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Reading hotel to close, convert to apartments

Wendy Solomon//October 24, 2016

Reading hotel to close, convert to apartments

Wendy Solomon//October 24, 2016

The historic Abraham Lincoln hotel in downtown Reading will close Nov. 1 and be converted into apartments.

Owner and developer Alan W. Shuman plans to spend about $6 million to convert the 104 hotel rooms and 50 corporate extended-stay suites into 48 one- and two-bedroom apartments.

The apartments will rent for the market rate of $725 and $850 a month.

Opened in 1930, the 18-story Abraham Lincoln, known by locals as the Abe, was named in a public contest. Shuman plans to rename it the Lincoln Towers.

“I’m hoping as the tallest nonpublic and tallest residential tower in Berks County, that with those kind of views we can get some quality tenants in,” Shuman said.

“Where else are you going to get an apartment in a high rise with a great view and a restaurant with a full bar on the first floor?”

The restaurant and ballroom on the second and third floors will remain open, and the first floor will remain commercial. The hotel’s six-story parking garage was recently renovated, and light-emitting diode lighting was installed.

About 35 of the hotel’s 80 employees will be laid off, Shuman said. About 40 food and beverage employees will continue to work at the hotel restaurant operated by Alan Rutter, owner of Chef Alan’s in West Reading, and the remainder will work on the hotel side.

The weddings and special functions that were booked through the end of January will continue, Shuman said.

Shuman, who bought the hotel for about $5.5 million in 2014, said the hotel has been losing money since the 209-room DoubleTree by Hilton Reading Hotel opened nearby in 2015. Shuman said he expects the Abraham Lincoln to lose about $700,000 to $800,000 in revenue this year.

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