McMenamin’s effort to crowd fund its Anderson School renovation in Bothell is successful

The successful effort of an Oregon-based hospitality and entertainment company to raise funds for the conversion of a former school in Bothell to a hotel and entertainment venue could be a harbinger of good things for a landmark Tacoma building.

McMenamin’s announced Monday it had raised some $6.3 million in funds from 23 private investors to help fund the $25 million cost of converting the vacant Anderson School in downtown Bothell into a hotel. The renovated building will include a movie theater, several pubs and bars, a spa, a swimming pool and 73 hotel rooms.

The Oregon-based hotel company will finance the remainder of the renovation cost with two loans.

The McMenamin’s funding plan is among the largest such private fund-raising efforts in the Pacific Northwest under Section 506C of the federal securities regulations governing private investment offerings. The average investment in the Anderson School project by private investors was $274,000. That rule allowed greater flexibility in seeking private funding for such projects as McMenamin’s Bothell hotel.

A McMenamin’s spokewoman said the Tacoma Elks project will be the next new project undertaken by McMenamin’s after the Anderson School is completed. Construction on the school is expected to start in September with the hotel opening in November 2015.

McMenamin’s now owns the boarded up former Elks Temple at 902 Broadway. Several plans have been proposed by other developers over the last three decades to reuse the historic building, but none has come to fruition. The building contains multiple large ballrooms, a pool, racquetball courts and meeting rooms. The interior has been damaged over the years by vandals and squatters who stole decorative fixtures and copper wire from the building.

Financing the adaptive reuse of the temple has historically been an issue. The new private funding plan used in Bothell adds another possible funding source for the upgrading of the structure.

McMenamin’s owns and operates 52 pubs, restaurants and historic hotels in the Pacific Northwest many of them operating in buildings not originally built for that purpose.