Return to Glory: A New Restored 19th Century Prague Hotel | News
NEW PRAGUE – A significant part of New Prague’s history seems a lot more polished these days.
The Broz Hotel, built by bohemian immigrant Wenceslaus S. Broz in 1898, is nearing the end of a total renovation – a project that took around six months for the Edina-based Caspian Group. The 18,000-square-foot boutique hotel-restaurant was in need of a total facelift and modern update, while retaining its original 19th-century look in every room.
â€œWhat we specialize in is buying distressed properties,â€ said Justin Fuller of Caspian Group, a commercial real estate asset management and brokerage firm. â€œThis property here in New Prague was fundamentally distressed and vacant by the previous owners who had it, and the remodel (they started) was not finished.â€
The project was unusual for Caspian Group, Fuller said. With a few exceptions, the company tends to buy and renovate commercial properties such as warehouses, office buildings, linear malls, and auto shopping malls within 30 miles of the Twin Cities.
The smaller size of the New Prague market (estimated by Caspian Group at 11,989 people living within a 5 mile radius) and the age of the property also made the project unique.
â€œThis is truly the first hotel we’ve bought that is this old,â€ Fuller said. â€œWe had to put in a lot of time and effort. “
The building at 212 Main St. West – designed by Cass Gilbert, the architect who designed the State Capitol – has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1982. John and Nancy Schumacher bought the building in 1974, renovated it and transformed into the Schumacher restaurant, which was a popular restaurant in New Prague for years. The Schumachers were responsible for adding the building to the national register.
During the renovations, Caspian Group ensured that the original appearance and integrity of the property was preserved, Fuller said.
All HVAC, electrical and plumbing have been updated. Most of the wood floors, woodwork, doors and window frames have been redone.
Modern updates included emergency lights, sprinkler system, fob access to guest rooms, and free Wi-Fi. Bathrooms in each of the 13 rooms have been modernized with glass showers, subway tiles and new counters.
The original chandeliers, tin ceilings, beams, stained glass and woodwork have remained throughout the building.
â€œWe had to keep that historic look,â€ Fuller said. â€œWe matched the brick previously used on the exterior. â€¦ We left the bar (in cherry wood) in the same style. Even the door hinges, one of our subcontractors ordered them in Europe because we couldn’t find them (in the US).
The hotel has two banquet rooms, a restaurant and a bar. Fuller said the kitchen has undergone a complete makeover and now has the latest commercial kitchen equipment.
The new resident of Prague, Ashley Gauthier, recently visited the hotel and restaurant and wants to open a restaurant there. Gauthier has never owned her own business, but she has experience as a chef and in the hospitality industry.
Gauthier found out on Facebook that the Caspian Group was renovating the property, and she was excited about the potential it had to boost the city’s appeal, to “start bringing New Prague to life” and help other businesses thrive. .
â€œMy vision is to make it a family hot spot,â€ said Gauthier.
Gauthier said she wanted the restaurant to be a “good family dining experience” during the day and a cool place for an evening over drinks and aperitifs with friends. She is considering Sunday morning yoga on the grass outside with breakfast and mimosas afterward.
â€œI really think that’s what downtown needs,â€ she said. â€œI think whether it’s me or anyone else walking into the building, I think it can be something amazing. “
The rear of the property has a new large balcony and patio, two wrought iron staircases and new brick pavers which have been installed to create a 50 space parking lot.
Caspian Group has the property on the market for sale for $ 1.3 million or a lease of $ 10,000 per month. The lease for the restaurant space only is $ 4,000 per month.
Fuller said the finishing touches, including the furnishings, will be in place on the date of the open house, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on September 15.
â€œIt’s beautiful, really old fashioned,â€ Fuller said. â€œWe are already very interested in it.
For more information, visit caspianrealty.com or call or text 651-353-1266.
Follow Tim Krohn on Twitter @TimKrohn