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GLASTONBURY, CT-In a move that it says will serve as a beachhead for its expansion into New England, Hersha Hospitality Trust has purchased a 40% interest in the Hilton Garden Inn Hartford South here. The deal was made with hotel owner PRA of Philadelphia, which will retain a majority interest in the 150-room Hilton Garden Inn Hartford South, which opened Nov. 11. No purchase price was released. Hersha Hospitality manages the six-story hotel that is located on Main Street and Glastonbury Boulevard.

A company spokesman for Hersha Hospitality says the company is actively looking for other acquisition opportunities in the New England region.

Jay Shah, president and chief operating officer for Hersha Hospitality says of the deal, “This is the first acquisition with proceeds from our recently completed $83-million secondary public offering. We expect it to become accretive to our funds from operations in 2004. This is the fourth property we have invested in, either for the REIT or in our strategic relationship with CNL Hospitality Properties Inc. in the last four months, bringing our owned portfolio to 22 properties.”

Hersha’s Shah adds, “PRA has built one of the finest Hilton Garden Inns in the system, and we seek to do additional transactions with developers of this caliber. We have an active pipeline and currently are reviewing a number of acquisition candidates, both in joint ventures or as wholly owned properties. We continue to focus on premium, limited-service brands located in markets with high barriers to new competition in the Northeastern quadrant of the country,” he says.

The Hilton Garden Inn Hartford South is located seven miles southeast of Hartford and across the street from the Shops at Somerset Square retail center. It is also nearby offices of Pratt Whitney, Amica Insurance and Ikon/Office Solutions. The hotel features 3,200-sf of meeting space, indoor pool, whirlpool, fitness center and a 58-seat restaurant.

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