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FAIRFAX, VA-Together with new partners Allied Capital and LCP Group, Crescent Hospitality has formed a fund to acquire up to $1 billion in hotel assets in the coming 12 to 18 months. The fund begins with the purchase of the Detroit Marriott Livonia.

The Fairfax, VA-based Crescent’s new property is 17100 Laurel Park Drive North adjacent to the Laurel Park Place mall. Molinaro Koger, a hotel real estate advisory firm headquartered in Washington, DC, brokered the sale. The seller’s identity and closing price couldn’t be obtained by publication time.

In this morning’s press release, Crescent Hospitality says it will fine-tune its investment strategy to include acquisitions and sliver investments to build a portfolio as Crescent Hotels & Resorts. The fund is structured for direct investment or joint-venture arrangements with affiliated and unaffiliated partners.

“Our target is upper, upscale hotels and portfolios located in primary and secondary US markets as well as resorts,” Michael George, Crescent president and CEO, says in today’s press release. He says the fund will seek to acquire full-service hotels typically in the 200- to 500-room range and Marriott, Hilton, Starwood and InterContinental brands. Crescent Hotels & Resorts will operate the portfolio.

Crescent plans to spend $3.5 million upgrading the 227-key Detroit Marriott Livonia. Plans call for the renovation of all rooms and the exterior. The renovation is expected to be completed in first quarter 2007.

Crescent Hotels & Resorts also plans to focus on partnering with institutional investors and provide sliver equity of 10% to 20% to acquire and manage upper select-service hotels. “We have a growing number of strategic partners who have an appetite for hotels in this segment,” says Crescent chairman E. Robert Roskind, also the founder of the White Plains, NY-based LCP Group, “and we believe we can acquire up to 10 to 15 hotels annually under this business model.” He says the JV is considering the development of several new brands as well.

Crescent will continue to focus on third-party management of hotels–its original business model since it launched in 2001. It is one of the few independent management companies operating hotels under the Marriott, Hilton, Starwood and InterContinental flags.

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