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Inn at the Commons slated to become apartment complex

The Inn at the Commons in downtown Medford will be converted into an apartment complex once a deal is inked between the current owners and a Beaverton development group.

Don Anway, chief operating officer for the Neuman Hotel Group that owns the inn, said he expects the sale to be finalized in the next couple of months with Fortify Holdings, which has other residential properties in the state.

Anway said his company wasn’t even thinking about selling until Fortify offered to buy the property, located at 200 North Riverside Ave.

“The property wasn’t for sale,” he said.

Last fall, Fortify approached Doug and Becky Neuman and presented its idea to convert the 118 hotel rooms into 123 studio and one-bedroom apartments.

Once the Neuman’s heard the proposal, they embraced the concept, Anway said

“They thought about it in terms of what is the long-term needs of the community,” he said. “There is a big need to get more people in the downtown.”

Because of significant upgrades to the hotel since the Neuman group bought it in 2013, Fortify will retain the same buildings on the property. Previously it was the Red Lion Inn.

“Structurally the exterior of the guest rooms will not be changed,” Anway said. The units recently had new floors installed.

Inside, Fortify plans to install kitchens in each room, he said. A communal laundry facility will also be available.

The restaurant, Larks, has been closed since the COVID-19 outbreak, and Anway said the new owners hope to get another restaurant in the space.

In the main building facing Riverside, the Inn has various conference rooms that are often used for community gatherings such as Rotary meetings.

Anway said the pandemic’s affect on the hotel business didn’t have anything to do with the sale.

“The hotel has done well last year,” he said. “We were fortunate to gain some of the fire victims. We had an OK summer last year.”

U.S. Cellular Community Park continues to host sports events, which brought in people from outside the area, helping fill up rooms.

The Neuman Hotel Group also owns the Ashland Springs Hotel, Lithia Springs Resort, Ashland Hills Hotel and Suites and the Nunan Estate in Jacksonville.

Fortify has $462.5 million in assets with 17 multi-family properties totaling more than 2,000 apartments.

Ziad Elsahili, president of Fortify Holdings LLC, said the rental rates are still being worked out.

“We haven’t landed on all that yet,” he said.

On some of the larger units, Elsahili said a wall will likely be built to offer a separate bedroom space.

The smaller units will have an open floor plan with the living room, bedroom and kitchen occupying the same space, he said.

Elsahili wouldn’t say whether the apartments would be affordable housing, saying they would be high quality and offer the best value for this community.

Elsahili said his company hasn’t settled on plans for the restaurant and conference rooms.

“Our hope is to partner with other local business and create an exciting, multi-use venue that serves our community in various ways,” he said. “We will shift our focus to this project once we have completed all of our efforts on the apartment renovations.”

He didn’t disclose the sale price.

In general, thanks to the efforts of the Neuman group, the buildings are in pretty good shape and Fortify doesn’t plan on any new structures, he said.

“They did a lot with it,” Elsahili said.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @reporterdm.

The Inn at the Commons in Medford is in the process of being sold with plans to be converted into an apartment complex.{ }Jamie Lusch / Mail Tribune