A 108-room boutique hotel on Detroit’s east riverfront is now up for grabs.
Real estate firm Newmark Group announced Wednesday that the Roberts Riverwalk Hotel, 1000 River Place Drive, is officially on the market.
Owner Michael V. Roberts is seeking either a buyer for the 112,000-square-foot hotel and banquet center or to partner with someone for a potential joint redevelopment venture at the 3.75-acre site, such as a project involving residences.
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“Right now the asking price is $26 million,” said Roberts, a high-profile Black businessman and hotel owner from St. Louis.
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Like many downtown-area hotels, Roberts Riverwalk experienced a significant drop in business because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is now only open at reduced capacity Thursdays-Sundays through booking.com.
“With COVID out here, there’s really no business during the middle of the week,” Roberts said.
Constructed in 1902, the hotel building is part of a complex that served until 1981 as offices and laboratories for pharmaceutical maker Parke-Davis Co. After Parke-Davis left, the complex became Stroh River Place and the building was turned into the River Place Inn in the late 1980s.
The Stroh family sold the hotel in 1993, and five years later, it was bought by Omni Hotels and underwent a name change to Omni Detroit Hotel at River Place.
In 2010, the Omni hotel closed. Shortly thereafter, Roberts bought the hotel and undertook $5 million in renovations to reopen it, including the installation of a swimming pool and a new 5,500-square-foot conference center.
“The prospect to acquire an established landmark along with coveted waterfront land is rare,” Larry Emmons, a senior managing director at Newmark, said in a statement announcing the property’s listing.
The recent buyers of the nearby UAW-GM Center for Human Resources complex said they once considered buying the Roberts Riverwalk Hotel as well in a separate deal, but changed their plans.
Roberts said that selling the hotel was a tough decision for him to make.
“A smart entrepreneur has to be prepared to pivot when situations require a different mindset,” he said.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Boutique hotel on Detroit riverfront asks $26 million