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The William & Mary Real Estate Foundation has agreed to purchase the Days Inn, located adjacent to the university’s campus at 902 Richmond Road, according to a news release from the college.
Sam Jones, senior vice president for finance and administration at William & Mary, stated in the release that the university plans to use the property as student housing for upperclassmen while on-campus student housing undergoes renovations.
Another potential use for the building, Jones said, is for graduate student housing. Most of the rooms would be single occupancy. The two-story building is approximately 38,600 square feet and sits on 1.609 acres. It includes 102 guestrooms.
“The Days Inn property is highly desirable for the university and real estate foundation because of its location and potential use as housing for upperclassmen or graduate students,” Jones said in the release. “We also think this purchase will support an important goal for the city by bringing more students into university-operated housing.”
The $3.05-million sale is contingent on the City of Williamsburg rezoning the hotel to allow the real estate foundation and university to use it as student housing. The W&M Real Estate Foundation will now begin the process of requesting the city to rezone the property.
The city itself has been in the process of buying up budget hotels. The Lord Paget Motel was the first commercial property the city purchased on Capitol Landing Road with the hopes of flipping it for redevelopment. The city’s most recent purchase was the Super 8 Motel on Richmond Road.
In January the city council voted to allow City Manager Marvin Collins to finalize the contract to buy the motel, which was built in 1963 and is located near the Richmond Road-Monticello Avenue-Lafayette Street intersection in Midtown.
“It’s no secret that, as you drive down the Richmond Road corridor, whether it’s coming into town or leaving town, this is one of the first or last impressions our guests get,” Mayor Paul Freiling said when city council made its July agreement to appropriate funds to purchase and ultimately demolish the hotel. “Removing it will help simply by the removal.”
Immediately after Williamsburg’s City Council approved the purchase of the dilapidated motel at 1233 Richmond Road, the city’s Human and Social Services staff began working with dozens of people who were living in 13 of the motel’s 66 units. Help from the city ranged from offering a list of housing options to connecting people with programs they may not have otherwise discovered.
“We take a holistic and long-term approach,” said Roy Gerardi, the city outreach counselor who worked on the Super 8 case. “We want to think about the whole person, and we want to avoid the Band-Aid. We want to find the best long-term solution for a person or family.”
Members of the city’s Human and Social Services staff were not immediately available for comment on the William & Mary Real Estate Foundation’s purchase of Days Inn Friday.