BETHESDA, MD-An acquisition financing deal closed for the 390-room Hyatt Regency Bethesda with the assistance of Sonnenblick-Goldman Co. Acting on behalf of borrowers Rockwood Capital Corp. and the Meridian Group, the real estate investment firm orchestrated a $76-million loan for the property. The funds come from Goldman Sachs in the form of a floating-rate, five-year first mortgage. A spokesman for Sonnenblick-Goldman tells GlobeSt.com that the financing package covers about 70% of the entire acquisition price. For Meridian, the hotel is not exactly a new acquisition; the company co-owned the property with GMAC, which sold its part to Meridian and Rockwood, Sonnenblick-Goldman’s Andrew Oliver explains to GlobeSt.com.

Located near such vital destinations as the National Institutes of Health and the US Department of Homeland Security, Hyatt Regency Bethesda carries the address of One Bethesda Center and boasts a coveted spot atop a Metro station. The 12-story hotel is part of the greater Bethesda Metro Complex, which consists of a 350,000-sf office facility, a 19,000-sf food court and a parking facility capable of accommodating as many as 1,330 vehicles.

The hotel itself, which underwent a $5.3-million renovation in 2002, features a 7,300-sf ballroom and 19 meeting rooms. Meridian purchased the hotel and office building together as a package for $122 million back in 1999.

Competition to provide the financing for the hotel purchase was steep. Sonnenblick-Goldman president Steve Kohn says in a statement that “the Bethesda Hyatt’s long established presence in the heart of Bethesda, the strong Hyatt brand and top quality sponsorship created great interest within the financial community.” The timing of Meridian and Rockwood’s purchase is just right, it seems, as the hospitality industry attempts a rebound and makes the long reach for its pre-2001 numbers.

“While the world is by no means safe from terrorist threats, travelers are gradually coming to grips with the reality that the world has changed,” Marcus & Millichap explains in its most recent Hospitality Research Report. “In terms of international travel, inbound arrivals are expected to rise by 5% both in 2004 and 2005.” Business travel is expected to see a 4.2% increase over last year’s numbers, with even better numbers to come in 2005.

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