GREEN COVE SPRINGS -- The Qui-Si-Sana Hotel, the dilapidated but historical downtown inn purchased by the city last year, will soon get a detailed once-over that could help decide its fate.
The City Council has asked its architectural consultant -- VOA Associates Inc. -- to perform a structural evaluation of the hotel, which was built in 1907.
The $14,170 job will include a review of the hotel's architectural history, a site visit, structural engineering analysis, rehabilitation recommendations and sketches, and a cost estimate.
The city bought the Qui-Si-Sana, a relic from Green Cove Springs' turn-of-the century resort era, in the hope of forming public-private partnerships to restore it as a hotel or develop it for commercial/retail/office space. The city has received about $300,000 in state grants to get the project under way.
But first the city has to find out how much of the building must be restored and how much of it only requires renovation. Once VOA's work is done, the council will form a committee to make recommendations to the council on how to best use the hotel.
The council approved VOA's Qui-Si-Sana assignment at its Tuesday meeting.
An investment group currently interested in developing the property into a small hotel has proposed to gut the hotel's interior and restore its exterior shell, transforming its two bottom floors into an inn with about 60 rooms.
But members of the Clay County Historical Society have told council members that the hotel should be fully restored, which they believe will prompt other restoration projects in the downtown area and attract economic development. …