The former owner of the Earle Hotel, who sold the building to the city more than a decade ago, said she had planned to buy it back before it was completely gutted by fire.
“I saw the flames,” Francesca Segarini told FOX40. “Part of my life was going up in smoke.”
Now, the city plans to demolish the building once investigators determine the cause of the fire. Stockton officials are also weighing their options for three other blighted, but historic, downtown hotels.
Simply demolishing them could cost up to $700,000.
“It’s kind of case by case whether or not we move forward with demolition,” Stockton Economic Development Director Micah Runner said. Part of that process is determining the building’s historical value.
The city is hoping to attract developers to spruce up three downtown hotels, something Segarini hoped to do with the building she and her husband used to own.
Segarini says apartments would have gone on the top floor and retail space would have occupied the ground floor, including a restaurant.
“I always dreamed of going back, because I had plans,” she said.