A group of officials of the Church of the Nazarene announced plans yesterday to buy The Roosevelt for Senior Citizens hotel for $4.3 million and promptly assured its 367 residents that the facility would continue as a residence for the elderly.
The purchase by the new group, Ministries Inc., apparently ends the fears of some residents of the eight-story building at 2101 16th St. NW that the hotel's use would be changed when it was sold.
The Roosevelt's owner, Frances Pew Hayes, a member of the family that founded the Sun Oil Co., included a clause in the sales contract requiring that the Roosevelt still be used as a home for older people, a third of whom have their rents subsidized by the federal government.
In a letter to the residents, Hayes said that she and the Rev. Samuel N. Smith, president of Ministries, Inc., "hope you will remain a resident of the Roosevelt for a long time to come.
Hayes also told the residents that under city law they have a right to buy the facility if they wish. But it is unlikely they will move to do so since the hotel will be kept as a home for the elderly.
One resident, retired journalist Jerome shoenfeld, 77, said, "This ought to end the anxiety. They sold it to some do-gooders, so that's great."
Smith said Ministries Inc. is primarily made up Nazarene church officials, but has had the support of 10 other denominations in its efforts to buy the Roosevelt. He said the group has six months to complete financing arrangements for the purchase.
He said an existing $2.8 million loan would be assumed and that the remaining $1.5 million must be financed.
Smith said the ministers plan to upgrade the Roosevelt 61-year-old physical plant programs offered residents.
The Roosevelt's tenants now pay from $370 to $475 a month in rent, charges that include three meals a day, room-cleaning, a weekly linen change and social activities, according to Roosevelt administrator Albert Laniado.