$185M Loan Closes for Refinancing, Expansion of Seattle-Area Hyatt

Bellevue Place L.P., owner of the Hyatt Regency Bellevue, has gotten its hands on $185 million in financing for the upscale 382-room hotel. The combination permanent debt and construction loan allows for both the refinancing and expansion of the property, which sits about 10 miles outside of Seattle in Bellevue. Bellevue Place relied on the assistance of real state services firm CB Richard Ellis Inc.’s capital markets group to orchestrate the financing. Pacific Life Insurance Co. provided the 13-year loan. CBRE’s timing on the pursuit of funding was just right. “We went under application in April of 2007 so we somewhat predated the credit crunch,” Michal Makar, senior managing director with CBRE’s Capital Markets group in Seattle, told CPN today. “By the time we got to the approval stage, the market was in turmoil, but Pacific Life didn’t change a single thing. They were very honorable.” Part of the funds will be poured into the construction of a new tower at the nearly 20-year-old property. The existing 24-story structure will be accented by a new building that will yield an additional 351 guestrooms and 36,000 square feet of meeting space. Construction is on schedule to kick off in mid-2009. After the expansion, “Hyatt Regency Bellevue will be the premier hotel for group meetings on the East Side,” Makar said. “It will be twice as big as any facility in the area. Hyatt Regency Bellevue was last upgraded in 2006 at a cost of $20 million. With Seattle’s hotel market thriving, the expansion of the Hyatt Regency Bellevue is a timely move. “It’s a market-driven expansion,” Makar noted. “It’s a response to a request for more accommodations on the East Side in an effort to avoid having to cross the bridge into Seattle.” A bevy of leading companies have a presence in the area. Microsoft, for one, signed a lease last year to occupy a total of 1.3 million square feet of office space on the East Side, effectively claiming developer Schnitzer West’s entire Bravern Office Commons and Advanta Office Commons project in their entirety. Other hotel owners have been taking steps to accommodate demand, as well. Just last month, a $130 million expansion and renovation of the Seattle Sheraton Hotel reached completion; the project added an entire tower with 420 rooms and 75,000 square feet of new meeting space.