QIA Pays $175M for The St. Regis San Francisco

The sovereign wealth fund of the State of Qatar acquired the 260-key hotel from Marriott International.
The St. Regis, San Francisco

The St. Regis San Francisco

San Francisco—And the buying binge continues. Qatar Investment Authority just added another gem to its ever-growing U.S. portfolio with the purchase of The St. Regis San Francisco. The sovereign wealth fund of the State of Qatar acquired the 260-key hotel from Marriott International Inc., in a transaction valued at approximately $175 million.

According to a report released by commercial real estate services firm JLL in 2005—the same year the St. Regis opened its doors—the property cost roughly $130 million to develop.

Located in a 40-story tower topped by residences at 125 3rd St., the Skidmore, Owings & Merrill-designed hotel boasts a premier address, counting the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art as its next-door neighbor. QIA will submit the luxury lodging destination to a renovation program, but there’s something that won’t change; the company signed a long-term agreement for Marriott to stay aboard as manager.

“We have a strong and successful partnership with QIA and we are thrilled that this iconic hotel will expand QIA’s collection of Marriott-branded hotels to the U.S.,” Arne Sorenson, president & CEO of Marriott International, said in a prepared statement.

QIA has spent 2016 acquiring one premier property after another, shelling out more than $2 billion on Class A assets. In two separate transactions with joint venture partner Douglas Emmett Inc., the company took a nearly half-million-square-foot bite out of Los Angeles’ coveted Westside, acquiring the 365,000-square-foot office tower at 12100 Wilshire Blvd. for $225 million before taking its money down the street to 233 Wilshire Blvd., a 129,000-square-foot office building with a purchase price of $139.5 million. QIA dug deep into its pockets to acquire a 9.9 percent interest in Empire State Realty Trust Inc., owner of the renowned 2.8 million-square-foot Empire State Building, through a $622 million investment. And in the first quarter of the year, the company added 1.7 million square feet to its holdings with the acquisition of a four-building portfolio—again, on Los Angeles’ Westside—at a cost of nearly $1.4 billion.

QIA is playing a hefty role in increasing the presence of Middle Eastern investors in U.S. real estate. With a 7.4 percent piece of the pie, Qatar was the fourth largest foreign investor in the market during the first half of 2016, per a report by real estate services firm Marcus & Millichap, following Canada, China and Singapore, which held the first, second and third spots, respectively.

Image courtesy of Starwood Hotels