University of Alabama buys Birmingham DoubleTree

(The property's Educational Foundation purchased the hotel, and plans a full update for the near future.)

The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Educational Foundation purchased the nearby DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Birmingham for $6.7 million.

The Foundation, a nonprofit entity, is planning major renovations to the property, and is taking feedback to guide future improvements.

“The hotel occupies an important location and is uniquely suited to meet demands of the university campus,” said Jodie Mote, Educational Foundation treasurer and controller. “The significant planned upgrades will transform the facility to better support UAB and the broader community’s needs.”

Prior to the Foundation’s acquisition of the hotel, the business was viewed as underutilized by the student body despite high demand on campus for guestrooms, restaurants, parking and meeting space. Now, the Educational Foundation is buying the property to support the university’s growth and take advantage of all nearby land. Pyramid Hotel Group will continue to manage the hotel.

The University claimed the hotel had been underutilized by the campus in recent memory, and so a full renovation is planned.

“It is important that the new investments in this property deliver the amenities most needed for the best possible experience among those who will utilize the property,” Mote said. “To that end, the Educational Foundation has retained Pyramid Hotel Group to manage the hotel moving forward. They have a tremendous reputation and will work with us to ensure goals for the property are met.”

Renovations to the property, which will affect all 298 guestrooms and 15,000 square feet of meeting space, are expected to take 18 months. The hotel will remain open during the process.

“This is an important investment in UAB and also in Birmingham’s continued revitalization,” said UAB president Ray L. Watts, who also serves on the Educational Foundation board. “We are grateful that the Foundation’s leadership and board appreciate the strategic value in enhancing this property for UAB and the community.”