The estate of the late Robert “Jake” Jacob has sold the Atomic Motel in Astoria to Mark Frank for $2.5 million.
Frank and his stepmother, Barbara, formerly in the bowling alley business, formed Frank Hospitality in 2014 and purchased the Coastal Inn in Long Beach, Washington, where he and his family live.
The company now has 11 properties, including motels in Seaside, Lincoln City and Westport, Washington. The company targets smaller, independent lodgings like the 29-room Atomic Motel, Frank said.
“Astoria has always been a target for us,” he said. “We’re only a half hour away, and we know the market really well. And Astoria is just a strong, strong market for hotels.”
Jacob, the developer of the Cannery Pier Hotel, died last year. He owned the Atomic, formerly the Lamplighter Motel, for more than 20 years. After trying to sell the motel in 2016, he reached out to a friend who recommended rebranding the property into its current retro Las Vegas feel.
Frank plans to keep that same feel while making improvements to the rooms, he said.
“They’ve done a really great job turning this business around,” he said. “There’s not a lot I have to do to make it a lot better. I think we’re going to keep updating the concept with the retro, by bringing in some more artwork and things like that.”
The sale comes as Jacob’s estate prepares to sell the Cannery Pier to Vancouver, Washington-based Vesta Hospitality. The Holiday Inn Express & Suites a few blocks west recently sold from local owners David and Linda Weber to Idaho-based Braintree Hospitality for more than $17 million.
Several other hotels have been proposed in Astoria, including two Marriott-branded properties by developer Mark Hollander and a boutique lodging next to Buoy Beer Co. by the developers behind Adrift Hotel in Long Beach.