By Jack Stubbs
A Marriott hotel in downtown Bellevue recently changed hands for a hefty sum.
On Thursday, March 8th, the Marriott AC Hotel in Bellevue’s central business district sold for $87 million, or approximately $371,795 per room, according to public records filed with King County.
The buyer of the property was Ilshin Aju Hotel Bellevue LLC, an entity affiliated with Aju Hotels and Resorts, a company based in South Korea. The name of Richard Lee, manager of acquisition and development at Aju Hotels, appears on public documents. The seller of the asset was Merrillville, Indiana-based White/Peterman Properties Inc., a nationwide developer of hotel and apartment properties.
The seven-story Marriott AC Hotel, located at 208 106th Place NE in downtown Bellevue, contains 234 rooms, according to the property’s web site. The hotel also contains 4 meeting rooms and roughly 1,500 square feet of total meeting space. The guest rooms range from 263 to 311 square feet with rates between $104 and $109, while the other unit option—which contains an additional corner room—totals 276 square feet with rates between $123 and $129.
The rooms have an array of amenities including individual climate control, iron and ironing board and a safe. Some of the hotel amenities include a fitness center, business center, electric car charging stations, valet parking and meeting rooms with high-speed internet.
The hotel sits in downtown Bellevue, just blocks from Bellevue Square, the Bellevue Arts Museum and the Bellevue Downtown Park. The property is roughly two miles from access to Interstate-405 and approximately three miles from Washington State Route 520.
Founded in 1987, Aju Hotels and Resorts is a subsidiary company of Aju Group. The company specializes in investment, asset management, development and operation of domestic and international hotel properties, according to its web site.
Aju Hotels has been active on the West Coast in the last year; in the Bay Area it traded on two hotel properties recently. In December 2017, the company sold the 354-room San Jose Holiday Inn, after owning the property for nearly three years, to New York-based True North Management for $61.75, or $174,435 per room. In June 2017, the company acquired the San Jose Westin in downtown San Jose, previously known as the Sainte Claire Hotel, for $64 million or approximately $376,000 per room, from SCH Hotel.
White/Peterman Properties operates as a nonresidential builder, offering real estate and property leasing management services, according to the company’s website on bloomberg.com. In September 2017, the company’s 140-unit multifamily project slated for Seattle’s Roosevelt neighborhood was approved at an Early Design Guidance meeting. The company is also developing a 175-unit hotel project in South Lake Union, which was approved in the city’s design review process at an EDG meeting held in November 2017.
The sale of the Marriott AC Hotel in Bellevue follows on the heels of an active hotel market in the region. During 2017, and excluding national portfolios, resorts and potential teardowns, there were 23 sales of hotels in King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties at prices exceeding $2 million, according to a fourth-quarter 2017 Seattle Hotel report written by Kidder Mathews. The aggregate transaction volume was $415 million. With 2,005 guest rooms, the weighted average price per room was $206,906.
And the sales price of $87 million ($371,795 per room) for the Marriott AC Hotel almost matches other significant sales that were recorded in 2017. There were four hotel sales at prices in excess of $50 million, according to the report. 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 $55 million, or about $350,000 per room.
In another recent hotel transaction, in early February 2018 Hong Kong-based Junson Capital acquired the 319-room Motif hotel in downtown Seattle from Charlotte, North Carolina-based Barings for $145 million, or approximately $454,545 per room.