Briefs: CGI closes on Trump DC lease; Azora acquires in Portugal

CGI closes on Trump DC lease: Miami-based CGI Merchant Group has closed on the US$375 million acquisition of the lease to the 263-room Trump hotel at the Old Post Office building in Washington, D.C., with plans relaunch the property as a Waldorf Astoria hotel managed by Hilton. The price tag is a record for Washington hotels at US$1.43 million per key, topping the 2016 sale of the Capella Hotel Georgetown for about US$1.3 million per key, according to industry data. The Trump Organization spent US$200 million to develop the property and after paying a US$170 million to Deutsche Bank it is expected to realize a US$100 million profit on the sale, according to industry experts.

Silverstein leads big Tampa development deal: New York City-based development giant Silverstein Properties, along with Cantor Fitzgerald, through their Cantor Silverstein Opportunity Zone Trust (CSOZ Trust), a Qualified Opportunity Fund, has acquired a 34,000-square-foot site in Tampa, Florida, intended to be developed into a residential tower with 430 residential rental apartments, approximately 15,000 square feet of retail and a 600-space parking garage. The sellers are affiliates of 1754 Properties, an institutional owner, operator and lender of hotels and other real estate based in Weston, Florida, and its partner at Triangle Capital Group, which owns the nearby Floridan Palace Hotel. The hotel will undergo a US$20 million renovation to help support the new development. Silverstein will serve as the lead developer for the project. CSOZ Trust has four additional development projects underway and other projects with executed non-binding term sheets together totaling approximately US$1.8 billion in estimated project cost.

Pestana Blue Alvor in Portugal

Azora acquires Pestana in Portugal: Azora, Madrid, Spain, has closed the acquisition of the Pestana Blue Alvor in Algarve region in Portugal on behalf of the Azora European Hotel & Lodging (Azora EH&L) from Portugal’s Pestana Hotel Group. The all-inclusive resort comprises 500 rooms, which is almost fully booked for the summer, and will continue to be operated by Pestana. The deal marks Azora’s fourth acquisition in Portugal, following the recent purchases of the 384-bed Tivoli Marina Vilamoura resort, the 248-bed Tivoli Carvoeiro resort and the 118-bed Vilalara Thalassa Resort – all in the Algarve region. Azora EH&L has now deployed over €1 billion (US$1.05 billion) and is close to 60% committed across right transactions and 29 properties with around 8,000 keys. The fund was launched in July 2020 with a seed portfolio of 10 resorts and four urban hotels in Europe and held an oversubscribed €815 million (US$858.74 million) final close in September 2021, giving the fund an implied investment capacity of over €1.8 billion (US$1.89 billion). 

Aman has opening date for NYC: Aman New York is finally scheduled to open on August 2, the company announced on Thursday. The transformation of the Crown Building in Manhattan has created 83 hotel suites and 22 branded residences. It represents the second urban Aman following Aman Tokyo and takes the brand to 34 properties. Miami will be the site of the fourth Aman in the U.S. with an opening scheduled for 2024. “Our strategy to bring the coveted Aman lifestyle to urban destinations continues apace,” said Vlad Doronin, chairman and CEO of Aman. “A milestone opening, Aman New York marks our greatest investment into a single destination to date. The hotel introduces an entirely new concept to the city through expansive and unmatched amenities, which propels the brand forward, delivering a guest experience like no other.”

UKCM acquires in Leeds: UK Commercial Property REIT Ltd. has acquired a hotel development opportunity in Leeds, England, from Marico Ltd., a joint venture between Marico LLP and Helios. The site was owned by Leeds City Council and UKCM will finance its development, which will be completed by Marico for £62.7 million (US$77.2 million). The 12-story, 305-room hotel is slated to be completed in 2024 and will have a 25-year franchise agreement with Hyatt Hotels. It will be operated under a lease by Interstate Hotels & Resorts with UKCM’s rental income based on the income generated from the hotel’s operation. The 140,000 square feet hotel will be split between the short stay Hyatt Place and long stay Hyatt House brands.

Hilton adds in Spain: Hilton will open its first hotel in Spain’s San Sebastián following a franchise agreement with Sociedad Anónima Deportes y Espectáculos, S.A. – a wholly owned subsidiary of Madrid-based Grupo SADE. Palacio Bellas Artes Hotel San Sebastian, Curio Collection by Hilton is slated to open in 2024 following a redevelopment program which will celebrate the property’s history and architectural heritage. The hotel will be managed by Grupo SADE. Located within the former Fine Arts Theatre, the hotel will comprise 82 rooms, including eight suites. Curio Collection by Hilton currently has a global portfolio of over 115 properties. Hilton has 25 hotels open or under development in Spain under nine brands.

