Regions Central Virginia

Shamin Hotels closes deal to buy 700 Building for $7 million

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Shamin Hotels has closed on the purchase of the 700 Building in downtown Richmond. The Chesterfield County-based hotel operation bought the 181,790-square-foot office building at 700 East Main St. for $7 million from BH Properties LLC.  The California-based company had owned the building since 2007, when it bought it from Wells Fargo for $8.1 million.

Shamin has big plans for the 18-story building that was previously home to Richmond National Bank and Merrill Lynch. It wants to redevelop the site into two hotels under the Hilton brand: a 144-room Hampton Inn & Suites and a 100-room Homewood Suites, which provides an extended-stay accommodations.

The redevelopment also includes a 5,000-square-foot restaurant on the building’s second floor, a 2,500-square-foot bar and coffee shop on the ground floor. In addition, a rooftop bar and lounge area will provide views of the nearby state Capitol and James River. 

The building offers 212 covered parking spaces and will continue to house a U.S. post office. Construction is expected to begin later this year.

Built in the early 1960s, the 700 Building was recently named to the National Historic Register, making it eligible for tax credits as part of a renovation. While the interior will be updated, Shamin plans to maintain the building’s façade.

Mark Douglas of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, the broker who represented Shamin, termed it a significant deal for downtown’s central business district. The sale takes nearly 182,000 square feet of vacant office space off the market. “It makes the office market healthier, and it gives us desperately needed hotel rooms. Think about the bike race coming up. Where are all those people going to go?”

Douglas was referring to the 2015 UCI Road World Championships, a pinnacle cycling event that will be held in Richmond and is expected to attract as many at 450,000 spectators.

Another major brokerage was also involved in the deal. Jones Lang LaSalle represented the seller. Jimmy Appich, a senior vice president with JLL in Richmond, said in a statement that the building, which had been in decline and failed to sell previously, ended up attracting strong interest once it was repositioned.  “By researching, documenting and promoting the building’s past, we were able to reshape its future with the idea of creating a different yet contributing use to the market,” Appich said.

Shamin Hotels owns and operates 36 hotel properties in three states, including about a dozen in the greater Richmond area.

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