HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – A historic Hot Springs building that has been essentially vacant for decades will get a fresh start as a hotel.

The Medical Arts Building once stood as the tallest building in Arkansas from 1930-60. At its peak, dozens of physicians and businesses were located in the building. For the last several decades, it has been vacant minus a few transient businesses that moved into the bottom floor.

“The building has significant history here in Hot Springs and to the state of Arkansas,” said Parth Patel, the President of Development for VIPA Hospitality.

Patel and his development group purchased the building last year for $1,750,000 and intend to turn it into a hotel. 

“We’re going to have give or take 100 rooms,” Patel said. “It’ll have a rooftop bar, a lobby bar, meeting space. It will be a real trendy hotel.”

Crews are working this week to get the structure ready. Patel said it should be 2024 before it opens.

“It’s been vandalized, so we have to redo everything, redo elevators, redo all mechanical [equipment],” Patel said.

Patel said it’s important to save buildings like this before they turn to ruin. “They’re unique architectures built in a historical time period of our country,” Patel said.