As week wraps, Sunstone makes a Hawaii splash

Sunstone Hotel Investors is making a big splash in Hawaii. Reports are that the real estate investment trust will buy the 544-room Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa (pictured) in Maui for a net purchase price of $325.7 million from Blackstone Group.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter, Sunstone said. Subsequent to the purchase, Sunstone said it will invest about $65 million into upgrading the hotel in 2015 and 2016, with public spaces being the main focus.

The purchase is the first in Hawaii for Sunstone, which owns an interest in 29 hotels totaling 13,740 rooms.

As the Honolulu's Star Advertiser further reports, this latest deal further adds to the blistering pace of year-to-date Hawaii hotel transactions, which will hit an estimated $840 million with the closing of this sale.

Sunstone isn't the only one having fun. In what is reportedly Central Florida's largest deal year to date, as the Orlando Business Journal reports citing GlobeSt.com, the Vista Hospitality Co. of Kitchener, Ontario, sold the 503-room Holiday Inn Resort Lake Buena Vista in Orlando to ROCH Capital.

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Vista also owns the Crowne Plaza Orlando Downtown.

Then there is the Hotel Indigo in Vernon Hills, just outside Chicago. Hunter Hotel Advisors announced that it represented Florida Capital Real Estate Group in the $10.3-million sale of the six-story hotel, which was purchased by an unnamed private equity group.

Constructed in 1997, the seller who purchased the property as an Amerisuites hotel later converted the hotel to the Hotel Indigo brand. “This hotel received significant interest from the first day it hit the market,” said Teague Hunter, president of Hunter Hotel Advisors. Buyers considered multiple re-branding options for the 127 all-suite hotel, however, the eventual purchaser intends to keep it under the Hotel Indigo brand."

Meanwhile, RLJ Lodging Trust continued its capital recycling program, selling the 194-room Holiday Inn Austin NW Arboretum Area, in Austin, Texas, for approximately $13.5 million, or $70,000 per key.

"To date, we have sold 15 assets for gross proceeds of more than $130 million," said Thomas J. Baltimore, Jr., president and CEO. "We remain committed to further recycling capital into assets that improve our portfolio quality."

The hotel was initially purchased by the REIT in 2006 as part of a 100-hotel portfolio. With the sale, RLJ now owns 147 properties.

Last but not least: LaSalle Hotel Properties, which completed its $93.4-million sale of the 246-room Hilton Alexandria Old Town in Alexandria, Va. LaSalle  acquired the asset in May 2004 for $59 million.

The buyer was not identified, but Commercial Property Executive and other outlets speculate either Walton Street Capital or Lodging Capital Partners L.L.C. as possible buyers.

LaSalle currently owns 45 hotels.

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The two locally owned resorts join the Benchmark Resorts & Hotels brand as a result of the deal.