San Francisco Landmark Sir Francis Drake Hotel
Will Undergo $20-million Renovation,
Kimpton Remains as Manager of the Property
|SAN FRANCISCO - June 30, 2005 -- The 417-room Sir Francis Drake Hotel
in San Francisco, the Union Square landmark built in 1928 to mirror the
spirit of a proud new city rebounding from the great earthquake and fire,
has been purchased by SFD Partners, LLC -- a joint venture between Oxford
Lodging Advisory & Investment Group, LLC, of San Francisco and Longwing
Real Estate Ventures, LLC, a member of the Dubai Investment Group -- from
San Francisco-based Sir Francis Drake Hotel Associates, L.P., led by Kimpton
Hotel & Restaurant Group, LLC, which shall continue to mange the hotel
under a long-term management agreement assumed by the buyers.
The new owners, with technical and design assistance from Kimpton, plan a $20-million renovation intended to restore the property to its original "classic San Francisco" glory reflecting the European Renaissance of its namesake English explorer. Plans call for the hotel's celebrated English beefeater doormen and Scala's Bistro to remain. Kimpton will continue to manage the renovated property as part of its upscale portfolio of lifestyle hotels.
The announcement was made today by Robert D. Kline, president of Oxford Lodging Advisory & Investment Group, LLC. The acquisition of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel adds to Oxford Lodging's San Francisco investments, which include the neighboring Pan Pacific Hotel.
Located at the heart of the Union Square district on the Powell Street Cable Car lines, the Sir Francis Drake Hotel was named for the legendary explorer who in 1579 narrowly missed discovering San Francisco Bay and instead founded Drake's Bay 28 miles to the north. The property was designed in the rich European style of Drake's era with crystal chandeliers, a grand marble staircase, vaulted gold-leaf-embossed ceilings and bas-relief detail.
The hotel's prime location puts it steps from Moscone Convention Center, the Financial District, Nob Hill, Chinatown, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and the Theatre District, as well as world-class shopping and dining. Guests are within a block of Neiman Marcus, Macy's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany & Co., Gucci, Prada, Giorgio Armani, Coach, Betsy Johnson, Louis Vuitton, North Face, Niketown and the flagship Levi's.
A $20-million, property-wide renovation encompassing all guestrooms, guest bathrooms and targeted public areas will begin immediately and is due for completion by late 2006. Renovation highlights include a completely new guestroom decor featuring the acclaimed new Kimpton beds, a full rehabilitation of the guest bathrooms, new HVAC systems, new meeting space decor and a new state-of-the-art fitness center. The hotel will remain open throughout the renovation process.
The new owners plan to leverage the hotel's rich history and name awareness with domestic and international travelers; and with guidance and assistance from Kimpton, explore expansion of the dining room and bar facilities of the popular onsite Scala's Bistro, serving Italian and French regional cuisine.
"Oxford Lodging has confidence in Kimpton's ability to offer an upscale and cutting-edge experience to the customer, and we look forward to building upon the extensive work Kimpton has done to restore this legendary property to its classic San Francisco glory," said Kline. "The Sir Francis Drake has an extraordinary, 77-year story to tell, and we want to capitalize on this unique legacy and strong ties to the city to create a new landmark for the Union Square district. Since both Oxford Lodging and Kimpton Hotels are based in San Francisco, you might say we take a special interest in restoring and upgrading San Francisco hotels as the market's recovery gains momentum."
Kimpton affiliates have owned the Sir Francis Drake Hotel since 1994 and will remain as manager of the property.
"Kimpton looks forward to embarking on a longstanding, mutually rewarding relationship with Oxford Lodging," explained Mike Depatie, CEO of Kimpton Real Estate. "They clearly recognize what can be achieved with the renaissance of the Sir Francis Drake and we are confident that Oxford's support and expertise will ensure our combined success."
"We and our partners at Oxford Lodging are patient and disciplined investors. It's not often that such a blend of location, architecture, features, and sense of history and civic pride comes together in a single downtown property, and we were delighted to be able to move decisively together to acquire it," said Vincent Pica, CEO of Longwing.
Catering to the small to mid-size meeting market, the Sir Francis Drake Hotel offers 20,000 square feet of flexible meeting, conference and banquet space. Other hotel highlights include Cafe Espresso and Harry Denton's Starlight Room nightclub on the hotel's 21st floor.
About Oxford Lodging Advisory & Investment Group, LLC
About Longwing Real Estate Ventures, LLC
About Kimpton Hotels
Oxford Lodging Advisory
|Also See:||Oxford Lodging Advisory & Investment Group, LLC Acquires the 329-room Pan Pacific San Francisco from Tokyu Corporation / Aug 2003|
|Hyatt to Assume Management of Adam's Mark Jacksonville; Reflagged Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront -- $10 Million Renovation Underway / April 2005|