A downtown Winston-Salem hotel property — a five-story, 126-room Courtyard by Marriott at 640 W. Fourth St. — has been sold by its developer before its opening.
The property was sold Aug. 14 for $8.48 million by CCW Hospitality LLC of Winston-Salem, according to a Forsyth County Register of Deeds filing.
Construction began in November 2017 for what is projected to be an $18 million project located between Foothills Brewery and the Center City West parking deck.
It was scheduled to debut in the summer of 2019, but is now on track for a late January to early February debut.
The hotel developers are Commercial Realty Advisors LLC of Winston-Salem and Clarendon Properties of Wilmington. Their plans have been to build a hotel that is “architecturally designed to complement adjacent properties and the surrounding neighborhood.”
The buyer is Virtua Winston-Salem Hotel LLC, an affiliate of Virtua Partners, a private-equity real-estate firm based in Scottsdale, Ariz. Part of the ownership group is Hotel Equities, which will serve as the hotel's manager.
John Reece II, managing partner with Commercial Realty Advisors said Wednesday the sale "was a very difficult decision due to how well the development process has gone to date and the quality project that will be delivered this December."
"At the end of the day, we have a number of projects in the pipeline and this will provide the capital to pursue those new opportunities," he said.
Brad Rahinsky, with Hotel Equities, said the new owners "are quite bullish on the Winston-Salem hospitality market."
"We're not flippers. This is what we do for the past 30 years. We develop strategies for each market and try to add value to our customers and to the local communities we serve."
The hotel will feature a full-service restaurant and bar, swimming pool, fitness center, 2,000-square-foot courtyard and more than 1,500 square feet of meeting and banquet space. There also will be a bar setting on the roof.
The 750-space public parking deck will serve as its main accommodation for guests.
Rahinsky said the Winston-Salem hotel market is promising in part because of the presence of the healthcare, financial services and educational sectors "that help provide business in each economic cycle."
Part of the groundwork for the project came in March 2016 when the Winston-Salem City Council approved the sale of the parking deck to the City Center West Associates LLC for $2.3 million. Reece also serves as managing partner of the LLC.
Renovations at the parking deck include a fence around the deck’s ground level; gates and card-access stairwells; entry and pavement systems for credit and debit card payments for daily and hourly parking; and new LED lighting and security cameras.
John Sandlin, president of Clarendon Properties, said in October 2017 that “The Courtyard by Marriott is the premier select service hotel brand and will truly complement the location and downtown Winston-Salem.”
The Courtyard by Marriott will join recently completed downtown projects such as the Kimpton Cardinal Hotel and Hotel Indigo in the Pepper Building, as well as renovations to the Embassy Suites and downtown Marriott in Twin City Quarter. Downtown's Hampton Inn and Suites is due to be complete next month.
Rahinsky said he believes the Courtyard by Marriott property will have its own gravitational pull compared with the other downtown hotel properties.
"We believe we can make a difference, adding another lively heartbeat to that section of downtown," Radinsky said. "We love the energy around the site."
Jason Thiel, president of Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership, said in October 2017 the Courtyard project “is yet another indicator of the area’s growth and desirability as a destination spot.”
Mayor Allen Joines said the Courtyard by Marriott "will facilitate our ability to attract meetings and corporate travelers to our city."
Foothills Brewery founder Jamie Bartholomaus said on October 2017 that the hotel project helped clinch his company’s decision to invest in a new coffee shop, bar and event space connected to the brewpub.