Who’s buying, selling and financing?

The transaction market is heating up as properties are changing hands across the country, including two four-hotel deals.

NewcrestImage to acquire four LaQuinta properties from Highgate and Cerberus
NewcrestImage has entered a definitive agreement with a joint venture between Highgate and Cerberus to acquire four LaQuinta-branded properties totaling 696 rooms. The properties include the LaQuinta Inn & Suites at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) that marks NewcrestImage’s first gateway location in California.

Closing is today on one hotel—the LaQuinta Inn & Suites Irving DFW North, located two miles from DFW International Airport—while closing is expected in August for the other three hotels: LaQuinta Inn & Suites Anaheim; LaQuinta Inn Phoenix North; and LaQuinta Inn & Suites LAX.

“These properties are uniquely-positioned in strategic destination locations, making them very appealing as we structure a strong investment-based portfolio,” said Mehul Patel, managing partner/CEO, NewcrestImage.

“Highgate is pleased to execute with NewcrestImage on this transaction involving four well-located and well-positioned hotels,” said Mahmood Khimji, managing principal, Highgate. “We are excited to expand our activities with Mehul and the talented NewcrestImage team, along with our friends at Wyndham—all of whom share Highgate’s commitment to delivering exceptional guest experiences and operational results.”

Geoff Ballotti, president/CEO, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, added, “As the world’s largest hotel franchisor, we know there’s nothing more powerful than pairing great brands with proven owners who know how to deliver on guest needs. We greatly value our longstanding relationship with NewcrestImage and are proud to continue partnering with Mehul and his team as they continue growing their portfolio with Wyndham.”

Crystal Investment Property brokers four-property portfolio sale
Crystal Investment Property LLC (CIP), a member of Hotel Brokers International, brokered the sale of a confidential four-hotel portfolio, including Cowlitz River Lodge and Crest Trail Lodge in Packwood, WA, Mill Village Motel in Eatonville, WA and Nisqually Lodge in Ashford, WA.

CIP, a licensed Washington brokerage, represented the seller in the sale. Joseph P. Kennedy, president, CIP, and the CIP Team worked closely with the buyer and seller and the parties’ other professionals to negotiate a mutually acceptable sale. The final sale price is confidential.

All four properties in the portfolio are independent, midscale hotels, each with 25-32 keys. Cowlitz River Lodge, Nisqually Lodge and Crest Trail Lodge have large lounges and stonework fireplaces. Mill Village Motel is the only exterior corridor property and includes a business center, guest library and meeting/event space.

Located in the foothills of Mt. Rainier, they draw from both the Seattle and Tacoma metro areas. Proximity to Mt. Rainier, White Pass Ski Resort, Mt. Saint Helens and Packwood Lake make these properties a year-round adventure destination.

“With a strict requirement for confidentiality, this portfolio sale needed to be presented selectively to the optimal investors for this collection of properties,” said Kennedy. “CIP worked with long-term clients to identify this as the perfect opportunity for them to move into a new area in a big way. As a result, the sellers can step back while knowing the buyer will build on their legacy, seamlessly stepping into the operations moving forward.”

Monarch Alternative Capital grows Orlando portfolio through multiple acquisitions
Monarch Alternative Capital LP, a leading investment firm with approximately $9.4 billion in assets under management, has purchased three hotels in Orlando.

The company was able to acquire the newly built, high-quality properties located in Orlando submarkets adjacent to Monarch’s existing hotels at a discount to replacement cost in off-market transactions, it reports. With these acquisitions, its hospitality portfolio in the city now totals approximately 2,000 keys across seven properties.

Monarch purchased the Aloft Orlando and the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Orlando, both located in the Lake Buena Vista submarket within close proximity to Disney World. In addition, the firm acquired the TownePlace Suites Orlando located in the Universal Studios submarket. In aggregate, the three properties represent more than 430 keys. Relative to other limited-service hotels, each asset offers a high-end room product, multiple food and beverage options, an outdoor swimming pool and an on-site fitness center. In addition, the Aloft and Holiday Inn Express combined have more than 2,700 sq. ft. of meeting and banquet space, which can be used for additional events, special occasions and business needs.

Monarch has partnered with HHM to operate and manage the portfolio.

ALTD under contract to purchase Club Med Sandpiper Bay
Altitude International Holdings Inc. (ALTD) executed a purchase and sale agreement with Sandpiper Resort Properties Inc. and Holiday Village of Sandpiper Inc. to purchase Club Med Sandpiper Bay. Altitude Academies, a wholly owned subsidiary of the company, has been operating at the property for nearly 13 years, which, until a recent rebranding, was known as Club Med Academies. Upon closing of the purchase agreement, the company intends to continue to operate the resort without interim closure.

Altitude’s long-term vision for this project is to incorporate and fully integrate the resort hotel operation and its existing sports academy with a comprehensive real estate development strategy globally recognized as a world-class hub for both hospitality and sports development opportunities.

With more than 200 acres that feature a 335-room waterfront hotel, an on-site golf course and driving range, tennis and pickleball courts, volleyball courts, soccer fields, a marina and all the amenities of a full-service resort, the company believes that the repositioning of Club Med Sandpiper Bay will enable the continued growth of the sports academy and hotel maintaining its global destination status and further enhancing offerings that will have a highly favorable economic impact on the local community.

“While it will no longer bear the Club Med name, we are excited to see the resort develop and thrive as Altitude’s worldwide destination headquarters,” said Greg Breunich, CEO, ALTD. The tentative closing date is currently scheduled for end of July.

