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Rennaissance Portsmouth Hotel &
Waterfront Conference Center

LOCATION Downtown Portsmouth, Virginia

TYPE OF OWNERSHIP Public/Private Partnership

OPENING DATE January 2001

As a principal, JMS capitalized this 250-room, full-service waterfront hotel and conference center with equity and debt financing. In addition, JMS arranged the sale of the hotel and dissolution of the ownership entity.


  • Three-meal restaurant
  • Bar and lounge
  • Concierge lounge and guest rooms
  • Indoor pool and health club
  • Convenience retail outlet
  • 25,000 square feet of conference and banquet space including amphitheater
  • Attached 458 space parking garage

The city of Portsmouth sought to redevelop its downtown and waterfront to expand upon the charm already created with the restoration of its Old Town area and to stimulate the local economy with additional tourism and convention spending.   Several firms were interviewed, but the city ultimately selected a proven developer with public/private experience who had developed the hotel and convention center in nearby Norfolk.

The selected developer acted as the sole source developer for the hotel, conference center and parking garage

The legal structure is that of a condominium with separate ownership of each of the hotel, conference center, and parking facilities.   The space above and adjacent to the conference center is the hotel condominium unit which is owned by the city and long term leased to a private venture. The venture owns title to the bricks and mortar and furniture, fixtures and equipment. The conference center is owned by the city and leased to the venture. The garage is owned by the city and managed by the hotel manager.

In addition to funding of the conference center and parking garage, the City funded an $11.95 million grant for construction of the hotel.   In addition to base rent on the condominium unit, the city receives a participation in hotel profits above defined returns on private capital. Of the total development costs of $46.3 million, public investment amounts to approximately 70%.