It’s been a tumultuous few years for the Hotel Putnam. But the historic DeLand hotel may soon house 64 one- and two-bedroom apartments.
“Everyone’s really excited,” Miles Beach told The Beacon.
Beach is the eponymous architect for Miles Architecture Group, the Maitland-based firm working for Axia Partners, the new owner of the hotel that is developing it into an apartment building called Putnam Estates.
The current plans include adding stairways in the front and back of the building to create escape routes required by the building codes. In the courtyard in front, made smaller by the addition of the stairwells, there would be a swimming pool for the apartment-dwellers.
The developers had to begin the planning process with a stop at the DeLand Historic Preservation Board, to get an OK for the changes to the exterior.
There was some hesitancy from board member Charles Jordan, who was concerned that the plans go beyond what the U.S. Department of the Interior’s historic preservation standards allow.
Jordan’s hesitancy, though, was overruled by the rest of the board’s excitement to see the old building — situated directly across from DeLand City Hall — fixed up.
The Putnam was purchased by Axia Partners in September after enduring vandalism and multiple building plans that failed to materialize.
Historic Preservation Board member Solomon Greene said he was excited to see plans for the building, even if some of the less-historical changes weren’t everyone’s cup of tea.
“I think we’ve got an opportunity here with … people ready, willing and able to make it happen,” Greene said. “Even making some adjustments, perhaps, from a historical perspective that aren’t on our dream list, I think making those adjustments to make something like this work is absolutely something I’m in favor of, anyway.”
Greene was overall very positive, adding, “I think the product looks phenomenal.”
On a 3-1 vote, with members Greene, Renee Garrison and Dagny Robertson in favor and Jordan dissenting, the Historic Preservation Board issued a Certificate of Appropriateness for the exterior changes.
As of now, Putnam owners Axia Partners have the proper permits to clean up the interior of the building, but no construction is allowed yet. DeLand Planning Director Mike Holmes said the city anticipates receiving construction plans for Putnam Estates as soon as January.