“The present team of Club Med employees are an incredible asset to the property, comprising many years of experience, and soon will have opportunity to transition to working with the Altitude team post-closing,” he said. “The resort will continue to operate after Club Med’s departure, and, while in operation, will undergo an extensive renovation to be completed over the next two years. This is an integral part of Altitude International Holdings Inc. long term developmental plan for the property.”

1754 Properties and Argosy Real Estate Partners purchase Jacksonville hotel
1754 Properties LLC, an institutional owner, operator and lender of hotels and other real estate based in Weston, FL, in partnership with Argosy Real Estate Partners, has acquired the 164-room Best Western Premier in the Southside/Deerwood Park submarket of Jacksonville.

As part of a major rebranding process, the property will undergo a comprehensive, multimillion-dollar renovation, and become one of Jacksonville’s newest full-service upscale hotels.

“The Delta by Marriott brand is a natural fit, giving our guests the consistency, reassurance and benefits of Marriott’s reservation system, rewards program and globally recognized brand while competing in the upscale tier market and delivering the essentials required by the modern business traveler, including free WiFi, fitness center, a pantry full of snacks and drinks and dining options,” said Joe Kelley, head of operations, 1754 Properties.

“We are incredibly excited about the location and management team here, as well as the opportunity to continue to grow our footprint in Florida,” said Jason Abel, principal, Argosy Real Estate Partners. “The transformation of this property will fill an underserved gap in the market and benefit the entire market.”

Maverick adds Hyatt Rosemont O’Hare
Maverick Hotels and Restaurants has added the Hyatt Rosemont O’Hare hotel in Rosemont, IL to its portfolio of properties owned and managed.

Chicago-based commercial real estate firm Bradford Allen is an equity partner in the property. Maverick will rebrand the hotel as a Hyatt Centric and continue to manage the property.

Located across the street from the Des Plaines River, the airport hotel is 1.9 miles from Chicago O’Hare International Airport and 2.1 miles from the Rosemont Theater music venue and a five-minute walk from the Rivers Casino. Each of the hotel’s 208 rooms are decorated in warm tones have free WiFi, flat-screen TVs and minifridges, plus tea and coffeemakers. Suites add sitting areas, and upgraded suites have wet bars and kitchenettes.

“This year has been one of significant growth for Maverick and the addition of the Hyatt Rosemont O’Hare to our portfolio keeps the ball rolling,” said Bob Habeeb, founder/CEO. “Also, there are currently only two Hyatt Centric hotels in the Chicago market, and we are looking forward to the Hyatt Centric rebrand, which will establish the hotel as a unique destination for travelers and guests.”

Dual-branded Albany, NY sold
JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group closed the sale of the dual-brand Homewood Suites & Tru by Hilton Albany Crossgates Mall, a 192-key, extended-stay and select-service hotel in Albany, NY.

JLL marketed the property on behalf of the seller, Pyramid Management Group, in the sale to Maine Course Hospitality Group.

The Homewood Suites, an upscale extended-stay brand, features 96 suites with fully equipped kitchens and the Tru, a select-service brand, features 96 traditional guestrooms. The hotel offers dual-branded integration with one check-in desk, complimentary hot breakfast, free WiFi and 24/7 fitness and business centers.

The property is a six-minute drive from Albany International Airport and a 30-minute drive from Saratoga Springs leisure attractions. In addition, the property is proximate to the University of Albany, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Siena College, Union College and SUNY Polytechnic College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.

The JLL Hotels & Hospitality team working on behalf of the seller was led by Managing Director Alan Suzuki and Director Matthew Enright.

Sonnenblick-Eichner Company arranges $50M acquisition and renovation loan
Sonnenblick-Eichner Company, on behalf of Steve Herman Hotels, has arranged $50 million in first mortgage debt for the acquisition of Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, an 82-room, full-service, luxury boutique resort located in Rancho Santa Fe, CA.

A portion of the loan proceeds will be used by the sponsor to fund an extensive $15-million renovation that will reposition the resort as one of the most prominent and exclusive destinations in California, according to the owners. The non-recourse floating rate loan, which provided for 85% of total costs including the renovation of the property, was priced in the mid 7% range.

Walker & Dunlop structures $754M financing for NY luxury hotel/residence development
Walker & Dunlop Inc. has structured $754 million in financing for Aman New York, a luxury hotel and residence developments. Occupying the top 20 floors of the 100-year-old Crown Building on 57th St. and Fifth Ave., the property was developed by the OKO Group, an international real estate development company.

Aaron Appel, Keith Kurland and Adam Schwartz led Walker & Dunlop’s team in structuring the debt financing provided by JPMorgan Chase. This three-year financing consisted of a bridge loan and a condo inventory loan. Financing this property was highly competitive, with many capital sources bidding to finance this unique development.

“We’re excited to have worked with the OKO and Aman teams on this world-class asset,” said Kurland. “Their unparalleled vision to deliver a seven-star hotel and residences has truly come to fruition.”

The 95,000-sq.-ft. residential section of the development includes 22 exclusive residences, while the 117,000-sq.-ft. hotel portion contains 83 guestrooms and suites. These rooms are among New York’s largest, and this hotel is the only hotel in New York to offer a working fireplace in each room, according to developers.

Originally built in 1921, the Crown Building was the first home of the Museum of Modern Art. It was renamed in 1983 for its iconic crown-like appearance when illuminated. The hotel portion of the property will open on Aug. 2, with reservations opening on July 25.