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QUEENS, NY-After more than five years of ownership, Value Enhancement Fund II, LLC is looking to sell the 182-room Crowne Plaza JFK. It has retained Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels to market the property.”We are just getting started but the preliminary interest it strong,” says Tom Fisher, executive vice president for Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels in New York. The firm expects to go out for bids in late January and is targeting families, high-net worth buyers and owner-operators at all levels–locally, regionally and nationally, he adds. Fisher declined to release the hotel’s revenue figures, citing a confidentiality agreement.

There is no price tag attached to the hotel and Fisher explains that JLL will let the market dictate the final numbers. “We are really letting the market set the price,” he says. “We’re going to generate interest and whatever the market can bear we’ll present to our client and work with the buyer.”

And he adds he has confidence in the hotel market in the boroughs. “The hotel market in the outer boroughs is getting stronger. There has been some more compression. In particular with this airport location, with everything that’s going on with JFK, the forecast is for strong demand levels.” The plans for the airport include a $9-billion modernization plan with connectivity to Manhattan that is under way. He adds that projections point to a 46% increase in passenger volume at JFK through 2010.

John Fox, senior vice president of PFK Consulting, agrees with the increasing strength of the outer boroughs. “If Manhattan numbers continue to climb exponentially [demand] is going to spread out in all directions.” He adds that Manhattan numbers are reaching those of 2000, a record year; and next year insiders predict that that borough will effectively sell out 200 to 225 nights.

In the outer boroughs, the most number of rooms are near the JFK and LaGuardia airports, Fox says. And although he did not have any sales figures, he explains that with the dollar being where it is, money is coming from all over–overseas investors, and larger real estate and investment funds. “New York is a very attractive place.”

Opened in 1963, the hotel is located 15 minutes from Manhattan and features 6,500 sf of meeting space, Birchwood’s Restaurant and Fitzegerald’s lounge.

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