Hotelier planning 14-story project pays $8M for downtown parking lot

A Rhode Island-based company paid $8 million for the parking lot on the corner of 18th and Champa streets. (BizDen file photo)

A Rhode Island-based hotelier has purchased the land needed for a proposed 14-story project in the Central Business District.

Magna Hospitality Group, acting as MHF Denver DT VI LLC, purchased the parking lot at 822 18th St. in Denver last week for $8 million, according to county records.

The corner lot along Champa Street is 0.29 acres, making the deal worth $638 a square foot — higher than the priciest parking lot sales in LoDo.

Magna did not respond to a request for comment. Last June, the company submitted a site-development plan to the city, proposing a 14-story hotel at the site.

The plans indicated the structure would have 144,028 square feet of hotel/lodging space and 3,500 square feet of restaurant space, and no on-site parking. The document did not indicate the hotel brand or the number of rooms.

Architecture firm Johnson Nathan Strohe drew up the plans.

Magna said on its website that it owns or operates more than 20 hotels with more than 4,500 rooms, and operates or is approved to operate properties under the Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt, Starwood and Intercontinental Hotel Group brands.

Magna isn’t new to the Denver market. The firm paid $27.43 million in December 2016 for the Hampton Inn & Suites at 1845 Sherman St.

Here are a few things Magna has been up to lately, according to media reports:

The company paid $113 million late last year for a development site in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, and is under contract to buy a 26-story hotel nearby in the Garment District. It’s building a 170-room hotel in Memphis, and finishing a half-completed hotel in Fort Lauderdale that it bought at auction.

Downtown Denver, meanwhile, is seeing lots of hotel activity.

Focus Property Group, which is about to open a 12-story Hilton Garden Inn near Union Station, recently proposed a 27-story Marriott near the Colorado Convention Center. A short distance away, at the corner of 15th and Stout Streets, Stonebridge Cos. is building a 21-story dual-brand hotel, slated to open later this year. The company also wants to convert the former Emily Griffith school near the convention center into a 250-room hotel.

Meanwhile, a 38-story hotel idea has been floated for a site next to the under-construction Block 162 office tower. An Iowa-based hotelier recently purchased 1320 Glenarm Place and plans a 12-story project there. And a California-based hotelier T2 Hospitality owns the parking lots at 1600 Market St. and 1637 Blake St.

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