Hotel Online  Special Report

Joint Venture Led by Oxford Lodging Acquires
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
Oxford Lodging Advisory & Investment Group, LLC, is an advisory and investment firm focused on the investment, asset management, property management and renovation of high-quality lodging assets. Oxford Lodging's principals have been responsible for over $6 billion of lodging investments and have asset managed over 100 upscale and luxury hotels, resorts and conference centers. The firm is currently responsible for a $2-billion, 8,200-room portfolio of luxury and upscale hotels, conference centers and resorts located throughout the United States and Japan. Oxford Lodging's principals and employees are direct investors in 75% of this portfolio. Oxford Lodging is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Tokyo. For more information on Oxford Lodging, please visit

About Longwing Real Estate Ventures, LLC
Longwing Real Estate Ventures, LLC, a member of the Dubai Investment Group, is a New York-based private real estate investment company established to make investments across industries and market segments in North America. The Longwing team has made, since its establishment in early 2003, well over a dozen such investments totaling nearly $1 billion in real estate assets across a wide variety of market segments. Longwing's Chief Executive is Vincent T. Pica, II, a 30-year veteran of the financial services industry, whose most recent corporate role was the Group President of Capital Finance at Prudential Securities. Longwing's President is Richard Schoninger, a 20+-year veteran of the financial services industry, who ran Real Estate Investment Banking, among many significant roles, at Prudential Securities. Longwing brings a strong and mobile capital base to situations that can deliver competitively superior returns through the application of strategic management and the decisive use of capital. Through long-term relationships with Local Operating Partners, Longwing Real Estate Ventures focuses on leveraging its equity and the equity of its partners through the intelligent use of creative structures and value-added ideas. For additional information on Longwing, its employees and investment history, please visit Longwing's website at

About Kimpton Hotels
San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants is a unique collection of boutique lifestyle hotels coupled with chef-driven, high profile restaurants. Founded in 1981, all Kimpton Hotels are thoughtfully appointed and managed to help guests maintain and enrich their lifestyles on the road, in addition to being individually designed to reflect the energy, personality and pulse of its distinct location, history and architectural style. Featuring highly personalized guest services, comforting in-room amenities, and one-of-a-kind specialty rooms and suites, Kimpton Hotels provides travelers with welcoming atmospheres that embrace its signature elements of care, comfort, style, flavor and fun. Kimpton takes pride in its social responsibility, supporting select like-minded partners and is a hospitality industry leader in ecological practices. Kimpton currently operates 39 boutique hotels with restaurants throughout the United States and Canada. This includes the recently opened Onyx Hotel in Boston, 70 Park Avenue Hotel in New York City and the Hotel Solamar in San Diego. Palomar hotels are currently under development in Dallas and Arlington, Va., and additional projects are underway in South Beach and the Washington, D.C. area. For more information, please visit or call 1-800-KIMPTON.


Oxford Lodging Advisory
& Investment Group, LLC

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

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