315-Room Westin Imagine Hotel in Orlando Trades
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor
The Westin Imagine Hotel in Orlando, Fla., has just come under the ownership of ERGS WI Orlando REO. While all parties are remaining mum on the financials of the deal, it is likely that the price tag on the 315-room lodging was an attractive one given that the seller, REDUS Imagine L.L.C., is a consortium of banks that foreclosed on the asset earlier this year.
HFF orchestrated the transaction on behalf of the seller. Intrawest Corp. had owned the property before its foreclosure, having developed it in 2008.
Westin Imagine carries the address 9501 Universal Blvd. in 2008, offering a premier location just across from the 2 million-square-foot Orange County Convention Center and within close proximity to the city’s popular amusement parks. In addition to the hotel, the deal leaves ERGS with the Residences at The Westin Imagine Orlando, a condo-hotel destination on the site, as well as 24 acres of developable land.
The Orlando hotel market is still in recovery mode. According to a report by PKF Hospitality Research L.L.C., the city is among 12 major markets that have yet to return to their pre-recession room rental numbers. However, Orlando has a certain inherent promise of success. In 2011, the city had a record-breaking year with the number of visitors having reached 55.1 million, giving Orlando the title of the first destination in the United States to welcome more than 55 million.
Apparently, the investment community sees the potential for success for both the city and the property. “The hotel’s improving performance in a strong, global market, superb physical condition, and attractive investment basis were all attributes that made this opportunity attractive to numerous investors from around the world,” Max Comess, director with HFF, said in a prepared statement.