|By Sarah Kleiner Varble, The
Virginian-PilotMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Dec. 21, 2012--NORFOLK -- The foreclosure auction of the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel was canceled Thursday, and no reason was stated publicly.
The trustee handling the sale, Henry F. Brandenstein Jr. of Tysons Corner-based Venable LLP., did not return calls Thursday afternoon.
Tim Peters, the hotel's general manager, declined to comment on why the auction was canceled and forwarded calls to the headquarters of the company that manages the Sheraton. Two representatives of that company, Boston-based Pyramid Hotel Group, also did not return calls Thursday.
Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim said he had not been told why the auction was canceled, but "no one should be surprised" because it "would not be atypical" for a purchase deal to be worked out ahead of the foreclosure auction. Fraim said he didn't know what potential deals were in the works.
"I think something positive is going to occur," Fraim said.
The city of Norfolk's public relations manager said the city's development officials had not been given a reason for the cancelation.
Phf li Norfolk LLC bought the property for $40 million in late 2006, according to city records.
The Sheraton has seen a drop in assessed value in recent years. In 2009, it was assessed at $36.9 million, but over the next two years, it dropped to as low as $31.4 million, according to city records. It was assessed at $32.1 million this year.
The 468-room hotel sits along the Elizabeth River next to Waterside Festival Marketplace, which might be redeveloped into Waterside Live if the city signs an agreement with Baltimore-based The Cordish Cos. Representatives from that company have said they plan to invest at least $28 million in the facility.
Sarah Kleiner Varble, 757-446-2318, firstname.lastname@example.org
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