BALTIMORE-Ownership of the Marriott Hunt Valley Inn changed hands in a recent transaction valued at $31 million. HEI Hospitality has claimed the 392-room property as its own, taking it off the hands of Boykin Lodging Co. The Norwalk, CT-based hotel investment firm acquired the property through its recently established $275-million private equity fund, HEI Hospitality Fund. The property has a 2004 assessed value of $22 million.

Located at 245 Shawan Rd. on 18 acres in the suburban Baltimore town of Hunt Valley just 15 miles outside the city, the Marriott property was originally developed in 1978. Today, the four-story facility offers 28,000 sf of meeting space, including a nearly 10,000-sf event space that carries the title of the largest ballroom in Baltimore County. Marriott Hunt Valley also features a restaurant and lounge, a fitness center and two swimming pools. However, the new owner is not content to let the property rest on its laurels.

“Marriott Hunt Valley will immediately commence an approximate $7-million renovation that will further enhance the hotel’s reputation as one of the East Coast’s premier meeting facilities,” says HEI chairman and CEO Gary Mendell. 

Marriott Hunt Valley marks the third property purchase for HEI Hospitality Fund, which originated just two months ago. Late last month, the fund acquired the 256-room Boca Raton Marriott at Boca Center in Boca Raton, FL, just six weeks after having made its first purchase, the 410-room Sheraton Music City in Nashville, TN.

The fund plans to stake its claim to a total of about $800 million in assets over an approximately 2.5-year period. While the firm continues to seek out upscale properties in major markets and resort areas across the country, HEI tells that it does have specific areas of interest. “We are continuing to seek hotel acquisitions in the Washington/Baltimore corridor,” a company spokesperson says.

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