The Bellevue Inn recently received a major facelift as the former hotel and bar was converted into a multi-residential property.
Mike McGee, a local tradesmen and real estate investor, purchased the property in June 2021 after several months of legal negotiations.
The inn was foreclosed near the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, which meant Mike had to go through the courts and work with lawyers for about six months to purchase the property.
Once Mike worked with the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass and saw to the rezoning of the property from a commercial space to a multi-residential one, he got to work on seeing the necessary renovations through.
“It was largely gutted and in disrepair quite badly,” he says. “We just had to build it from the exterior walls inward to redo things.”
The newly revamped Bellevue Inn is made up of 11 long-term rental units, including four studio apartments, one three-bedroom apartment, five two-bedroom apartments and a one-bedroom apartment.
The building received new vinyl plank flooring, drywall, LED lighting, new windows, new doors, a new fire escape deck on the back side of the building and new exterior fronts. The original Bellevue Inn sign was restored and many other changes for the better were made.
“It was a lot of work. Services and all that were revamped, we had structural engineers get involved and many different contractors and tradesmen. We made sure to move ahead and do this right and, in the process, save an old building,” Mike says.
The sheer amount of labour needed to revive the once dilapidated building was staggering. The building had been the victim of numerous fires over the course of its existence. According to Mike, there was evidence of at least three fires at the Bellevue Inn where damage was still visible.
Having sat vacant for several years, the building struggled against a lack of maintenance and vandalism that often follows abandoned structures.
With excessive wear and tear on the building prior to renovations, many interested contractors who considered taking on the building felt it was a tear-downer, that it made no sense to attempt any sort of restoration work.
The historic building has been a staple of Bellevue’s 213th Street for over 100 years, so there was zero intent to shift away from the building’s European alpine chalet aesthetic.
Constructed in 1922, the building was originally intended to replace two previous Bellevue hotels that had been destroyed by fires in 1917. Over the years, ownership passed through the hands of numerous individuals and businesses before most recently falling into the capable hands of Mike McGee.
“My attitude is if the building has been standing there for 100 years already, as long as it’s maintained and looked after, it’s going to outlast me,” Mike says.
The added benefit to taking on such a major undertaking was that many local tradesmen and contractors found work with Mike, putting together the new and improved Bellevue Inn.
One of his primary go-to guys as a contractor was Jeremy Haidle and Haidle Construction.
Jeremy often consulted Mike and acted as a right-hand man during the renovations, and has the utmost confidence in the work that he, Mike and everyone else involved put in to revive the inn.
“Mike was great to work with. He had a plan and knew where to spend and where not to spend money,” Jeremy says.
“I think it’s going to be a very functional, long-lasting building, based on the knowledge and efforts that went into it.”
With the building 98 per cent complete, according to Mike, and residents already settling into a few of the units, things are only looking up for the historic building.
For those interested in learning more about the newly revamped Bellevue Inn multi-residential property, you can contact Mike by email.