An exterior view of 2525 Grand Ave. that developer Jake Christensen plans to restore to its original use as a hotel. Architectural rendering by Slingshot Architecture

Plans to renovate a former hotel-turned-apartment back into a hotel got a green light from the Urban Design Review Board this week.

"I’m really excited about this," said Naura Heiman-Godar, a board member. "I’m ready to rent a room."

Des Moines developer Jake Christensen plans to return the three-story building at 2525 Grand Ave. to its original use as a hotel. The building originally was a Howard Johnson Motor Lodge that opened in 1962.

The $18.3 million project includes renovating the building so that it has the look and feel of a 1950s-60s hotel. The color scheme of the structure includes bright colors popular during that era. Other features will be added to provide the retro feel, he said.

The Des Moines City Council in September approved preliminary terms of an urban renewal development agreement that includes tax increment financing over 14 years capped at $2.5 million, or at 13.7% of the $18.3 million in development costs. It is estimated the project will generate about $3.6 million in hotel-motel tax revenue during the 14 years. In addition, it’s estimated more than $15 million in tax revenue will be generated from the project over 30 years.

Christensen is also seeking federal and state historic tax credits and is working with the State Historic Preservation Office on design requirements, according to city documents.

The board approved the project's preliminary designs. The project still must receive other approvals before construction can begin.