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Westin Hotel Gets $20M Makeover

HOSPITALITY: Recent Hotel Renos Reflect ‘Strong Market’ BY RAY HUARD | JULY 15, 2024 SAN DIEGO – The Westin San Diego Bayview has completed a $20 million renovation that general manager Peter Engard said is meant to provide “an unparalleled experience” that reflects the hotel’s location in Emerald Plaza that lights up the San Diego skyline with its green outline. At 400 West Broadway in the Columbia District of downtown San Diego, “This iconic building is San Diego’s most distinctive building to shape the skyline,” Engard said. “It’s a beacon for visitors whenever they come to San Diego and it’s a great symbol of the downtown revitalization for us.” With the renovation of the hotel’s 436 guest rooms, designed by HVS Design, based in Maryland, Engard said that “everything about our guest rooms is reimagined” in the renovation. “We’re really eager to showcase our new product, really anticipate a very strong response from our guests now that the renovations are complete,” Engard said. Michelle West, director of design at HVS Design, said that the hotel’s new look starts “from the moment guests step off the elevator.” “They are greeted with delicate tones and a meandering carpet pattern that leads to…

Why San Francisco’s recovery is tied to its struggling hotel industry

By Kevin V. Nguyen Published Jul. 09, 2024 • 6:00am The historic Huntington Hotel at the top of Nob Hill celebrated its 100th birthday while its doors were shuttered in 2022. But unlike other major hotels in San Francisco, the 12-story, 135-room luxury property never managed to re-open under the previous owners once the pandemic ended.  Instead, they walked away from it with a $56.2 million loan still left to pay just as the Federal Reserve began raising interest rates. After being put up for auction by lenders eager to rid themselves of the property, a group led by local businessman and billionaire Greg Flynn purchased the debt for less than half that figure.  “Make no mistake, we are market timers,” Flynn told The Standard during a recent sit-down at his office on Bush Street, a 15-minute stroll down the hill from the Huntington. “San Francisco has always risen from the ashes. The best time to buy is when things look bleak.”  Having spent the better part of his life in San Francisco, where he would go on to build a sprawling global real estate empire of franchise restaurants, hotel chains and luxury resorts, Flynn said he was heartbroken to see the Huntington Hotel shut down. …

Little Italy hotel changes hands for more than $61M

The change in ownership comes just five years after the 16-story property opened in downtown San Diego By LORI WEISBERG | The San Diego Union-Tribune PUBLISHED: July 9, 2024 at 10:09 a.m. | UPDATED: July 9, 2024 at 11:05 a.m. Nearly five years after the gleaming 16-story Carte hotel opened in Little Italy, it has been sold to a global investment firm, which paid more than $61 million for the Ash Street property. Certares, a firm that focuses exclusively on the travel and hospitality industry, announced earlier this month that it had acquired the 246-room hotel, which is part of Hilton’s upscale Curio collection. While Certares declined to divulge the purchase price, the San Diego County Assessor’s office confirmed Monday that the property on Ash near State Street sold for $61.5 million. The hotel, which includes a rooftop bar and lounge, outdoor pool deck with a saltwater pool, a lobby restaurant, and a 25,000-square-foot athletic club, was built at a cost of $89 million. “We are excited to add one of the top lodging assets in the downtown San Diego market to our growing portfolio,” Nolan Hecht, senior managing director at Certares, said in a statement. “This transaction is consistent with our strategy to acquire…

Petco Park-adjacent hotel gets a new baseball-themed look

The Omni San Diego is close to completing its largest renovation ever that will include two new venues for dining and drinking By LORI WEISBERG | The San Diego Union-Tribune PUBLISHED: June 28, 2024 at 5:30 a.m. | UPDATED: June 28, 2024 at 5:31 a.m. The 32-story Omni hotel next door to Petco Park is nearing the end of a major renovation that will bring two new drinking and dining venues to the downtown San Diego high-rise. The $30 million hotel-wide makeover coincides with the 20th anniversary of the 511-room hotel, which was developed at the same time that the Padres ballpark made its debut in the once gritty warehouse district in East Village. The extensive refresh of the property — the largest since it first opened — encompasses the lobby, guestrooms, meeting spaces, and the sixth-floor pool area and terrace that overlooks the water. While most of the renovation has been completed, work on the lobby is still ongoing, although the hotel general manager promises it will be open for next month’s Comic-Con, and the street-level restaurant known as Ace Porter isn’t expected to open until the middle of July. In reimagining the hotel’s various spaces and guestrooms, the design team took into consideration…

