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The 322-room Wyndham Jacksonville Riverwalk Hotel in Florida
is Headed Toward Auction

By David Bauerlein, The Florida Times-Union, JacksonvilleMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Sept. 08, 2011--The Wyndham Jacksonville Riverwalk hotel, a downtown hotel that faced financial struggles despite undergoing renovation just a few years ago, will go on the auction block next month.

The starting bid will be $5.25 million to take over payment of a bank loan secured by the 322-room hotel at 1515 Prudential Drive.

The hotel is among a dozen Northeast Florida commercial properties that will be offering at its online site. The current noteholders have either fallen behind on loan payments and could face foreclosure, or lenders have taken possession of the properties. Depending on the property, bidding on the Northeast Florida listings will start Oct. 3 or Oct. 4.

In Southeast Georgia, a 119-room Brunswick hotel on New Jesup Highway will have its note up for bid, starting at $850,000. That bidding will begin Sept. 20. spokesman Max Sucee said the online bidding attracts investors who see the upside in financially distressed properties and can bid for the notes at a lower value than the loan amount. The new investors than can take over with a lighter debt load.

"The bottom line is they see potential in the property," he said. "These guys are pretty sharp and they know an opportunity when they see it."

The current amount owed on the note for the Wyndham Jacksonville Riverwalk Hotel is $25.2 million, according to The hotel was built in 1980 and underwent renovation between 2006 and 2008. But hotels face high vacancy rates during the recession when business and leisure travel dropped. says the most recent valuation of the hotel in late 2009 put its value at $17.2 million. also will take bids on a Days Inn hotel at 5649 Cagle Road on the Southside, near the junction of Interstate 95 and University Boulevard. The starting bid for the 120-room hotel, built in 1971 on three acres, will be $250,000. The lender took possession of the hotel and is seeking a new owner.

A 289-unit apartment building at 11291 Harts Road will start bidding at $3 million for a note that has a current balance of almost $16.5 million.

Other properties located in Jacksonville are a 24.8 acre tract of land approved for apartment construction off Blanding Boulevard, a 2,266 square foot industrial building on Lem Turner Road, nearly 95,000 square feet of industrial space on Lake Gray Boulevard, 157 units of apartment buildings on California Street, a 17,487 square foot retail building on Faye Road, and a 43,718 square foot retail building on University Boulevard South.

The Yulee area in Nassau County has two properties up for auction č a 10,000 square foot retail building and 28,760 square foot retail building on Florida 200.

A 26,076 square foot office building in Palm Coast also is on the list. will take bids on 325 commercial properties across the Southeast between Sept. 19 and Oct. 6. Florida has 151 properties on the list.


(c)2011 The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville, Fla.)

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