The Lexington Hotel, located at 1100 North Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix, Arizona was acquired last month by a development group led by Habitat Metro, LLC, a Phoenix-based development firm, along with Bond HD, LLC, a California based hospitality group, and McKinney Capital Group, LLC, a San Diego real estate development and finance firm. The property will be repositioned as a contemporary arts focused boutique hotel featuring an expansive public gallery space and a casual, yet sophisticated restaurant and lounge.
Members of the development team recently completed the renovation and repositioning of an existing resort property in Honolulu, Hawaii, converting it into the Waikiki Edition , a Marriott/Ian Schrager lifestyle hotel concept. The urban resort features a new Morimoto restaurant concept, as well as Ian Schrager’s first night club since Studio 54. The Edition opened in September to rave reviews. Bond HD CEO Robert Watson describes the Lexington project as “a very unique opportunity. Similar to our Hawaii project, we strive to find diamonds in the rough, envision a solution, execute on the renovation and repositioning, ultimately filling a void in the market place. We have aggressive, capable capital backing us, we understand how to create solutions, and we have the experience to execute.” The Lexington is located at the Arts District METRO Station, within two stops from the midtown Phoenix Art Museum and Heard Museum, as well as the Phoenix Convention Center, US Airways Center, Chase Field and the downtown cultural amenities of Symphony Hall and Herberger Theater.
The Lexington was originally developed in 1973 as a 7 story hotel designed by Schoneberger Associates. In 1984, an eighth floor was added under the firm’s design expanding the room total to its current 108 rooms. Habitat Metro Principal Tim Sprague stated, “The hotel has been on our radar since we began construction of Portland Place in the fall of 2005. It has great bones and, unlike most older hospitality properties, it enjoys excellent room sizes including 730 sq ft balcony penthouse suites. It will find a natural place as the unique boutique choice for the downtown hotel guest.”
The property was acquired from NCA Hotel Partners, LLC, a Scottsdale, Arizona firm which purchased the property through foreclosure. NCA partner Peter Gooding related, “This was one of the best deals we’d seen over the last couple of years and we couldn’t pass it up. The plans of the new development group far exceed what we originally envisioned.” Gooding has reinvested in the new concept, confirming his confidence in the property and the downtown Phoenix hospitality market.
The hotel’s redesign will incorporate an additional 8,000 square feet of gallery and meeting space highlighting quarterly exhibits of internationally acclaimed artists. The new restaurant and bar will incorporate the outdoor ambiance of Portland Street’s City Beautiful boulevard, with focused attention on the downtown neighborhood and travelers seeking the local flavor. Room designs will continue the art theme allowing guests to “spend the night with the art,” jokes Watson. Construction is scheduled to begin this summer with an opening slated for early 2012. Until construction begins, the Lexington will continue operations with a “Last Call” theme of activities celebrating its history.
Habitat Metro principals Tim Sprague, John Hill and Feliciano Vera have been active in the local development community building multifamily and commercial properties since 1979. Bond HD principals Robert Watson and Paul Guccini are hospitality veterans with 20 year pedigrees that include brand development and regional management with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, W Hotels, and Kimpton Hotel and Restaurant Group. Damian McKinney, founder of McKinney Capital Group, LLC, has 30 years’ experience in national real estate investment and consulting with a focus on value-added opportunities.