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LHO Buys Liberty Hotel???s Major Stake

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LaSalle Hotel Properties (LHO - Free Report) , a multi-operator real estate investment trust (REIT), has recently purchased majority interest in The Liberty Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts for a total of $170 million.

LaSalle financed the deal with funds generated through the sale of common shares made last month. The acquisition was made through a joint venture with an entity controlled by Dick Friedman of Carpenter & Company Inc.

This investment in The Liberty Hotel augurs well for the company with Boston being a chief strategic market for LaSalle. Advantageously located at 215 Charles Street in the Beacon Hill area of Boston, this 298-room full service, luxury hotel is encircled by more than 36 million square feet of Class A office space.

Originally constructed in 1851 as the Charles Street Jail and then redeveloped as a hotel in 2007, this property is situated beside and linked with the Massachusetts General Hospital. It is also suitably situated within a mile of the Boston central business district.

Moreover, in its vicinity are a number of leading educational institutions such as the Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeastern University and Boston University.

With such a locational advantage, the hotel provides several shopping, dining and entertainment choices. It has 298 guestrooms including 10 suites, with nine 800 square-foot suites and the 2,200 square-foot presidential suite. There are also five food and beverage outlets.

Moreover, it has 8,415 square feet of flexible meeting and function space comprising six indoor meeting rooms and a secluded 2,400 square-foot courtyard. Liberty will continue operating under The Luxury Collection franchise. It is subject to a leasehold interest in the land that expires in May, 2080.

LaSalle owns luxury and upper-upscale hotels in high barriers-to-entry markets throughout the U.S. The company specifically focuses on owning, redeveloping and repositioning upscale full-service hotels in urban, resort and convention markets. LaSalle currently owns 10,600 guest rooms in 13 markets in 9 states in the U.S. and the District of Columbia.

LaSalle presently has a Zacks #3 Rank that translates into a short-term Hold rating. We also have a Neutral recommendation and a Zacks #3 Rank for Host Hotels & Resorts Inc. (HST - Free Report) , one of LaSalle’s competitors.

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