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ATLANTA-Irving, TX-based FelCor Lodging Trust buys the 208-suite SouthPark Suite Hotel in Charlotte for $14.5 million or $69,712 per room. The Texas developer plans to invest another $3.6 million to convert the property to its original Doubletree brand.

FelCor also has signed a 15-year management agreement for undisclosed terms with Beverly Hills, CA-based Hilton Hotels Corp.

Michael A. DeNicola, FelCor’s executive vice president and chief investment officer, tells GlobeSt.com the REIT has about $125 million in cash for additional acquisitions.

“We’re an opportunistic investor,” he says, calling this “the beginning of a more favorable acquisition market after a dry spell for the last four years.” He says, “We’re looking to acquire quality product, like SouthPark, that we can convert and where we can turn things around.”

DeNicola tells GlobeSt.com he is especially targeting “urban markets as well as the Northeast for diversification.”

FelCor acquired SouthPark at an 8.7 times earnings, before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization multiple, based on the property’s 2001 operating results. “We see a great deal of upside in this hotel’s operating results,” DeNicola says.

SouthPark was built in 1984 as a Doubletree Guest Quarters. The three-story hotel has 183 one-bedroom suites, 21 two-bedroom suites and two Presidential suites. The suites range from 716 sf to 990 sf. The property also has 8,000 sf of meeting space, a restaurant, lounge, outdoor pool and patio.

The hotel is located in SouthPark, considered one of the Charlotte area’s most prestigious office, retail and residential neighborhoods, 10 miles from the Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

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