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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Jun 18, 2018

Huge ‘garage sale’ hits Iowa City as furnishings from the 234-room Sheraton are liquidated

By Madison Arnold, The Gazette | Jan 04, 2018

IOWA CITY — If anyone is looking for a $1 garbage bin or a $1,250 oil painting, a massive “garage sale” going on downtown over the next month could be the place to try shopping.

International Content Liquidations of Dayton, Ohio, is helping sell off many of the items from the former Sheraton Hotel, 210 Dubuque St., beginning at 10 a.m. Thursday.

The liquidation of the hotel’s furniture was triggered after Chicago-based AJ Capital Partners, connected with Graduate Hotels, purchased the 234-room Sheraton with the intention of renovating it.

Graduate Hotels specializes in creating hotels in college towns like Iowa City with rooms designed to create “a sense of nostalgia,” Tim Franzen, president of Graduate Hotels, previously told The Gazette when the purchase agreement was disclosed in May.

The liquidation sale is scheduled to be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.

Claudia Miller, a senior business development leader for the liquidator, said that different items will be released and become available throughout the sale.

“The things that you see the first day, those will get sold then we’ll have other things released,” Miller said. “So whatever day you come back, two weeks from now, it’s going to be different stuff.”

Currently, shoppers can choose major furniture pieces like mattresses, lamps, artwork, bathroom vanities, end tables or even a Christmas tree. Miller said the company will conduct the liquidation like a garage sale — meaning there is no delivery and customers should bring sacks, carts or even screwdrivers to take the items away.

Miller said customers attracted to liquidations like these often range from parents looking for a new bed for a child to companies buying in bulk. Miller said she’d typically expect 1,000 people to show up to shop on the first day, but was unsure of how the chilly temperatures would affect that.

The Sheraton is the second large hotel in the Corridor to be liquidated within a year, although for different reasons.

The 82-room Best Western Cooper’s Mill near the Cedar River in Cedar Rapids was liquidated last February after being shuttered in the 2016 flood and never reopened.

The city agreed to buy and demolish the hotel, which also was damaged in the 2008 flood, and make way for an eventual flood control system.

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