AJ Capital Partners buys Doubletree by Hilton in downtown Richmond
There’s a new player in Richmond’s hotel market. AJ Capital Partners, a Chicago-based hospitality and real estate investment firm, has purchased The Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Richmond Downtown and closed it yesterday to make way for major renovations.
AJ plans to convert the property, at 310 W. Franklin St. into one of its Graduate Hotels, a collection of properties that targets university markets. The former Doubletree is one block from the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Monroe Park campus. AJ Capital Partners did not disclose the purchase price for the 200-room hotel, which the city assessed recently at just under $10 million.
The company said it plans to reopen the property as a 200-room, full-service hotel in early 2016.
The acquisition was the second in Virginia for AJ Capital Partners. Last summer it bought a Red Roof Inn near the University of Virginia in Charlottesville for $20.4 million that it also is converting into a Graduate Hotel. That property is scheduled to open in May.
AJ launched its Graduate Hotels concept last fall. Already open are Graduate Tempe in Arizona and Graduate Athens in Georgia. Additional locations, besides Charlottesville, slated to open this spring are in Madison, Wis., and Oxford, Miss.
The renovation in Richmond will include all interior spaces including rooms and common areas. According to the company, guests can expect a “grab-n-go” coffee shop and a transformed roof and pool deck. Among other amenities will be an enlarged fitness center, valet parking and updated meeting and event space designed to make Graduate Richmond a destination for leisure and business travelers.
“We are delighted to announce that Graduate Hotels is coming to Richmond,” Ben Gottlieb, vice president of acquisitions for AJ Capital Partners, said in a statement. “Home to two world-class universities, the Virginia State Capitol and defined by over 400 years of history, Richmond is an ideal location for a Graduate Hotel.”