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July 24, 2014

Bellevue Red Lion may not be long for this world

Puget Sound Business Journal

Marc Stiles

The Red Lion Hotel in downtown Bellevue is for sale.

A fixture along Interstate 405 since 1969, the two-story property that spreads across six acres epitomizes how Bellevue is morphing from an auto-dependent suburb to a more urban city with mass transit. The hotel at 11211 Main St. is across the street from the site of a future light-rail station, making the neighborhood a target for denser real estate development.

"This hotel has successfully contributed to our company under an excellent management team, but ultimately operation of a sprawling two-story hotel on this site is not the highest and best use of this property, which is among the most desirable redevelopment sites on the West Coast," Greg Mount, president and CEO of Spokane-based Red Lion Hotels Corp., said in a statement Thursday.

The publicly traded company (NYSE: RLH), which considered selling itself last year, has been undergoing big changes. Key officers have retired or resigned, and the chain has been selling some assets to pay down debt and fund renovations. The company said it wants to focus more attention on operating properties in city centers, including those in the Puget Sound region.

Mount said the company wants to "capture the full value of [the Bellevue] property and redeploy the proceeds toward debt reduction and hotel investment opportunities in the key markets we are targeting across the U.S. to provide the best return for our shareholders."

He added Red Lion is exploring the Seattle/Bellevue area for hotel conversion and joint venture opportunities.

The Bellevue Red Lion has 181 rooms and 5,700 square feet of meeting space. Commercial real estate company Kidder Mathews is marketing the property for sale, with brokers Jason Rosauer, Rob Anderson, and Gary Guenther leading the effort.

For the full story, go to Puget Sound Business Journal .

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