BUYER: RLJ III — EM Tampa DT LLC, Bethesda, Md.
SELLER: WMB III LLC
PROPERTY: 513 S. Florida Ave., Tampa
PRICE: $77 million
PREVIOUS PRICE: $1.82 million, November 2003
ATTORNEY ON DEED: Jason Weisler Attorney at Law, Merrillville, Ind.
PLANS, DESCRIPTION: RLJ Lodging Fund III purchased the 360-suite Embassy Suites Downtown Tampa for $77 million. The price equated to $213,889 per room.
Built in 2006, the 20-story, 266,428-square-foot hotel is connected via an elevated bridge to the Tampa Convention Center. The hotel, on Florida Avenue, features a swimming pool, a fitness center and a business center.
Hilton will continue to manage the property for the investment fund, an affiliate of Bethesda, Md.-based hotel investment firm RLJ Development LLC.
“They are going to do some capital items right off the bat,” says Jeff Weinthaler, the hotel's general manger. “They are looking at putting flat-screen TVs in all the guest rooms. They're going to put new carpeting on the first and second floor and soft seating [furniture improvements]. They will also be upgrading the bedding package in all the rooms.”
RLJ Real Estate Fund III already owns a Courtyard by Marriott, a Fairfield Inn & Suites and a Homewood Suites in Brandon and the Hampton Inn & Suites in Clearwater.
The fund is supported by 16 institutional investors, including several major public and corporate pension funds, financial institutions and a dominant hospitality entity. The investment fund, dedicated to buying and developing service hotels and mixed-use investments, has the leveraged purchasing power of nearly $4 billion.