Vancouver, Washington-based Vesta Hospitality is preparing to buy the Cannery Pier Hotel.
The company recently applied for a waterway lease from the Department of State Lands for the tidelands surrounding the boutique hotel on the Columbia River. Richard Takach, the president and CEO of Vesta, said he sees the Cannery Pier as a well-run hotel and a long-term investment in Astoria.
“We’re not coming in to turn it upside down,” he said. “We’re coming in to improve it.”
Robert “Jake” Jacob, a local developer and community booster who died last year, developed the award-winning hotel at the former Union Fishermen’s Cooperative Packing Co. next to the Astoria Bridge in the 2000s. Terry Rosenau, Jacob’s friend and the largest shareholder in the hotel, was appointed trustee of his estate.
The sale of the hotel depends on the estate resolving state and federal claims over a crumbling dock, part of which collapsed last year on a tank underneath, spilling boiler-heating oil into the river.
The spill resulted in a cleanup overseen by the Coast Guard and estimated at more than $1 million. The Department of State Lands recently filed a claim of at least $1 million against Jacob’s estate over the dock. Thane Tienson, a lawyer for the estate, has said it is in final negotiations to settle both issues.
“That’s another bit of an issue we’re trying to get through,” Takach said. “We’ll be indemnified from any of that. That’s a condition of closing.”
Vesta, which Takach estimates has worked on 35 to 40 hotel projects since he founded the company in 1996, also runs the Best Western Agate Beach in Newport. The company has invested more than $8 million renovating the hotel, Takach said.
The Holiday Inn Express & Suites under the Astoria Bridge recently sold from local owners David and Linda Weber to Idaho-based Braintree Hospitality for nearly $17.5 million, according to county property records.
Farther east of Cannery Pier and the Holiday Inn, developer Mark Hollander is trying to build a Fairfield Inn & Suites, a Marriott brand, at the former Ship Inn restaurant. To the west is a vacant strip of land Hollander leases from the Port of Astoria and has proposed another Marriott-branded hotel.