Hotel Online  Special Report


HEI Hospitality Acquires the 289-room Westin
Philadelphia from Starwood for $89 million


29th HEI-sponsored Acquisition Since Lodging Industry Turnaround Began, 
Company Invests $1.4 Billion in Hotel Acquisitions in Past Three Years  

NORWALK, Conn., November 8, 2005 — HEI Hospitality, a rapidly growing hospitality investment and operating company, today announced that it has acquired the 289-room Westin Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, from Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide for $89 million.  HEI expects to invest up to an additional $10 million to completely renovate the existing guest rooms, meeting space and public areas; add four additional guest suites; and reposition the restaurant under a to-be-announced re-concepting plan.  Merritt Hospitality, a wholly owned subsidiary of HEI, will operate the hotel.  The Westin Philadelphia marks the 11th investment made on behalf of HEI Hospitality Fund, LLC, a $275 million hospitality-focused discretionary equity fund which was formed by the principals of HEI in April 2004.  Total investments sponsored by HEI since the lodging industry turnaround began in 2003, now aggregate approximately $1.4 billion. 

“Philadelphia is a dynamic and thriving urban market with strong and diverse demand generators and offers high barriers to new competition, which aligns perfectly with our investment strategy,” said Steve Mendell, executive vice president—acquisitions and
development.  “The market has gained momentum, following the recession several years ago.  This luxury hotel is situated in the landmark Liberty Place complex, the city’s most dynamic location, which features retail space with 70 shops, and is situated only six blocks from the convention center.”

The 14-story property, which opened as a Ritz-Carlton in 1990, later converting to the Westin flag in 1999, is located at 17th and Chestnut Streets in a mixed-use complex that anchors the Philadelphia skyline and contains 2.5 million square feet of office space and a shopping mall, all built over a four-story parking garage.  The property features 14,500 square feet of meeting space, and has a very active group and meeting business and successful catering operation.  Hotel amenities include one restaurant serving all three meals, WestinWORKOUT® Powered by Reebok Gym, business center, and direct access to the shops at Liberty Place.

“Upon completion of the renovation, which should occur during third quarter 2006, we expect the Westin to be firmly positioned as one of the most competitive luxury hotels in the city,” said Clark Hanrattie, HEI senior vice president and chief investment officer.  “This is our sixth major hotel investment we have announced in 2005, and we will continue to actively seek to invest in upscale and luxury properties throughout the top U.S. markets.”

Each guest room features the Westin Heavenly Bed and related accessories, a two-line telephone, data port and an in-room safe.  High-speed Internet access is available in the hotel’s suites and Westin Guest Office rooms.  The Grand Luxury suites are unusually spacious, with marble baths and Westin's other special touches.

HEI Hospitality, headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., is an ownership/investment firm that owns and/or operates 26 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.


Gary Mendell
HEI Hospitality
 (203) 849-6065

Also See: HEI Hospitality Acquires the 174-room Algonquin Hotel in New York City from Miller Global Properties L.L.C. for Approximately $74 million / September 2005
HEI Hospitality Acquires the 333-suite Embassy Suites Orlando—Lake Buena Vista Resort in Orlando, Fla., From Strategic Hotel Capital for $56 million / November 2005

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