Schumacher wants to transform former hotel into condominiums

Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

John Schumacher, owner of the former Schumacher’s Hotel & Restaurant, was at the November 16 meeting of the New Prague planning and Zoning Commission to present a concept plan to transform the historic building into condominiums.

The commission reviewed the proposal for the building, at 212 West Main St. Schumacher had closed his popular hotel and restaurant in May and has been operating a gift shop out of the building since then.

Geiger Land Development, which is located in an adjacent building that was formerly part of the Schumacher roperty, would not be affected.

Schumacher was enthusiastic about the plan, which would convert the lower and upper level of the building into nine condominiums. There was also the possibility of constructing a detached heated garage building as part of the plan so tenants would have heated garage stalls available.

New Prague City Planner Ken Ondich said there is a slight contradiction concerning the ordinances for the area, which is zoned B-1 Central Business District. City staff believes there is the possibility there should be retail on the first floor, since the building is in the B-1 Central Business District, although the ordinance for multi-family dwelling does not indicate whether the first floor can contain residential or not.

Ondich said that in either case a conditional use permit is required for the condominiums.

Schumacher said it would be difficult to have retail on the first floor of the building. For the building to work financially it would need the majority of it turned into condominiums. His plans call for keeping the architecture of the building the same and using the same main entrance. The condominiums would be up to 1,350 square feet in size. An elevator would be installed and the bar area would be kept mainly the same, with a kitchen area.

The Schumacher building, which is more than 100 years old, was designed by noted architect Cass Gilbert and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The existing rooms make for great condominiums

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