Designer Tommy Hilfiger acquires Miami's Raleigh Hotel

Tommy Hilfiger, the fashion designer, who helped forge 90s hip-hop fashion, among other styles, is the proud new owner of the Raleigh Hotel in Miami's South Beach. A limited-liability company called The Raleigh Group, and linked to New York-based Hilfiger Hospitality Group, paid $56.5 million for the 105-room, eight-story Art Deco hotel on Collins Avenue.

Only last month there were reports that the hotel could sell for as much as $100 million. Those reports were wrong.

"The Raleigh Hotel is a true Miami Beach treasure with sophistication and style, making it the perfect property for us," said Hilfiger. "The 1940's design of The Raleigh and its rich history are central to our plans to rejuvenate the property. I'm really pleased with the team I've surrounded myself with and know that we will deliver a world-class experience worthy of The Raleigh brand."

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David Pisor, the CEO of Hilfiger Hospitality, who last helmed the Elysian project in Chicago, which is now a Waldorf Astoria-branded hotel, said about the deal: "The location and position of the Raleigh in the Miami Beach marketplace is perfect for our strategy. We will invest significant resources to preserve the property's unique style while embracing the local flavors and culture that help define it."

Prior ownership of the hotel was the tandem of David Edelstein and Sam Nazarian, who acquired the hotel back in 2012 for $39.5 million. The sale price represents a 43-percent premium.

According to the Daily Business Rewview, Hilfiger has been trying to get into the hospitality business for years now. It included an abortive bid in 2011 to turn New York's MetLife tower into a hotel. Marriott International Inc. snapped up the property instead, to become an Edition hotel.

In a statement, Hilfiger noted the owners of Avington Financial, a British investment bank that specializes in hospitality deals, had provided an unspecified amount of equity financing to the transaction. That company has more than $400 million in capital, according to media reports.

The Raleigh Group is reportedly developing a luxury lifestyle hospitality brand that "brings to life Hilfiger's passion for design, architecture and authentic, casual luxury." Mongeau Capital, which owns Avington Financial, is a prtner in the venture.

The Raleigh Hotel was formerly managed by Nazarian's sbe Group. No word on who will manage the hotel going forward.



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