Monday, June 08, 2009

Renaissance Suites Up for Sale?

The recent storm damage to the Renaissance Suites on Washington reminded me that I had intended to address the convention hotel's current financial situation.

The bondholders on the Renaissance Hotel – who are now its owners – have hired Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels to advise them on how to cut costs and boost the hotel’s profitability. One strategy that has been discussed is selling the hotel’s suites building, which is located on the north side of Washington, across from the main hotel property. According to Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels’ report, it “can be independent and self-sustaining without any physical ties to the hotel.”

If the suites property is spun off, would it make the most sense to operate it as an independent, all-suites hotel? Perhaps it would be a more suitable spot for the Roberts Brothers’ proposed Hotel Indigo boutique hotel. Or maybe an extended-stay hotel?

Could the suites be converted to apartments? Leon Strauss’ Pantheon Corporation originally renovated the building as apartments back in the 1980s, but unfortunately, it was an idea that was ahead of its time for St. Louis, and the redevelopment failed. Downtown’s residential market is much larger and stronger now – maybe it would work?

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