Hei Hotels & Resorts Enters Joint Venture for Ownership of the Liberty Hotel

HEI Hotels & Resorts (HEI), the nation’s fastest growing private owner/operator of hotel real estate, recently announced that the company has purchased an ownership interest in the 300-room Liberty Hotel in a joint venture arrangement with Cambridge-based Carpenter & Company, Inc., the original hotel developer and co-owner of the project.

HEI acquired the ownership interest for an undisclosed amount from Multi-Employer Hotel Partners, LP, a closed-end fund managed by Bentall Kennedy and headquartered in Seattle, Wash. At the same time, Carpenter invested additional capital in the transaction.

HEI has taken over management of the hotel as part of the agreement and Carpenter will continue to be the hotel’s asset manager. At closing, the joint venture immediately affiliated the hotel with The Luxury Collection® by Starwood Hotels & Resorts under a franchise agreement.

“Following a thorough vetting where we interviewed a large number of prospective partners, HEI, with its sterling reputation as one of the nation’s leading owners and operators of high quality properties, rose to the top of our list,” said Richard L. Friedman, Carpenter’s CEO. “We have been involved with this property since it was an abandoned jail and we firmly believe this unique hotel has significant, untapped upside potential and a fabulous, dedicated staff. By joint venturing with HEI, we are confident that the best is yet to come.”

Steve Mendell, president of HEI, said, “The iconic Liberty Hotel has already, after only three years of operations, become one of the most prestigious hotels in America, with its historic granite façade, soaring lobby and world-renowned restaurants and bars. We look forward to working with Carpenter as we take this hotel to the next level. We are confident that The Liberty will benefit greatly from the implementation of our proprietary management and marketing systems, as well as from its affiliation with the Luxury Collection brand and Starwood’s SPG loyalty program.”

Located in the former Charles Street Jail in downtown Boston, the hotel is situated at the foot of Beacon Hill along the banks of the Charles River. Named one of the top U.S. hotels in Conde Nast Readers’ Choice Awards 2010, the jail building underwent a unique renovation process that allowed it to retain federal, state and city historic landmark status following its transformation from a former jailhouse into one of the city’s most celebrated hotels.

A new 16-story guest-room tower was built and connected to the old jail. Guest rooms feature oversized four-fixture bath rooms, while amenities include a flat-panel HD-LCD television, two VOIP telephones offering touch-screen hotel services and high-speed or wireless Internet connectivity.

Hotel amenities include fitness facilities, business center, valet parking, concierge services and 6,000 square feet of meeting space. The Liberty Hotel also features four food and beverage outlets offering indoor and outdoor dining: Scampo (featuring award-winning chef Lydia Shire), Alibi, Clink and Liberty Bar with Joseph Margate as head chef.

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