Unfinished California Ritz-Carlton Sells For US$312m

RANCHO MIRAGE, CALIFORNIA A partially completed Ritz-Carlton hotel project in California has been purchased in a foreclosure sale.

Miami-based investment firm Magna RE and an affiliate of Gencom Group have acquired the property for about US$312 million, The Desert Sun of Palm Springs reports. Construction on the 244-key luxury hotel stalled after Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy in late 2008.

“This acquisition provides a unique opportunity for us to continue our growth in the luxury sector of the hospitality market,” says Guillermo Coldesina, a Magna RE partner. For its part, Gencom considers the joint partnership with Magna to be an excellent opportunity to expand its asset portfolio.

Rancho Mirage officials believe the hotel could open by next year, and the city views the luxury project as a linchpin to reviving its tourism efforts. Magna and Gencom have plenty of incentive to move ahead quickly; a substantial financial assistance package from the city expires next June if the hotel is not open by then.