Who’s buying and selling?

Three hotels have changed hands—two in Georgia and another in Texas.

Pixiu Real Estate and Woodbine Development acquire The Driskill Hotel
Pixiu Real Estate, Woodbine Development Corporation and a collective of Austin-based investors have acquired The Driskill, from Hyatt Hotels & Resorts.

Woodbine is the Dallas-based real estate investment firm behind many notable hotel properties in Texas and beyond. Pixiu Real Estate is part of Pixiu Investments, an investment firm owned by Eddie Margain, co-founder of several ventures, including local MLS club Austin FC. Among the investor group is Bryan Sheffield, founder of Parsley Energy and fellow investor in Austin FC.

“As a destination, The Driskill Hotel has been a shining star for Austinites and Texas-bound travelers since it opened its doors in 1886,” said Dupree Scovell, managing partner/chief investment officer, Woodbine. “As new owners and stewards of this historic property, we’re excited to work with Hyatt, Pixiu and the local investor group, who have a common goal of enhancing this hotel and ensuring its legacy for years to come.”

The Driskill anchors the Sixth Street Entertainment District in downtown Austin. The new ownership group is looking to maintain and elevate the appeal of the 189-room luxury hotel, while also helping to stabilize and revitalize the surrounding neighborhood. The group has expressed initial plans to invest a substantial amount of capital, which is intended to help spur momentum for revitalization along Sixth St.

While no longer owners of the hotel, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts will continue daily management of the property.

The Montford Group. and Opterra Capital acquire Aloft Savannah Airport Hotel
The Montford Group. and Opterra Capital have closed on the acquisition of the new, 129-room Aloft Savannah Airport hotel by Marriott.

The hotel celebrated its opening on May 17, and the companies completed their acquisition of the property on May 25, marking their second Aloft-branded hotel under ownership and their inaugural hotel venture in Georgia. Aimbridge Hospitality has been selected to manage the property on behalf of ownership.

“Savannah has been a priority market for us to break into given the city’s strong market fundamentals and growing demand profile,” said Glenn Alba, founder/CEO, Opterra Capital. “The Savannah airport market is poised for continued record growth and the Pooler submarket is seeing a significant expansion in multifamily and single-family residential, coupled with increased cargo capabilities through the Port, making this a very attractive investment opportunity.”

Located three miles from Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, the hotel is within a 20-minute drive to Savannah’s Historic District. The property has 129 guestrooms designed with the brand’s signature loft-like layout, featuring nine-foot ceilings, plush platform beds and simple contemporary decor.

In tandem with the Aloft Savannah Airport acquisition, the companies also announced the launch of their joint venture, TMGOC Ventures.

“After a few years of successful joint investments and development deals facilitated by The Montford Group. and Opterra Capital offices, we felt this was an opportune time to launch our joint venture,” said Sunju Patel, founder/CEO, Charleston-based The Montford Group. “We are excited to formalize our union as we look to expand our development and investment opportunities within the hospitality space and build a national portfolio of iconic and value-add properties.”

Alba added, “We are eager to expand our footprint beyond the Southeast region, and with the breadth of experience we offer as a combined entity, we are confident that we can play nimbly in the resort space, urban city centers or the extended-stay realm. And because of our deep, long-standing relationships across the highest levels of the hospitality and capital markets spectrum, we are able to partner with leading global hotel companies and top brands to bring innovative hotel products to under-supplied and high-growth markets.”

Since 2019, The Montford Group. and Opterra Capital have partnered on multiple transactions across the hotel, multi-family and office sectors, totaling more than $700 million in existing and pipeline development assets. The TMGOC Ventures portfolio features 14 hotels under ownership and development predominately on the East Coast in key markets in Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Ohio and Georgia, including four ground-up lifestyle and independent hotels the duo is developing in Charleston. In 2021, the joint venture closed more than $200 million in real estate transactions, including the acquisition of five hotel assets in Florida markets with high growth potential.

Hodges Ward Elliott brokers sale of Hampton Inn Athens
Hodges Ward Elliott has brokered the sale of the Hampton Inn Athens hotel, a 112-room select-service hospitality asset in Athens, GA.

An HWE team led by Clint Hodges, managing director, B.J. Patel, director and Michael Brandes, VP, advised the seller McNeill Hotel Company in the negotiations.

“The Hampton Inn Athens is an exceptional asset strategically positioned in the heart of one of the fastest growing submarkets in the Sunbelt,” said Patel. “This was an opportunity to acquire a desirable Hilton branded, select-service asset with an excellent location and we received strong interest in the offering from numerous investors.”

Built in 1995, the hotel is centrally located in the Athens market with immediate access to area demand generators and corporate lodging demand. The hotel is within a five-minute drive of the University of Georgia and The Classic Center, the region’s convention center.