Interstate JV Picks Up 295-Room Hotel Near Colonial Williamsburg

Interstate has been slowly building up its ownership portfolio, with joint venture partner Waramaug Hospitality L.L.C. at its side. Now the team has acquired the former Marriott Hotel Williamsburg. a 295-room lodging destination near the historic Colonial Williamsburg historic district in Williamsburg, Va.

Interstate Hotels & Resorts has been racking up the management assignments across the globe, but the company has also been slowly building up its ownership portfolio, with joint venture partner Waramaug Hospitality L.L.C. at its side. Now Interstate and Waramaug have teamed on the acquisition of the former Marriott Hotel Williamsburg, a 295-room lodging destination near the historic Colonial Williamsburg historic district in Williamsburg, Va.

Interstate has wasted precious little time in pursuing its repositioning plan for the property, having already renamed it the Williamsburg Hotel & Conference Center. That’s just the beginning. The global hotel management company will invest $7.5 million on a renovation program that will transform the hotel into an upper-scale product carrying the DoubleTree by Hilton flag.

“This hotel is in need of some tender loving care and good operational management, both of which Interstate and Waramaug bring to the table,” Edward Blum, executive vice president of development & acquisitions with Interstate, told Commercial Property Executive. “The Williamsburg Hotel, besides being near Colonial Williamsburg and other tourist destinations, is also a top regional conference and meetings center, and this particular asset’s got about 45,000 square feet of meeting space, which will make it one of the leading conference hotels for associations, government business and companies from Washington, D.C., all the way down through Virginia.” The partners will spend a significant portion of the renovation budget on the modernization of the meeting space, including the installation of first-class technology.

The Williamsburg Hotel marks Interstate and Waramaug’s second purchase this year, and their fourth joint venture endeavor. In January, the partners purchased the 300-room Crowne Plaza Columbus North hotel in Ohio. And last year, the companies teamed up to buy the 265-room Crowne Plaza Tampa East in Florida and Colorado’s Sheraton Denver Tech Center.

Interstate and Waramaug are sticking to the non-core markets and properties that will benefit substantially from comprehensive upgrades. All four of their hotels will get multimillion-dollar makeovers. “This partnership is looking at turnaround opportunities, and those that we’ve found so far have been in good secondary markets,” said Blum. “And in each case, these properties have been neglected and lacked significant capital improvements.”

The joint venture continues to peruse markets across the country for suitable prospects within its defined parameters. “Obviously, we’d love to buy a hotel in New York or Boston or D.C., but they’re cost prohibitive and the opportunities don’t present themselves as well as some of the secondary markets would,” he noted.

Together, Interstate and Waramaug plan to shell out as much as $300 million on acquisitions over the next year or so.