Towering 15 stories above downtown Tyler, the former Carlton Hotel on the corner of Broadway Ave. and Elm St. has a potential new owner with big plans for the aging building.

According to a press release from Smith County, a Dallas based developer put a contract on the property for $537,500 for the purchase of the building constructed in 1954, with plans to have the property closed on by mid January 2018. The sale was approved by the Smith County Commissioners court on Tuesday.

According the the Tyler Paper, developer Tai Ly plans on turning the former 200 unit hotel into approximately 80 to 100 apartment units, with some being loft style and traditional apartments. Ly would also like to keep the pool and cabana area on top of the building's attached parking garage. There is a timetable that comes along with the purchase of this property. The developer must make improvements to the property within 36 months and comply with some requirements that were set forth by the county.

KLTV 7 reports the developer has up to 90 days to begin to apply for permits and that construction must begin on the project within nine months of the closing on the property along with at least a million dollars being spent on improving the property.

Ly says once closed, the first thing they plan on doing is giving this building a good cleaning on the outside with a good power washing and replacing some of the missing windows.

The Carlton Hotel has quite the history too. Opening in 1954, it was a 200-room hotel that was once one of Tyler's most luxurious hotels with a rooftop pool, banquet room and coffee shop. The hotel way vibrant for more than a decade before closing in 1971. The building sat empty until 1977 when Smith County bought the property. It served as office space for the Smith County Sheriff's Office and other law enforcement agencies before being vacated in 2013. Since then it's been sitting there empty.

This project will hopefully bring even more revitalization to downtown Tyler.

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