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HEI Hospitality Acquires Omni Indianapolis North Hotel; 
Plans Conversion to Hilton Hotel Brand

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NORWALK, Conn./INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., September 13, 2004 — HEI Hospitality, a privately held hospitality investment firm, today announced it had acquired the Omni Indianapolis North hotel in Indiana from a subsidiary of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company.  Merritt Hospitality, a wholly owned subsidiary of HEI, will manage the hotel. 

“The hotel will undergo a $4.6 million renovation beginning at year-end 2004 and be repositioned as an upscale Hilton Hotel, which provides significant upside potential for our investors,” said Gary Mendell, HEI Chairman and CEO.  “The property is well located in the city’s primary suburban office market and is adjacent to the Roche Diagnostics headquarters.  The hotel has excellent meeting facilities and also will appeal to transient business and leisure travelers.” 

It is the fourth property acquired since HEI announced in June the formation of HEI Hospitality Fund, a $275 million private equity investment fund, which plans to acquire up to $800 million of hotels over the next 24 to 36 months. 

The six-story hotel is situated on the northeast side of Indianapolis, at 8181 North Shadeland Avenue, and features 215 rooms, including nine suites, and 14,500 square feet of meeting and banquet space.  The property will remain under the Omni brand until the end of the year, at which time it will begin the refurbishment program to upgrade the property.  The hotel will remain open during the renovation, which will be done in phases to avoid disruptions to guests.  Renovations will encompass all aspects of the property, including improvements to all guest rooms, meeting space, the restaurant and lobby.  Following the completion of the upgrades near the end of the first quarter, the property will convert to the Hilton flag. 

“The fund has more than $700 million available to acquire both stabilized and turn-around hotels or portfolios.  We seek first class, full-service hotels and resorts with 200 to 500 rooms in the top 50 U.S. markets,” said Stephen Mendell, Executive Vice President - Acquisitions & Development. 

Pinnacle Realty Investments represented the seller in the transaction. 

HEI Hospitality, headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., is an ownership/investment firm that owns and/or operates 23 first-class and full-service hotels throughout the United States under such well-known brand names as Marriott, Sheraton, Westin and Hilton.  Merritt Hospitality is an independent hotel management company and a wholly-owned subsidiary of HEI Hospitality.


 
Contact:
Sue Broderick
HEI Hospitality
 (203) 849-6072
Also See: Pyramid Advisors and the Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund Spending $6.5 million to Convert the Adam's Mark Hotel & Suites in Indianapolis to a Hilton / June 2004
Kite Companies Appoint Conrad Hotels to Operate Luxury Hotel and Residences Project in Indianapolis / July 2004


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