Old Townhotels sold

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The red-hot Alexandria hotel market got another jolt of luxe this week, with Carr Hospitalitys $100 million purchase of the Radisson and Holiday Inn & Suites of Old Town.

The new hotels will be managed by InterContinental Hotel Group one of the worlds most luxurious hotel operators, with locations in 100 countries.  

The Radisson at 901 N. Fairfax Street, will be converted to a Crowne Plaza hotel, but it is unlikely that the Holiday Inn at 625 First Street will be re-branded. The hotels will have a combined total of 431 rooms and approximately 16,000 square feet of meeting and convention space. 

The newly acquired hotels will undergo a $20 million renovation to reposition the properties with a boutique hotel feel, said Richard Carr of Carr Hospitality.

Carr, the president and CEO of the newly formed company, plans to grow the new enterprise by developing and acquiring new hotels in the Washington, D.C., market. The new Carr entity will be responsible for overseeing 1,000 hotel rooms initially.   InterContinental Hotels Group PLC of the United Kingdom is the worlds largest hotel group, by number of rooms. It owns, manages, leases or franchises over 3,700 hotels with 49,000 rooms around the world.

Carr will be adding the Old Town hotels to their portfolio which already includes the Willard Hotel in downtown D.C. and the Embassy Suites hotel in Alexandria.

A 5-star rush
Gaylord Hotels planned opening of its 2,000-room convention hotel in Oxon Hill, Md. [National Harbor] has set off a gold rush f new hotel construction, acquisitions and makeovers in the 19,000-room Alexandria hotel marketplace. The $1 billion Gaylord National and five smaller companion hotels at National Harbor are scheduled to open in April 2008, and local hoteliers are scrambling to compete for spillover traffic.

Last month, two local hotels were acquired, the Sheraton Suites Old Town and the Residence Inn Marriott Old Town. A year ago, Kimpton Hotel Group snapped up the Morrison House at 116 S. Alfred Street, and the Holiday Inn at 500 King Street. Kimptons second hotel, with reportedly one of the nations highest average occupancy rates, is undergoing extensive renovations and is expected to be re-branded as The Hotel Monaco this fall.

Later this year, Starwood Hotels & Resorts is expected to open its new $120 million luxury hotel under the upper-upscale Westin brand in the Carlyle section of Old Town, next to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. The 319-room hotel will be the brands first property in Alexandria, its second in Virginia and its fourth hotel in the metropolitan D.C. area. 

The Westin Alexandria will be the centerpiece of a 470,000-square foot, mixed-use development project. The 15-story building will also include 79 condos and street-level restaurant and retail space.

Were attracted to the area because of the growth of nearby business and the impressive number of law firms and trade associations, said Sue Brush, senior vice president of Westin Hotels. The Westin Alexandria will enhance our presence in this historic and vibrant travel destination. 

Reid Freeman, executive vice president of Regent Partners said the Westin will be the first ground-up full-service hotel development in Old Town since 9/11, when occupancy of Alexandrias 19,000 hotel rooms dropped to historic lows.  The Westin Alexandria will bring style and energy to this mixed-use project and is a natural fit for this historic part of the area, he said.

The Westin Alexandria will feature 18,000 square feet of meeting space containing the largest ballroom in Old Town, a signature restaurant, Westins signature Heavenly Bed concept and new fully-equipped bedrooms with workout equipment, as well as a Reebok fitness center.

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