|By Don Worthington, The Fayetteville
Observer, N.C.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Nov. 27, 2007 - On Dec. 11, Fayetteville's Prince Charles Hotel will likely have a new owner.
The hotel, owned by Zions First National Bank of Utah, is being sold at auction by Tranzon Fox, a real estate auction company.
"I'm confident it will be sold," said Bill Londrey, an executive vice president for Tranzon Fox, in a phone interview from Richmond, Va.
The bank took ownership of the eight-story hotel in October with a $2.5 million bid during a foreclosure auction. The bank was the only bidder.
The hotel's former owner, R.K. Properties of Rockville, Md., owed Zions about $2.5 million. R.K. Properties had stopped making mortgage payments last fall and filed for bankruptcy in April.
The Dec. 11 auction will be at the hotel. Bidders need to come prepared; entrance to the auction is with a $100,000 certified check.
Londrey would not say what he expects the sale price to be. He acknowledged the building suffers from deferred maintenance, and the bank realizes it may not recoup what it loaned R.K. Properties.
"The bank would love to get out whole, but it realizes the market determines the price," Londrey said.
Several local investors have looked at the property but said it would need a significant investment to renovate it.
"It needs updating and the rooms need a face-lift," Londrey said. "That's not unusual in the hotel business." He said the right buyer would understand that.
The hotel is being sold as is.
Tranzon Fox has sold properties for Zions in the past, he said. He estimated Tranzon Fox sells about 15 hotels a year.
The Prince Charles is being marketed to investors and those in the hospitality industry.
Londrey said a sale to someone wanting to turn the hotel into condos is possible, though unlikely.
The sale includes 3.2 acres of property, including undeveloped land between the hotel and the Amtrak station.
Londrey said the land could be developed with retail shops. He said the hotel's ballroom and restaurant space -- and the fact the hotel is near Festival Park, the Airborne & Special Operations Museum and the 300 Hay Street retail/condo project -- should attract buyers.
"You are right where you want to be."
Tranzon Fox will hold two open houses for prospective buyers to inspect the Prince Charles: Dec. 4 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Dec. 10 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
On Dec. 10, city and economic development officials will be on hand to discuss the area's potential, especially the possibilities offered by the relocation of U.S. Army Forces Command and Reserve Command from Atlanta to Fort Bragg.
Staff writer Don Worthington can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 486-3511.
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