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PHILADELPHIA-Locally based Hersha Hospitality Trust acquired two Marriott-branded hotels, the Residence Inn by Marriott-Greenbelt in Maryland near Washington, DC and the Courtyard by Marriott Ewing Hopewell on the Princeton-Trenton corridor in New Jersey. Jay Shah, Hersha’s president and COO, tells GlobeSt.com the price for both was between $35 million and $40 million and “is immediately accretiable to the REIT.”

The four-story Residence Inn at 6320 Golden Triangle Dr. in Greenbelt, MD is a 120-suite property surrounded by corporate and government facilities, which Hersha considers generators of demand for the property. It is, Shah says, “the only extended-stay property and newest hotel in the immediate market, making it the hotel of choice for business and government travelers.” The seller is developer Brentwood LLC.

The Courtyard by Marriott-Ewing, located at 360 Scotch Rd. in Hopewell, NJ, is a 130-room property that opened this March and is Marriott’s first new prototype Courtyard in New Jersey. The asset was developed by Woodbridge, NJ-based American Properties Realty, with whom Hersha joint-ventured in the acquisition.

The prototype features redesigned guest rooms and public spaces along with such additions as a 24/7 food market, business library with individual workstations and high-speed data ports, and free, in-room, high-speed Internet access along with other upgraded amenities. Situated along the Princeton-Trenton corridor, it is also surrounded by corporate and government offices as well as such tourist attractions as Sesame Place and Six Flags Great Adventure.

Hersha’s growth plan calls for a doubling of its portfolio value by the end of this year, and Shah says the current climate, “gives us the opportunity to be real sharp-shooters along the corridor between Boston and Washington, DC.” With this purchase, Hersha has 30 properties along this corridor, and Shah anticipates additional acquisitions here this year. “This is our third acquisition from American,” he adds, “and although we have no formal relationship during development, we know the quality of their development and have a good relationship with them and others that allows us to acquire properties prior to, or just as they are listed.

“With these (two) transactions, we continue our strategy of acquiring quality assets in high-barrier-to-entry metropolitan markets in the Northeast,” he says adding, “both properties are recently opened, further lowering the average age of our portfolio, already the `youngest’ in the publicly traded hotel REIT segment.”

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