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Courtyard By Marriott On For Isla Verde

Marriott Residence Inn planned next door; total investment to exceed $200 million


August 15, 2002
Copyright © 2002 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

Construction of a 256-room Courtyard by Marriott Hotel and a 200-room Marriott Residence Inn is getting underway in Isla Verde, following the completion of financing transactions between HR Properties Inc., Scotiabank, FirstBank, and the Government Development Bank’s (GDB) Tourism Development Fund.

HR Properties President Eduardo "Tati" Ferrer and International Hospitality Enterprises Inc. President Hugh Andrews are partnering to refurbish and operate the former Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza in Isla Verde as a Courtyard by Marriott Hotel.

Scotiabank is financing a $27.8 million loan for the Courtyard phase of the project. The loan has a GDB Tourism Development Fund guarantee. The hotel is scheduled for a January 2003 opening.

A nearly five-acre lot adjacent to the site will be concurrently developed by HR Properties and International Hospitality Enterprises into a 200-room Marriott Residence Inn. The leasehold on the land, which is owned by the Municipality of Carolina, is being partially financed through a $9.8 million loan by FirstBank.

Ferrer told CARIBBEAN BUSINESS that the Marriott Residence Inn will be developed as a 14-story oceanfront condo hotel, with starting prices of under $300,000 per unit. Ferrer said the Marriott Residence Inn condo hotel will include membership in a 12,000-square-foot beach club for owners, with year-round access.

The Courtyard by Marriott and Marriott Residence properties will interconnect and include a 12,000-square-foot casino, restaurants, and a river pool. The Marriott Residence property is slated to be completed in 2004.

In addition to the two hotels, Ferrer said a 30-apartment crystal-tower complex will also be built at the site. The three-bedroom apartments will feature 360-degree views and will afford owners the opportunity of subdividing sections of the apartment for year-round living or for guests.

Ferrer said the investment in the Courtyard by Marriott phase is estimated at $50 million, while the Marriott Residence Inn project is expected to exceed $60 million. Altogether, he said total investment in the properties, including the crystal tower, may reach as high as $200 million.

The financial transaction itself was a coup of sorts. "Because of the multiplicity of financial institutions involved, including GDB and its TDF, this is one of the most financially complex transactions we’ve been involved in," said Hector Del Rio, Senior Vice President at Doral Securities who helped engineer the financial structure for the deal.

International Hospitality Enterprises President Hugh Andrews said the two Marriott properties will fill an important niche in the Puerto Rico tourism market. "The Courtyard by Marriott is the strongest mid-priced brand going today," Andrews said. "This hotel will fill a need in the Puerto Rico marketplace for mid-priced hotel rooms in the $150 a night range."

Andrews said the Marriott Residence Inn is an extended-stay concept that includes kitchen facilities and is geared toward both families and corporate travelers. "This development brings two new products aimed at people who may have been priced out of the market in the past, and the benefit of a loyal customer base that’s been built up by Marriott" Andrews said.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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