Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Charleston Hotels Get New Owners, Again

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Charleston Hotels Get New Owners, Again

Article excerpt

Just weeks after two Charleston hotels were sold at a foreclosure sale, the group that managed the hotels before the foreclosure has bought them and plans to complete a multimillion-dollar renovation project this year. Steven Senft, a principal with California-based CRU Real Estate Group, announced plans to upgrade the Charleston Capitol and Best Western hotels during the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau board meeting Wednesday.

The upgrades Senft outlined for the hotels, located in the 1000 block of Washington Street East, were myriad.

Charleston Capitol will be rebranded as a four-star, full- service Wyndham Garden hotel, Senft said.

"We'll be putting in pillowtop mattresses, triple sheeting, new furniture and pretty much gutting the guest rooms, bathrooms, everything, Senft said.

Flat-screen televisions will be installed in every room, and the firm has already increased wireless Internet access, he said. A restaurant and bar will be added to the first floor of Charleston Capitol.

A roughly 3,300-square foot ballroom in the basement that was once a feature of the former Heart O' Town Hotel will be renovated and used for event space, he said.

"There's not anything in the hotel that won't be touched, Senft said.

The hotels were previously owned by Silver Creek Charleston A and Silver Creek Charleston B LLCs.

After the Silver Creek groups defaulted on the mortgage payments to their lender, the State Bank of Texas, the bank purchased the hotels at a trustees sale on April 21.

Sometime in the last month, CRU Real Estate Group entered into a contract with that bank and took ownership of the hotels.

Senft said CRU has managed day-to-day operations at the hotels since last year as the ownership group tried to mitigate its financial issues.

"We were running the properties for [Silver Creek] while they tried to work something out with the bank.

Calls made to the State Bank of Texas were not returned Wednesday.

The city has not received hotel taxes from either hotel since November, Charleston City Attorney Paul Ellis said.

"Consumers staying in a hotel owe a small tax to the city . …

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