Hotel Petersburg’s restoration project boosted by $600K state grant

The Petersburg Hotel has been renovated as it looks from the outside. (Photos and presentations by Retro Hospitality)

A planned revival of a century-old hotel property in Petersburg is nearing, after securing funding assistance from the governor’s office.

Restoration of the old Petersburg hotel is set to begin in earnest early next year, backed in part by a $600,000 grant provided through the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development Industrial Recovery Fund.

The grant was one of four grants for 2022 through the fund, which uses local and private resources to support the redevelopment of degraded industrial structures in the state. A similar amount was awarded to another hotel project, a planned conversion of the old Blackstone College for Girls in Nottway County.

View of the new guest rooms of the renovated hotel.

The Petersburg Hotel grant adds to funding for the $13 million project, which was announced last year as initial work to prepare for the building began. The development team led by Nat Cuthbert, of Petersburg, is behind these efforts, which have so far included pre-construction repair work, plaster repair, paint and window replacement.

The team works with the city government and Retro Hospitality, a Richmond-based consultancy whose clients include the Quirk Hotel. Paul Cooper of Retro said the government grant will provide a form of bridge funding as the team works to secure a bank loan for the project.

Paul Cooper

“It’s useful as part of the total capital,” Cooper said of the grant. “We are working towards a loan committee review with the bank in December, and we expect the project to be funded either late December or early January, depending on their review,” Cooper said. He declined to name the bank because the loan is under review.

Cooper said that upon closing of the loan, construction would begin immediately, beginning a project expected to last 15 to 18 months. He said the hotel is targeted to open in late summer or early fall 2023.

The seven-story building at 20 W. Tabb Street will be renovated into a 65-room hotel with a restaurant, bar, banquet room, and street-facing storefronts. The building, which dates back to 1915, was commissioned as a hotel in 1969. The property has been dormant ever since.

Cuthbert, the radiologist who along with his brother Charlie converted the former Union Trust building at 200 N. Sycamore St. To 42 units Courthouse View Apartments, he bought the Hotel Petersburg building in late 2017 for $500,000. Cuthbert put his own money into starting the project.

Cooper said the development team is reviewing construction and pricing documents from three companies vying to act as contractor on the project. The team has changed architects and is now working with Scott Gordon of The Yellow Room, based in Richmond. Thomas Hamilton & Associates is the interior designer.

Picture of the new hotel lobby.

The financing for the project is provided by Berkadia, with Costa Canavos acting as the mortgage broker. The renovation will also include historic state and federal tax credits for rehabilitation.

The hotel is expected to create 60 full-time and 40 part-time jobs, according to the grant announcement from Governor Ralph Northam’s office. Petersburg Mayor Samuel Parham was quoted as describing the project as “essential to revitalizing downtown Petersburg and its old city districts.”

“This boutique hotel will boost tourism in the Petersburg region by elevating the visitor experience and will act as a catalyst for new jobs and economic growth,” Parham said, adding that the city has developed a revolving loan fund that will help complete the project. .

Parham will discuss the Petersburg Hotel Project and other initiatives driving the city’s economy and business trends at the “Future: Petersburg” event at BizSense on Wednesday. Details about the virtual panel discussion are available here.

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