May 19, 2015
Carey Watermark Investors Incorporated (CWI) announced that it has acquired a majority interest in the 299-room Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia (The Ritz-Carlton) in a joint venture with Philadelphia Hospitality Partners, LP, the owner of the property.
Historic property in premier Center City, Philadelphia location: Originally built between 1904 and 1908 as The Girard Trust Company, the rotunda and adjacent eight-story tower of The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia were designed by McKim Mead and White; the adjoining tower was added in 1923. The building was expanded from 8 stories to a height of 30 stories in 1931 and converted to The Ritz-Carlton in 2000. Located within the central business district, the landmark hotel is adjacent to City Hall and within walking distance of the recently completed $50 million Dilworth Plaza fountain and skating rink, as well as fine dining and upscale shopping.
Improving Philadelphia hotel market: One of the top 25 hotel markets in the United States, Philadelphia benefits from a well-diversified economic base with major sectors such as healthcare, education, legal, insurance and technology that serve as cornerstones for the market’s strength and vitality. According to PKF Hospitality Research, hotel occupancy in Center City Philadelphia hit 76% in 2014, the highest annual occupancy since 1949. The city is in the midst of a major revitalization with over 50 major Center City developments in progress representing over $4.7 billion in total investment. Some other notable, recent projects include the 2011 expansion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center (and subsequent management change in late-2013), expansions at the University of Pennsylvania and the Jefferson Health System and large-scale redevelopment projects of historic buildings located throughout the city.
The well-attended Blue Vault session at the recent National Planning Holdings National Conference was very well received. The value of their products was evidenced by the volume of questions from the attendees. Stacy Chitty, Managing Partner, did an excellent job of explaining the history, strategy and value of Blue Vault data.