BOSTON-Hersha Hospitality Trust will nearly double the size of its holdings in the Bay State with the $44-million acquisition of four Boston-area hotel properties. The deals bring its total hotel holdings in the Boston market to nine.

The Philadelphia-based REIT, which specializes in hotel properties, closed on the $12-million purchase of the 112-room Holiday Inn Express in Cambridge and also completed the acquisition of a three-property hotel portfolio for $32 million. Hersha picked up a 96-room Residence Inn in North Dartmouth, a 100-room Hawthorn Suites in Franklin and an 84-room Comfort Inn in North Dartmouth. All were previously owned by Wayland, MA-based KW Hotel Corp. The company also won the right of first refusal on a fifth property–a 100-room Residence Inn now under construction in Norwood.

“We like this market a lot,” Ashish Parikh, chief financial officer with Hersha Hospitality, tells He says the barriers to entry, recovering economy and strong market growth have made it one of the key areas of focus for the REIT. Parikh says Hersha plans to re-brand the Franklin property as a Hyatt Summerfield Suites hotel but will likely make no changes to the other acquisitions.

Hersha owns interest in 58 hotel properties with 7,211 rooms from Boston to Washington, DC. Its five other hotel properties in Massachusetts are the Courtyard by Marriott and the Holiday Inn Express–both in South Boston–the Sheraton Four Points at Logan International Airport, the Marriott Residence Inn in Framingham and the Courtyard by Marriott in Brookline.

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