By Sierra Lammi – [email protected]
This summer the Estates house which has traditionally housed colleges students will be transformed into a bed and breakfast. The owners of the new Estates Bed and Breakfast plan to start the renovations when the current SJU students move out at the end of this year. The establishment will have three suites; two on the second floor, one on the first as well as a lower level library and den area. An outdoor balcony will also be added to the upper floor. The new bed and breakfast is expected to open in August.
Cory Ehlert, owner of the current Estates house and a 1995 SJU graduate along with his partner, Joe Prostrollo, a former SJU faculty resident, are handling the renovations. They have been working on this project for almost a year, and were both excited about opening a bed and breakfast in St. Joseph.
“The only motel nearby is on the east side of town, so parents or alumni either have to go to that motel, or somewhere in St. Cloud,” Prostrollo said, “This way people can stay closer to campus.”
The bed and breakfast will be located in downtown St. Joseph on Minnesota Street, close to the town’s restaurants, shops and bars. Due to the proximity to these shops, Prostrollo hopes that the addition of a bed and breakfast will be an economic boost for the town.
“Anyone who stays can enjoy what the town has to offer, and spend some money here,” Prostrollo said.
After a lot of planning and public forums to debate potential issues, Prostrollo and Ehlert have the necessary zoning permits needed and await the final prints for the house before they finish the renovations.
Due to its proximity and association with CSB/SJU, the Estates Bed and Breakfast will honor the history that the house played for the school, as well as offering guests connected with the school a special discount when staying there. The basement of the house will be left similar to what it is now as a tribute to those who have lived and visited the Estates during their time at CSB/SJU. Additionally, the three rooms will be themed; one will be Bennie themed, one will be Johnnie themed and the last theme is still undecided.
“This will not be your typical bed and breakfast, filled with knick knacks; it will be modern and chic,” Prostrollo said.
The owners are not the only ones excited about the bed and breakfast. Some students from CSB/SJU live out of state. When their families come to visit they have to stay farther away from the college. Sophomore Jessie Thwaites is from Colorado, and has run into issues when her family comes to visit.
“I think my family would like to use the new bed and breakfast,” Thwaites said, “In the past, getting to and from campus from wherever they are staying has always been kind of a hassle. It would be nice to have a place that they can stay that is within walking distance from campus.”
While the Estates Bed and Breakfast will not open until August, Prostrollo hopes to get 3D drawings of the house online within a month.
Feature photo: JULIA ECKART • [email protected]