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NEW YORK CITY-DiamondRock Hospitality Co., formed in July, acquired another asset here by spending $34.4 million for a boutique hotel in Midtown. The company, which will elect to be a lodging REIT when it files its first tax return, anticipates spending an additional $4 million to renovate and convert the Hotel 5A into a Marriot Courtyard.

The 189-room hotel, which traded for $182,000 per room, is located near Fifth Avenue and Bryant Park. It will be reflagged as a Courtyard by Marriott in January and a Marriot affiliate will manage the property under a long-term agreement.

“It is rare to find opportunities in locations like this that present such promising economic potential,” says Bill McCarten, chairman and chief executive officer of DiamondRock. John Williams, president of DiamondRock, notes that “Marriott’s reservation system generates high rated, unaccomodated reservations in Manhattan that will directly benefit this asset.”

Just under a month ago, DiamondRock acquired the 307-room Courtyard by Marriott Midtown East, located on Third Avenue. DiamondRock acquired the hotel through an assignment of Marriott International’s contractual right to purchase the property. The hotel was purchased for a capitalization rate of approximately 8.5% on the forecasted 2004 income.

And not even two weeks ago, DiamondRock purchased the Bethesda Suites Marriott Hotel, a 276-room hotel in Washington, DC, from Rock Spring Park Hotel LP in a $41.6-million transaction. That site will also be renovated. DiamondRock started with a $210-million offering and has a strategic relationship with Marriot International, which owns approximately $30 million in company shares.

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