Sunstone to Sell Marriott Del Mar in California for $66M
- Jun 07, 2012
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor
Buy a little, sell a little. Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. continues a portfolio repositioning strategy of sorts with an agreement to sell the Marriott Del Mar in San Diego, Calif. The lodging REIT will trade the 284-room hotel in a $66 million transaction that will include the buyer’s assumption an existing $47.2 million mortgage.
The price tag is a sign of the times in real estate. Sunstone’s deal for the disposition of Marriott Del Mar comes six years after the REIT acquired the asset for approximately $69 million. Sunstone had secured a $48 million loan with a 5.69 percent interest rate and a 2016 maturity date to finance the purchase.
The Marriott Del Mar, located 10 miles from downtown San Diego, first opened its doors to guests in 2002. Sunstone’s contract for the sale of the property follows the company’s announcement of an acquisition by only a few days. The company recently announced the completion of its purchase of Wyndham Chicago from The Blackstone Group in a transaction valued at $88.4 million. Sunstone’s payment came in the form of the issuance of stock to Blackstone, equating to a 5 percent interest in the REIT, and cash on hand. The 417-room hotel has been rebranded and now carries the name of the Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile.
“Consistent with our stated business plan, by divesting of a highly-levered, sub-market hotel and acquiring an unencumbered, high-quality central business district hotel, we have improved our portfolio quality and growth profile while deleveraging our balance sheet,” Ken Cruse, president and CEO of Sunstone, said. “We may look to opportunistically sell additional non-core assets in transactions that help advance our portfolio quality and balance sheet objectives.”
As for shopping the market, the REIT is not exactly planning any wild buying binges. “For the right deals at the right price, in a way that’s additive to our stockholders, we would certainly consider deploying equity,” Cruse said during the company’s first-quarter earnings call. The list of criteria for purchases is not a short one. As Sunstone notes in a recent presentation, a property would have to tick the following boxes: 350 or more guestrooms; pro forma returns 100 to 300 basis points over the weighted average cost of capital; beneficial to the company’s credit profile; beneficial to its portfolio quality and growth profile; a minimum RevPAR of $125; location in one of the top 25 U.S. markets; and upper-upscale in quality.
The Wyndham Chicago property marked Sunstone’s first purchase of 2012. The Marriott Del Mar sale, the REIT’s first disposition of the year, is on schedule to close on or around June 30.