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(Carl Cronan is editor of Real Estate Florida.)

ROCKY MOUNT, NC-A complicated transaction has resulted in RockBridge Capital LLC becoming the owner of a 461-room hotel portfolio here, according to HREC Investment Advisors. The value of the deal, which also includes a conference center and vacant land, is not being disclosed.

HREC says it brokered the sale for Rocky Mount Tectel, a partnership comprised of a prominent North Carolina developer plus several Miami-based investors. The portfolio includes a Doubletree Hotel, a Residence Inn, a Comfort Inn and a Courtyard by Marriott.

Rocky Mount Tectel originally hired HREC to arrange financing for the conversion of a 168-room Holiday Inn to the Doubletree flag. However, after due diligence and meetings with the owners, HREC recommended trying a finance and sale strategy simultaneously.

RockBridge Capital, a Columbus, OH-based firm originally selected to provide financing, acquired the portfolio after a planned sale to a third party fell through, according to HREC. RockBridge’s business plan includes new management, financing and value enhancement, as well as allowing the local developer to remain a passive investor.

“They started as a lender, but when the opportunity arose were equally satisfied to invest equity in order to meet the needs of our client,” Ronald Muzii, senior VP of HREC’s office in Boca Raton, FL, said in a news release. “During the due diligence process, they added tremendous value.”

Scott Stephens, HREC principal in Tampa, FL, credits Muzii’s “creativity and diligence” in pulling together the deal. “HREC is extremely proud to have been able to facilitate such a complex deal during a time in our industry when the capital markets are in such turmoil,” Stephens says.

Headquartered in Denver with several offices nationwide, HREC is a real estate brokerage and investment banking firm focused on the hospitality industry. The firm handles hotel and resort sales and is also active in refinancing and debt placement on existing hotels and development projects.

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