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Sheraton Baltimore City Center
Sheraton Baltimore City Center on April 1, 2014 (The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz)

Center city hotel to drop Sheraton name

Business will lay off 110 workers, could shut down operation

The hotel at 101 W. Fayette St. will soon abandon its current brand.

The Sheraton Baltimore City Center Hotel will no longer carry the Sheraton flag as of the end of May.

The current owner, Blackstone Group, is planning to continue operations at the hotel with a new name, said Mike Evitts of the Downtown Partnership. However, it is possible that all hotel operations at that location will cease.

The entire property is for sale, said Evitts, and one tower of the property is already empty. There has been talk about using that tower for residential property, he said.

The hotel operator plans to lay off 110 workers, Maryland’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation said Tuesday.
Workers received word in February of plans to sell the hotel, said Roxie Herbekian, president of Unite Here Local 7 in

Baltimore, a union representing 130 non-management workers at the Sheraton City Center. At that time, employees were told that the owners would no longer operate as Sheraton, effective at the end of May.

The management company also told DLLR that the entire hotel could be closed, affecting approximately 160 employees, “depending on the outcome of labor contract negotiations.”

Herbekian said that employees were aware of this possibility, but have been told that the primary intention was to keep the remaining hotel tower open.

“What we were told last week by the management company is it’s not decided if at the end of May it will continue to be a limited-service hotel or cease being a hotel altogether,” she said.

As a limited-service hotel, she said, it would no longer offer certain amenities, such as a full menu, full dining room and banquet services.

The Sheraton City Center property, located across from the Baltimore Arena, has 706 rooms, a full fitness center and an outdoor pool. It shares a connection bridge with the Lord Baltimore Hotel, which celebrated a remodel last week.

“There’s a lot of development that’s starting to happen there,” said Evitts.

Blackstone took ownership of the hotel in 2010 and hired Interstate Hotels & Resorts to manage the business. Blackstone had sold the Sheraton City Center and 13 other properties to Columbia Sussex Corp. in 2006 for $1.4 billion, but bought them back at a discount during the recession.

Crossroads Hospitality Management Co., the select-service division of Arlington, Va.-based Interstate Hotels & Resorts, has a portfolio of 250 hotels. Interstate has a portfolio of 380 hotels in the United States and abroad. Three of those hotels are in Maryland, including the Sheraton Center City.

Interstate is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hotel Acquisition Company LLC, which is a joint venture between China-based Jin Jiang Internationals Hotels and a private equity fund of Annapolis-based Thayer Lodging Group.