There is an excellent article by Jack Hagel in the News & Observer today revealing the recent $22 million sale of the downtown Sheraton Capital Center hotel to The Gencom Group of Miami. The group which specializes in hotel renovations, plans to put $4 million into renovating the 355-room, 17-story brick hotel. More interesting, though, is that the group is toying with the idea of replacing the hotel’s glass atrium with a 30-story tower.
While the idea is still just a concept, making it work will be a neat trick. How does one build a tower that is adjacent to the hotel without ruining the rooms on the hotel’s NE corner? Would the new tower’s base be a new lobby for the hotel? How would the lobby function during construction? Isn’t it odd to cram a tower that close to another prominent building while there are plentiful empty lots in the blocks to the west?
While we ponder those questions, we can also celebrate the hotel’s August occupancy rate of 66.8%, an increase from 58.4% from the same month last year. With no convention center online right now, the numbers show outstanding strength for the downtown market. There are currently plans to have 3 hotels clustered around the new convention center when it is completed. Perhaps this Sheraton’s success will pique the interest of another developer. Maybe even one who lives in Raleigh and still refuses to acknowledge downtown on days not named Sunday!
The momentum keeps rolling!