WOODLAND HILLS, CA—Laurus Corp. has acquired the Marriott Warner Center hotel for approximately $90 million from Cornerstone, which was advising a pension fund. The 16-story hotel has 474 guestrooms with 28,000 square feet of meeting space and four dining options.
“This is a great addition to our portfolio: a property in a first-year market and our first acquisition close to home in Los Angeles,” Philip Cyburt, CEO of the Laurus Corp., tells GlobeSt.com. “We feel that there is opportunity to come in and add value with the refresh or renovation of the hotel. We are also excited to have an opportunity in the Warner Center market. In this next cycle, the market will be pretty dynamic and pretty exciting.”
The buyer will perform $10 million in hotel renovations to the property’s common areas and to the guestrooms. With the purchase and the renovations, Laurus Corp. will have invested just over $100 million in the project. The renovations will be complete in the first quarter of 2016.
Laurus Corp. has 3,700 guestrooms in its asset portfolio, with brands like Marriott, Starwood and Hilton. “We have been buying hotels that have been stuck in the downturn during the 2008 and 2009 recession,” says Cyburt. “We have been buying these great full-service hotels, getting them for a great price per key and putting our dollars to work on the renovation side to bring them back in a market where the revPAR growth nationally is healthy.” An opportunistic investor of office and hospitality properties, the company currently has a portfolio with 19 assets in top 40 markets. As with its other hotels, Laurus Corp. will hire a third-party manager to care for the property.
“This purchase fits our whole strategy,” Cyburt explains, noting that the location is just as important as the property itself. “The San Fernando Valley area really got hit hard in the last recession. Now, you see the market has come back and you are seeing rents rise on the westside in Los Angeles, and there is some compression from back office space.” Additionally, Westfield has a $750 million mall project, called Village at Westfield Topanga, underway in the San Fernando Valley that will be complete in 2015 and create a “destination location and help a lot in regards to bringing more traffic to the hotel,” he adds.