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SAN FRANCISCO-Kimpton Group Holding LLC, the parent company of locally based Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants has closed its latest fund with $246 million of equity commitments, 50% more than it attracted three years ago for its previous fund. With leverage, the company expects the institutionally funded, fully discretionary fund will acquire $800 million worth of hotels over the next three years.

The fund, Kimpton’s third, is called Kimpton Hospitality Partners II LP. Kimpton’s previous fund, Kimpton Hospitality Partners LP, closed in 2005 and now has an ownership interest in 13 Kimpton properties. Its inaugural fund, Kimpton Development Opportunity Fund, was raised in 1997 and leveraged $122-million to acquire nine properties. All but two of those have now been sold.

All three funds were formed to acquire, develop and redevelop boutique/lifestyle hotel properties—and to convert non-hotel buildings into boutique/lifestyle properties—in select major US metropolitan cities and resort areas across the country. The first properties in its latest fund are the Architects Building in Philadelphia, a historic structure that is being converted to a Hotel Palomar, slated to open in 2009, and a ground-up development in Chicago that also will be called Hotel Palomar.

As for existing hotel properties, Kimpton says it will either acquire successful properties that fit the Kimpton model, such Boston’s Nine Zero Hotel, which it acquired last spring, or properties that are underutilized and can be renovated and repositioned as a Kimpton hotel, such as the former Radisson Hotel in Washington, D.C. which was converted to a Hotel Palomar.

JP Morgan hotel analysts sent out a note to investors yesterday after participating in a conference call with Smith Travel Research. Despite a limited ability to forecast demand due to economic uncertainty, JP Morgan said it took away the following:

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