which, "when complete, the exterior façade will be restored to its original 1927 splendor," a city news release stated.
But it remains to be seen what will be done with the Hacienda as the city and state continue to pump money into it. One effort has been completed by removing much of a construction fence that has long surrounded the building, which has drawn the ire of City Council members, who want the public to have better access to view the building.
The council in recent weeks has also been kicking around the idea of putting money into getting the ground floor of the hotel up to code in order to allow its use by the public and possibly a business. The city bought the property in 2004 for more than $2 million, but it fell into disrepair after years of neglect.
City Manager Debbie Manns said the city has no plans at this time to put the project out for a request for proposals, but likely will hold a work session with the City Council.