Wyndham hotel sells for $9 million; new owners plan extensive renovation

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Vantage Hospitality Group Inc. paid $9 million for the Wyndham Jacksonville Riverwalk hotel Monday and changed its name to the Lexington Hotel & Conference Center Jacksonville Riverwalk.

Lexington is a brand of Coral Springs-based Vantage Hospitality, which formed LexDevCoJax Inc. to buy the 323-room Wyndham. Pacific Coach Inc. of Arizona issued a $7.5 million mortgage.

Lexington said in a news release it will launch an extensive, 18-month renovation, remaining open during the work. It will return the hotel to a nautical theme in recognition of the St. Johns River and U.S. Navy.

“We plan to pay homage with art, décor, and monuments throughout the property,” said Bernie Moyle, COO and CFO of Vantage Hospitality in the release.

The lobby will be reconfigured and a covered outdoor extension with a fireplace and water features will be added. Guestrooms and bathrooms will be remodeled and meeting areas will be redecorated.

Outside, the roof and windows will be replaced, a new entry drive and updated porte cochere will be created. New landscaping and an updated pool area also are planned.

Moyle said renovations will take place “going one wing at a time, from the roof on down.”

The sale was brokered by Brown Nester Hospitality Services, representing the buyer, and the hotel will be managed by Cal-Vegas Ltd., both affiliates of Vantage.

Brown Nester also will manage the renovations.

The hotel property carries a market value of $7.05 million, according to the Duval County Property Appraiser.

The property was sold by Torchlight Loan Services LLC of Miami.

The Jacksonville hotel is listed on the official site of Lexington by Vantage at lexingtonhotels.com. That site shows 31 Lexington-brand hotels around the country, including in Daytona Beach, and three internationally.

Vantage Hospitality, created in 1999, is a privately held company that says it is among the world’s top 10 franchises based on its more than 1,200 properties.

The company’s legacy brands include Americas Best Value Inn and the Lexington by Vantage collection of inns, hotels and suites that offer three- and four-star hotel owners the option to customize their property and amenities based on market niches.

In January, owners’ representatives confirmed the Wyndham and surrounding properties, totaling about 16 acres under separate owners.

The property, at 1515 Prudential Drive on the Downtown Southbank, was under contract last year but that buyer did not complete the deal.

Lexingtonhotels.com describes the Jacksonville property as a 323-room hotel with 23 meeting rooms totaling 35,000 square feet of meeting space. That includes a 10,000-square-foot ballroom that can accommodate up to 800 people for a banquet.

The Lexington also features the casual St. Johns Café and the Currents Lounge.

The former Wyndham was built in 1981 as a Sheraton. It also has operated as a Radisson.