A new hotel rising soon in San Diego’s Mission Valley

The Marriott property is one of only two hotel projects in the county to break ground this year By LORI WEISBERG | The San Diego Union-Tribune PUBLISHED: June 27, 2024 at 6:00 a.m. | UPDATED: June 27, 2024 at 10:47 a.m. A new seven-story hotel that will include a number of extended-stay guestrooms will soon be rising in Mission Valley adjacent to a longstanding Marriott where tennis courts once operated. The 148-room property on Rio San Diego Drive will be Marriott’s first Element by Westin-branded hotel in San Diego County and one of the first newly constructed hotels to open in Mission Valley since 2016 when the 135-room Springhill Suites made its debut. While the new development is not considered part of the increasingly common dual-branded hotel concept, the Element will be able to take advantage of some of its next-door neighbor’s amenities, like its restaurant and resort-style pool. Developing the $72 million project is Driftwood Capital, a Florida-based commercial real estate investment firm that purchased the San Diego Marriott Mission Valley in 2019 and recently opened an Element hotel in Melbourne, Fla. The site where the Mission Valley Element is being built at one time housed tennis courts and a parking area where Driftwood…

Tarsadia Investments refinances Anaheim Marriott with $125M loan

Bank of America provides fresh debt on 1,030-key hotel JUN 25, 2024, 2:30 PM – By Isabella Farr Tarsadia Investments, run by Orange County hotelier Tushar Patel, has refinanced its 1,030-key Anaheim Marriott hotel.  The firm scored a $125 million loan from Bank of America on the hotel, located at 700 West Convention Way, adjacent to the Anaheim Convention Center, according to property records filed with Orange County.  The debt was packaged into a commercial mortgage-backed securities deal, according to Tarsadia executive Alkesh Patel.  “We’re very happy with the outcome,” Patel said. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The loan replaces $110 million in debt from JPMorgan Chase Bank, provided in 2014 and packaged into a commercial mortgage-backed securities deal. TRD previously reported Tarsadia was 90 days delinquent on the loan, based on incorrect servicer information from Trepp, but has since reviewed documents showing the refinancing.  Patel bought the property in 1999 for about $80 million, marking his biggest deal at that point, the Los Angeles Times reported at the time.  In 2023, the hotel was making five times what was needed to service the debt, according to Trepp. The hotel averaged 78 percent occupancy, with an average daily rate of $216,…

Former Ace Hotel in downtown L.A. reopens as ‘Airbnb on steroids’

By Roger Vincent Staff Writer  June 21, 2024 1:42 PM PT The former Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, which helped lead an economic revival on a historic stretch of Broadway a decade ago, has reopened as a minimal-service operation akin to Airbnb, following a strategy that has become increasingly common for struggling hotels in recent years. Now called Stile Downtown Los Angeles by Kasa, the 1920s-vintage hotel tower has resumed limited operations after shutting down nearly six months ago. Downtown hotels were particularly hard-hit by the pandemic, and some have changed owners or operators. Ace Hotel Group had operated the 182-room hotel near Broadway and Olympic Boulevard since it opened in 2014, even as its ownership changed twice over the years. The chic brand made the Ace a destination for travelers as well as local residents who patronized its buzzy rooftop bar and restaurants. South Korea-based AJU Continuum, which bought the hotel in 2019, announced last week that it had brought in Kasa Living Inc. to operate the property. Kasa, which is based in San Francisco and has a national presence, “offers the consistency of a major hotel chain with the convenience and character of a modern short-term rental,” AJU Continuum…

Resort at Pelican Hill switching to Marriott management, St. Regis brand

Marriott International will begin day-to-day management on July 1 By JONATHAN LANSNER | jlansner@scng.com | Orange County Register PUBLISHED: May 24, 2024 at 9:15 a.m. | UPDATED: May 24, 2024 at 1:09 p.m. The Irvine Co. will turn over day-to-day management of its Resort at Pelican Hill to Marriott International, with the luxury hotel eventually joining the St. Regis brand. The Newport Beach oceanview resort — with 204 rooms, 128 villas and two golf courses—  is the Orange County real estate giant’s only remaining hotel. It has been run independently of any chain since its opening in 2008. Irvine Co. announced that the operational switch, which does not change Irvine Co. ownership of the resort, begins July 1. The move was first reported by The Real Deal. Irvine Co. added that Marriott “is committed to retaining the majority of our resort associates.” The company also said the property will join Marriott’s high-end St. Regis hotel network “at a later date.” The move was made after a year’s “strategic review of the property and its operations, meeting with hospitality experts from around the world to explore how to further enhance the five-star experience that makes the resort a sought-after destination for our guests and our local community,” Irvine Co. said. The…

