Amstar acquires Rhode Island hotel

The Denver-based private equity real estate firm will partner with Davidson Hotel Company to acquire and complete a $23m overhaul of the 264-room Hyatt Regency, which sits on an island in Newport Harbor.

Denver-based Amstar Group will partner with Davidson Hotel Company, a Memphis-based hotel owner and manager, to acquire the 264-room Hyatt Regency in Newport, Rhode Island. The joint venture is planning a $23-million (€18 million) overhaul for the hotel, which sits on Goat Island in Newport Harbor.

The purchase price was not disclosed. In the hotel sector, Amstar focuses on deals with a $40 million to $200 million capitalization and looks for properties in need of repositioning in markets with high barriers to entry, according to the firm’s website.

The partnership is planning major upgrades for the entrance and lobby, as well as new bar and restaurant concepts, and guest room enhancements. They will also renovate the hotel’s full-service spa, with a view toward making it one of the leading spa destinations in the Northeast, according to a statement. In addition, Amstar and Davidson said they would reconfigure the property to provide 40,000 square feet of outdoor space overlooking the harbor and 25,000 square feet of indoor space. Renovations are expected to take about eight months and are slated to begin in fall 2007.

The Newport hotel “is in an irreplaceable location in a strong resort market, within easy driving distance of 22 million people,” Gabe Finke, chief executive and general partner at Amstar, said in a statement.

The transaction represents the third joint venture between Amstar and Davidson. The two companies have invested more than $250 million in the sector over the past 15 months, including Hilton hotels in Pasadena, California and Alexandria, Virginia.

Amstar has committed $500 million across sectors so far this year.

The JV bought the property from an affiliate of Global Hyatt, which was advised by Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels.