MODO Hotels Signs Deal to Fund 10 U.S. Hotels

MODO Hotels has entered into an agreement with Antares Investment Partners that will bring the new global lifestyle hotel brand to major cities throughout the U.S.

Under the agreement, the two companies are joining forces to establish funding for the development of 10 MODO hotel projects. The goal is to raise $400 million in debt and equity financing. Funds will be used to acquire strategic assets and build full-service and select-service lifestyle hotels primarily in major U.S. metropolitan markets. Among the targets are New York, Miami Beach, Washington D.C./Dulles Airport, New Orleans, Kansas City, Chicago and Atlanta.

Noble Management Group has been appointed as the preferred management company for all future development in America. Established in 1993, Noble today oversees more than 9,000 hotel and resort guestrooms throughout the U.S. Serving as general contractors are Antares Construction and Crosslands Construction Company, a 1,000-person firm performing work in more than 40 states. The architect of record is Forum Studio, a full-service firm with headquarters in St. Louis, Mo.

“MODO has assembled a multi-disciplined team of superstars with experience across the board in hospitality and commercial real estate and strong relationships with lenders and other capital sources in the U.S. and key international markets,” says John Russell, CEO, MODO Hotels.

“We have quickly established a robust pipeline of vetted prospects,” Russell continues. “Given the enthusiastic reception from travelers, developers and investors, we are confident MODO will achieve rapid growth in the U.S.”

In recent focus groups, MODO tested positively with business travelers for its price point and unique music- and design-centric approach, according to Russell. He says the brand’s cost to construct takes many developers and investors by surprise. “Building costs are at least 20-30 percent less than those of comparable hotels, thanks to Antares’ experience and MODO’s design and construction innovations,” he notes.

“MODO is the right concept at the right time,” says Joe Beninati, a founding partner and principal with Antares. “The economy is starting to come back, and it is advantageous to invest in the hospitality sector during the early stages of recovery, while costs are still low. I’m honored to partner with John and his team. They are true professionals, with experience, vision and integrity.”

MODO will launch simultaneously on three continents. Working with Chennai, India-based Auromatrix Hotels (P)Ltd., the company will break ground this July in India on a budget version of MODO. During the next three years, five or more hotels will launch under this sister brand. They will be located in the country’s major cities of Chennai, Tuticorin, Kakinada, Vizag and Vellore. Additionally, in January, MODO announced it had struck a deal with BridgeRock Capital Management to develop a minimum of five full-service hotels over the next three years in Brazil’s fastest growing cities of Sao Paulo, Campinas, Curitiba, Vitoria and Manaus.

“MODO’s current design brings luxury and amenities to the upscale niche,” says Bob Morse, managing principal and chief operating officer, Noble Management Group. “That’s something that will resonate with travelers everywhere.

“The company has the right growth strategy too,” Morse adds. They’re hitting the top emerging markets around the world with a proven team. MODO is an outstanding vehicle. We’re excited to partner with people with the same degree of enthusiasm for the brand’s growth potential and markets.”

Full-service MODO hotels will house 100 or more rooms, a high-energy restaurant-lounge, courtyard, pool, meeting and event space, library, retail shop and high-tech gym. The brand’s RPM restaurant and lounge will be scalable in size and menu options to fit each market. Despite the rich amenities, hotel rates will be mid-tier, targeted to range from $90 – $150 per night in the U.S. with the exception of some larger gateway cities.

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