Hotel Conversion Gets Construction Boost

Hotel Conversion Gets Construction Boost

Hotel Conversion Gets Construction Boost
By Carrie Rossenfeld


SAN DIEGO— Developer Oram Hotels has received a $36.55-million loan for the continued renovation and development of Downtown San Diego’s historic 500 West Broadway building into an upscale, 163-room boutique hotel called the Guild San Diego. Regents Bank was the lender in the construction-loan transaction for the hotel, which is expected to be completed in Spring 2019.

HFF’s debt-placement team including senior managing director Aldon Cole and managing director Scott Hall worked on behalf of Oram Hotels to secure the loan from Regents. The firm tells the 84,000-square-foot building was purchased for $14 million in 2014 out of bankruptcy, and Oram was successful in executing a purchase option with the armed forces branch of the government for the fee. The property at the time of acquisition was subject to low-income restrictions and operated as a 260-unit single-resident occupancy facility with a YMCA on the ground floor.

Cole said in a prepared statement, “Oram Hotels capitalized on a great opportunity to preserve a piece of San Diego’s history while reactivating what will be one of the most unique and exciting properties Downtown has to offer.”

The Guild San Diego will be part of Marriott’s recently acquired Tribute Portfolio brand. The seven-story hotel will feature 7,000-squaure-feet of indoor meeting space and 9,000 square feet of outdoor banquet space; a garden and courtyard featuring art, floating walls, green areas and lounge seating; guestrooms with a blend of modern finishes and rustic touches including reclaimed-wood headboards and concrete ceilings; and several food and beverage options including a contemporary restaurant and tapas kitchen, courtyard cocktail bar, lobby bar, basement speakeasy and specialty-coffee bar with mercantile shop carrying local San Diego flagship brands. Azul Hospitality Group will manage the hotel.

The hotel will be located in the Columbia neighborhood of Downtown San Diego, along the Broadway corridor near Little Italy. Along with close proximity to the Gaslamp Quarter, Embarcadero and Waterfront Park, a 6.5-block, five-level outdoor shopping mall anchored by Macy’s is within a half mile of the hotel site.

With the last several years’ renewed urban focus, hotels are getting a lot of attention in the Downtown San Diego market. As recently reported, at a recent CREW San Diego lunch event, developer Gafcon Inc.’s Yehudi “Gaf” Geffen, introduced the Seaport Village project on Downtown San Diego’s waterfront, which includes three or four hotels with various price points, including standard, “micro” and luxury accommodations, as well as a “new-generation” hostel.

According to a report from Atlas Hospitality, San Diego county added four hotels with 826 rooms in 2017, a 19% room-count decrease from the six hotels with 1,017 rooms the county had added in 2016; the largest to open was the 317-room Pendry San Diego Downtown. The report also stated that there are 16 hotels with 2,823 rooms under construction in San Diego County; the largest continues to be a 400-room InterContinental Downtown. The county has 83 hotels with 16,324 rooms in planning, a 9% room-count increase over 2016.

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