Rockbridge announced the acquisition of the DoubleTree Hotel and Suites Charleston – Historic District, located at 181 Church Street, as well as Hank’s Seafood Restaurant, which is located adjacent to the hotel, from The Holliday Companies / Incorporated for an undisclosed sum. As the 14th largest hotel owner and developer in the U.S. and longtime partner with Hilton brands, Rockbridge knows the Charleston market well and views this as an opportunity to add extremely well-positioned properties to its investment portfolio.
Rockbridge is working closely with the seller and its team to have a seamless transition with no changes in the day-to-day operations. The Holliday Companies / Incorporated, its president Sergio Roa, and chef Frank McMahon will assist in overseeing the operations of Hank’s Seafood Restaurant for Rockbridge. Charlestowne Hotels, with its headquarters in Charleston, will manage the day-to-day operations of the hotel.
“Charleston is fortunate to have Rockbridge bring its business acumen and impeccable record of successful hotel ownership to our community,” says Hank Holliday of The Holliday Companies / Incorporated. “Rockbridge has a long history of understanding and respecting local communities and cultures as a part of their work, and our team looks forward to being part of that process in Charleston.”
“Rockbridge is proud to continue in Hank’s footsteps and respects greatly what he has done for the city of Charleston. We will continue to work directly with Hank and his team to provide a seamless transition and continue the great success of his namesake restaurant. Moreover, we intend to reinvest in the hotel to enhance the strength of its location and physical attributes. We could not be more pleased to become a part of the Charleston community. To this end, we are thrilled to be working with Charlestowne Hotels and members of the Holliday Companies / Incorporated team to steer us in the right direction,” says Jim Merkel, CEO of Rockbridge Holdings.
“This hotel is an irreplaceable asset,” says Michael Tall, President of Charlestowne Hotels. “The prime location in the very epicenter of Charleston’s business and historic districts, the guest rooms, which are among the largest in the city, and the on-site parking garage make this simply an extraordinary hotel. With Rockbridge’s hospitality experience and keen interest in being part of the local community, we are very excited about the future of this property.”
The hotel is prominently located adjacent to the Charleston City Market, the city’s most visited public attraction. Following its acquisition by The Holliday Companies / Incorporated in August 1998, the hotel underwent a significant renovation and became a Hilton Hotel bearing the DoubleTree flag. It has become one of Charleston’s most successful hotels, offering 212 guest rooms including 165 guest suites, over 12,000 square feet of meeting space, an underground 140-space parking garage, fitness and business centers, and a large, private courtyard.
When Hank’s Seafood Restaurant opened in 1999, Esquire named it one of “America’s Best New Restaurants.” Readers of the Charleston City Paper have voted it “Best Seafood Restaurant” every year since it opened 15 years ago. The combination of a convivial atmosphere, very fresh ingredients, and beloved Lowcountry culinary traditions has made Hank’s Seafood Restaurant one of the city’s consistently top-performing restaurants.
Charleston’s allure as a top leisure destination and continued market growth are strong indicators for the future success of both the hotel and Hank’s Seafood Restaurant. In recent years, both Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure magazine have selected Charleston as the “Best U.S. City” to visit, while Saveur magazine recently named it the “Best Little Food City” in America. The hotel is within easy walking distance of the newly opened $142 million Gaillard Performance Hall, the scenic Battery and Charleston Harbor, and the famed neighborhoods of Charleston’s Historic District.