Briefs: JV buys Four Seasons Dallas; Starhotels adds management in Florence

Partners Group, Trinity Investments acquire Four Seasons in Dallas: A joint venture between Zug, Switzerland-based Partners Group and funds managed by Honolulu, Hawaii-based Trinity Fund Advisors, an affiliate of Trinity Real Estate Investments, have acquired the 431-room Four Seasons Resort Dallas in Irving, Texas, from Extell, New York. Following the acquisition, Partners Group and Trinity will begin a multi-million-dollar capital improvement plan of the property. As part of the renovation, the rooms and villas will be refreshed along with the activation of the outdoor pool area.

CBRE updates forecast: CBRE has raised its U.S. hotel performance forecasts for 2022 and beyond based on the strength of Q1 2022, continued slowing of construction activity, higher inflation and sustained optimism about employment and economic growth. The forecasts call for a full recovery in ADR this year and in demand and RevPAR in 2023. Since 2021-end, factors like the Russia-Ukraine war, high gas prices and the 19% pullback in the S&P 500 have increased the risk of a potential slowdown. However, for now, CBRE continues to forecast positive GDP and employment growth and continued elevated Consumer Price Index through 2023. CBRE continues to expect better relative performance in drive-to leisure destinations, especially in high-end properties where travelers are less price sensitive and the impact of inflation may be less severe. Higher gas prices, food costs and mortgage rates could dampen travel plans of budget-minded consumers who frequent interstate hotels. In the long term, decreased supply growth will pull top-line growth. High construction-material prices, including lumber, steel, and labor, make the development of new projects cost prohibitive. CBRE forecasts that supply will increase at a 1.2% compound annual growth rate over the next five years, below the industry’s 1.8% long-term historical average.

Rendering of Corso Italia in Florence, Italy

Hines, Starhotels, Blue Noble partner: Hines, Houston, Texas, and London-based Blue Noble — joint investors in the Future Living fund managed by Savills Investment Management SGR SpA — have finalized a lease agreement with Starhotels, Florence, Italy, to manage part of the asset of Corso Italia in Florence. The deal includes management of three of seven buildings at Corso Italia, the former home of the Teatro del Maggio Fiorentino. The new residential rental offer, II Teatro Luxury Apartments – Starhotels Collezione, will consist of 150 apartments for short- and medium-term rentals. Set to open in 2024, Corso Italia will include concierge service, a terrace with solarium, wellness center, gym, a dedicated area for children, co-working and food and beverage. There are plans to enhance the surrounding areas and add a piazza and apartments. As the development advisor, Hines has helped in the project’s selection of materials, construction companies and architects involved.

Funding for Finvarb JV for mixed-use project: After receiving US$44.6 million in finance, a Finvarb Group joint venture is likely to start building on its Thompson Hotel-anchored South Beach mixed-use development project in Miami, Florida. Finvarb, led by Ronny Finvarb, is developing the project in collaboration with Luxembourg-based Chahine Investment Group. Banesco USA offered a US$22.3 million construction loan to the joint venture entity, which owns the 0.6-acre redevelopment property. Chahine also funded the project with a US$22.3 million mezzanine loan. The eight-story skyscraper with a 150-key Thompson Hotel by Hyatt was approved in 2018 by the Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board.

Minor adds to Dubai portfolio: Minor Hotels, Bangkok, will add the 252-key Anantara Downtown Dubai Hotel, to its portfolio, marking the group’s third property in Dubai when it opens on July 1. The hotel will be positioned as a lifestyle hub with food and beverage venues and a spa. There will be additional enhancements that will start later in the year. The property is part of Minor’s strategic expansion into city properties. The group currently operates eight properties in Dubai under its Anantara, Avani and Oaks brands. With the launch of NH Dubai The Palm in Q4, the group will add a fourth brand in the city.

IHG signs three-hotel deal in Vietnam: IHG Hotels & Resorts has signed a three-hotel portfolio deal in Hoi An, Vietnam, with Hoi An-based ConBap Ecological Tourist Co. Ltd. The agreement will help the expansion of the group’s lifestyle brand, Hotel Indigo and premium brand Crowne Plaza, and launch Holiday Inn Express to Vietnam. The hotels — the 175-key Hotel Indigo Hoi An Ancient Town, 300-key Crowne Plaza Hoi An Ancient Town and the 193-key Holiday Inn Express Hoi An Ancient Town — will be located within Hoian d’Or, a mixed-use development. The project will also include a convention center within the Crowne Plaza hotel with access to retail outlets and outdoor gardens. The hotels will feature six restaurants and bars, including a riverfront club, outdoor pools, spas, gyms and a business center. IHG has 10 opened and pipeline hotels with over 4,000 rooms in Central Vietnam across its InterContinental, Hotel Indigo, voco, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn brands. Currently, the company has 15 open hotels across Vietnam and plans to double its portfolio by 2027 with a pipeline of 20 properties.

Famous inn near San Diego sold: Hotel owner Steve Hermann has reportedly acquired from JMI Realty for US$43 million the 80-room Inn at Rancho Santa Fe near San Diego, California. As the hotel approaches its 100th anniversary next year, Hermann plans to completely refresh the historic property to help drive rate and attract higher-spend guests. JMI had purchased the hotel in April 2012 from the family of Stephen Royce.

Middle East construction pipeline unchanged: The hotel construction pipeline in the Middle East remained constant at 536 projects/138,915 rooms, and fell 9% by rooms YOY, as per Lodging Econometrics. At Q1, projects under construction stood at 331 projects/91,421 rooms, declining 4% by projects and 16% by rooms YOY. Projects expected to begin construction within the next 12 months were 78 projects/22,041 rooms, falling by 11% by projects and rising 8% by rooms YOY. Projects in the early planning stage were at 127 projects/25,453 rooms, a 26% surge by projects and 5% increase by rooms YOY. Countries with the highest number of projects were Saudi Arabia with 208 projects/59,290 rooms, the U.A.E. (121 projects/2,999 rooms), Egypt (with record-high totals by projects and rooms of 69 projects/16,412 rooms), Qatar (61 projects/14,835 rooms), and Oman (30 projects/6,195 rooms). Dubai continued to lead the construction pipeline in the U.A.E. with 84 projects/24,306 rooms. Around 48% of the projects in the pipeline belonged to three franchise companies — Hilton Worldwide with 96 projects/25,216 rooms, Accor with 87 projects/23,583 rooms, and Marriott International with 76 projects/22,098 rooms.

Asia Pacific sustainability outlook: Last year was a landmark year for sustainable tourism in Asia Pacific as travelers are aware and willing to spend on higher meal prices in exchange for socially sustainable wages for service staff, according to the annual Asia Pacific Sustainability Trends 2021 report by Horwath HTL in collaboration with Greenview. About 63% of guests accepted higher prices for ecologically certified hotels and restaurants. The demand for energy consumption is recovering after two years of the pandemic, with a declining trend in energy consumption and cost noticeable from 2016 to 2019 for most countries, regardless of significant reduction in average changes in energy consumption and cost from 2019 to 2020. This indicates hotels’ power in driving reductions in their energy consumption.

VM Hotel Acquisition halts acquisition in Ohio: VM Hotel Acquisition Corp., Toronto, Canada, will not move forward with the acquisition of the Hyatt Regency and the Renaissance hotels in Cleveland, Ohio, due to capital market volatility stemming from the prevailing world events. These properties were the last remaining ones in the company’s earlier proposed initial portfolio, which was announced in December 2021 and was expected to constitute its proposed qualifying acquisition. The company plans to look for a target business or assets with a focus on hotel and resort properties and/or related real estate assets.