ANNAPOLIS, MD-It is not quite a done deal yet, but Highland Hospitality Corp. has put itself in a position to become the new owner of the Sheraton Barceló Annapolis hotel by signing a definitive agreement to acquire the 197-room property for $18 million. Lodging REIT Highland would be taking the property off the hands of Grubarges Annapolis LLC, an offshoot of the Madrid, Spain-based joint venture involving construction company Grucycsa, hotel company Barceló and Spanish bank BBVA.

Pyramid Advisors has been serving as the asset manager on behalf of the JV members, one of which acquired Sheraton Annapolis in 2000 as part of a $325-million, 16-hotel deal. That member, Barceló, instituted a $4.5-million renovation of the property in 2001. As per Anne Arundel County records, the property has a current assessed value of approximately $14.8 million.

Sheraton Annapolis is an upscale hotel and conference center that occupies a five-acre parcel off Route 50 near the US Naval Academy and the State Capitol. Built in 1986, the facility features the 5,000-sf Chesapeake Ballroom–the largest meeting facility in Annapolis–an additional 1,700 sf of meeting space, and a 2,200-sf garden ballroom. “We believe this hotel will generate immediate strong returns for our shareholders,” Highland president and CEO James L. Francis says, “and we will further enhance the quality of this asset with a renovation of its guestrooms, lobby, meeting rooms, restaurant and other common areas.”

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