BY CARISSA SITKI
The Waldorf Motel has been in St. Elmo, Illinois since 1953, but now the building is in the process of becoming the St. Elmo Apartments.
Around three months ago, Brian and Amanda Bannister, owners of Bannister Properties, purchased the motel from the Patels and have begun renovations to transform it into an apartment building.
The Waldorf Motel consisted of 17 motel rooms, a suite, and a restaurant. With the exception of the restaurant, the motel was functioning up until the time it was purchased by the Bannisters.
According to Brian Bannister, the new apartment building will consist of 12 units, with 10 being one-bedroom apartments, two will have two bedrooms, and the suite (which is currently renovated and rented out) has three bedrooms. The Bannisters are in the process of doing demo-work that involves the removal of walls in order to add bedrooms to the units.
Additionally, the new owners are installing cabinets and appliance hookups so that each unit will have a kitchen, living area, bathroom, and bedroom/s.
The Bannisters reside in Altamont, but Amanda is a Brownstown native and Brian is from Effingham. The local landlords have rented out apartments and houses in Vandalia, Effingham, Altamont, and Brownstown, but were yet to have anything available in St. Elmo. “There really isn’t a lot, in terms of apartments, in St. Elmo,” said Brian, “With all of the Conagra employees and other businesses, the city could definitely benefit from some more apartments.”
The Bannisters are renovating the motel room-by-room and renting out the units as they go. As of now, there has been one unit rented, aside from the suite. The fate of the former-restaurant that resides in the complex is still up in the air,
however. According to Brian, there has been some interest in having it function as a restaurant, but the Bannisters are also considering converting it into an additional two-bedroom apartment.
The Bannisters are confident in their new endeavor, Brian said, “We’re excited to see how this goes, we think it will be great for the community.”
Brian estimates that the whole project will be complete in around 7, or 8 months. More information about Bannister Properties can be found at bannisterproperties.net.