For years it seemed any attempt to restore the Baker was nothing more than a apparitional fantasy. But Southlake businessman Laird Fairchild of Hunter Chase Capital Partners thinks differently.
Six years ago, he embarked on a quest to revive the once proud Baker and, unlike proposals from other suitors in the recent past, Fairchild has a concrete vision and is now closer than ever to pulling the trigger on the project.
“We’re making good progress right now,” Fairchild told the Index. “Ideally we’d like to be able to start work within the next nine to 12 months.”
Fairchild first noticed the Baker on his way to a hunting trip at the Rhodes Ranch, which he has leased for 12 years. He made it his mission to restore the hotel, not only for the hotel’s sake and its financial potential, but for the entire Mineral Wells community.
“It just calls you. You drive by and it beckons you,” he said. “You can tell that a renovation would have a huge impact on [Mineral Wells]. From my background in specialized real estate, I knew that there were some programs out there for buildings such as that and towns such as Mineral Wells. I think it’s almost like my responsibility, knowing that town as well as I do and knowing some of those programs that were out there that could help benefit that building, that I needed to take a stab at it.”
Fairchild is currently in the process of gathering investors for the project, having made many positive contacts with both individual and group investors so far. He has assembled a virtual dream team of project partners from the Dallas and Austin area who are dedicated to restoring the Baker to its original art-deco glory and making it a viable, money-making business again.