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Noble Investment Group Acquires the 467-room Sheraton Colony
Square in Midtown Atlanta; Following $50 million Renovation, 
the Hotel Will be Converted into a W Hotel 

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ATLANTA, Ga., August 16th, 2006 — Noble Investment Group, one of the industry’s leading owner/operators of luxury and upscale hotels and resorts, and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT), one of the world’s largest hotel and leisure companies, announced today the completed acquisition of the 28-story, 467-room Sheraton Colony Square in Midtown Atlanta.  The property was acquired from Starwood for $48.5 million by a joint venture between Noble and AEW Capital Management, L.P.  Following an extensive $50 million renovation, the landmark hotel will be converted into a W Hotel in late 2007.  

“This $100 million investment, our fourth major transaction so far this year, highlights key components of our value creation investment strategy by combining preeminent real estate, our organization’s core competencies in executing major re-developments and the broad strategic relationships we have with the best brands in our industry,” said Mit Shah, Noble president and chief executive officer.

“As part of our ‘asset right’ strategy, Starwood continues to look for opportunities to churn our real estate portfolio, and this is an ideal situation whereby we are able to work with a trusted, longtime partner who will maximize the value of this asset,” said Steven J. Heyer, chief executive officer for Starwood Hotels & Resorts.  “We’re thrilled to partner with Noble Investment Group to bring W’s unique lifestyle and hospitality to Midtown Atlanta, which is a perfect W destination.”   

Located at Peachtree Road and 14th Street in Atlanta’s Midtown area and adjacent to renowned Piedmont Park, the 28-story hotel is part of a dominant mixed-use development and situated directly across the street from the new 670,000 square foot Hines Office Tower, which is anchored by the prestigious King & Spalding law firm.  The W Atlanta-Midtown will be surrounded by 15 million square feet of office space and numerous luxury residential developments, including Donald Trump’s recently announced Trump Towers Atlanta.  Midtown is also the performing arts, cultural and entertainment corridor of Atlanta, home to the Woodruff Arts Center, High Museum, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and historic Fox Theater.

The W Atlanta-Midtown will offer signature W experiences, including the Living Room, where guests and locals can unwind or energize from day to night and Whatever/Whenever®, the hotel’s 24-hour concierge service that can provide whatever guests want (from a pair of running shoes to private jet service), whenever they want it.  The hotel will feature three innovative food & beverage outlets anchored by international  restaurateurs, including an outdoor concept; a Bliss Spa; 36,000 square feet of meeting, banquet and pre-function space (including the largest ballroom in Midtown); and Wired, a full-service business center open 24 hours.  Guest rooms and suites (including WOW and extreme WOW suites) will treat guests to the W signature bed with feather-top mattress, 350 thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets and goose down comforter.

“W has always considered Atlanta to be a gateway city and now a W will be the gateway to Whatever/Whenever Atlanta has to offer from internationally celebrated museums and theaters to restaurants and shopping at every turn,” said Ross Klein, president of W Hotels Worldwide. 

“We are very pleased to make such an important investment that will truly be the centerpiece of hospitality and entertainment in one of the most active and dynamic real estate markets in the United States,” said Rodney Williams, Noble’s chief investment officer. 
  
Noble Investment Group, a leading national hospitality organization that invests in luxury and upscale hotels, resorts and convention/conference centers, is a pre-eminent developer of first class hospitality and mixed-use developments as well as an award-winning operator of independent destination resorts and upscale hotels affiliated with Marriott, Starwood, Hilton, Hyatt and InterContinental Hotels Group.  Currently, Noble operates more than 7,000 hotel and resort guest rooms including over 800,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, convention and conference centers, championship golf courses, spas, and fine dining operations. Since 1979, Noble and its predecessors have developed and acquired over $1.4 billion in hospitality assets.  In the past year, the company began development on and acquired an aggregate of $500 million in hospitality investments.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 850 properties in more than 95 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood® Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, Sheraton®, Westin®, Four Points® by Sheraton, W®, Le Méridien and the recently announced AloftSM. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com. 

Founded in 1981, AEW Capital Management, L.P. provides real estate investment management services to investors worldwide and made an investment in the property on behalf of AEW Partners V, L.P., a real estate opportunity fund.  AEW actively manages portfolios in both the public and private property markets and across the risk/return spectrum.  Currently, AEW and its affiliates manage over $24 billion of capital, which is invested in approximately $33.5 billion of real estate and securities in North America and Europe, on behalf of many of the world’s leading institutional and private investors.    

Headquartered in Boston, AEW also has an office in Los Angeles and affiliate offices in ten major European cities.

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities regulations. 

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Contact:

Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Nadeen N. Ayala 
(914) 640-8259
 

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Also See: Noble Investment Group and DiamondRock Acquire the 369-Room Westin Atlanta North at Perimeter Center for $61.5 million / May 2006
Noble Investment Group Acquires Former Wyndham Metairie Hotel in New Orleans, La.; Hotel to Re-Flag as Sheraton Brand Following Multi-Million Dollar Upgrade / May 2006
Dow Hotel Company and AEW Capital Management Purchase 272-room Hilton Atlanta Northeast; Plans to Undergo Multi-million Dollar Renovation Upgrade / August 2005

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