Historic Watergate Hotel sells for US$45m

THE famed Watergate Hotel in Washington, DC, which has been vacant since 2007, was sold this week to a group of European investors by the bank that foreclosed on the hotel last summer.

Euro Capital Partners bought the 251-room hotel on prestigious Virginia Avenue for US$45 million in an all-cash deal, said Marc Magazine, who led the sale of the hotel for broker CB Richard Ellis.

The sale closed on Wednesday. An auction of the property last year failed to attract any bidders. ‘It’s a very good price for both parties,’ Mr Magazine said. ‘There is a tremendous amount of construction to be had, so for the shape that it’s in, it’s a very good price for the seller.’

The hotel is part of a complex of buildings made famous by the 1972 burglary of the Democratic National Committee headquarters which were housed in the complex. Investigations revealed President Richard Nixon and his staff conspired to cover up the break-in, especially its connection with the White House, which ultimately led to his resignation two years later.

Euro Capital is a real estate investment firm that specialises in revamping iconic properties that have fallen into disrepair. The firm has not yet selected an operator for the hotel. The seller of the property was German bank PB Capital.

Initially, there were more than a dozen interested parties, but the competition came down to five ‘strong bidders’, said Mr Magazine.

Source: Reuters – 29 May 2010

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