Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel Commands $80M

Sunstone Hotel Investors reportedly agreed to lower the price of the 622-key waterfront property in response to the pandemic.

Renaissance Harborplace. Image courtesy of The Buccini/Pollin Group

The Buccini/Pollin Group has acquired the 622-key Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel from Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. for $80 million, or approximately $129,000 per key. The purchase of the full-service waterfront hotel expands the company’s portfolio of Marriott-affiliated and lifestyle hotels.

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Located at 202 E. Pratt St. in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, the hotel last sold for $157 million in 2005, according to the Baltimore Business Journal. The Wall Street Journal reported the buyer had planned to buy the hotel for $100 million before the COVID-19 crisis hit and Sunstone agreed to lower the price. The hotel was one of six out of 20 owned by Sunstone that remained open and were operating during the entire month of April, according to the REIT’s first-quarter 2020 earnings report released May 8. With the sale of the Baltimore asset, Sunstone now has interests in 19 hotels comprising 9,988 guestrooms. Among its other hospitality properties are Boston Park Plaza, Hilton Times Square in New York City and Renaissance Los Angeles Airport.

Sunstone President & CEO John Arabia said in a prepared statement the sale furthered the Irvine, Calif.-based company’s stated strategy of focusing on what it calls its long-term relevant real estate. The disposition also increased the REIT’s liquidity and put it in a good position to navigate the current environment and capitalize on opportunities as they arise, Arabia said.

Hotel details

Sunstone had completed a five-month, multimillion-dollar renovation of the hotel last August. The project included complete refurbishment of the guestrooms and suites, including wall coverings, carpeting, bedding and furnishings and upgraded bathrooms. The hotel’s Club Lounge was updated and expanded by 700 square feet. The property’s nearly 30,000 square feet of meeting and event spaces and public areas had been renovated in 2016.

Buccini/Pollin also noted the hotel has three food and beverage outlets and a signature, waterfront restaurant called Watertable. Additional amenities include a fitness center and full-service business center. The hotel is within walking distance of Baltimore’s major attractions including M&T Bank Stadium, Camden Yards, the National Aquarium and the Baltimore Convention Center.

Dave Pollin, president of The Buccini/Pollin Group, said in prepared remarks the company knows and loves the Renaissance brand. He called Baltimore “a city on the rise” and said the company was proud to be expanding its commitment there. Buccini/Pollin opened its first hotel in the area in 1997. Today, its portfolio includes 17 Marriott-affiliated hotels, including the recently renovated and rebranded Renaissance Philadelphia Downtown in Old City. The company had acquired it in March 2018 when it was known as the Sheraton Philadelphia Society Hill Hotel. The privately held real estate acquisition, development and management company is  headquartered in Chevy Chase, Md., and Wilmington, Del., with more than $5 billion of real estate assets, including more than 40 hotels, 7 million square feet of office and retail space, 15 major residential communities and multiple entertainment venues. It also owns the historic Hotel du Pont in Wilmington and is building a new hotel slated to open in 2021, the Virgin Hotels New Orleans, in partnership with Virgin Group’s lifestyle hotel brand.

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