|By Anthony Cronin, The Day, New London, Conn.|
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Jan. 29, 2005 - A Boston-based real estate investment firm that operates several prominent hotels in the Boston area said Friday that it has acquired the Holiday Inn hotel and Outback Steakhouse in New London.
Old Bayside Partners LLC bought the 136-room hotel from Bayonet Street LLC, which is affiliated with the Waterford Hotel Group. The hotel and steakhouse sit on a 10-acre parcel close to Interstate 95 and the New London Mall. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
Jeffrey Saunders, a principal with Old Bayside, said his investment and development company was impressed with the hotel's local market share. "The Holiday Inn is already a leading hotel in its competitive market, and our investment plan is to buttress the hotel's position," he said. The investment firm plans to refurbish the hotel, but Saunders said he doesn't expect the renovations will be too extensive, since the hotel completed a $4 million-plus renovation in the fall of 2003. "It's more of a fine tuning," he said of the planned renovations, which would start next month and be completed in April.
Saunders said the Holiday Inn will be the first asset within its new $20 million hotel fund, which will be a private equity fund for investors called Old Bayside Heritage Partners III.
Old Bayside operates four hotels under its Saunders Hotel Group, including the Lenox Hotel and the Copley Square Hotel in downtown Boston. The hotel group is a third-generation family business. Its other properties in the Boston area include the Comfort Inn & Suites at Logan Airport and the Marriott Residence Inn in Merrimack, N.H.
The Holiday Inn will continue to be managed by the Waterford Hotel Group, which operates 28 hotels nationwide, including 20 in Connecticut. Locally, the hotel group operates 10 hotels in southeastern Connecticut, including the Spring Hill Suites in Waterford, which is near the Holiday Inn, and the Mystic Marriott Hotel & Spa.
The Waterford Hotel Group had been operating the Holiday Inn in New London since 1994 and over the years has extensively renovated the well-known property. The Waterford Hotel Group is part of the Waterford Group, whose chairman and chief executive is Len Wolman, who helped to develop the Mohegan Sun casino and entertainment complex and is currently developing the massive Adriaen's Landing project in Hartford.
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