Wilmington Company Buys Downtown Boutique Hotel

By Cece Nunn, posted Feb 2, 2024
The Hive, a boutique hotel on North Second Street in downtown Wilmington, changed hands this week. (Photo courtesy of Saltwater Holdings)

The owner of Surf City hotels bought downtown Wilmington's The Hive in a transaction that closed this week.

Wilmington-based Saltwater Holdings purchased The Hive, a boutique hotel at 505 N. Second St., to continue to operate it as a unique option for visitors, according to a news release Friday. According to the deed, saltwater paid $5.5 million for the real estate on Wednesday.

A local real estate family, the Rosenbergs, and developer Kaylie O'Connor opened the hotel in 2019. The Rosenbergs placed The Hive on the market after Robert Rosenberg died last year. 

Richard Stroupe, owner of Saltwater Holdings, said he is "deeply honored to uphold the Rosenbergs' vision and carefully crafted distinctive charm."

The original developers collaborated with local interior decorator Robin Hertzog to create rooms with unique furniture and artwork. The Hive's 15 apartment-style suites offer contemporary interior design, full-size kitchens, spa-like bathrooms, laptop-friendly workspaces and complimentary in-suite snacks, coffee, tea and other beverages, according to the release.

Local property management services company BlueStar Real Estate will manage The Hive.

"BlueStar has extensive experience with boutique hotel and commercial property management," said Kristin Kelly Freeman, owner of BlueStar Real Estate. "We're dedicated to making sure The Hive offers efficient and excellent hospitality to its guests."

The Hive fills a niche, Stroupe and Freeman said.

"I think there's a demand for this type of atmosphere because it's a more private atmosphere. [Guests] don't have to go into a big commercial hotel. A lot of people in the film industry seem to really enjoy The Hive because it does provide privacy; even though it's in the middle of downtown Wilmington, it has a private entrance," Freeman said. "I think they may find it a little more secluded and personal, as well as it provides a lot of luxuries that you would have at home with the full kitchens, living room, dining set, bedroom and bathroom.

"It provides you with all the space that you need to really stay for literally one night or a month."

Saltwater Holdings owns two Surf City hotels: luxury hotel Saltwater Suites and the new Saltwater Resort, which is expected to open in April.

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