Axle Capital and Greenwood
Hospitality plan to spruce
up the historical Sheraton
Gunter Hotel.

SAN ANTONIO- California-based Axle Capital Group has acquired the 103-year-old Sheraton Gunter Hotel. The new owner, in partnership with Greenwood Hospitality Group of Denver, will soon embark on a multimillion-dollar renovation to “bring what I’ll call a component of relevance to the hotel,” comments Greenwood principal Tom Conran.

Built in 1909, the hotel was once the Alamo City’s largest building and a popular destination for visitors; these days it also boasts 23,000 square feet of meeting/conference space. In recent years, however, the property at 205 Houston St. near the Riverwalk had its problems until 2011, when lender JP Morgan Chase bought back the property from then-owner Gunter Hotel Ventures through an auction. Conran tells that the hotel remained operational through its foreclosure timeline, and the property itself is still in good shape.

“Having said, that, our renovations on behalf of Axle Capital will include guest room and corridor improvements, full renovation of the lobby and reconcepting of the food and beverage services,” Conran says.  Renovations are anticipated to take between 18 and 24 months. Conran says the hotel will continue operating under the Sheraton flag and Greenwood Hospitality will manage the property.

The hotel’s sales price was undisclosed, with the Bexar Central Appraisal District assessing the property at more than $24 million. Likewise, Conran remains mum on how much Axle Capital will invest in renovations, though allowed that the renovation would be top to bottom.

The Sheraton Gunter buy comes on the heels of two other acquisitions made by Greenwood Hospitality; the 308-room Henry in Dearborn, MI and the 341-room Hilton Harrisburg in Harrisburg, PA. “Both of those were classified as upscale hotels, and we look at the Sheraton Gunter in a similar fashion,” Conran explains.

He adds that Greenwood Hospitality’s M.O. isn’t so much geographically driven as much as it involves opportunities. “We have a pipeline with a lot of activity,” he adds. “We hope there is potentially another transaction within the next 90 days.”