[caption id="attachment_217848" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] The Courtyard by Marriott Wilmington Downtown, a 126-room hotel, has been acquired by Canon Hospitality Management. | PHOTO COURTESY OF COSTAR/SVN MILLER[/caption]
WILMINGTON – After years on the market, the Courtyard by Marriott Wilmington Downtown has been acquired by a firm with experience in the city’s market.
The 126-room, 10-story Courtyard Wilmington located at 1102 N. West St. has been owned by the Ciccone family for more than 35 years. They converted it to a Courtyard by Marriott in the ‘90s – it had been an office building at one time. Now nearing retirement, the family reportedly looked to move the property.
Listed for as much as $18 million in 2021and later put to auction, the hotel had not found a buyer, in part because Marriott continued to hold a management agreement at the hotel, according to its broker at the time.
On Nov. 9, Philadelphia-based Canon Hospitality Management (CHM) acquired it for $5 million, or about 6% more than the opening bid in a 2022 auction that did not yield a sale, according to county land records.
Firm President and CEO Canon Patel said the decision to acquire the hotel – and re-enter the downtown Wilmington market after five years out of it – was simply a “business decision.”
“The seller wanted to get out and we thought we could do better at the property,” he told Delaware Business Times on Friday. “I see the market growing substantially with business travel coming back and a new sector of leisure travel in youth sports and weddings growing in Wilmington.”
CHM knows the Wilmington market, having redeveloped, owned and managed the Residence Inn Wilmington Downton off North Market Street from 2015 to 2018. It sold the 96-suite hotel less than a year after opening to Virginia-based private equity firm Excel Group for about $8.1 million, according to county land records.
The Residence Inn was a major redevelopment of the former Beneficial Building at 1300 N. Market St., and its extended-stay approach targeted the city’s strong legal, consulting and health care sectors. Its success has helped to spur additional redevelopment of the North Market Street corridor, including The Chancery Market food hall and a new Staybridge Suites hotel.
New Castle County’s hotel occupancy still has not rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, with a year-to-date average of 60.2% as of August falling below 2019’s 65.2% for the same period, according to Delaware Hotel & Lodging Association data. That’s due in part to reduced corporate business travel as videoconferencing has become more common after the pandemic.
But one of the industry’s most important metrics, revenue per available room (RevPAR), has nearly rebounded to 2019 levels, with New Castle County’s year-to-date RevPAR through August falling less than 50 cents off 2019. That essentially means that higher room rates and longer stays have allowed operators to make up for fewer rooms being booked.
The growth of youth sports at the Chase Fieldhouse, a return of court cases to downtown courthouses, the multi-million-dollar office renovation project by Buccini/Pollin Group in neighboring buildings, and the presence of President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign headquarters in the city could also buoy the Courtyard hotel’s prospects.
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