MAQUOKETA, Iowa — The new owner of the historic Decker Hotel and Restaurant on Main Street in Maquoketa said he plans to keep the Victorian theme and looks forward to getting started.
Chris Quilty of Classic Development Corp. of the Quad-Cities bought the hotel Monday from Dupaco Community Credit Union of Dubuque. The price was not disclosed.
The Maquoketa City Council was approached by Dupaco just before Christmas, saying it was foreclosing on the current owner, Matt Millin, and asked if the city wanted to buy the hotel. After discussions with its insurance agent, the city declined, saying the cost to bring the facility up to Americans with Disabilities Act requirements would be too high.
Dupaco had asked $225,000 for the facility. The city offered $175,000, and Dupaco officials countered with $205,000 before the council declined to purchase it.
The Decker Hotel is on the National Register of Historic Places. City officials said they didn’t want to see it torn down.
Maquoketa City Council members offered a $50,000 forgivable loan to Quilty to repair the elevator. The terms of the loan are that the elevator must be fixed within five years. Quilty is to present invoices for the repairs, and the city will reimburse him.
“I don’t see how anyone could want to tear down this place,” Quilty said Tuesday. “I like the Victorian look. I want to keep it exactly the way it is.”
Council member Troy Thede formerly owned the Decker. He said he was told three years ago that it would cost $37,000 to repair the elevator. Thede said no other major repairs are needed. The front steps need to be repaired, but Thede said grants available for historical buildings.
Quilty said his long-time Maquoketa friend Mark Edwards told him about the Decker being for sale. Quilty came to Maquoketa on Sunday afternoon and toured the facility with council member Josh Collister, who owns Sweet Things Bakery, also on Main Street.
“I signed the contract (with Dupaco) on Monday and gave them a check for the full amount,” Quilty said.
Quilty will take possession of the building Feb. 4. The repair of the elevator is first on the agenda, along with opening the restaurant.
The business is currently open under Millin’s management.
“I plan to have an open house so people can see all three floors. I just won’t have it torn down. I think it will be nice, and the community will be happy,” he said.
Quilty has been in business for several years in the Quad-Cities, but the hotel and restaurant business will be new to him. He has built subdivisions and owned an industrial paint business.
Council members said they were glad the Decker was sold.
“It’s the cornerstone of downtown,” Thede said.