Blighted former Petersburg hotel could soon see new life

PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — A former Petersburg hotel that many say has grown into an eyesore will get a major face lift and could reopen under new ownership.

The hotel in the 300 block of E. Washington Street is one of the first things you see coming into the City of Petersburg on I-95, but it has sat empty for years now.

“It’s about time, and it’s a good thing that they are going to be doing something to clean up the area,” said Lori Meredith, who, along with her husband, owns The Flower Mart along E. Washington Street. “This is the gateway to Petersburg that we hear about all the time, but they don’t seem to be doing anything about it. I love this area, we have been in business since 1951, been here since 1963.”

Over the years they have seen this area and this hotel building change drastically.

“It’s been great at one time, but it’s been run down, they have tried to fix it up, they did fix it up at one time but nothing ever became of it, it just went into disrepair again,” said Meredith.

Recently, a $2 million federal loan was approved for the Cambria by Choice hotel to be constructed. 8News on Thursday spoke with the developer by phone, who tells us they plan to do a full gut rehab on the existing structure and add a new all glass tower for suites.

In addition, there will be 20,000 square feet of retail space and a full restaurant. Many people here hope this new venture will spruce up this area, and bring more people off 95 and into their shops.

“In order to get people into the city I think they need to have a reason to get off the interstate, and we’re not giving it to them,” said Meredith.

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