Watergate Hotel on Auction Block

By Mat Probasco,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2009 6:10 AM CDT
An exterior view of the Watergate Hotel, which included the headquarters of the Democratic National Party. The burglary of those offices eventually led to the resignation of Richard Nixon in 1974.    (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Political scandal icon the Watergate Hotel will go to the highest bidder Tuesday when creditors auction off the foreclosed property, reports the Washington Post. The 251-room hotel, scene of a burglary that eventually brought down a president, has been empty since 2007 as its owners scrambled to pay $40 million in loans. Bidding starts at $1 million.

The auction house has fielded inquires from Tokyo to the Middle East, with no shortage of domestic bidders as well. The 12-story hotel sold for $45 million in 2004 and may appear a bargain, but could also be a money pit: It needs roughly $100 million in repairs. New owners will also owe $250,000 in back property taxes.