RLJ Lodging Trust (the “Company”) (NYSE: RLJ) today announced that it acquired the 150-room Vantaggio Suites Cosmo (“the Hotel”) in San Francisco, CA for a purchase price of $29.5 million, or approximately $197,000 per key in an off-market transaction. The purchase price per key represents a significant discount to replacement cost given the high barriers-to-entry in San Francisco. The Company purchased this Hotel with cash available on its balance sheet.
The Hotel, which is located three blocks from Union Square, was constructed in 1930 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Recently, the property primarily catered to short-term stay rentals. Upon acquisition, the Company plans to close the unoccupied hotel for an extensive $13.0 million multi-phase conversion. It is anticipated that the renovation will be completed by the end of 2014 and the Hotel will reopen at that time as a 150-room Courtyard by Marriott. The Company expects that the total investment, including capital expenditures, will represent a forward capitalization rate of approximately 7.8% based on the Hotel’s projected 2015 net operating income.
“The acquisition of this Hotel at such an attractive price exemplifies our investment strategy of sourcing off-market premium focused-service hotels in high-density, urban markets,” commented Thomas J. Baltimore, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer. “We expect that our proven track record with complex brand conversions will yield strong returns for our shareholders.”
San Francisco serves as a major gateway market and is ranked as one of the top ports of entry for international travelers to the U.S. and one of the most important transportation centers in the western U.S. The San Francisco Metro is serviced by three major airports, San Francisco International Airport, Oakland International Airport, and Mineta San Jose International Airport. The San Francisco Travel Association reported that in 2012 there were 16.5 million visitors to the city and estimated that these visitors spent almost $9 billion, the highest spending level ever recorded.