Urgo, Carlyle Group JV acquires two landmark South Beach hotels


Blue Moon Hotel

MIAMI BEACH, Fla./BETHESDA, Md.— Urgo Hotels, an operator, developer and owner of upscale hotels, acquired in a joint venture with The Carlyle Group, a global alternative asset manager based in Washington, D.C., two landmark hotels in Miami Beach, Fla., for $26.7 million. The hotels are the 75-room Blue Moon Hotel and the 71-room Winterhaven Hotel, both located in the historic art deco district in the heart of South Beach.

Both properties are scheduled to undergo significant renovations over the next six months, which will include upgrades to the public spaces and all guest rooms. The food and beverage operations at both properties will be repositioned as signature restaurants, which will play a key role in upgrading the ambiance at the hotels. The renovations will be done in phases to minimize disruptions to guests. Once completed, the hotels will be brought to “like- new” condition in the four-star segment.

The acquisitions double Urgo’s Florida portfolio, marking the 11th and 12th additions in the past 18 months. “The Winterhaven and Blue Moon are irreplaceable properties and locations that we sourced off-market,” noted Kevin Urgo, principal of Urgo Hotels.

“This is our first joint-venture transaction with Carlyle, and we look forward to the opportunity to build on this new relationship,” Urgo added. “Joint ventures are an important growth vehicle for our company, as well as third-party management and wholly-owned acquisitions. Florida continues to be an acquisition market of great interest for us. We have considerable expertise in the state and significant funds available and flexibility to acquire additional assets. We also continue to source attractive acquisition candidates throughout the U.S. and Canada.”

“We continue to have a keen interest in hotel acquisitions and in partnering with top operators like Urgo Hotels,” said Carlyle Principal Thad Paul. “With more properties expected to come to market in the near term, our focus is on finding attractively priced, quality assets with repositioning and upside potential.”

Built in 1939 by Art Deco architect Albert Anis, the Winterhaven is located across the street from South Beach’s beachfront park and boasts significant historic art deco features, as well as a roof-top sun deck overlooking the ocean.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The Blue Moon was developed by Merv Griffin, who named the urban retreat after the Rogers and Hart ballad. Also situated within the Art Deco district of South Beach, the hotel features a refreshing splash pool, as well as an indoor/outdoor patio restaurant and lounge.

Jordan Ray, managing director of Mission, represented Carlyle and Urgo, placing the debt with a super-regional bank reentering both the lending market and the Florida market after a long hiatus. “This deal underscores banks’ interest in lending to premier sponsors again,” Ray said. “We were pleasantly surprised by the interest from regional banks in this transaction. It certainly expands our clients’ options prospectively for both acquisition and renovation projects.”


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