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COSTA MESA, CA-Makar Properties of Newport Beach has landed a three-year $31-million non-recourse bridge loan via Buchanan Street Partners to buy and renovate the 238-room Wyndham Orange County, according to Newport Beach-based Buchanan. The hotel is in the South Coast Plaza area in a part of the county that “is becoming the downtown of Orange County,” comments Tim Hawthorne, EVP of Buchanan Street Partners.

Hawthorne says that the acquisition allows Makar to capitalize on the evolution and increasing popularity of the area, known as South Coast Metro, while enhancing the hotel’s identity, services and clientele through the investment. He point out that factors in favor of the Makar business plan include the combination of a class A office market in the South Coast Metro with shopping, high-rise residential developments and cultural attractions.

Hawthorne also cites data from the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. that forecasts business in Orange County to remain strong, with the number of overnight visitors in Orange County to continue rising and reach 46.2 million by 2008. Hotel industry reports suggest a strong investor market for the hospitality industry in Orange County, which registered the single biggest hotel sale in Southern California earlier this year with the $330-million trade of the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel.

The dollar volume of hotel sales in Orange County climbed by 629% in the first six months of this year, according to Irvine-based Atlas Hospitality Group. A recent Atlas report cited “very good numbers in Southern California” in terms of occupancy, RevPAR and average daily rates.

The financing for the Wyndham represents the third transaction that Makar and Buchanan Street Partners have worked on together. The acquisition adds to a Makar hotel portfolio that includes the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort and Spa in Dana Point.

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