DALLAS-Ashford Hospital Trust is shopping $100 million with lenders to leverage acquisitions in a $200-million pipeline, a highlight announced in early May and reinforced at yesterday’s Nareit Investors Forum in New York City.

The Dallas-based REIT, edging up on its first year as a publicly traded company, has spent $384 million of nearly $550 million of its purchasing power, with another $17-million purchase nearing the finish line, Ashford’s top execs, Monty J. Bennett, president and CEO, and Douglas A. Kessler, COO and acquisitions head, told the panel. To date, spending activity has been confined to acquisitions, two mezzanine loans and one subordinate first mortgage in a diversified strategy that includes first mortgage lending and sale/leasebacks, a multifaceted game plan that sets it apart from other lodging REITs.

Bennett and Kessler toed the line on information, sticking close to the first-quarter report issued in early May. The $200-million pipeline is in various stages of negotiations, says Kessler, who didn’t delve into detail about what or where. Ashford, which launched with six hotels, has pushed the total to 19 properties with 3,104 rooms, a blended portfolio of mid-scale and upper upscale with only one flying an independent flag.

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