The end of the week brought some big hotel transactions and some interesting listings.
The biggest news (by dollar amount, that is), was Indian billionaire Cyrus Poonawalla's reported offer of £550 million, or around $935 million, to acquire London's Grosvenor House hotel from Indian conglomerate Sahara Group, whose embattled chairman currently is in jail for alleged contempt of court.
Sahara first approached the Poonawalla family in May about the sale of the luxury London hotel, Poonawalla told The Wall Street Journal.
Other Sahara-owned hotels rumored to be up for sale include New York's Plaza Hotel and the Dream Hotel.
There's surely more to come on this in the days ahead.
Also this week, New York real estate investment firm Garrison Investment Group made its first acquisition in the New Orleans market, with the purchase the O'Keefe Plaza Hotel for $10.75 million. The 129-room hotel at 334 O'Keefe Ave. was purchased from the Chauhan and Kansagra families.
Overseas, Denver billionaire John Malone completed a reported €65-million deal (roughly $88 million) for Dublin, Ireland's Westin Hotel. The property is the latest addition to Malone’s Irish portfolio, which also includes the Trinity City Hotel on Pearse Street and the Hilton Dublin.
Malone, who made his fortune in telecommunications, has invested in the three properties through the Lalco Hotel Group.
Those were the biggies. Today, we learned that Ashford Hospitality Trust acquired The Ashton Hotel (pictured), a historic boutique hotel in downtown Fort Worth, Texas, for an undisclosed price. The 39-room hotel was put on the market earlier this year by Ashton Hotel Partners.
“When we saw that the Ashton was for sale, we thought it would be a great opportunity to double down on our investment in Forth Worth and take advantage of some operating synergies with our existing property,” Monty Bennett, chairman and CEO of Ashford Hospitality Advisors, told the Fort Worth Business Press.
On the Market
What's for sale? From Sacramento, Calif., we learn that the owners of the defunct Marshall Hotel in downtown have listed the property for sale as a possible redevelopment site for a new owner.
According to an online listing with CBRE, the owners seek someone to acquire the fee simple interest in the property, which the current owners have targeted to redevelop into a hotel or mixed-use residential building to complement the new downtown arena set to be built next door.
In the Pacific Northwest, Red Lion Hotels announced plans to sell the chain's Bellevue, Wash., location, expecting to cash in on roaring property values in the Seattle area, reports to The Spokesman-Review. Red Lion hasn't set an asking price. Robert Anderson, an investment specialist for Seattle-based Kidder Mathews, which listed the property, said, "I'm not sure where the price could end up. Any definitive estimate of the sale price is difficult and will be decided by the market.
Built in 1969, the hotel and its 6-acre lot are a short distance from Bellevue's central core.
Red Lion CEO and President Greg Mount said, "We recognized that this is the right time to list. This property is valuable and it is the right time to provide the best return for our shareholders."