Hampton plans to demolish old Quality Inn site, hoping it will be more attractive for redevelopment

Lisa Vernon Sparks, The Daily Press
·2 min read

The former Quality Inn Hotel, with its multi-story tower that makes it one of Hampton’s tallest buildings, has a date with a wrecking ball.

City officials hope to demolish the boarded-up hotel at 1809 W. Mercury Blvd., and its adjacent buildings that were home to nearly a dozen small businesses by spring at the latest.

“You’ll be seeing Steven Lynch on a wrecking ball bringing that building down (and) really kind of clearing that site for us 1/4 u201a” quipped Hampton’s economic director Chuck Rigney, referring to the city’s business development manager, when he gave an update to the City Council in September.

“It is definitely important news to have this eyesore coming down, as the Coliseum corridor is a true gateway and strategically important to us,” Rigney said in an email.

The Economic Development Authority closed on a deal with Mercury Hospitality LLC, the parent company of the Quality Inn, acquiring the roughly seven-acre parcel for $5.6 million. Hampton dipped into its general fund to assist with the purchase to use in the Coliseum Central business hub - home to the Hampton Roads Convention Center and the Coliseum - to build other hotels in the district.

Developers see older rundown properties on Coliseum Drive as deterrents to investment and some of the older hotel properties in the area, including the Quality Inn, have attracted crime, according to a Q&A post on the city’s website.

The hotel property sold in 2018 and since, Hampton has diligently sought proposals from prospective developers to breathe new life into the property in an overall push to expand its commercial tax base.

Two local developers, among seven companies who visited the site in February during an information tour, including Newport News-based W.M. Jordan and the Tabani Group, which owns the Peninsula Town Center, on the other side of Mercury Boulevard, according to an attendance list.

As of November, the city has not had any hits.

“It’s a great location, but it was difficult to sell or attract attention in its current condition,” Rigney said. “A cleared site is much more marketable.”

Lisa Vernon Sparks, 757-247-4832, lvernonsparks@dailypress.com

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