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BIRMINGHAM, AL-Making its first buy in Alabama, Atlanta-based Noble Investment Group has taken over the 205-room Hilton Birmingham at Perimeter Park. The new owner has set aside $5.5 million to upgrade the lobby, bar, common areas and curb appeal.

Dallas-based Ashford Hospitality Trust Inc. had put the 25-year-old hotel at 8 Perimeter Park South up for sale in May. The asset was part of the $2.4-billion portfolio that the REIT bought from CNL Hotels & Resorts Inc. in mid-April.

“Our standard MO is to have a value-add nature to our acquisitions, where we can bring in either our management operating team, or design and construction team,” says Adi Bhoopathy, Noble Investment’s principal and executive vice president. He estimates the renovation will take one year to complete. He anticipates increases in the current occupancy of 72% and average daily room rate, which is now $130 to $140.

Bhoopathy says the Hilton Birmingham at Perimeter Park represented an attractive acquisition because it carries a premium brand name and is located in a submarket with a decent demand for hospitality services. “We’ll hang onto the property for awhile after renovation and when the market’s right, we’ll sell,” he adds.

Noble Investment is looking nationwide for other potential acquisitions. Bhoopathy says Noble Investment is focusing on full-service assets and high-end service product in the hospitality industry.

William M. Hodges, partner with Hodges Ward Elliot Inc. in Atlanta, represented Ashford Hospitality. Noble Investment’s in-house team handled the acquisition.

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