Company pays $ 11 million to turn motels into apartments

A California company paid $ 11 million this week for 4903 Market St. in Wilmington, a property that includes nearly 8 acres and two motels.

The buyer, Vivo Investment Group, plans to transform all motel rooms into more than 230 energy-efficient apartments. Currently, the Budgetel Inn and Motel 6 at 4903 Market St. are used as motels and share a lobby.

“We will keep the hotels operating until we receive building permits from the city,” wrote Brett Tanimoto, Vivo’s chief investment officer and company partner, in an email Friday. “We plan to start construction in the second quarter of 2022.”

Tanimoto previously said Vivo will modernize the property with the amenities seen in Class A apartments, including fully renovated interiors, new kitchen appliances, a gym, a guest lounge for tenants, coworking, high speed Internet connection, laundry facilities, swimming pool, barbecue and green space.

The property was rezoned to a multi-family designation in October, and Vivo agreed to designate 10% of the units as affordable housing.

Vivo, headquartered in El Segundo, California, has developments across the United States, including another in North Carolina, in Winston-Salem.

Eastern Carolinas Commercial Real Estate Vice President John Hinnant and ECCRE Associate Nicholas Silivanch represented the seller, Hotels Plus LLC, in the December 14 transaction.

With the sale of Budgetel Inn and Motel 6, Wilmington-based ECCRE has sold three hotels in the past 12 months and recently listed other hotels in the area, according to a press release.

“The current trend of converting hotels to multi-family will continue as older hotels lend themselves well to efficiency or affordable studios for entry-level workers,” the ECCRE statement said.

Silivanch said the Vivo redevelopment project will boost the region.

“Market Street has segments that are beautiful and inspiring, like downtown to 23rd Street and from Bayshore to Porters Neck. Other sections are known as Auto Dealer Mile or Retail Hub for Midtown, ”he wrote in an email Friday. “These older hotels, which have been here for a while, are in the middle of town. Specifically, just steps from the property are the Carmike Theater, Target, Food Lion, Planet Fitness, Captain Bills all of which offer shopping, employment, or entertainment.

Silivanch added, “Using the existing structure allows for adaptive reuse of the property, which will not add a load to our city’s infrastructure like a new development does. ”