Thor Refinances (Again) the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago

Thor Equities has completed a $420 million refinance deal for the historic Palmer House Hilton hotel in downtown Chicago.

Thor Equities has completed a $420 million refinance deal for the historic Palmer House Hilton hotel in downtown Chicago, the company announced Tuesday. This is the second time in less than 24 months that Thor has refinanced the 1,642-room, 23-story luxury hotel, which it acquired in 2005.

JLL represented Thor in refinancing the previous $365 million loan package, which reportedly had involved five lenders: JP Morgan, Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance, a joint venture of Capital Trust Inc. and Macquarie Bank Ltd., and Och-Ziff Capital Management.

The new loan is a $420 million loan with a lower interest rate that will save millions of dollars per year, according to Thor. JP Morgan provided the five-year, floating-rate, CMBS loan.

“Taking advantage of attractive interest rates and flexible loan terms is critical to creating a long-term successful business model in today’s hyper-competitive real estate market,” Thor CFO Michael Schurer said in a release.

On Oct. 22, 2012, Commercial Property Executive reported on the prior refi, which also was arranged by JLL.

The following year, the deal was honored in CPE’s 2013 Distinguished Achievement Awards, receiving First Place in the Best Financial Structure category. The award cited “Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels & Hospitality Group, Americas for arranging a complex financing package to help Thor Equities refinance the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago. The $365 million package was the biggest brokered financing in the Chicago MSA last year.”

Built in 1925, the Palmer House Hilton occupies two-thirds of a city block between State Street and Wabash Avenue at Monroe Street and features 57,000 square feet of street-level retail.

A spreadsheet provided to Commercial Property Executive by Real Capital Analytics suggests that for large, single-property hotel refis so far in 2014, a cap rate of 5.2 to 5.5 percent might be typical.