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WASHINGTON, DC-Highland Hospitality Corp. signs a definitive agreement to purchase the historic 144-room Churchill Hotel. If the deal proceeds as planned, the lodging REIT will pay seller Winston LLC $48.8 million for the hotel, which was developed in 1906.

Ownership of the Churchill last changed hands in 2001in a $20.4 million deal. And according to District real estate records, the hotel and the half-acre parcel it occupies have a current assessed value of $12 million. Marc Magazine and Dough Henkel of CB Richard Ellis’ Hotel Group were the sole brokers.

The Churchill was originally developed as an apartment building in the Embassy Row neighborhood near Dupont Circle. The hotel, which features a restaurant and 2,200 sf of meeting space, is slated to undergo change at the hands of the new owner.

“We are acquiring this property on a favorable trailing cap rate for DC, and with our plans to increase room count through conversion of a number of two-room suites in 2006, we expect our all-in investment to be less than $300,000 per-key,” Highland president and CEO James L Francis says. “This hotel is well-positioned to benefit from the favorable economic fundamentals forecasted for the nation’s capital.”

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