Former Red Lion Hotel in the Lloyd District to reopen as boutique Hotel Eastlund
Thursday, May 28, 2015 at 5:00 AM
By Elliot Njus
When Seattle-based Grand Ventures Hotel bought the Lloyd District’s Red Lion Hotel in 2013 and launched a major renovation, it was one of a few scattered examples of private reinvestment in the eastside district.
As the hotel reopens Monday as the Hotel Eastlund, fresh from a $15 million renovation that took the building down to its bones, it’s in a district that could have thousands of new residents within a few years.
Meanwhile, the Lloyd Center mall is in the middle of its own $50 million renovation. And Metro is well on its way to landing a large hotel near its Oregon Convention Center, which the regional government says will help drum up new business both for the convention center and nearby hotels.
“When we started, we were not really aware of the breadth of development in the district,” said restaurateur David Machado, who will operate two eateries in the new hotel. “What’s happened around us was very surprising.”
Grand Ventures, hoping to duplicate its success in turning around the downtown Hotel Modera, bought the Lloyd District hotel in 2013 for $12.5 million. As at the downtown hotel, previously a Days Inn, they aimed to create a destination not only for travelers, but also nearby workers and residents.
The Lloyd District hotel opened as the Cosmopolitan Motor Hotel which, as its name suggests, was built for guests coming and going by car. For people walking by or traveling by transit, it might as well have been a fortress.
So a design by Holst Architecture of Portland aimed to turn the hotel inside-out, adding pedestrian access from all sides. Much of the lobby is space once occupied by an auto ramp. Space formerly used for guests-only breakfast will now be Citizen Baker, Machado’s bakery-cafe and wine bar that will be open to the public that will also cater meetings at the hotel and provide room service.
The hotel’s upper floors were largely gutted as well, necessitated by the presence of mold, asbestos and lead paint, Grand Ventures partner Alan Battersby said.
The top floor will house a 5,300-square-foot ballroom, small meeting rooms and Machado’s Altabira City Tavern, which replaces the Red Lion’s Windows Skyroom and Lounge. That restaurant and Citizen Baker are expected to open later in June.
— Elliot Njus
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