A Graduate Hotel in Madison, Wisconsin

Eugene Hilton Sold

Longtime downtown hotel to be remodeled to become a more hipster Graduate Eugene

Eugene’s Hilton Hotel has been sold, and it will undergo an extensive remodel to become Graduate Eugene, according to a giddy press release from AJ Capital partners.

The “comprehensive renovation to convert to Graduate Eugene” will be complete in the summer of 2019, the release says, and the hotel will be part of the “Graduate Hotels® collection.” AJ Capital Partners is a hospitality and real estate investment group.

The Graduate Hotels website says “to be a Graduate is to be part of a well-curated, well-crafted collection of hotels that reside in the most dynamic university towns across the country.”

Each hotel is tailored to the community in which it is located. A USA Today story earlier this year says the boutique chain is the only one targeting the college audience.

Tim Franzen, president of Graduate Hotels, says in the release, “It is with great pleasure that we announce the acquisition of the Hilton Eugene.” He adds, “This is a perfect example of our strategy of investing in hotels located in the hearts of truly unique and multi-dimensional university-anchored markets from coast to coast. We look forward to introducing Graduate Eugene, and our signature style of hospitality, to the Eugene and University of Oregon communities next summer.”

The Hilton is located on 6th Avenue in the downtown area, not far from former Eugene Mayor Brian Obie’s boutique hotel, The Inn at the Fifth. Obie is planning to expand his Fifth Street Public Market and the inn with a mixed-use development that will include a “seven-story, 82-room boutique hotel fronting Oak Street,” according to The Register-Guard. 

The Hilton has 275 rooms, and when renovation is complete, the press release says the Graduate Eugene, like its other properties, will celebrate and commemorate “the optimistic energy of its community.” Graduate Hotels has 11 open and operating hotels across the U.S. and an additional seven hotels under development slated to open by 2020. Current cities range from Seattle to Madison, Wisconsin, and appear to have a hipster flair.

Hilton also built the Home2Suites lurking over the Kiva grocery across 11 Avenue, which is not mentioned in the release.

Unlike the historic Hayward Field renovations teardown, it’s unlikely the change to Hilton will get much community pushback.

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