German Investor Pays $120M for DC Hotel

Geolo Capital and JW Capital Partners completed the disposition of the 225-key property.
Thompson Washington D.C. Image courtesy of Geolo Capital

Just days after the official opening of Thompson Washington D.C., Geolo Capital has completed the disposition of the 225-key hotel. Geolo, which developed the luxury boutique hotel in a joint venture with JW Capital Partners, sold the property to Germany’s Union Investment GmbH in accordance with a forward-sale arranged in 2018.

Thompson D.C. marks the first hotel in the nation’s capital to fly the 19-year old Thompson flag, which is part of Hyatt Hotel Corp.’s global brand portfolio. Carrying the address of 221 Tingey St. SE, the Studios Architecture-designed hotel was conceived to serve as a social focal point of The Yards, a sprawling new waterfront development along the riverfront in the resurging Navy Yard district. Amenities at the 11-story property include three food & beverage outlets and roughly 7,000 square feet of meeting and event space.

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Geolo and JW Capital developed Thomson D.C. over a three-year period, with financing from Bank OZK and construction guidance from general contractor Moriarty & Associates. While the development partners had orchestrated the sale of the hotel years in advance of its opening, they had also made plans to maintain a connection to the asset via a long-term lease with the new ownership. Per terms of the agreement, Geolo and JW Capital will spearhead management of the hotel, which will continue to operate under the Thompson brand.

A seller’s market

At more than $533,300 per key, Thompson D.C. fetched a premium price that is indicative of the current state of the hospitality investment market in the District and environs. “Despite flattening performance and modest growth projections, investor appetite for D.C. metropolitan area acquisitions and developments remains healthy,” according to a fourth quarter 2019 report by hospitality consulting firm The Plasencia Group. “Like in many other regions of the country, investor demand is exceeding the supply of assets available for purchase, making it an opportune time to consider a sale.”

Major Washington, D.C.-area transactions over the last 12 months include Pebblebrook Hotel Trust’s $141.5 million sale of the 335-key Hotel Palomar Washington, D.C., and $111 million sale of Liaison Washington Capitol Hill, a 343-key property. Both transactions were part of a D.C. disposition program the REIT instituted following its multibillion acquisition of LaSalle Hotel Properties in late 2018.