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BETHESDA, MD-Brussels-based hotel ownership company City Hotel SA plans to expand into third-party hotel management, operate hotels for other institutional and individual investors in the US and increase its portfolio of a dozen hotels to as many as 30 in the US and Europe within the next two to three years.

“City Hotels has managed its own hotels for more than 25 years, first in Europe and for nearly the past decade, in the US,” says Jerry Herman, City Hotel USA’s managing director. “We now have the expertise and infrastructure in place, and proven asset value creation, to expand into third-party management.”

The company signed its first long-term contract to operate the Homewood Suites Hotel, in Falls Church, VA and plans to add up to 20 management contracts within the next several years. Ultimately, the company plans to manage about 25 properties in the US. Expansion will begin ysin Europe. Herman says the firm recently completed a major equity transaction with a subsidiary of the Almanij Group, a large European institutional investor.

“Initially we will primarily focus on Europe because market conditions currently are more favorable there,” he says. “We have the ability and flexibility to move quickly on either continent, and believe US acquisition opportunities will increase over the next year.”

In the US, City Hotels is looking for well located, full-service and all-suite hotels, primarily in urban markets. Typical properties will be interior corridor hotels with 150 to 400 rooms. Target candidates will be cash-flowing properties with minimum renovation requirements. The company will also develop new hotels and seek major turnaround opportunities in strong, primary markets.

With more than 20 years in the hospitality industry, Michelle D. La Motte, senior acquisitions and portfolio development manager, heads the US acquisition team. Ronda McCrea, City Hotels’ director of business development, will be responsible for the development of third-party management contracts. She is a 16-year hotel industry veteran.

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