A big Richmond hotel operator has its sights set on a downtown office building.
Shamin Hotels, which owns 31 hotels in the area, is under contract to purchase an 18-story, 182,000-square-foot property at 700 E. Main St. in Richmond’s downtown business district.
Shamin chief executive Neil Amin would not say when the deal is expected to close but said that the company is negotiating terms and reviewing its options for the use of the property.
“We’re not sure what we’d do with it yet,” Amin said. “We’re still in the due diligence period, so nothing is final.”
The 50-year-old building is at the corner of Seventh and East Main streets, two blocks from the State Capitol and five blocks from a Holiday Inn Express owned by Shamin.
The building is owned by BH Properties, a California real estate firm. Its current occupants include law firm Cannella & O’Neal and the Virginia Poverty Law Center. Street-level retail tenants include a post office and Geno’s Deli. BH bought the building from Wells Fargo in 2007 for $8.15 million, according to city records.
Amin did not disclose BH’s asking price for the property, and there is no price listed for the building on its website. Its assessed value is $7 million, according city records.
If the deal closes, it would be the second high-profile purchase for Shamin in the past six months. In September, the company paid $13.5 million for the Aloft hotel at West Broad Village after its previous owners got into trouble with their lender.
Although it’s unclear what Shamin has planned for 700 E. Main St., Jeff Cooke, a broker with Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, said a hotel makes sense for the property.
“It’s another one of our downtown, Class C office buildings,” Cooke said. “It’s somewhat functionally obsolete as an office, and it probably has a higher and better use. A hotel might just be that. That is a lot more feasible than keeping it as an office.”
Downtown already has another hotel in the works. Apple REIT and First Freedom Center are teaming up on a 134,000-square-foot, 210-room Marriott, which cleared City Council in July.