Investment group puts Claremont Resort up for sale

The Claremont opened in 1915 and has changed hands numerous times

The Claremont Resort and Spa, whose gleaming white presence is a defining feature of the East Bay Hills, is for sale once again.

Paulson & Co., a New York based hedge fund, and Winthrop Realty Trust have put the $279-room hotel on the market for $80 million, according to a report by Bloomberg News.

The Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix is also for sale for $250 million. The Paulson–led investor groups seized control of the Claremont and four other luxury hotels from Morgan Stanley’s real estate funds and put them into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February 2011. The sales are an attempt to bring the properties out of bankruptcy, according to Bloomberg.

Around lunchtime on Wednesday men in dark business suits were wandering around the Claremont’s gym, contrasting sharply with people sweating in their spandex and shorts.

The Claremont Hotel opened in 1915 and has changed hands numerous times. Morgan Stanley acquired it in 2007.

Most of the Claremont sits in Oakland, but a small section sits in Berkeley. The hotel has a Berkeley mailing address.

Claremont files for bankruptcy, operations unaffected [02.02.11]

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  • EricPanzer

    Perfect! Let’s start gathering signatures for a ballot measure that will obligate the City to purchase it. Once it belongs to us, we have to rename it after a progressive/environmental/culinary luminary–or maybe just call it People’s Resort, but I’m flexible. Then we can move all the retired City employees into it and install both a warm water pool and an ice rink. With the revenue from renting out the remain rooms, we can pay for sewer upgrades, road repaving, and free puppies.

    I think the ballot measure should read as follows:

    Buy Claremont Resort —> ???????? —> PROFIT!1!111

  • PragmaticProgressive

    You are a local treasure — hella funny.

    Let’s also plan to have a permanent Occupy encampment on the tennis courts.  We’ll also need a medical marijuana dispensary and a petting zoo.

  • I’m Jes’ Sayin’

    Please reserve the tennis courts for, uh, tennis.

  • Tim C.

    80 Mil sounds like a bargain…

  • Greg


    Wouldn’t it be better to raze it and build 4500 1-bedroom apartment units over 250K sq. feet of retail space abutting a building with 125K sq. feet of office space?

    The 4500 high-tech workers in those apartments might otherwise have to commute to their jobs (from Danville to Palo Alto, no doubt).

    Think of the environmental impact of not razing the Claremont!

    Let us not forget the impact on jobs.  As professor Enrico Moretti at UC Berkeley estimates each job created in the ‘innovation’ sector may result in 5 more jobs created in the ‘service’ sector (and cause an overall increase in wages in the service sector).

    Failing to raze the Claremont will cost Berkeley ‘good’ 27,000 jobs!

    Before you object, let me point out:  NIMBY!

  • Greg

    Uhh, 27,000 ‘good’ jobs.  Not ‘good’ 27,000 jobs.

  • lives in Berkeley

    Definitely needs new management.  It has long failed to live up to it’s high prices.  

  • I’m Jes’ Sayin’

     I’d be OK with them Occupying either the exercise room or the locker room.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve heard it has class 1 soil.

  • Swim

    I absolutely love the Claremont. It is a historic landmark. The tower was designed by famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright!
    I do not understand why there are so manny negative comments.
    I have only lived in this area a short time. The Claremont has much to offer.
    Those who belong must treat it with respect. Honor the beautiful grounds and work to preserve it!
    To those who don’t belong, there are always special packages you can buy and spend the night.

  • TizziLish

    why not turn all unpaved grounds into gardens growing food?  the occupy folks would probably be happy to garden if berkeley buys the claremont.

  • serkes

    Were they men in black … suits?


  • Completely Serious

    Will also solve need for new council and school board chambers.  TWI classes could be consolidated there, too. I know, Free electric car charging stations.

  • Biker 94703

    Bring back the Palm Court!

  • Completely_Serious

     They turned some of the flower gardens into vegetable gardens, coincidentally on the eve of Michelle Obama’s visit a few years back.  Although the move had been planned for some time, all you Berkeley nuts saw some sort of showboating/pandering for the benefit of the First Lady.  Can’t win around here.

  • Tefari Casas

    Can we for real not demolish the Claremont? I plan on having my wedding there.

  • Anonymous

    It is obvious: UC should buy it. $80M for 279 rooms works out to $286K per room. Plus all those conference facilities. A part can be subsidized for faculty on sabbaticals, another part converted into faculty housing, and maybe a piece can remain active as a guest house for short-term visitors to the University.  

    The rent in a dormitory is about $1500 per month for a single room during the term. Debt service (at the current 4% interest rate) is a mere 11.5K per year. UC doesn’t pay property tax. So, it can cover the interest payments just by using the Claremont as a dormitory. 

    The conference center would be helpful for running events on campus, thereby saving money. 

  • ronald reagan

     ur  smokin crack

  • barry goldwater

    lets gather  signatures  to restrict eric panzer  from squeezing and  inhaling the farts  out  of  dead  pigeons