Landmark Hotel in Downtown Fayetteville Undergoes Massive Makeover as The Chancellor

by George Waldon  on Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 12:00 am  

Ike Thrash, left, and Sam Alley have partnered to restore the faded luster of a landmark high-rise hotel in Fayetteville that has seen a series of financial ups and downs. [Photo by Wesley Hitt]

"We're here for the long haul," Thrash said. "What is it the old savings and loan commercial use to say? There are substantial penalties for early withdrawal. The terms of the financing make it economically punitive for us to sell the property."

Only 91 of the original 235 rooms were habitable, with the balance in various stages of demolition/remodeling except for one prototype room, dubbed the $6 million room.

The figure reflects how much money that Richard Alexander and John Nock borrowed and supposedly spent to renovate the hotel before they lost it last year to ANB Venture through foreclosure.

While inspecting the property, Thrash couldn't figure out where the $6 million went into the building. Possible high-ticket items, such as a new heating and cooling system or elevators, remained unchanged.

"They didn't do any of those. At the end of the day, it is what it is. There's no way you can make enough excuses for that."

Southwind intends to complete in one year what Alexander and Nock couldn't after four years of ownership.

Alexander and Nock blamed the demise of their financier, ANB Financial, for derailing the Cosmopolitan, one of a string of failed developments highlighted by their Renaissance Tower project.

The nearby site of the proposed 16-story, 144-room hotel with condominiums on the top three floors and a $25 million price tag is now only a parking lot.

With the bubble burst on that dream development, The Chancellor redevelopment has become the biggest deal going in downtown Fayetteville.

Hotel Highlights

April 15, 1980: The city of Fayetteville authorizes a $9.85 million tourism revenue bond issue to help fund construction of the 15-story, 235-room Hilton Hotel. The developers are Charles Greener and Alan Sumner of Richardson, Texas, doing business in the name of University Hilton Partners Ltd. and later University Partners Ltd. (Greener and Sumner later were involved with development of the 14-story Hot Springs Hilton Hotel, today's 196-room Austin Convention Hotel & Spa.)

Sept. 3, 1987: Bank of New York files a foreclosure suit after Greener, Sumner and their development entities default on the project's financing. This action ultimately leads to the bank entering the ownership picture through a related entity, The Fourten South Broadway Corp. The $3 million foreclosure sale closes on Jan. 12, 1992.



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