Woodard sells Canterbury Hotel to Ohio firm

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Local businessman Turner Woodard announced Tuesday that he has sold the upscale Canterbury Hotel at 123 S. Illinois St. in downtown Indianapolis.

Terms of the deal with Columbus, Ohio-based RockBridge Capital LLC, a hotel investment firm, were not disclosed. The 12-story, 99-room Canterbury ranks eighth in the latest IBJ listing of the city’s most expensive hotels in terms of room rates. Nightly room rates range from $179 to $699.

Turner, who owns the Stutz Business Center, purchased the Canterbury in 2010 from the Fortunato family of suburban Chicago.

“The Canterbury is a special place in the city of Indianapolis and always has been,” Woodard said in a prepared statement. “We are proud of the many improvements we’ve been able to make at the Canterbury over the last several years to re-energize the spirit and appreciation for the hotel.”

The hotel had struggled in the years prior to Woodard’s ownership as upscale rivals such as the Conrad Indianapolis, which opened in 2006, had become more attractive to visitors.

In 2009, The Restaurant at the Canterbury Hotel stopped serving lunch, after sales declined about 15 percent from the previous year. Woodard renamed the restaurant Turner’s and again began offering lunch.

Woodard has a history of turning around older commercial properties, including the Stutz Motorcar Co. building at 100 N. Capitol Ave., which he bought in 1993, and the Ideal Motor Car Co. building at 217 W. 10th St., which he bought in 2001. Both are part of the Stutz Business Center, which was 95-percent occupied as of August 2011.

Since 1992, Rockbridge has invested nearly $3 billion in hotels across the country, according to its website.

“I am hopeful that by passing the torch to RockBridge, our family’s vision will be fulfilled a bit more quickly, benefiting our vibrant Indianapolis downtown market,” Woodard said.

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