Business

Remodel to bring back Langley Motel

"Gemkow Construction's Dan Neumeyer checks to see how the doors measure up at what will soon be the new Langley Motel.Matt Johnson / staff photoIt's been a long time since a traveler passing through Langley could just drive up to a motel room, pay for a night's rent, then tumble into bed for a night's sleep without thinking about the next morning's breakfast schedule.In a town offering more than a half dozen unique and comfortable bed and breakfasts and inns, the casual traveler looking for basic accommodations has been out of luck for years. But by Memorial Day, basic will be back at the Langley Motel.This month, Langley architect Todd Soli decided it was time to bring the motel back to downtown Langley. More than 40 years ago, local moteliers built a small, four-room motel at the intersection of Cascade and Camano avenues. Rented out as small apartments for the past couple of decades, the old motel building drew Soli's interest earlier this year when it went up for sale on the real estate market. He purchased the hotel from Keith and Antje Gunnar, along with its adjoining caretakers home and a 500-square-foot studio building, and is now in the process of remodeling it back into its intended purpose.It's probably more appropriately set up as a motel, Soli said this week.The remodel started two weeks ago with the addition of a new facade. Soli, who currently operates his architecture firm out of a building adjacent to the hotel, said the little motel compound will serve three functions. First, it will offer yet another choice for overnight lodgers. Soli said the four rental units, which come complete with small kitchens, sitting rooms, bedrooms, and bathrooms, will rent for a more modest price (around $85) than that charged by many local inns and bed and breakfasts.A lot of people don't necessarily want to go to a bed and breakfast, he said.Second, the caretaker's house will be home to Soli's family. And, the nearby studio will give the property a third function -- Soli intends to move his architecture office into that space.Overall, the remodel of the complex will not be that extensive. Soli said his contractor, Gemkow Construction, has primarily been charged with doing a face lift on the building. That face lift includes the new facade, the addition of some corrugated steel accents, wood floors in the rooms and minor interior work. Soli said he and his son will do much of the finish work, including the painting and decorating. The overall theme of the motel will be a 1950s/60s motif, complete with period furniture. The end result, Soli said, will be a low-key, cozy motel.Soli said he plans to move his architecture office to its new location within the next two weeks. The hotel will be open in time for the summer tourism season. "

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