HFF Plays Big Role in Dallas Hotel Deal

As the hospitality market continues to heat up, The Westin Dallas Park Central has changed hands, with HFF playing two important roles in the deal.
John Bourret, HFF

John Bourret, HFF

As the U.S. hospitality market continues to heat up, The Westin Dallas Park Central, a 536-key hotel in central Dallas, has changed hands, with HFF playing two important roles in the deal.

HFF marketed the property on behalf of the seller, a joint venture between FelCor Lodging Trust Inc. and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. HFF’s debt placement team secured floating-rate financing for the acquisition and renovation of the asset for the buyers, a partnership between AWH Partners, L.L.C. of New York City and Building and Land Technology of Stamford, Conn.

HFF’s sales team was headed up by Managing Director John Bourret and the debt placement team was led by HFF FFHSenior Managing Director Brian Carlton, both in the Dallas office.

Westin Dallas Park CentralThe 20-story hotel is located on 3.5 acres at 12720 Merit Drive in the Park Central mixed-use development. The hotel features 42,000 square feet of indoor function space, including a 15,050-square-foot grand ballroom and a 5,745-square-foot penthouse venue. It also has a restaurant, fitness studio, business center, heated rooftop pool and sundeck.

AWH Partners, a privately held real estate investment, development and management firm, did not release the price it paid but did announce it was planning to spend more than $20 million on renovations. Spire Hospitality will oversee the repositioning and manage operations under a franchise agreement with Starwood.

This is AWH Partners’ first purchase in the Dallas market and part of the firm’s focus on acquiring premium brands.

“The Westin brand in a growing market with significant value-add opportunity is right in our strike zone,” Russ Flicker, principal of AWH Partners, said in a news release.

“Growing our presence in major markets like Dallas is very much in line with our overall strategy of occupying strong markets by investing in large hotels with big meeting space that offer an opportunity for value-add through renovation,” added AWH Partners principal Bernard Michael. “We are extremely pleased with the outlook for this investment.”

STR, the hospitality research firm, said overall RevPar grew 10 percent in the United States last week year over year and 3.8 percent from the previous week. RevPAR for Dallas was up 8.7 percent, not as strong as Washington, D.C., which had a 22.1 percent boost, and New York City with a 10.5 percent increase, but better than Los Angeles, Boston and Chicago.

AWH Partners, which has amassed a portfolio valued at more than $800 million since 2010, also acquired the 488-rooom Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport earlier this year. Other properties include the Crowne Plaza Atlanta Midtown, The Hotel Modern New Orleans and Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort in Orlando.

For FelCor, an Irving, Texas-based lodging REIT, this sale continues its portfolio repositioning plan that began in 2010. FelCor said that with the sale of the Westin Dallas Park Central, the Embassy Suites Hotel- Raleigh in North Carolina and Embassy Suites Hotel – San Antonio in Texas it is close to the end of the repositioning. To date, the REIT has sold 35 non-strategic properties for gross proceeds of $794 million. Five more hotels remain to be sold, the company said in a news release. FelCor is using the proceeds to repay outstanding debt.

JMH Hotels of Greenville, S.C., bought the 225- room Raleigh hotel, located at 4700 Creedmore Road.

Zachry Hospitality L.L.C., a San Antonio-based real estate development, management and investment firm, bought the 261-room Embassy Suites Hotel – San Antonio. The Plasencia Group of Tampa, Fla., represented FelCor in the sale to Zachry Hospitality.