JER buys Arizona hotel

The latest transaction marks the tenth hotel deal in which the McLean, Virginia-based real estate investor has joined with Denver-based Sage Hospitality Resources.

JER Partners, the private equity investment arm of the JE Robert Companies, has acquired the 210-room, full-service Sheraton Phoenix Airport Hotel. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The hotel, located near the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and Arizona State University, sports 10,000 square feet of function space, an outdoor pool, fitness center, full-service restaurant and bar, gift shop, business center and wireless internet access in public areas and meeting rooms.

The McLean-Virginia-based investor’s plans for the hotel include an additional capital investment to complete a comprehensive renovation of the hotel’s rooms, corridors, function space and lobby. In addition, the building exterior will be painted and a new exterior Sheraton signage package will be installed.

The hotel will be managed by Denver-based hotel management firm Sage Hospitality Resources of Denver, Colorado. Sage, which also pursues investments on it own behalf, has managed over 300 properties in 39 states and the District of Columbia since 1984. Sage invests in distressed hotel properties with between 100 and 500 rooms, which may have poor brand affiliation, poor management or lack of capital, according to the firm’s website.

“JER believes that the continued economic strength of the Phoenix market coupled with an experienced and effective operator such as Sage Hospitality will positively contribute to the success of our investment,” said Cia Buckley, president of US fund business at JER. JER and Sage have made ten hotel investments together, according to a prepared statement from JER.

In another recent hotel investment, JER Partners acquired Jameson Inns in a deal valued at approximately $371 million (€290 million), through a joint venture with Atlanta-based Longhouse Hospitality, strengthening its presence in the hotel sector in the Southeast and the Midwest.

JER closed its third North America-focused private equity real estate fund on $823 million in October 2004. As of the end of March, it had invested approximately 60 percent of the fund’s capital.