Shamin Hotels buys Renaissance Portsmouth Norfolk Waterfront Hotel
Shamin Hotels, one of Central Virginia’s largest hotel operators, has purchased the 249-room Renaissance Portsmouth Norfolk Waterfront Hotel for $9.2 million. The transaction with seller Ashford Hospitality Trust closed on Feb. 1, said Neil Amin, CEO of Shamin Hotels.
The purchase brings Shamin’s Hampton Roads portfolio to seven hotels. Altogether the company, based in Chesterfield County, owns 49 properties, with most of them in Virginia.
Adding a conference center hotel to its portfolio is a good move, Amin said, because his company has done well with other conference center hotels. “It’s an upscale buy, a full-service conference center destination hotel. That’s what is exciting about it. We’ve had great success with our Hilton in Short Pump. This hotel is similar to that,” he said referring to a Shamin property in western Henrico County.
The Portsmouth hotel’s location on the downtown waterfront, just a short boat ride away from downtown Norfolk, also is a plus, he adds. “We believe Portsmouth has a lot of potential. It has a vibrant downtown, and there's a lot of new development occurring. The port expansion is a great win for the area. We believe in the long-term future of the city.”
John L. Rowe Jr., Portsmouth's mayor, said the city welcomes Shamin Hotel's interest. “They have shared their plans for the property, and we are especially excited about their desire to highlight its location along the bustling urban waterfront and to attract more diners, overnight guests and meetings.”
The 17-story Renaissance Hotel, built in 2001, will be modernized. While Amin did not say how much his company will invest, work is expected to begin late this year, taking about two years to complete. “It's a beautiful hotel, but it's a little more traditional … We will be doing pretty much everything — the guest rooms, the public space, making it a little more modern. We’ll update the food and beverage outlets and focus more on a lifestyle design.”
The hotel will remain open during the renovations. “It gets a lot of group business. It has a tremendous amount of meeting space,” said Amin.
Altogether, the hotel has 24,000 square feet of meeting and conference space, including an 11,754-square-foot ballroom and a 1,755-square-foot amphitheater. The property also has a spacious outdoor terrace, Amin added, which provides views of the ship traffic up and down the city’s waterfront.