The medieval-chic Framingham hotel that’s hosted guests, weddings, proms, and conferences for decades and stands as a roadside icon for motorists traversing the Massachusetts Turnpike is heading to auction.
The six-story Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Conference Center, which sits on Route 9 just off the highway’s Exit 12, is slated to be auctioned on Dec. 15.
Despite the heavy blows the coronavirus pandemic has hurled at the hospitality industry, there’s been early interest in the property from hotel operators and managers, said Justin Manning, president and CFO of JJ Manning Auctioneers.
“Whether you’re on Route 9, or you’re on the Mass.Pike, the way the actual hotel is situated, you almost can’t miss it, unless you’re asleep in the car,” Manning told Boston.com. “From a hospitality standpoint, you know, there’s also nothing like it.”
The Tudor-style hotel was reportedly one of several built around a castle theme in the Northeast as part of the Sheraton Tara Hotel chain. Other locations are in Braintree, New Jersey, and New Hampshire.
The 8.1-acre lot spans two parcels, 1651 and 1657 Worcester Road (Route 9). The 255,266-square-foot hotel includes indoor and outdoor pools, a function space, a restaurant, and a gym. There are also 562 parking spaces on the premises.
“If you walk around the outside of the property, it is gargantuan,” Manning said. “I mean, 376 rooms are a tremendous amount of room.”
According to the Framingham assessor’s records, the property is valued at $33,149,000, and the building dates to 1980. The site last sold in August 2011 for $27,225,000.
Between 2011 and 2016, more than $10 million in upgrades were made, Manning said. The Sheraton is part of the Marriott brand.
The property falls under corporate mixed-use zoning, and Manning said he believes the highest bidder will probably look to keep the property as a hotel, as auctioneers are primarily marketing the site to operators of 300-plus-room hotels.
“To date, the interest, the early interest, just in the past few days that we’ve got has definitely been national in scope, meaning this thing [has] picked up like wildfire,” he said. “The entities reaching out to us are in this industry. We haven’t been contacted by anyone that’s looking to do anything different with this site.”
The auction is slated for 11 a.m. and will be held on site, Manning said. Terms include a 5 percent certified deposit, of which $250,000 by certified or bank check is due at the auction and a remainder of 10 percent is due within three businesses days, according to the auction listing.
Manning said the future buyer could possibly snag a good deal amid the pandemic woes.
“They’ll probably be able to buy it for a decent number now because the industry has been suffering as of late, but it’s going to be a solid investment, because life goes on and business goes on and traveling goes on,” he said. “And, you know, there’s just not a lot like it … in the area.”