Waterton buys Washington, D.C.'s recently reflagged Madison Hilton

Waterton, a U.S. real estate investor and operator, along with an affiliate of private equity partner Walton Street Capital, acquired the 356-room hotel formerly known as the Loews Madison in downtown Washington, D.C. Located at the intersection of M and 15th streets, a half mile north of the White House, the property has been rebranded as The Madison, a Hilton Hotel. It will be managed by Hilton Hotels & Resorts.

Built in 1963, the hotel originally opened as the Madison Hotel at a ceremony attended by President John F. Kennedy and has since hosted every U.S. president as a guest. Over the past 15 years, the property has received more than $75 million in capital improvements, last undergoing a full renovation in 2012. As a result, guestrooms, meeting space and public areas have been completely refreshed.

“We’re excited that our first hotel investment in the D.C. market is a property with such a rich history in a prime location,” Nir Liebling, chief investment officer of hospitality at Waterton, said in a statement. “There’s a tremendous opportunity here to reposition a premier destination for corporate and leisure travelers alike.”

The Madison currently offers 12,000 square feet of meeting space, a business center, two lobby bars, a coffee shop and a fitness center. The new owners plan to make additional updates to various common-area elements on the first floor.

“These and other improvements will allow us to increase cash flows while elevating the guest experience through best-in-class service and a highly activated lobby,” Liebling said in a statement. “At the same time, we’ll be preserving a piece of D.C. history through thoughtful changes that reflect the lodging preferences of today’s modern travelers.”

In addition to offering proximity to the White House, the hotel at 1177 15th St. NW is close to the National Mall, Walter E. Washington Convention Center and other attractions throughout the capital. In addition, it is one block from Thomas Circle and accessible via the Red, Blue, Orange and Silver Metro lines.

The Madison is also close to nearby employment centers. The property sits across the street from Midtown Center, a $650 million mixed-use redevelopment project of the old Washington Post building, where Fannie Mae is relocating its headquarters next year.

“We expect to see a significant benefit by being so close to Fannie Mae, the largest local Fortune 500 company by revenue,” Liebling said. “That business, along with others in the immediate area, will generate strong demand for both hotel rooms and meeting facilities, allowing us to enjoy a competitive position in the submarket.”