Seaway Hotel On Track For Completing Repairs

By KBJR News 1

April 2, 2013 Updated Apr 2, 2013 at 7:49 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Since the City of Duluth lifted the condemnation order on the Seaway Hotel, improvements have been progressing quickly.

The roof, that leaked into many of the rooms below, has been repaired and mold issues have been resolved.

City inspectors have been making frequent visits to the property on a monthly basis.

A hotel manager says phase one has been completed, which includes repairs to the roof.

Also, some residents say they feel safer with the addition of around the clock building surveillance.

According to the manager we spoke with, by this time next year, all repairs are scheduled to be completed.

For nearly one year, it has been a turbulent ride for those living at the Seaway Hotel.

After the June flood, the property was severely impacted by water damage.

The City of Duluth condemned the structure shortly after the flood saying it was unfit for human habitation.

Then in September city officials granted a reprieve for residents, facing eviction requiring hotel officials to immediately begin repairs that would allow the facility to stay open.

"We weren't going to go down without a fight," Eddie James Smith, a Seaway Hotel resident, said.

Smith is the Chairman of the recently reestablished Seaway Tenants Association.

The 13 year resident says the roof repairs have been completed above the third floor and interior mold problems have been eliminated.

Phase two of the reconstruction is already underway including renovating each of the hotel units.

20 of the 80 rooms have been upgraded so far.

"As we get other rooms fixed up, well when somebody moves out, people get moved around to redo the rooms," Smith said.

In the last month, security has been enhanced with 24 hour surveillance and hourly walk–throughs.

The hotel manager says people are more safe now than ever before.

"We conduct a background investigation," Clint Marsh, a Seaway Hotel manager, said.

"They can watch people being let in at night, you know, better security system," Smith said.

Marsh says the list of improvements so far is quite lengthy.

"Flooring, drywall, ceilings, lighting fixtures, wiring," Marsh said.

The majority of funding came from The Greater Minnesota Housing Fund.

Seaway Hotel owner, Rick Caya, says they received $100K to fix the roof and another $200K for the remaining work.

Justin Reis, NNC.