Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) announced that it has completed the sale of Aloft Tucson University to Lightstone Value Plus Real Estate Investment Trust II, Inc., a public, non-traded REIT sponsored by The Lightstone Group, a privately held real estate company, for $19 million. As part of the agreement, the hotel will be managed under a long-term license agreement by Island Hospitality Management and continue to fly the Aloft brand flag.
“The sale of Aloft Tucson University highlights Starwood’s commitment to an asset-light strategy as we continue to seek the right owners and partners for our remaining owned real estate assets to create value for our shareholders,” said Simon Turner, President of Global Development for Starwood. “With favorable capital market conditions and improving hotel industry fundamentals, we’re seeing continued strong investor interest in our remaining assets from investors around the globe.”
Turner continued: “We are proud of the conversion-friendly strategy we’ve created for the Aloft brand. The Aloft Tucson University showcases the success of our conversion approach for older hotels with the appropriate capital investment, and its redevelopment allowed us to fine tune our approach to benefit future projects. We are pleased to broaden our relationship with both Lightstone and Island Hospitality Management, and look forward to collaborating with them on the future success of this property.”
“This is a premium-branded hotel in a strategic location poised for growth,” said David Lichtenstein, Chairman and CEO of The Lightstone Group. “Adjacent to the University of Arizona campus, with a student population of approximately 40,000, and sports complexes, the hotel is also in close proximity to the University of Arizona Medical Center, downtown Tucson, and numerous corporate offices, and has good accessibility to the Tucson International Airport and Interstate 10. We believe this acquisition is representative of Lightstone’s ability to identify attractive investment opportunities.”
Originally built in 1972, the hotel underwent a complete redevelopment prior to its re-opening in April 2013 as Aloft Tucson University. Located at 1900 East Speedway, hotel amenities include an outdoor Splash pool, the brand’s signature W XYZ® bar, a 24-hour fitness center and 1,723 square feet of flexible meeting space, ideal for both business meetings and social gatherings.
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