MCLEAN, VA-Taking advantage of interest rates that are–despite the recent hike by the Federal Reserve–still low, Highland Hospitality Corp. wraps up a $67-million financing package, courtesy of Credit Suisse First Boston affiliate Column Financial Inc. The seven-year mortgage loan is fixed at a rate of 6.47% and is secured by three of the lodging REIT’s properties: Savannah, GA’s Hyatt Regency; the Hilton Garden Inn BWI Airport just outside of Baltimore; and the Portsmouth Renaissance Hotel & Conference Center in Portsmouth, VA.

A young REIT that was established late last year, Highland is wasting no time in building up its eight-hotel portfolio, which spans five states. The funds from the loan give the company additional wiggle room while it continues to purchase upscale full-service, premium limited-service, and extended stay properties across the US. “This type of financing is aligned with our strategy to prudently leverage our company as we continue to acquire assets with the proceeds from our IPO,” says Highland executive vice president and CFO Douglas W. Vicari.

The three hotels Highland put up as collateral for the loan give a solid indication of the type of hotels the company is probably looking to snap up in the near future. One of the company’s first purchases was the 250-room Portsmouth Renaissance property, for which it paid about $71 million in December. And in January, Highland snapped up the Hyatt Regency for $50 million, followed just days later by the $22-million purchase of the Hilton Garden Inn airport hotel.

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