Chatham Lodging Closes $1.3B JV Hotel Portfolio Purchase

Chatham Lodging Trust, in a new joint venture with NorthStar Realty Finance Corp., has completed the two-part, $1.3 billion acquisition of the 51-property former Innkeepers USA Trust hotel portfolio.
Dennis Craven, Chatham Lodging

Dennis Craven, Chatham Lodging

Chatham Lodging Trust, in a new joint venture with NorthStar Realty Finance Corp., has completed the two-part, $1.3 billion acquisition of the 51-property former Innkeepers USA Trust hotel portfolio, a group of properties with which the REIT is more than a little familiar. Chatham was also the seller, having owned the 6,848-room collection in a joint venture with Cerberus Capital Management L.P.

The closing of the deal comes approximately five months after Chatham and Cerberus put the assets up for sale in an offering advised by Eastdil Secured.  The gargantuan price tag on the purchase of the predominantly bi-coastal portfolio includes the assumption of a $950 million interest-only loan.

“Chatham’s stated goal is to be the premier owner of upscale extended-stay hotels and premium-branded, select-service hotels, and these hotels certainly fit that definition,” Dennis Craven, executive vice president & CFO of Chatham, told Commercial Property Executive. “Chatham has a great deal of experience with these assets and believes they are top quality properties in great physical condition.” The hotels have enjoyed $171 million in capital investments over the last seven years.

Chatham and Cerberus had snapped up the Innkeepers portfolio in 2011, when the team–following a bit of a spat with the bankrupt Innkeepers–purchased what was then a group of 64 properties for $1 billion. Chatham had walked away with a 10.3 percent stake in the portfolio and, in the new partnership with NorthStar, maintains that same ownership percentage. And Chatham has gotten something else in the deal.

In connection with the closing of Chatham and NorthStar’s purchase of the Innkeepers assets, Chatham closed the acquisition of four Residence Inn by Marriott hotels, located in the high barrier-to-entry Silicon Valley market, that were part of the Innkeepers portfolio for $326.4 million. So Chatham’s actual joint venture ownership with NorthStar includes 47 properties purchased at a price of $958.5 million.

“We are in the planning phase of expanding and upgrading all four hotels and believe that both the joint venture portfolio and our four new wholly owned hotels will generate excellent returns for our shareholders,” Craven added.  Chatham is mulling over the idea of increasing the Silicon Valley hotels’ room count by 36 percent at a cost of approximately $59 million.

It’s not every day that a nearly 7,000-room group of hotels comes on the market, and Chatham couldn’t resist.

“We believe in the fundamentals of the lodging sector based on an economy that slowly improves, and favorable lodging demand/supply metrics,” Craven concluded. “Lodging demand continues to outpace supply growth. Supply growth is projected to be at levels lower than historical levels for the next several years, which bodes well for the lodging industry.”