ALPENA, MI – Construction on a new office building in downtown Alpena has begun. This is the first new office structure to go up in the downtown area in many years.
Plans call for a 5,000 square foot, single story office building to be built at 234 W. Chisholm Street, which is the site of the former Kentucky Motor Lodge and across the street from the Alpena Chamber of Commerce. Those involved with the project wanted to start construction by the end of April and complete the building before November 30th, 2016.
For those old enough to remember, the last vestiges of the old downtown hotel were wiped away on July 15th, 2008 when the Kentucky Motor Lodge on Chisholm Street was leveled.
The first hotel at that location was built by Julius Potvin and it was known as the Alpena House when it was first built in 1865. That structure burned in 1871, but Potvin quickly rebuilt it, though on a much larger scale.
As The Alpena House became more and more popular, he expanded several times, eventually changing the name of his business to The Alpena Hotel. The property went through other owners, changes, foreclosure and renovations. At its peak it was an 86-room hotel.
In 1971 the hotel was sold to Kentucky Inns, Inc., of Alpena, with Ray Jakubiak as president. The group, made up of seven stockholders, planned an extensive renovation of the interior to modernize the rooms. They also changed the name to Kentucky Motor Lodge.
By 1980 the upper floors of the old hotel were no longer used. It was only the restaurant that kept the building open. The Jakubiak family remained in control of the property until it was torn down in 2008. DeVere Construction was in charge of the demolition of the mostly wooden structure.