|By Michelle Machado, The Record, Stockton, Calif.|
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Jun. 23, 2005 - STOCKTON -- A San Diego-based real estate group plans to purchase the Radisson Hotel Stockton and to spend "millions" on renovations.
Pacifica Cos. Inc. is buying the 198-room hotel at 2323 Grand Canal Blvd. from AP/APMC Stockton LP in a sale expected to be completed in early August.
Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
"We're excited about the redevelopment of the downtown. It's an attractive investment for our company," said Len Howell, director of national acquisitions for Pacifica's hospitality division.
Howell said the company targets its acquisition efforts primarily toward full-service hotels in California.
Pacifica is in the business of developing and repositioning undervalued real estate, according to company information.
To that end, the company's investment in renovating the Radisson will be "into the millions and include guest rooms and public areas," although the specifics of those upgrades have yet to be determined, Howell said.
The Radisson already has recently been spruced up.
In 2003, the hotel's 12,000 square feet of meeting rooms underwent a $1 million-plus renovation.
At the same time, the Radisson also got a new roof, hot-water system, landscaping, coin-operated laundry facilities, phone lines with data ports in each room and a fitness center.
"We will operate it at a higher standard," Howell said.
But attaining that standard may mean changing the hotel's brand, a decision that will be made in the next 30 days.
"We want to bring the best brand to town," Howell said.
Pacifica owns 25 hotels of various sizes in Arizona, California, Florida and New York under the Marriott, Courtyard by Marriott, Best Western, Holiday Inn, Comfort Inn, Clarion Inn, Red Lion and Radisson brands.
This year, the 24-year-old Radisson's occupancy rate has ranged between 65 percent and 80 percent, said Alex Munro, director of sales.
"We've been extremely busy this year. The hotel is doing very well, and that's why it has been purchased," he said.
Although the Stockton San Joaquin Convention and Visitors Bureau was shuttered in 2003, the Radisson has been successful in attracting group business from outside the city, he said.
The hotel's 85 or so workers, employed by Carlson Hotels Management Co., will be terminated and then rehired by Pacifica.
Representatives from AP/APMC Stockton LP and Carlson Hotels Management Co. were unavailable for comment on Wednesday. Also, Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce officials were unavailable for comment on the pending change.
AP/APMC Stockton LP in 1997 purchased the hotel -- then the Stockton Hilton -- from Stockton Hotel Limited, a partnership headed by Robert Hong.
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