Monarch Private Capital Finances Historic Preservation of 137-Year-Old Hotel in Michigan

March 8, 2022
Company Announcements Historic Rehabilitation

The Keefer House Hotel will support tourism, create jobs and increase capital in the Hillsdale community

Monarch Private Capital, a nationally recognized ESG investment firm that develops, finances and manages a diversified portfolio of projects that generate both federal and state tax credits, is pleased to announce the closing of historic rehabilitation tax credit (HTC) equity for the $14.6 million adaptive reuse of the Keefer House Hotel located in Hillsdale, Michigan. The prominent 19th-century landmark will be reimagined as a vibrant, luxury boutique hotel designed to support tourism and economic development in the state.

The Keefer House Hotel was built in 1885 as rail service to the City was expanding and attracting more and more visitors. Hillsdale became a major stop for travelers who relied on the hotel for lodging, many of whom were journeying west in search of a better future. Famous guests like Annie Oakley, “Buffalo Bill” Cody and the Ringling Brothers were among the scores of people carted from the railroad depot to the hotel by horse-drawn carriages. The Keefer House Hotel originally featured 54 guest rooms, a restaurant, two salons and a gambling room. In addition to its role in hospitality, the Keefer frequently served as a hospital and funeral home, offering rooms for doctor visits and visitation services for grieving loved ones. The Keefer House Hotel eventually transitioned to a boarding house in the early 1960s until finally closing its doors in 2002. 

After sitting vacant for 20 years, the historic hotel is being renovated by real estate development and investment firm CL Real Estate into a luxury boutique hotel complete with 34 rooms, a full-service restaurant, community space and leased retail storefronts. Along with much-needed structural repairs, rehabilitation plans for the new hotel include expanding room sizes, installing elevators and providing main entries at both the front and rear of the building. The Keefer’s interior will be updated to create a more elite, upscale look and feel for its guests while accentuating its compelling history through careful preservation of original design elements, including its iconic mosaic floors, tin ceiling and restored millwork. Construction on the Keefer House is underway and on track to be completed by November 2022.

“At CLRED, we focus on bringing big ideas to small towns,” said Nathan Watson, President of CL Real Estate Development. “The Keefer House Hotel fulfills our criteria for achieving financial returns, creative design solutions, and transformative development projects in the communities in which we live and work. Working with Monarch Private Capital has allowed us to complete a significant investment in the redevelopment of Hillsdale’s downtown and the revitalization of a unique historic building.”

The Keefer House project directly addresses Hillsdale’s critical need for more hotel rooms, the lack of which has put its tourism industry at a significant disadvantage. With a new upscale design boasting quality rooms and top-shelf amenities, the redeveloped Keefer House Hotel will help attract more people to Hillsdale, specifically to its historic downtown where they can shop, dine and visit attractions, all supporting economic growth in the City. The additional hotel rooms will allow more travelers to attend local events, including musical and sporting events at Hillsdale College as well as concerts, fairs and festivals throughout the community. The project will create about 50 full-time jobs, further supporting Hillsdale on its path of growth and economic development.

“The historic preservation of the Keefer House Hotel is a crucial first step in Hillsdale’s broader redevelopment plans,” said Rick Chukas, Partner & Managing Director of Historic Tax Credits at Monarch. “By increasing capital, elevating the City’s tourism industry and creating jobs, we can easily see how investing in the past plays an important role in developing the future.”

For more information on Monarch’s programs and services, please contact Rick Chukas by emailing

About Monarch Private Capital

Monarch Private Capital manages ESG funds that positively impact communities by creating clean power, jobs and homes. The funds provide predictable returns through the generation of federal and state tax credits. The Company offers innovative tax credit equity investments for affordable housing, historic rehabilitations, renewable energy, film and other qualified projects. Monarch Private Capital has long-term relationships with institutional and individual investors, developers and lenders that participate in these types of federal and state programs. Headquartered in Atlanta, Monarch has offices and professionals located throughout the U.S.

About CL Real Estate

CL Real Estate is a real estate development and investment firm bringing an unparalleled range of entrepreneurial experience in real estate, hospitality, manufacturing, and agricultural businesses. CL Real Estate focuses on transformative development opportunities that not only deliver financial returns, but which can also act as catalysts for the regeneration of small-town communities throughout the Mid-West.

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