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Former Dearborn Hyatt to be sold, turned into apartments

The former Dearborn Hyatt Regency hotel, closed since December 2018, is under contract to be sold to a New York-based company that is looking to transform the property into apartments.

An attorney for the unidentified buyer, Amir Makled of Dearborn-based Hall Makled, said Monday that the company plans to turn the 773-room hotel into a mix of 375 market-rate apartments and possibly a small hotel.

“We have a buyer who’s well capitalized and has the credentials to redevelop the property to its prior glory,” Makled said. “They are committed to having a very swift transformation and getting a project approved through the municipality and moving through all the construction phases as quickly as possible.”

The hotel is owned by the U.S. and Canadian governments and the sale is pending through the U.S. Marshals Service, and could close in a matter of weeks.

News of the sale was first reported by Crain’s Detroit.

The hotel’s former owner, Edward Gong, a Chinese-born businessman who immigrated to Canada, relinquished control of the property after facing criminal charges in Canada for fraud and money-laundering allegations. Media reports in June said Gong agreed to forfeit $50 million to New Zealand authorities.

Gong purchased the crescent-shaped hotel for $20 million in 2016, renaming it The Edward Hotel & Convention Center.

The hotel opened in 1976 and is the second largest hotel in Michigan after the 1,328-room Marriott at the Renaissance Center. After previous owners were unable or unwilling to make renovations, Hyatt yanked its brand name off the hotel in 2012.

The shuttered hotel was marketed this year to potential buyers by the Jonna Group, a division of Colliers International.

Simon Jonna told the Free Press that numerous housing developers expressed interest in buying and transforming the property and that it received 13 to 14 offers. The buyer is a large company that owns more than 15,000 apartments, he said.

“We had tremendous national and international interest,” Jonna said. “We had a lot of prominent buyers that we were sorry to see go, but this buyer just stepped it up.”


Posted By: Detroit Free Press on September 13, 2021.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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