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Shamin Hotels investor group buys Mutual Building in downtown Richmond for $3.2 million

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A Shamin Hotels investor group has purchased the historic Mutual Building in downtown Richmond at auction for $3.2 million.

Altogether, more than100 bidders from around the world participated in the auction for the 12-story, 132,134-square-foot building at 909 E. Main Street.

Built in 1904, the Mutual was Richmond’s first high-rise building, according to Eric Robison, a senior vice president with the Capital Markets Group of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, an Henrico County based firm that assisted out of California with the action.

Robison said the building generated lots of interest. “We even gave a tour to a group out of China,” he said.

Neil Amin, CEO of Shamin Hotels, based out of Chester, said his company has not decided yet what t do with the building, which is only 30 percent occupied.
“We’re still evaluating our options. We will talk to the tenants,” he said, referring to the law firm, Christian & Barton, which occupies the top floor, along with a couple of retail tenants, a restaurant and barber shop, on the ground floor.

The fact that the building is close to a current Shamin project was part of its appeal, Shamin said.  “We like investing in downtown Richmond.” In October, the company bought the 700 Building at 700 East Main for $ 7 million. Shamin plans to redevelop the 18-story building, previously home to Richmond National Bank and Merrill Lynch, into two Hilton brand hotels: a 144-room Hampton Inn & Suites and a 100-room Homewood Suites, which provides extended-stay accommodations.

Robison said the Mutual Building  which was home to the Mutual Assurance Society of Virginia until 1991, “has a rich and unique history in Richmond. It’s truly an iconic building. With Neil Amin and his investment group behind it now, I think the future will be interesting to watch, and it will continue to have a major presence in the downtown Richmond office market.’’

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