Sun, Sept. 15

Cuban Queen project on slow track in Jerome

Bricks from the original Cuban Queen have been salvaged to use in the reconstruction of the former Jerome bordello. VVN/Vyto Starinskas

Bricks from the original Cuban Queen have been salvaged to use in the reconstruction of the former Jerome bordello. VVN/Vyto Starinskas

The Town of Jerome is discussing the possible future development of the former Cuban Queen property, but behind closed doors under the town attorney’s advice.

Jerome Zoning Administrator Charlotte Page Tuesday said she expected there will be more information soon concerning the future of the property.

The preliminary site plan review was originally scheduled for May 1 for the new Cuban Queen owners, but the agenda item was tabled at a Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. This was after commission members discussed the request with the town attorney and council members, according to minutes of the meeting. 

The Jerome Planning and Zoning Commission then met with the Jerome Town Council in executive session to discuss the possible development of the former Cuban Queen last Thursday, according to town minutes.

Commission and council members returned to open session after almost two hours without taking a formal vote on the Cuban Queen request.

Page said the executive session topic and specific discussion remains confidential

“We are waiting for some advice from the attorney,” Page explained when asked what the next step was concerning the conditional use permit request.

“Development of rooming/lodging spaces in the C-1 Zone requires conditional use permit. With preliminary review of the planned building, applicant has also submitted for conditional use permit for resident use in the C-Zone,” Page explained in her report to the zoning commission before the matter was tabled.

The new owner of the property, Windy Jones, said she and husband, Josh Lindner, are proposing to rebuild the one-time bordello in the “style” of the original Cuban Queen, even using scraped bricks from the Cuban Queen that collapsed in 2017. Jones said she plans to call it the Cuban Queen Bordello Rooming House if she gains town approval for construction.

The proposed new rooming house will be three stories high and somewhat larger than the original Cuban Queen built a century ago, she said

One more bedroom will be on the middle floor that will have access off Queen Street. This floor will have an art studio and small retail space that will be curated to tell the history of the Cuban Queen and Jerome. The bottom floor will have a fourth bedroom, she explained in an earlier interview.

The original bordello building collapsed into a pile of bricks on a windy Sunday afternoon in March 2017 after a century of debauchery, stories of ghosts and endless photos from passing tourists.

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