AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – The City of Aiken is moving forward to shape the future of Hotel Aiken.

“What is going on with the Hotel Aiken? When are RFPs going to go out? It has been past time for those RFPs or even another for sale sign to go up and let someone buy the property or refurbish and fix up the property,” Aiken resident Jacob Ellis asked at a recent council meeting.

City leaders are preparing to release a Request For Proposals from firms interested in marketing Hotel Aiken and its surrounding property. “It took a little longer because we wanted to make sure, as part of the due diligence of the mixed-use office building, all potential sites could be legitimately considered. We believe that the process is now complete,” City Manager Stuart Bedenbaugh added.

The intention is to find a group that will work on refurbishing or rebuilding the hotel. “The motel piece could be refurbished or demolished; that would be up to whoever ultimately would buy it. However, the rest of the property we’re speaking of would need to be an adaptive reuse or a renovation,” he added.

The project involves detailed requirements, and companies interested should be well-versed in these rules. “We will clearly state in the document what the parameters are, the rules for marketing the property, and what the rules are within the overlay district downtown,” Bedenbaugh shared.

This decision follows the cancellation of Project Pascalis, which initially planned to demolish the hotel. It was acquired after the City Council dissolved the Aiken Municipal Development Commission.

“Any approval for sale would need to have two readings of the city council, and there would be time for public comment during the said proposal to purchase,” he added.

The City expects to request proposals in December.