Today, the Sir Walter Hotel is home to 140 apartments for senior citizens. Lucille Keyes has lived at the hotel for 11 years and does not want to move because she feels safe there.
"We do have security guards and everything, and even now we've got it all locked up nobody can get in. We all have watch out for everybody," she said.
The owner has put the building up for sale, sparking talk of turning it back into a hotel. Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker likes the idea.
"Well, the Sir Walter is a historic site. It has a great past and may well have a great future as well," he said.
Kim Nilson of the Triangle Business Journal said having a first-class hotel would complement the downtown area.
"It's two big advantages, location and history. The outside of the building is beautiful to developers and could really be a nice project, but mainly the location," she said.
Under the proposed plan, the senior citizens would be moved into new housing at a downtown university.
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