The 42-unit Coronado Hotel, built in 1928, has been sold to a group that says it intends to keep it as housing for the low-income elderly.

After a months-long bidding process, the historic Coronado Hotel, which provides low-income housing for the elderly, has been sold for $760,000 cash.

Coronado Apartments LLC bought the apartment building at 402 E. Ninth St., near North Fourth Avenue, according to documents filed with the Pima County Recorder's Office.

The new ownership plans to maintain it as low-income housing, said Kenneth Silverman, manager of Coronado Apartments LLC. The new owners met with residents last week to invite them to stay, he said.

The goal is to provide a smooth transition, he said. "We wanted to make it seamless for them," Silverman said.

The 42-unit hotel, built in 1928 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was put up for sale in October by Downtown Development Corp. of Tucson. Its price was listed at $670,000.

Pima County bid on the apartment building, looking to spend $700,000 in bond funds to preserve the low-income housing there. The Community Partnership of Southern Arizona also bid on the property with the goal of keeping it as a place where the elderly and disabled could find affordable living space.

The county's bid was rejected, as was the Community Partnership's $674,000 bid. "Our hope would be whoever was successful in getting the property would consider maintaining it as affordable housing," said Neal Cash, the organization's president and CEO.

In all, there were fewer than 10 offers for Coronado Hotel Apartments and it was sold to the highest bidder, said Glenn Lyons, CEO of Downtown Tucson Partnership, which manages the Downtown Development Corp.

The buyer has until May to renew a contract to receive federal Section 8 housing funds that will subsidize low-income housing there, Lyons said. Silverman said he has a meeting Wednesday to renew the contract.

Keeping the apartments as low-income housing wasn't a condition of the sale, Lyons said: "The purchaser had the right to do with the building as they saw fit."

Some money from the purchase will go toward other affordable-housing projects, Lyons said, adding that it's premature to discuss where any of those projects might be located.

Silverman said there are no plans to relocate the current residents. If money permits, there are plans to improve the property, he said. "We can make a profit and still take care of those people in need," he said.

County Supervisor Richard Elías had concerns about how long the new owner of Coronado Hotel Apartments would keep it as low-income housing. Plans for the modern streetcar call for it to pass right by the apartment building, and that could make the hotel a more desirable property for other uses, Elías said.

"Low-income people should have the advantage of low-income transportation, maybe more so than anybody else," Elías said.

Contact reporter Dale Quinn at 573-4197 or dquinn@azstarnet.com