MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- The historic Tioga Hotel in Merced is getting a facelift. Crews were boarding windows and working on the site on Monday.
"The project has been in the making for a long time," Merced city Mayor Mike Murphy said. He added the hotel has, "Played host to so many people. Presidents to movie stars from John Kennedy to John Wayne."
Murphy said the plan is to create a mix of more than 70 apartments and studios. The lower floor will be open to commercial spaces.
"There's a real market for residential. The demand is only being increased with more students coming to UC Merced as part of the 2020 expansion so these rooms will fill up quickly."
The hotel opened in 1928. It was purchased in April.
Along with the Tioga, the El Capitan hotel and the Mainzer Theatre in downtown are also in the process of a remodel. City council members hope the renovations will attract more business owners.
"To have the crown jewel of Merced being restored allows us to have living history brought back to daily life," said Mayor Pro Tem Jill McLeod. "To have residential people here and have a choice to live downtown and work creates a whole new vibrancy to our downtown corridor."
Murphy said since the building is a registered historic building, the faade of the building won't change drastically, however, the rooms inside will be completely remodeled with new kitchens, light fixtures, and flooring.
According to PCG Commercial Incorporated's website, the building was purchased for more than $4 million.
The renovation is expected to be finished by Fall 2019.
Renovations begin on one of the oldest buildings in Merced
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