|By Suzette Parmley, The Philadelphia
InquirerMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Dec. 07, 2011--One of the city's most lustrous hotels -- the Rittenhouse -- might be on the block.
The suitor is believed to be Hersha Hospitality Trust, a hospitality real estate investment trust that owns hotels throughout the Northeast Corridor.
A number of hotel-industry sources say Hersha is in negotiations to purchase the 87-room, five-diamond luxury hotel that sits on a prime tract at 210 West Rittenhouse Square.
Neither the hotel nor Hersha would say a deal was pending.
"Given we are a hotel owner and that we engage in the evaluation of hotels for purchase and sale on an almost daily basis, we don't comment about any particular assets we are exploring," Jay H. Shah, chief executive officer of Hersha, said in an e-mail. "Since going public over 12 years ago, it is a policy to only comment on a hotel purchase or sale after a contract is signed and a transaction is closed."
Rittenhouse Hotel general manager David Benton said he had no comment when reached Tuesday.
Rittenhouse Development Co. is listed as the hotel's current management company and owner.
"The location is the best in the city for a small luxury hotel, in my opinion, and the asset is exceptional," said Peter Tyson, vice president of PKF Consulting USA. "It may simply be 'time' for the owner to sell and look back at what he accomplished."
On its website, Hersha is described as a self-advised Maryland Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) that invests in institutional-grade, upscale hotels in downtown metropolitan areas in the Northeast. The majority of the 78 hotels in which it has ownership stakes are between Boston and Washington.
They include the Hampton Inn in Center City and Hyatt Place in King of Prussia, and the 136-unit Homewood Suites scheduled to open next year in University City. Contact staff writer Suzette Parmley at 215-854-2594 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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