By Keith Loria, Contributing Editor
Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc., along with its joint venture partner, Prudential Real Estate Investors, has closed a $215.6 million refinancing loan secured by non-recourse senior mortgage proceeds for a three-property portfolio of hotels.
Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels secured the loan for the 1,359-key portfolio, which includes the 390-room Hilton Boston Back Bay in Massachusetts, the 296-room Westin Princeton at Forrestal Village in New Jersey and the 673-room Renaissance Nashville in Tennessee.
“Ashford and Prudential are both very high-quality sponsors, savvy hotel owners and well capitalized,” Mathew Comfort, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels’ executive vice president, told Commercial Property Executive. “These happen to be very high-quality assets and performing very well, well located within markets that are very appealing to lenders right now. So, what made it special was a combination of the sponsors and the assets.”
Hilton Boston Back Bay is located in the heart of the Back Bay office district, across from Hynes Convention Center, minutes from Fenway Park and Downtown Boston. The property was financed as a standalone asset with a $103 million loan.
“Boston is one of the hottest markets right now and very strong performing,” Comfort said. “This is a good-sized asset in great proximity to the Convention Center. It’s a high-quality asset in a great location within one of the strongest markets in the U.S.”
The Westin Princeton and the Renaissance Nashville were financed jointly with a $112.6 million loan.
The Westin Princeton is situated within the mixed-use Forrestal Village complex, near the Princeton University campus and Princeton Medical Center.
“It’s in very good shape and is in a market that’s very appealing to lenders because educational presence is seen as a consistent source of demand. Lenders tend to be focused on very urban areas and have built-in demand generators and Princeton is a phenomenal demand generator.”
The Renaissance Nashville is located in the heart of Nashville’s downtown business and entertainment district, two blocks from the 1.2 million-square-foot Music City Center which will open in mid-2013.
“Nashville is a very dynamic market right now; it’s experienced tremendous RevPar growth over the last several years and there is a lot of additional tourism and business going there right now,” Comfort said. “They are building a brand new convention center so it’s emerging as a bottom first-tier, high second-tier convention market and this is ideally located right downtown.”
Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels has seen financing for prime hotel assets in core markets going strong over the past year.
“While the transaction had several structuring nuances, lenders underwrote creatively to produce multiple options for the ownership,” Comfort said. “The competitive process generated demand from a range of financial institutions and resulted in the optimal blend of proceeds and pricing.”
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