One of Downtown Phoenix’s most prominent landmarks, the Westward Ho Apartments, has re-opened after its owners, Rhode Island-based Cathedral Development Group, completed $17 million worth of renovations.
The renovations were focused on enhancing energy and water efficiency features, new cabinets, floors, fixtures and more at the landmark, which is located at Central avenue and Fillmore street.
Video by David McGlothlin, AZ BIG Media
A 15,000-square-foot commercial space was renovated at the hotel, which is now occupied by ASU’s College of Public Service and Community Solutions. ASU students provide health services for the residents at the Westward Ho under ASU faculty supervision at the facility.
The Westward Ho originally opened up as a luxury hotel in 1928 and was converted by Cathedral into an affordable apartment community for the elderly and the disabled in 1978.
“Through the recent renovations at the property, our partnership with ASU and the hard work and dedication of all involved, we’ve managed to rejuvenate an important piece of Arizona’s history in a way that will continue to benefit the local community for years to come,” said Jonathan Bentz, vice president of acquisition and development for Cathedral Development Group.
Cathedral states the project happened because of a $44 million refinancing venture that the firm launched.
Throughout the years, the Westward Ho hosted President John F. Kennedy, President Ronald Reagan, and entertainment stars like Clark Gable and Shirley Temple.
The apartments at the historic landmark house about 289 residents. New windows, lightning protection and restoration of the courtyard fountain were part of the Westward Ho’s renovations.
The Westward Ho was last revitalized in 1999 by Cathedral. Those renovations converted the Westward Ho’s Thunderbird Room into apartments for residents.
A reopening ceremony was hosted to celebrate the recent renovations at the Westward Ho. Phoenix Councilman Michael Nowakowski was glad to see continued investment into the Westward Ho as the Downtown Phoenix area grows.
“All of these beautiful buildings we’re building now, these apartments, condos and all that, it’s great. But what’s beautiful, what’s even more greater, is preserving these historic buildings,” Nowakowski said.