International News

Bass Hotels & Resorts forms joint venture in Warsaw

Bass Hotels & Resorts, London, is investing approximately $97 million in a joint venture with Vienna, Austria-based Warimpex Finanz and UBM Vienna to develop a new flagship hotel for Central Europe — the Hotel Inter-Continental Warsaw in Poland. Insignia Hotel Partners, London, a subsidiary of New York-based Insignia Financial Group Inc., arranged debt and equity financing for the deal.

Scheduled for completion in the fall of 2003, the 406-unit hotel will be the tallest hotel in Warsaw, at 44 floors. It also will be the first hotel in the city to offer a choice of 78 extended-stay suites.

The Hotel Inter-Continental Warsaw will be located in the heart of the city's business district, near the main railway station and across the street from the Palace of Culture and Science. It will feature an executive club floor with its own private lounge area, an exclusive health club and gym, a ballroom with a capacity for more than 500 people and eight meeting rooms, each equipped with audio-visual facilities.

Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels tops list at international forum

Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, London, was involved in all four deals that were finalists for the single-asset “Deal of the Year” award at the International Hotel Investment Forum held in Berlin.

Chicago-based Strategic Hotel Capital's (SHC) purchase of the 277-room Marriott Hamburg Hotel in Germany won the award for Deal of the Year. Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels provided acquisition advice for the deal. SHC purchased the hotel for $45.1 million from Göteborg, Sweden-based Bilia AB, a subsidiary of Volvo.

According to Christoph Härle, a senior vice president at Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, the transaction represented an initial yield of 8% and a leveraged internal rate of return of 17%.

The other three deals in contention for the award were:

  • the sale of The Caledonian in Edinburgh, Scotland, to Hilton International, London;

  • Amsterdam, the Netherlands-based Hospitality Europe's purchase of the Hyatt Charles de Gaulle in Paris; and

  • Hospitality Europe's purchase of the Renaissance Hotel in Prague, the Czech Republic.

Hines receives innovation award for Barcelona project

Houston-based Hines has been awarded the Quatrium Award for real estate innovation for its Diagonal Mar mixed-use complex in Barcelona, Spain.

The Diagonal Mar project includes 1,400 residential units, a large shopping and leisure center, and a tertiary activities zone. With the construction of three hotels, two office buildings and a convention center, the project will be ready for the Universal Forum of Cultures Barcelona in 2004. The project covers 342,000 sq. meters, and Hines has approximatley $741.6 million invested in it.

This is the fourth year of the Quatrium Real Estate Awards. The event was chaired by Pere Macias, minister of public works of the Generalitat of Catalonia, and Xavier Casas, first deputy mayor of Barcelona City Hall. The goal of the award is to recognize the effort and dedication of companies in the real estate sector that have designed important work in the fields of real estate innovation and expansion, architecture and urban development.

Other significant projects considered were the Palacio de Congresos of Barcelona and the Piscinas y Deportes project.

In other Hines news, the company's subsidiary, Hines Air Property, has purchased 4.3 acres of land near London's Heathrow Airport, on which it plans to develop 102,000 sq. ft. of warehouse and office space.

Three acres are located on Blackthorn Road on the western side of Heathrow. Here, Hines plans to develop a 75,000 sq. ft. warehouse/office facility. Hines purchased the three acres from London-based Alpha Airports Group for $6.5 million. The remaining 1.3 acres is located on Challenge Road on the southeastern side of the airport. Hines has submitted an application to develop a 27,000 sq. ft. warehouse with ancillary offices. The land was purchased for $1.45 million from London-based Prudential Real Estate Investment Co. of America.

Hines also has broken ground on Parque Industrial Tecnológico II, an industrial development in Guadalajara, Mexico. Upon completion, the project will consist of 1.3 million sq. ft. of flexible, Class-A industrial space in six, single-story buildings. The first group of buildings, totaling 430,000 sq. ft., is scheduled for completion in June. The entire project is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2004.

Parque Industrial Tecnológico II is being funded by the Emerging Market Real Estate Fund II, a $436 million dollar fund created by Hines and New York-based Trust Co. of the West, to develop Class-A buildings in selected emerging markets.

Hines' newly completed Parque Industrial Tecnológico I is a fully leased, 690,000 sq. ft. industrial park located one mile east of the new project. Tenants in the first Parque include Hewlett Packard and Agilent Technologies.

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