Mayor: FUBU won’t negotiate on $400,000 offer for St. James hotel

Published 10:24 pm Tuesday, February 14, 2017

FUBU won’t budge from its offer to buy the St. James Hotel for $400,000, according to Selma Mayor Darrio Melton.

Melton updated the council on negotiations after he was dispatched by the city council last week to negotiate with FUBU on a purchase price for the historic hotel on Water Avenue.

“The offer that they made is their final offer,” Melton said. “They have done their due diligence and research in regard to what it would take to bring that hotel up [to flagship hotel standards].”

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Melton said he thought previous council decisions about the hotel could have impacted FUBU’s willingness to negotiate. Last summer, the city council voted to sell the hotel to an Illinois businessman for $100,000 before the deal fell apart.

“I think what had transpired in previous times did not help with the negotiation of the hotel,” Melton said.

FUBU has pledged to invest at least $3 million in renovating and updating the hotel. The company also promised to try and use local contractors whenever possible, according to Melton.

“I would urge the council based off the investment they are willing to make in the St. James Hotel to put in stipulations that those investments will be made and on top of that they have committed to us that local contractors when they can be used will be used,” Melton said. “The whole idea is for us to make sure that hotel is what she should be. It is the crown jewel of Water Avenue, and we have a company that desires to come in to help us.”

The council voted unanimously to proceed with a possible sale that would need final council approval. Councilwoman Miah Jackson was absent from Tuesday’s meeting.

During a work session Friday, the city council voted to counter offer $550,000. An appraisal last year put the hotel’s value at $900,000.

Whatever the hotel sells for, the city will also have to pay realtors, Hotel Assets Group out of Atlanta, $70,000.

FUBU is a clothing company that was started in 1992 by Daymond John, who now stars on the television show Shark Tank. According to the company’s website, one of its founders, Carl Brown, has launched a new venture called Erudite Hotels and Residences, which is a “boutique hospitality brand.”

The Times-Journal continues to reach out to FUBU for comment on their plans for the hotel.