The historic structures, the Mining Exchange Building, the Independence Building and the Freeman Telegraph Building, were built between 1899 and 1902.
The upper floors of all three have been gutted and interior walls are under construction.
Sanders was a member of a previous investment group that had planned to convert the buildings to retail and residential uses.
To help finance the project, Sanders said he plans to ask the city to “allow the Mining Exchange Hotel Complex to keep 75 percent of new sales and lodging tax revenue that will be generated if this becomes a hotel complex, until $4 million is generated to the hotel.”
Sanders said that he expects the hotel and its associated enterprises will produce $12 million in annual taxable revenue.
“At that rate,” he said, “the $4 million would be achieved in less than 15 years, and the city would net $1.5 million in sales tax revenue that it would otherwise not receive.”
Total project costs, Sanders said, will be between $16 million and $18 million.
Sanders’ plans for the hotel, spa, and entertainment complex include a bar/restaurant in the main lobby (located in the old Adams Bank), a high-end restaurant on the main level of the Mining Exchange Building, and a basement comedy club.
A report by HVS hotel consultants says the hotel could directly employ 100 people.
However, it’s not clear whether the project can go forward without city approval of tax-increment financing.
During the past two years, plans for the construction of two hotels in downtown Colorado Springs have failed to materialize.
A group headed by Ray O’Sullivan assembled properties on the southeast corner of Kiowa Street and Nevada Avenue and announced that a 24-story hotel/condominium project would soon be launched.
The project was eventually abandoned, and the properties are in foreclosure.
And Missouri hotelier John Q. Hammons announced plans to build an Embassy Suites near America the Beautiful Park.
While nothing has materialized downtown, Hammons has completed construction of the Renaissance Hotel in northern Colorado Springs, which features 300 rooms and 41 suites.
Les Gruen heads Urban Strategies, a downtown-based consulting firm which provides development and advisory services to owners of real estate.
“A hotel is perhaps a more viable plan than apartments, but it all depends on execution,” he said. “If rates are competitive with the Antlers (Hilton), they could do very well. But if rack rates are two-to-three times what the Antlers charges, then that’s another challenge. It’s an interesting concept.”