COTTLEVILLE, Mo. – Drive or walk through the heart of historic downtown Cottleville, and you can’t miss the old building under construction at 5521 Oak Street.

“It’s a partnership. So it’s my mom, dad, and my husband and me,” Chelsey Sweeten said.

It was originally built in 1862 as a general store. It’s been a post office and a hotel. Eventually the building was restored and turned into an antique shop.

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“It was a lot of things over the years, so we’re really excited to kind of bring it back and make it a hotel again,” Sweeten said. “We’re gonna have three hotel rooms on the second floor, and in the attic space, we’re actually converting that to a suite.”

The Oak Street Renovation group hired Expert House Movers to lift the building. Cottleville-based Eagle Construction and Design is working on the historic preservation. With the building lifted, they were able to pour a new foundation and build a full basement. The structure will be lowered this week, weather permitting.

“I really think people in town appreciate the fact that we’re not just tearing it down,” Sweeten said. “It still has really good bones. It’s obviously a lot of work to take this approach, but it has a great story behind it.”

The family says they have invested around $1 million to make this project happen. When it’s complete, there will be a craft cocktail lounge on the main level and a speakeasy in the basement.

“That’s gonna come a little bit later. We’re going to focus on the hotel and the craft lounge first.”

Chelsey Sweeten and her family purchased the property from the previous owner in January 2022, and the renovations started in April. The goal is to open the Oak Street Inn & Lounge sometime this summer.

“We have a lot of homes coming to Cottleville here, so we need a lot more businesses and places to eat and things to do, so we’re just trying to be a part of that growth,” Sweeten said.