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WHAT’S ON TAP

WHAT’S ON TAP
WHAT’S ON TAP
As numbers show, Seattle's hotel market didn't experience the wild heydays that some other markets have. And downtown fits in the investment criteria of national and international institutional buyers, according to JLL Hotels SVP Mark Fraioli, who's based in San Francisco and handles the Pacific Northwest for the firm.Bellwether deals for 2011: the Hotel Monaco traded to Pebblebrook for almost $271k/key in April; the Homewood Suites across the street from the convention center went for $272k/key in May; and the Red Lion in downtown went for $240k/key in June. The pricing for these purchases was partially supported by property cashflows. But institutional buyers are also willing to pay a premium for hotels in the downtown core, he says.
WHAT’S ON TAP
Other pressures, besides heavy debt related to the recession, have kept some deals moving. (RCA reports over $278M in deals through November.) For instance, a hotel may not be part of an owner?s biz model and the owner doesn't to hold it until the market peaks again. Or perhaps it's part of a portfolio refi that requires a property be sold. Dollars could also come from the EB5 Visa program in which investors, particularly East Asians, receive a green card in exchange for parking their money on the West Coast. Above, that's Mark backpacking in Death Valley, but his most dramatic adventure took place in the Olympic Mountains near Seattle 11 years ago: There was too much snow on the ground and he and his buddies took the wrong trail—straight up—without knowing it. The rangers were impressed, saying they were ?pretty hardcore people.?