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Real Estate - Commercial

Firm Pays $11M For Motels Set To Become Apartments

By Cece Nunn, posted Dec 17, 2021
Vivo Investment Group bought the motels at 4903 Market St. on Dec. 14. (File photo)
A California-based firm 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 turn all of the motel rooms into more than 230 efficiency apartments. Currently, the Budgetel Inn and Motel 6 at 4903 Market St. are in use as motels and share a lobby.

“We will keep the hotels running until we receive building permits from the city,” wrote Brett Tanimoto, Vivo’s chief investment officer and a partner in the company, in an email Friday. “We plan to start construction in 2Q 2022.”

Tanimoto said previously that Vivo will upgrade the property with amenities seen in Class A apartments, including fully renovated interiors, new kitchen appliances, a gym, a tenant amenity lounge, coworking space, high-speed internet, laundry facilities, a pool, barbecue and green space.

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

Vivo, headquartered in El Segundo, California, has developments throughout the U.S., including another one in North Carolina, in Winston-Salem.

Eastern Carolinas Commercial Real Estate vice president John Hinnant and ECCRE partner Nicholas Silivanch represented the seller, Hotels Plus LLC, in the Dec. 14 transaction.

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

“The current trend of conversion from hotels into multifamily will continue as the older hotels lend themselves well to efficiency or studio apartments that are affordable for entry-level workers,” the ECCRE release stated.

Silivanch said the Vivo redevelopment project will boost the area.

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

Silivanch added, “By using the existing structure, it allows for adaptive reuse of the property, which will not add burden to our city’s infrastructure the way new development does.” 
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