CA real estate developer and investor secures ownership of Hotel Pawnee

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. KNOP-TV Questions as to what would become of the historic Hotel Pawnee have been looming throughout the community since it closed in 2013.

The North Platte Area Chamber of Commerce and Development Corporation says the Hotel Pawnee is now under the ownership of California real estate developer and investor Jay Mitchell. The announcement was made Thursday during a press conference. (Source: Beatriz Reyna/KNOP-TV)

But the fate of the once grand hotel could soon change.

On Thursday, the North Platte Area Chamber of Commerce and Development Corporation announced it has reached an agreement with Manhattan Beach, California real estate developer and investor Jay Mitchell.

Chamber board member Bill Troshynski also serves as the chambers legal counsel and says the chamber began sending notices to lien holders of the property after it secured the tax certificate from Street Corner Inc. of Lincoln in February. Mitchell, was the main lien holder.

"There were federal and state tax liens and we knew that it was very unlikely that the federal or state government would want to get involved with what we were doing," Troshynski said.

The board spent the past five months negotiating with Mitchell and entered into a memorandum of understanding to purchase the property from the chamber.

"The terms of the agreement are for Mr. Mitchell to purchase the chamber's purchase price of $100,000," said Troshynski "$25,000 will be held in escrow for six months and over the course of that six months, if he is able to obtain a certificate of occupancy for some of the commercial property within that first floor, then he stands to be refunded that entire $25,000."

While it's not quite clear what Mitchell's plans are for the building, chamber president Gary Person is confident they're methodical.

"The first priority is the retail base for the lobby area and then work progressively up," he said.

"He (Mitchell) had a very big role to play and we knew that from the very beginning," Troshynski said. "The fact of the matter is, the chamber wasn't looking to take over ownership, the goal from day one was to find somebody who had the best interest for the building. So we feel we found a very good way that benefits the chamber, the community, and Mr. Mitchell."