Doubletree in downtown Wilmington on auction block

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The 217-room DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in downtown Wilmington is headed to the auction block.

10-X is handling the auction later this month in partnership with the commercial real estate firm CBRE.

The minimum bid is $3.5 million for the hotel, which remains open, but has kept a low profile in the local lodging scene. Rates start at around $150 a night.

The hotel was built in 1979 and has been owned for nearly a decade by an investment group. The last renovation took place in 2016.

The hotel was built in 1979 and for many years operated as a Radisson. The hotel was known for hosting larger events, including weddings, that could not be handled by the Hotel DuPont. Competition for that business increased with the completion of the Chase Center on the Riverfront, which has adjacent hotels, including one with an event center.

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In recent years, the downtown hotel worked to cater to the legal community and out-of-town lawyers who are part of cases in Chancery and other courts. Marketing materials from 10-X took note of 25,000 square feet of event space. The official title of the hotel is DoubleTree by Hilton Downtown Wilmington Legal District.

The Doubletree indirectly competes with another Doubletree outside of Wilmington on Concord Pike that goes by the name DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Wilmington.

The downtown hotel comes with adjacent covered parking and is a short walk to a growing restaurant and entertainment district on Market Street, although a wide and sometimes busy King Street separates the two areas.

Marketing materials point out that the “hotel is available unencumbered of management and is non-union, providing a new owner with unmatched flexibility to pursue and realize the property’s full potential.”

The marketing materials hint at the ability to make upgrades and gain more business while acquiring the hotel at a fraction of cost of a newly constructed property.

The Wilmington area lodging market has recovered somewhat from Covid-19, but has not seen significant growth in the number of hotel rooms, with one Newark-area property remaining closed and a former Sheraton converted into the Hope Center, an organization that provides short-term stays for the homeless.

The Delaware Business Times reported last month that the Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Wilmington sold for $5 million after an earlier auction failed to generate an acceptable bid.

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