Office Tower Downtown Could Be Converted Into Hotel
Shamin Hotels, one of the region’s largest hotel operators, is studying whether to convert an 18-story office tower at 700 E. Main St. downtown into a hotel.
Neil Amin, CEO of Shamin Hotels, said a hospitality component along with some retail could be part of the renovation.
He declined to be more specific, adding that that he will share plans once they are more concrete. The company has a contract to buy the building but it is contingent on due diligence.
Amin said he will make a decision on whether to proceed with a purchase by early summer.
The Chester-based chain owns 26 hotels in the Richmond area, including one hotel downtown — the Holiday Inn Express at 201 E. Cary St. — which used to be an office building.
“They sure know how to build hotels and run hotels,” Jack Berry, president and CEO of the Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, said about Shamin Hotels.
New apartments and office buildings downtown will increase demand for hotel rooms, Berry said.
Construction is planned for two hotels as part of the First Freedom Center complex, a combined hotel and education center, at 14th and East Cary streets.
The hotels, a Courtyard by Marriott and a Residence Inn by Marriott, are owned by Richmond-based Apple REIT Cos. The hotels are expected to open in summer of 2014.
Jeffrey Cooke, a senior vice president at Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, said the 700 E. Main St. building is mostly vacant and at about 50 years old, in need of repurposing.
“Unless it is completely rehabbed, it will become functionally obsolete,” Cooke said.
A lot of firms in the central business district have moved into newer space, leaving older buildings vacant, he said.
An older building requires more due diligence than a newer building, since more is involved in assessing the extent and cost of renovations, Cooke said.
Cooke, who is not involved in the potential sale to Shamin Hotels, was the broker on the building when it was sold in the mid-1980s for more than it will sell this time.
The property is assessed by the city for $7 million.
Copyright Richmond Times-Dispatch. Used by permission.
In This Section
Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc.
901 E. Byrd St., Suite 801
Richmond, VA, USA 23219