Broadway Plaza: From no-tell motel for drug addicts to new office suites

The Broadway Plaza Motel opened at 11th and Broadway back in 1958, when motor hotels were the next big thing. More than fifty years after that iconic sign went up, though, the upscale travelers who used to stay here had been replaced by drug addicts and prostitutes who frequented the no-tell motel. But developer Jon C. Cook had no reservations about giving the space a new lease on life. Cook, who's built a real estate empire on South Broadway, bought the building in 2009 and, after a major remodeling, is reopening it as office suites.

"We knew in time this would be a nice asset in the Golden Triangle," Cook says. "The Golden Triangle has an extreme lack of small nice office spaces."

When the market looked right, Cook started the process of restoring the building to its original look. "When a great, iconic landmark is there, it will not be my intention to change it," he explains. "Everything is back to the original. This is what this place looked like: same staircases, same floors, same everything. I did nothing except make it better."

Cook has restored other old buildings further south on Broadway, as well as putting up new ones on former used-car lots.

The restoration of the Broadway Plaza started with deep-cleaning, followed by painting and staining. Now, after seven months, Cook is ready to start leasing space. The four-story building has 27 office spaces and four retail spaces between 525 and 1,402 square free; rents start at $1,000 per month for the smallest unit. There's a roof-top deck for all tenants.

While the building's use has changed, the Broadway Plaza sign will remain -- although the "motel" letters might be reconfigured to "Metlo" or some other combination. "We don't want to let it go," Cook says. "Hopefully, a hundred years from now, that sign will still be at that corner."

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