With plans for three new hotels and other development aimed at capturing regional tourism dollars, the area’s largest hotel operator said it will invest $125 million in Chesterfield County in the next three to five years – nearly as much as it’s invested there since buying its first property four decades ago.
At a gathering of Chesterfield business leaders Thursday, Shamin Hotels CEO Neil Amin announced and detailed those plans, which include a 200-room, “upper-upscale” hotel at Stonebridge and a 180-room dual-branded Hampton Inn and Home2 Suites by Hilton in Chester, where the company started and is based.
“We’ve invested about $150 million over the last 40 years in Chesterfield County, which we’re extremely proud of,” Amin told the group. “But it’s really an honor here today, and it’s kind of a sentimental moment for me to be speaking to all of you in Chesterfield County, to make the largest announcement that we’ve ever made at Shamin Hotels.”
In addition to the 200-room hotel, which Amin said would be the first full-service, new-construction hotel built in Chesterfield in over 20 years, the Stonebridge project would include a 10,000-square-foot conference center, mixed-use development with standalone and ground-floor retail with residential above, and entertainment uses that could include a brewery.
“We’re talking with a brewery, and this is a brewery that is not based in Central Virginia,” Amin said, describing the brand as well-known outside of Richmond.
The development would fill what had been planned as a second phase for Stonebridge, a mixed-use development that has replaced the old Cloverleaf Mall. The vacant land west of the development’s shopping center and north of its Richmond Volleyball Club facility once had been planned for more than 100,000 square feet of primarily big-box retail users.
The dual-branded Chester hotels would be built on land between Interstate 95 and three of Shamin’s existing properties southeast of the Route 10 interchange – a cluster of hotels Amin referred to as Shamin Park.
He said the new hotels and additional development would be an expansion of that park, with retail outparcels, restaurants, and possibly residential and office space integrating with the three existing hotels there: Shamin’s Courtyard by Marriott Chester, Holiday Inn Express Chester and Homewood Suites Chester.
“We want to make it dense and urban and really make it a destination, something that’s different that’s not in the county,” Amin said. “It’s going to be that destination that will drive people off of 95 and into Chesterfield County and create that additional tax revenue.”
The new development would fill 12 acres of a 21-acre site Shamin purchased in 2017. County property records show the company paid $1 million for the land beside the southeast quadrant of the interchange. A county assessment this year valued the 21 acres collectively at $769,400.
Describing the plans as “a once-in-a-lifetime announcement,” Amin said the investment would build on momentum seen in hospitality and tourism, and in Chesterfield in particular. He said Chesterfield in recent years has been outperforming the state in hospitality and tourism in every category.
“We’ve had great leadership in the county – great business leadership as well as our elected officials – who have really in the last five years done whatever it takes to outperform the state,” he said.
Amin’s remarks followed presentations on economic development and sports tourism impacts by Chesterfield Economic Development Director Garrett Hart and Paul Wilmoth, the county’s sports tourism coordinator.
Hosted by ChamberRVA, the breakfast meeting at Johnston-Willis Hospital was just across the street from one of Shamin’s latest projects: the under-construction Residence Inn at 10701 Center View Drive, behind Shamin’s DoubleTree Hotel and Conference Center on Koger Center Boulevard. The four-story, 111-room Residence Inn had been scheduled for a summer opening.
The Double Tree by Hilton is one of several full-service hotels in the region that Amin listed as having been built 10 years ago or more. He said the most recent new-construction full-service hotel to be built was Shamin’s Hilton Richmond Hotel and Spa in Short Pump.
Amin did not name a brand for the Stonebridge hotel, which he described as an “upper-upscale full-service hotel” that he said would be “one level above the existing product that we have in the county.” He said it would not be a Marriott-brand Renaissance Hotel, a picture of which he showed for illustrative purposes.
Shamin’s portfolio totals nearly 60 hotel properties in six states. It has 10 properties in Chesterfield, where Amin’s father purchased the company’s first property – a roadside motel called the Old Stage Motor Lodge – in southern Chesterfield in 1979.