Casa Santa Cecelia on Avenida Colon is destined to become a hotel. The former Intercontinental Hotel is to the left. Photo: Google

The owners of the former InterContinental Hotel on Avenida Colon are rebuilding an adjacent mansion whose elderly occupants were slain four years ago. Two of the hotel’s workers were accused of the murder.

Revisiting plans announced two years ago, Grupo Meca plans to start construction in four months at Santa Cecilia.

The Italian investors have budgeted US$15 million for the new 124-room hotel, which would open in 2021 under their timeline.

Meca President Umberto Pinazzi said the plans won’t undermine the mansion’s architectural splendor. Like the InterContinental next door, the mansion will be the lobby and amenities, leading to new-construction rooms in the rear.

Although Casa Santa Cecilia is not listed as a historical monument, it is located in a historic zone, decreed in 1982. Since 2004 the neighborhood has been a Cultural Heritage Area of the Municipality of Merida.

Until the coronavirus outbreak, a hotel boom was set off by the new Yucatan International Convention Center across the street.

The house has valued for its neoclassical Porfirian architectural characteristics. Its finishes and interior details are practically intact.

The house was the private residence of a couple in their 80s and 90s until they were allegedly killed by burglars. Three years after starting 30-years prison sentences, the Second Trial Court acquitted both detainees for lack of evidence.

{ Related: InterContinental to become a Hilton; Marriott rises down the street }