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Doubletree hotel downtown closed; to reopen next year
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Doubletree hotel downtown closed; to reopen next year

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Doubletree hotel

Artist's rendering of the proposed remodelling of the Doubletree Hotel in Richmond.

The Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Richmond Downtown closed Monday for extensive renovations after it was acquired by AJ Capital Partners, a Chicago hospitality and real estate investment firm.

The hotel, at 301 W. Franklin St., will reopen in early 2016 as the Graduate Richmond, a 200-room full-service hotel.

Graduate Hotels are part of a new collection of hotels targeting university-anchored markets across the country that celebrate each town’s culture and history. The concept was launched last fall with the openings of Graduate Tempe in Arizona and Graduate Athens in Georgia.

In Charlottesville, a location in a former Red Roof Inn near the University of Virginia is expected to open in May. More locations slated to open this year are planned in Madison, Wis., and Oxford, Miss.

All interior spaces at the Richmond hotel, including common areas, guest rooms and meeting and event spaces, will be renovated. Room offerings will include king- and queen-bed options as well as suites.

Guests can expect food and beverage offerings, including a coffee shop, and transformed roof and pool deck. Other amenities will include an enlarged fitness center, valet parking, and meeting and event spaces for leisure and business travelers.

“Home to two world-class universities, the Virginia state Capitol and defined by over 400 years of history, Richmond is an ideal location for a Graduate hotel,” said Ben Gottlieb, vice president of acquisitions at AJ Capital Partners, referring to Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Richmond.

“We look forward to welcoming the Richmond and visiting community to our transformed property in early 2016.”

The sales price was not disclosed. The property was assessed for $9.849 million, city tax records show.

The renovated hotel will open too late for the UCI Road World Championships in September, which is expected to attract 450,000 on-site spectators during the nine-day event.

The change at this hotel comes as the hospitality industry in downtown Richmond undergoes a renaissance of sorts with new hotels recently opening and others soon to open. A 135-room Courtyard by Marriott and an adjoining 75-suite Residence Inn by Marriott for extended stays opened in December at East Cary and 14th streets in Richmond’s Shockoe Slip. The hotels are owned by Richmond-based Apple Hospitality REIT.

Three more hotels are in the works for downtown.

Shamin Hotels is converting the 700 E. Main St. building into a Hampton Inn & Suites and a Homewood Suites, with plans to open this summer.

The owners of the Quirk art gallery are converting a six-story Italian Renaissance-style building at 201 W. Broad St. into a boutique Quirk-branded hotel with 70 to 75 rooms. It is scheduled to open in August.

Also, the Hilton Garden Inn, in the former Miller & Rhoads department store building on Broad Street, is being converted into a full-service Hilton hotel. It is expected to be ready by the end of the year.

The former Doubletree has gone through several transformations since it opened in 1972 as a Holiday Inn.

It was renamed in 1996 as a Historic District Hotel. The hotel closed in August 1998 for a $4 million renovation and reopened in early 1999 as a Radisson Hotel.

The hotel was sold in 2006 and reopened as a Doubletree in 2007.

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