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108-room boutique hotel on Detroit riverfront now for sale

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An aerial view of the Roberts Riverwalk Hotel (Photo: Newmark)

A 108-room boutique hotel on the 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, according to a new release.

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The listing did not include an asking price. Roberts, a high-profile businessman and hotel owner from St. Louis, could not be reached for comment.

The hotel only appears to be open at reduced capacity Thursdays-Sundays through booking.com.  

Michael V. Roberts, shown here in a 2014 photo, is now looking for someone to buy his Roberts Riverwalk Hotel. (Photo: Jessica J. Trevino Detroit Free Press)

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.

The recent buyers of the nearby UAW-GM Center for Human Resources complex said they once considered buying the Roberts Riverwalk Hotel as well, but changed their plans.

“The prospect to acquire an established landmark along with coveted waterfront land is rare,” said Larry Emmons, a senior managing director at Newmark.

Contact JC Reindlat 313-222-6631 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter@jcreindl. Read more on business and sign up for our business newsletter.

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