Lemon Tree signs in Mumbai: Lemon Tree Hotels Ltd., New Delhi, India, has signed a property in Mumbai. Owned by Anmol Fluid Control Products Pvt. Ltd., the 93-key hotel is slated to be operational under the Lemon Tree Hotel brand by August and will be managed by Lemon Tree’s management arm, Carnation Hotels Pvt. Ltd. Lemon Tree currently operates around 8,520 rooms in 84 hotels across 52 destinations in India and abroad. After the current pipeline becomes operational, the company will have around 10,600 rooms operational in 108 hotels across 65 destinations.

Dalata sells Clayton Crown: Dalata Hotel Group, Dublin, Ireland, has signed contracts for the sale of the 152-room Claytown Crown Hotel in London and the underlying business to a company controlled by AG Hotels Group for a cash consideration of £21 million (US$25.85 million). The deal should close by June-end. Despite performing well, the 4-star hotel was no longer considered to be a core hotel asset as the company increasingly focused on central locations. The proceeds of the sale will be reinvested in the business. The hotel’s Clayton branding is not part of the deal. Once the deal closes, the property will no longer have any contractual links with Dalata. Currently, Dalata has 28 owned hotels, 17 leased hotels and three management contracts.

Aimbridge adds 2 in St. Thomas: Aimbridge Hospitality will open two new resorts at Frenchman’s Reef in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, as part of a US$350 million refurbishment project on the property. The resorts — The Westin Beach Resort & Spa at Frenchman’s Reef and The Seaborn at Frenchman’s Reef, Autograph Collection — are slated to open this fall. As part of franchise agreements with Marriott International, Aimbridge will manage both the resorts under Managing Director Kurt Wiksten. Both resorts are designed by architects Kolin Altomare and The Johnson Studio and will feature views of the Caribbean Sea, signature culinary concepts, water sport activities, island excursions and conference facilities. The Westin will offer 392 rooms, including 28 suites; the 94-key Seaborn will offer a more secluded experience.

Virgin Limited Edition adds in Mallorca: Virgin Limited Edition has announced the development of a new 28-room hotel on its Son Bunyola Estate in Mallorca, Spain. The hotel, which is currently under construction, consists of the restoration of an estate building and surrounding land. Set to open in summer 2023 as Sun Bunyola Hotel, the building’s restoration and development will be an integral part of a 810-acre estate at a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which already houses the collection’s three standalone luxury private villas. The hotel will consist of the main building and the Tafona, which earlier housed an olive press, and other annex buildings, which will house 28 rooms and suites, including two tower suites.

Alboran launches its first brand: Alboran Hotels and Hospitality, Paris, announced a new brand, FeelGood. Created from the association of three friends, Jérôme Bosc, Eric Omgba and Yann Caillère, the new brand is set to open its first property in Bordeaux in October. As an owner of its hotels, Alboran has 17 properties located in the four corners of France and since May, operates its first hotel brand, FirstName.

ALG grows in the Dominican Republic: Apple Leisure Group announced the signing of Secrets Tides Punta Cana. Owner Alvaro Peña of Codelpa, who is also overseeing construction, will invest US$175 million. The new-build resort will be the Secrets Resorts & Spas by AMR Collection brand’s third and AMR Collection’s 13th resort in in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Slated to open in fall 2023, the adults-only resort will comprise 670 rooms, including swim out suites. It will also feature six dining venues and eight bars and lounges.

Montage adds to management: Montage International, Irvine, California, will take over management and operation of Cornerstone Club, a full-service private club and residential community in Montrose, Colorado. The property will reopen on May 27 and feature member offerings and events. Spread across 4,7000 acres atop the Uncompahgre Plateau, the property also includes an 18-hole Greg Norman-designed golf course and a 21-acre practice golf facility and clubhouse. Cornerstone Club also consists of residential real estate opportunities with home sites and fully-furnished cabins which will be launched this summer.

Columbia Hospitality, Tu Tu’ Tun Lodge partner: Seattle, Washington-based Columbia Hospitality has announced a management agreement with Tu Tu’ Tun Lodge on the banks of the Lower Rogue River in southwestern Oregon. The lodge opened in 1970 and has been owned by three generations of owners for over five decades. It is currently owned by Kylie Ringer.