Downtown San Mateo’s storied Benjamin Franklin Hotel, long closed and in disrepair, has been sold to a well-known venture capitalist.
The hotel’s new owner is Tim Draper, a colorful Peninsula character who helped Skype and Hotmail get their start. Draper’s intentions with the beautiful nine-story structure, built in 1926 and once a prime San Mateo destination, were not immediately clear, but local leaders were nonetheless happy with the deal.
“Needless to say, we should be excited that someone of this caliber has invested in the largest historic property in our downtown,” said Rob Edwards, executive director of the Downtown San Mateo Association.
Draper is head of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, a Menlo Park-based VC firm, and is credited with inventing the concept of “viral marketing.”
Draper was reported to have bought the hotel at auction. The final sale price was not immediately available.
-- Staff Reports