Manhattan Beach Hotel Sells for $68M

HANNAH WELK | MARCH 22, 2024 The Residence Inn in Manhattan Beach has sold for $68 million. Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. represented the seller, Washington Holdings, in the offloading of the 176-room property. Land and Houses USA Inc. purchased the asset. Twenty Four Seven Hotels will manage the property. “The addition of Residence Inn by Marriott Manhattan Beach to our portfolio continues the expansion of our management footprint throughout California, offering a model that’s flexible and fast on its feet with unparalled area operational expertise,” the company wrote in a LinkedIn post. It’s been a difficult time for hotel sales. In California, sales volume fell by more than 56% year over year, according to data from Atlas Hospitality Group. The median price per room was down roughly 1% year over year statewide. In Los Angeles County, hotel transactions declined 55% year over year and the total dollar volume spent decreased nearly 36% year over year, Atlas reported.

Westbrook Partners defaults on loan tied to San Francisco Four Seasons

By Sarah Klearman and Alex Barreira – San Francisco Business Times | Mar 14, 2024 Updated Mar 14, 2024 5:50pm PDT This week Westbrook Partners was served a notice of default for a $72.5 million loan tied to 222 Sansome St., the home of the Four Seasons San Francisco at the Embarcadero. Westbrook, which acquired the 155-key hotel property in 2019 for $126.6 million, or about $816,000 per room, is behind more than $3.15 million in payments on the loan, per a notice of default recorded for the property March 3. The Florida-based developer has not made its monthly payment on its loan since December, per the notice, which states that Westbrook has 90 days to become current on its loan. If the investor fails to do so, its lenders could move to foreclose on the property, which occupies the top 11 stories of the 48-story tower at 345 California St. but is considered a separate property and employs the 222 Sansome address. Notices of default typically constitute the first step in the foreclosure process, though in some cases loan sponsors like Westbrook purposefully default on their loans as a way to commence negotiations with their lenders. Neither Westbrook nor…

Park Hyatt Los Angeles Unveils $14 Million Renovation Amid Sale Speculation

Sumitomo Realty & Development completes a $14 million renovation of the prestigious Park Hyatt Los Angeles, sparking market speculations and impacting the hospitality industry. Sakchi Khandelwal |  28 Feb 2024 14:29 EST Sumitomo Realty & Development has recently completed a lavish $14 million renovation of the Park Hyatt Los Angeles, a landmark hotel situated in the bustling heart of Century City. Opened in 1988, this prestigious hotel boasts a four-diamond rating from Mobil AAA, reflecting its high standards of luxury and service. Despite its newly refurbished state, there is speculation about its future ownership, stirring interest in the hospitality sector. Comprehensive Upgrades and Design Innovation The renovation project has transformed the Park Hyatt Los Angeles, encompassing extensive upgrades to its 366 guest rooms and a complete redesign of the lobby. The architectural firm Culpepper, McAuliffe, Meaders Inc. based in Atlanta led the redesign, infusing modern aesthetics while enhancing the hotel’s luxurious ambiance. This significant investment underscores Sumitomo’s commitment to maintaining the hotel’s prestigious status and appeal to both business and leisure travelers. Market Speculations and Strategic Considerations Despite the fresh upgrades, Alan Reay, president of Atlas Hospitality Group, suggests that the hotel may be put up for sale. This speculation…

San Diego sets record on price paid last year for luxury resort. So why the grim news for hotel sales?

Similar to what’s happening in the housing market, high interest rates are depressing the volume of hotel sales, which in San Diego County recorded their second biggest decline in 15 years. BY LORI WEISBERG | FEB. 29, 2024 5:30 AM PT San Diego made history last year when the upscale Inn at Rancho Santa Fe sold for a stunning $1.2 million a room — even as the volume of hotel transactions experienced one of the biggest declines the county has seen in 15 years. The pricey sale of the 85-room inn belies a distressing trend seen not just locally but across the hotel real estate market statewide: a sharp downturn in sales fueled largely by high interest rates and a skittishness among lenders to finance costly transactions. Last year marked the second steepest decline since 2009 for both the number of hotel transactions and overall dollar volume in San Diego County, according to a new statewide report released by the Orange County-based brokerage, Atlas Hospitality Group, which tracks sales throughout California. The rising cost of financing is concerning enough that it has some experts — including Atlas Hospitality — warning about the looming threat of hotel foreclosures as large debt repayments come due. While…

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