Thursday, January 22, 2009

Uh-Oh


Break out your checkbooks, the Renaissance Grand Hotel & Suites is set to be auctioned off on February 2.

An investor with deep pockets could pick up the property for a relative song, with the $277 million hotel going for as little as $50 million. So who will step up to the plate and take ownership of St. Louis' convention hotel? The Business Journal mentions the Roberts Brothers among the potential bidders.

In the meantime, according to Pam Blase, a spokesperson for UMB Financial Corp., the bondholders' trustee:

“We want to make clear that it’s the bondholders' intention that the hotel remains open and the operations continue uninterrupted. Marriott is going to continue to manage the hotel, and it’s business as usual. There is no change in management or service levels as a result of the foreclosure notice.”

As for the city's interests, according to the excellent article in the Business Journal:

Steve Stogel, principal of DFC Group, is working on behalf of the city of St. Louis to find a new owner for the hotel. The city issued a Section 108 loan of $50 million that has been paid down to approximately $43 million. Stogel said the city is protected in its investment on the Renaissance and a land-use restriction requires the owner to maintain the property as a four-star hotel. City PILOTs (property tax payments in lieu of taxes) are in first position on the title, he said.

It will be interesting to see what happens...

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