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Motif Hotel in Downtown Seattle Sells for $145MM as Part of $800 Million Portfolio

Seattle, Junson Asset Management, Barings, Pike Place Market, Washington State Convention Center, Westlake Park, Kidder Mathews
Image courtesy of Motif Seattle

By Jack Stubbs

The Motif Seattle, a luxury hotel located in the heart of downtown Seattle, recently changed hands as part of a $800 million portfolio acquisition.

On Tuesday, January 30th, the 319-room Motif in downtown Seattle sold for $145 million, or roughly $454,545 per room, according to public records filed with King County. The buyer was Hong Kong-based Junson Capital, a private equity real estate investment firm controlled by Longfor Properties co-founder Cai Kui. Junson Capital acquired the hotel property from Charlotte, North Carolina-based Barings, a global financial services firm. The transaction was recorded on February 1st.

The capture of the Motif Hotel in Seattle is part of a larger portfolio acquisition, according to a statement by the news outlet Mingtiandi. Junson Capital is buying a portfolio—comprised of seven to eight boutique hotels—from Barings that is valued at $800 million.

The Motif Seattle Hotel, located at 1415 Fifth Ave, offers a mix of guest rooms and suites complete with modern amenities. Some of the prominent hotel amenities include a 24-hour front desk, concierge services, 24-hour fitness center and business desk, in-room safe deposit box and electric car charging stations in the on-site parking garage, according to the hotel’s web site.

The hotel offers guest rooms that range from 280 square foot single queen bed rooms to 350 square foot premium guest rooms with views of the Seattle waterfront, while the suites range in size from 770 square feet to 1,200 square feet. All of the units in the hotel offer flat screen TVs, an in-room safe, iron and ironing board and vanity mirrors, among other features.

The hotel also occupies a prominent location in the heart of downtown. The property sits between Pike St. and Union St., just two blocks from the iconic Pike Place Market and five blocks from the waterfront. The property is also adjacent to Westlake Park and half a mile from the Washington State Convention Center.

Founded in 1989, Barings is a $304-plus billion financial services firm that aims to meet the evolving investment and capital needs of its clients, according to the company’s web site. As of December 31st, 2017, the firm was comprised of more than 475 analysts, over 140 portfolio managers and more than 30 traders. The firm managers a variety of mutual funds including the active short duration bond fund; the emerging markets debt blended total return fund; and the global credit income opportunities fund.

The sale of the Motif Hotel comes at a time when Seattle’s hotel market is active. There are more than 4,000 rooms expected to open during 2018, and lower rates of occupancy and a stagnation in room prices are projected, according to a fourth quarter 2017 Seattle Hotel Market report by Kidder Mathews.

Among the markets studied in 2017, hotels in Seattle and SeaTac generated the highest room prices. The average daily room rate in the South Lake Union market was $192, a 2.1 percent increase over the prior year, according to the report.

There were also a number of hotel transactions throughout the Puget Sound region in 2017.

Excluding national portfolios, resorts, and potential tear downs, there were 23 sales of hotels in King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties at prices exceeding $2 million. The aggregate transaction volume was $415 million. With 2,005 guest rooms, the weighted average price per room was $206,906, according to the report.

The price of $145 million recently paid for the Motif hotel dwarfs sales numbers posted in 2017. There were four hotel sales at prices in excess of $50 million. The 222-room Hilton Garden Inn on the northern edge of the Seattle CBD sold for $88 million, or just under $400,000 per room. Two other downtown properties, the Pan Pacific Hotel and the Kimpton Alexis Hotel, each sold at over $500,000 per room. The Hotel Deca in Seattle’s University District was purchased for $55M, or about $350,000 per room.