(Seguin) -- The keys have officially been turned over to the new owners of the historic Aumont Hotel. The Seguin Main Street Program is celebrating the latest private investment in downtown Seguin.
Main Street Director Kyle Kramm says purchasing the property from former Owner Thomas Giles are Gregg and Amy Woodall of New Braunfels.
Kramm says the couple had visited several properties while on tour of the city. He says the Woodall's fell in love with the Aumont and saw its potential to be a focal point for the community. More importantly, he says they realized their ability to preserve its historical significance.
"They have experience in doing renovations of historic homes. A lot of times this is what they do. They fix them up and then they start renting them or they turn around and sell them, but their plans for the Aumont are to basically fix them up, do some major renovations to the apartments and then keep the retail space on the first floor and office space on the fourth floor, just kind of spruce everything up and lease them up -- really make the building a focal point for downtown Seguin," said Kramm.
Kramm says the couple essentially wanted to "get in" on the possible investments in Seguin before the community exploded with growth.
According to Kramm, Giles purchased the building in 2003 and rehabbed the building into its current mix use of apartments, office, and retail. The building has remained vacant for approximately the last six months.
Kramm says the almost 20,000 square foot building is celebrating its centennial this year and "its purchase is in line with other recent investments being made in downtown."
"Kind of interesting little quick bits about Seguin's history is that the Park Plaza Hotel actually started construction first and then the Aumont started right after that. So it was a race to get opened first. The Aumont opened in December of 1916 and then the Park Plaza would open about two, three months later in 1917. It's been fun to see all these changes happen and right around each of the building's centennials," said Kramm.
Kramm says the purchase of the hotel is the most recent in a string of large private and public investments being made in downtown Seguin.
"It's important to show that there's still growth happening in our downtown. There's still developments that are going to be occurring and there's excitement in our downtown. It kind of just starts to build on one thing after another. The Park Plaza Hotel really started kicking things off for downtown Seguin with its grand opening. Then other businesses have just kind of kept coming and coming. So it's kind of just really fun to see this all just kind of build on top of each other. I think the Aumont -- the sale of that -- it's just the next step in downtown Seguin's development," said Kramm.
In 2015, almost $5 million was invested in downtown Seguin. Kramm says 2016 is on pace to outset that number. The Aumont Hotel is located at 301 N. Austin St.