Tag: Acquisition

The Axton Group Closes Acquisition of the Renaissance Austin Hotel for $70 Million

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — An affiliate of The Axton Group (“Axton”) today announced the firm has closed on the acquisition of the Renaissance Austin Hotel for $70 million. The 492-room, full-service hotel in north Austin is one of the city’s largest hotels, with spacious guest rooms including 88 suites, many upscale amenities, and spectacular views of the Texas Hill Country and the downtown Austin skyline. The hotel features 77,600 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and event facilities.

Like all hotels across the country, Renaissance Austin Hotel’s occupancy is currently low as a result of COVID-19. The city of Austin is one of the fastest growing in the country, with booming growth in the technology, medical and biotech sectors, and other major tenants and employers.

Peter Oberndorf, Founder and CEO of Axton, said, “This investment is representative of the cyclical nature of hotel assets, which have been even more acutely impacted in this current environment than previous economic cycles given the dynamics of the pandemic. It is now our responsibility to reposition and enhance this property, guiding it on a path of recovery and ultimately leaving it in a better place than we entered. We look forward to making this vision a reality. We are seeking additional opportunities where we believe we can acquire assets and add value at an attractive entry basis, in robust markets with excellent long-term fundamentals and promising growth prospects.”

Austin has major and expanding tenants including Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, Microsoft, Dell, 3M, University of Texas and the Texas State Capital government. The city is also a leading tourist destination historically hosting over 27 million visitors each year.

Andrew Slusser, Principal at Axton, said, “Our purchase of the Renaissance Austin Hotel reflects the reduced capital availability in the hospitality industry. We see great value at our point of entry and expect the property to return to and grow its pre-COVID earnings over the coming years.”

Axton is planning renovations to the hotel’s public spaces and meeting rooms that will position the property as a premier venue for the meeting and event business that the firm anticipates will gradually return in the post-COVID era. The immediate renovations call for significant improvements to the hotel entrance; a redesign of the lobby and the majestic atrium; creating more revenue-generating spaces, while maintaining functionality for group events, with the goal of offering a more attractive and modern look and feel for guests. Planned meeting and banquet space renovations will enhance the property and enable it to be more competitive with newer product as the market recovers.

The hotel will continue to be managed by Marriott under the Renaissance Brand.

The purchase price of the hotel represents more than a 50% discount to replacement cost. Axton is actively evaluating opportunistic investments across the U.S. from sellers seeking liquidity. The firm has a contrarian view that select properties in strong markets with high return on investment repositioning dynamics will allow for a

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Wheelock Street Capital Announces Acquisition of Hotel Contessa


Wheelock Street Capital announced it has acquired Hotel Contessa, a 265 room, all-suite and AAA Four-Diamond luxury, independent hotel located at 306 West Market Street in San Antonio, TX.

The 12-story hotel, built in 2005, benefits from its central location along San Antonio’s highly sought-after Riverwalk with direct access to many of the city’s top cultural destinations, including The Alamo, San Antonio’s Central Business District and the recently expanded Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. The Property offers 10,000 square feet of function space, a rooftop pool, a full-service restaurant and bar opening directly onto the Riverwalk and a full-service spa. Wheelock plans to complete a full renovation of the ground floor restaurant and bar in the coming months. The hotel currently operates independent of a national brand affiliation and maintains an outsized transient base in one of the nation’s premier drive-to leisure markets.

HEI Hotels & Resorts, a leading national hotel operator with an existing presence in San Antonio, will assume management responsibilities under Wheelock’s ownership.

The acquisition marks Wheelock’s first hotel purchase in the San Antonio market and first since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The property’s historically strong performance, superb location, and superior quality in a top leisure-driven market was a perfect match with our current acquisition criteria and provided us the conviction to execute during an uncertain time in the capital markets,” stated Tim Hodes, Principal and Director of Hotel Investments for Wheelock Street Capital. “We look forward to achieving success at another quality asset with our partners at HEI.”

Hodges Ward Elliott (“HWE”) arranged the sale of Hotel Contessa and advised Wheelock on the financing structure for the acquisition.

About Wheelock Street Capital
Wheelock Street Capital ( https://wheelockst.com/ ) was formed in 2008 by Rick Kleeman and Jonathan Paul, two veteran real estate private equity investors, each with 30 years of broad real estate transaction experience across all major asset classes. Wheelock has raised over $4 billion in capital commitments from well-known institutional investors and focuses on real estate investment opportunities throughout the United States, in both public and private markets. Wheelock is currently deploying its sixth fund in its value-added series, Wheelock Street Real Estate Fund VI and its first perpetual life fund, Wheelock Street Long Term Value Fund. The Long Term Value Fund targets high-quality, cash-flowing assets with stable, yet attractive risk-adjusted returns over a 5-15 year investment horizon. The firm may invest directly or with high quality joint venture partners through a variety of capital structures and transaction types, including acquisitions, restructurings, and recapitalizations. Wheelock’s investment team benefits from extensive experience from top-tier institutional investment firms and highly regarded real estate operating companies and has produced a 10-year track record of demonstrated and consistent outperformance over industry benchmarks.

About HEI Hotels & Resorts
HEI Hotels & Resorts, headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., is a leading hospitality company that acquires, develops, owns and operates upscale, upper upscale and luxury hotels and resorts, throughout the United States under such well‐known

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