What’s New in The Golden State

NATIONAL REPORT—As a state that’s home to several high-barrier-to-entry markets and destinations that guests love to travel to, it’s no surprise that California is seeing a flurry of activity. Here are a few of the Golden State projects that hoteliers are working on.

Financing Deal for LAX Dual-Brand

George Smith Partners has arranged $50 million in construction financing for the redevelopment of a 258,000-sq.-ft., 13-story office tower. The property will be converted into a 129-key Hyatt House and a 272-key Hyatt Place adjacent to LAX, planned for completion in 2019. The senior construction financing, on behalf of 5959 LLC, an affiliate of California Real Estate Regional Center LLC, was arranged by George Smith Partners’ VP Zachary Streit.

“There is growing demand in the LAX submarket, and the current hotel stock is largely outdated,” explained Streit. “As a result, this new dual-branded offering, which will feature a trendy, mid-century urban design, will be of immediate interest to business and leisure travelers.”

Streit notes that the timing is right for this redevelopment, citing a 2016 report from STR Global showing a 91.5% hotel occupancy rate and a 12.7% year-over-year increase in average daily rate. “Even with demand high and supply low, identifying the right lender was challenging based on several factors,” said Streit. “It was crucial to find a lender who was comfortable with hotel construction financing at this point in the cycle, as well as a mezzanine tranche of EB-5 financing, and an unsubordinated ground lease. Additionally, it was critical that the transaction was structured to comply with High Volatility Commercial Real Estate (HVCRE) banking regulations.”

Autograph Collection Comes to Downtown San Diego

Hotel Republic San Diego opened its doors in downtown San Diego as part of Autograph Collection Hotels’ portfolio. The hotel was designed by San Diego-based Bluemotif Architecture and Los Angeles’ Forchielli Glynn to transport visitors into a chic beach house meets private yacht club aesthetic. The hotel offers three distinct dining concepts, 16,000 sq. ft. of private meeting and event space, a VIP Marriott Rewards Veranda Lounge, as well as 258 guestrooms.

Hotel Republic San Diego is a project of ownership group RP SCS WSD Hotel LLC (comprising Rockpoint Group as the majority owner and SCS Advisors as the minority owner and asset manager) and management company, HEI Hotels & ResortsThis is Autograph Collection’s second independent hotel in San Diego, joining the Pier South Resort in Imperial Beach.

Piazza Hospitality Expands Portfolio

Piazza Hospitality will open Harmon Guest House in Healdsburg in spring 2018 and Hotel San Luis Obispo in winter 2018.

Conceptualized by David Baker Architects of San Francisco, Harmon Guest House will be located steps away from sister property h2hotel in downtown Healdsburg. The new property will have 39 rooms, including six suites, in intimate pods grouped at the front and rear of the property. The property will also offer an exclusive rooftop event space, Merritt Hall, and adjoining terrace. Merritt Hall will occupy 1,493 sq. ft. of indoor meeting and event space, accommodating up to 100 guests. With sustainability and green initiatives as one of its key values, Harmon Guest House will aim for a LEED gold certification.

Piazza Hospitality will also open the firm’s first property on the Central Coast in winter 2018. Hotel San Luis Obispo will have 78 guestrooms, including six suites, and dedicated space for meetings and events for groups of up to 350 people.  Reflecting the Central Coast’s rugged ranch and coastal landscape, Hotel San Luis Obispo will utilize natural materials such as warm woods, terra cotta, Corten steel, succulents and heritage olives expressed in a modern design.

The hotel will feature two onsite restaurants, an expansive pool terrace and Jacuzzi, lobby lounge replete with a long bar, fireplace and adjacent garden courtyard serving all day refreshments, full-service contemporary spa, a fitness center and complimentary bicycle fleet, and valet parking.

Davidson Adds Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa

Davidson Hotels & Resorts has added Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa to its portfolio. The 550-room full-service resort will continue to operate under the Hyatt Regency brand, will be managed by Davidson Hotels & Resorts and will be owned by an affiliate of Fairwood Capital LLC.

 The hotel offers 40,000 sq. ft. of indoor/outdoor meetings space, a full-service racquet club with six championship tennis courts, the 18-hole Del Monte golf course, a 24-hour Stayfit fitness center, a 12,000-sq.-ft. Marilyn Monroe spa and wine and multiple food and beverage options.

The Volaré Joins Ascend Hotel Collection

The Volaré in San Clemente, Orange County, has joined the Ascend Hotel Collection.

The Volaré is a 73-room property that features a speakeasy-style lounge, Through the Looking Glass, and a range of lodging options, including suites with kitchenettes and in-room hot tubs, as well as standard rooms with wrap-around balconies and views of the ocean. Guests can enjoy complimentary hot breakfast buffet, an outdoor pool, fitness center, trolley rides to the beach and laundry facilities.

The property is currently working toward LEED certification.

Francis House to Open in 2018

Initially a family home for prominent local merchant, James H. Francis, The Francis House is a landmark building in the heart of Calistoga. Built in 1886, it is the only stone building in Napa County that is authentic Second Empire architecture, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, according to the hotel. Change in ownerships, natural disasters and the passing of time all contributed to the fading of this property until it was finally shuttered in 1965.

Uninhabited for the past 50 years, it is now being carefully restored, rehabilitated and redesigned by Dina and Richard Dwyer as a small luxury inn opening in late spring 2018.