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SAN ANTONIO-A historic building has a new owner in a $3.35-million sale of the 39-room Clarion O’Brien Hotel to a private investor from Hartsdale, NY, who plans to retain the flag. The 102-year-old building underwent a massive renovation in 2003 to change from office to hospitality.

According to hospitality specialist Allan Miller with Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Brokerage Co. in Austin, O’Brien Hospitality Ltd. of San Antonio put a great deal of financial resources, time and effort into the renovation, taking out a ground-floor restaurant and overhauling the upper floors to turn the building at 116 Navarro St. into a boutique-style hotel. The renovation, combined with the building’s proximity to the River Walk meant that “we had a lot of interest in this property,” Miller tells GlobeSt.com. “I’d say we had seven offers before we pulled the trigger and this buyer offered the best price and terms, close to the asking price.” He says the hotel is the buyer’s first in San Antonio and only one planned for now.

The hotel, formerly called the O’Brien Building, was completed in 1904, predominantly an office property for most of the time. As San Antonio grew, the O’Brien Building lost its prestige as a quality office location and would have been torn down if not for the efforts of the San Antonio Historical Preservation Society. Miller says leases, though, still weren’t exactly plentiful so that by the time the sellers took over the asset, the upper floors were vacant and only the ground floor operational.

The Clarion O’Brien at sale time was running at 65% occupancy. Its average daily room rate is $95. “We’ve seen an increase in both since then,” Miller adds, adding the popularity of the River Walk combined with the hotel’s new look have helped boost interest.

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