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Arlington Hotel Owner Hires Cromwell Architects to Assess Property

2 min read

The new owner of the Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa in Hot Springs said Wednesday that it has hired Cromwell Architects Engineers Inc. of Little Rock to assess the property in light of safety concerns raised by the city of Hot Springs.

Sky Capital Group LP, led by CEO Al Rajabi, said in a news release that it has hired Cromwell to “address key concerns” in the 478-room hotel’s Central Wing, West Face, Seventh Floor, North End and Fountain Wing.

In a letter issued Sept. 14, the city asked Sky to use a “certified design professional” to examine five areas of the hotel to get an independent opinion and submit a plan of action within 45 days.

In a statement, Rajabi said safety of the hotel’s staff, its guests and the public “is the hotel’s top priority.” 

“We were in conversations with engineers before the letter was received last week and work will begin as soon as tomorrow morning,” he said. “I wanted to work with a highly respected, local firm that was also committed to meeting my request of expediting the process. We are pleased Cromwell has accepted the assignment and they will share a detailed project timeline next week, with a commitment to a full report within four weeks.”

Rajabi said two of five areas designated by the city have already been addressed by the hotel’s previous owners, “but will be certified by Cromwell.” The firm’s study will include drone footage, engineer analysis and 3D scans, he said.

Rajabi’s group purchased the 93-year-old hotel from longtime owner Southwest Hotels Inc. from July for a reported $5 million (although Arkansas Business reported Monday that the real purchase price is about $7 million).

A month later, Hot Springs officials formally notified Rajabi that exterior repairs had to be completed on the hotel by Nov. 8 or it would be closed as a hazard to public safety.

But the city modified its deadline in the Sept. 14 letter, established new deadlines to hire a registered design professional by Oct. 4, complete an evaluation of the areas of concern by Oct. 19 and submit the findings by Oct. 29 to the city’s building official.

Sky Capital said Wednesday that its renovation plans “will include a strategic, phased approach so that the hotel can remain open while work is underway, allowing the nearly 200 Arlington staff to continue to serve guests and anchor the Central Avenue Historic District.”

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