HUNTER HOTEL ADVISORS of Atlanta, Georgia, has brokered the sale of six properties around the city from Hotel Development Partners to Driftwood Acquisitions & Development. The deal gives Driftwood another 568 rooms in some of the city’s strongest markets using crowdfunding to finance the deal.
The hotels are the Fairfield Inn & Suites Buckhead, Fairfield Inn & Suites Atlanta Perimeter Center, Fairfield Inn & Suites Alpharetta, SpringHill Suites Alpharetta, TownePlace Suites Alpharetta and TownePlace Suites Kennesaw. HDP has owned the properties since 2015 and performed $16 million in renovations to them. Hotel Equities managed the hotels.
“Atlanta has seen very strong economic growth in recent years with no signs of stopping,” said Hunter’s Vice President Tim Osborne. “This portfolio of hotels represented a rare opportunity to invest in several desirable submarkets in the metro area with a single acquisition.”
Hunter has brokered a total of 51 Marriott properties this year, the company’s President Teague Hunter said. It plans to broker another 10 by the end of the year.
DAD is inviting investors to co-invest in the Buckhead, Perimeter Center and Alpharetta properties, which it will co-own. The other three will be managed by its sister company Driftwood Hospitality Management but owned separately by a joint venture partner. It now has 18 hotels in its portfolio.
“With this acquisition, DAD can offer its clients an unprecedented opportunity to co-invest in several recently renovated assets in Atlanta’s most sought-after submarkets,” said DAD Chairman and CEO Carlos Rodriguez Sr.
The idea of crowdfunding in hotel investment is becoming more popular in the hotel industry. It allows regular people invest relatively small amounts of equity into new business.
Last year, REM Hospitality of San Antonio, co-founded by Pratik Patel and Anand Bhakta, financed its $48-million Cambria Suites hotel and office complex in part with crowdfunding from EquityRoots.com, a Chicago-based fintech firm established by Bhavik Dani m in 2014. It is the first crowdfunding business exclusively dedicated toward raising money for branded hotel assets and based in the Chicago Board of Trade.
Patel said at the time that he and Bhakta wanted to include EquityRoots.com in its financing strategy because it brings transparency to the process. “People who have not invested in hotels before are reluctant to invest without transparency,” he said. “EquityRoots.com attracts smaller investors seeking minimal risk.”
In addition, Patel said, seasoned investors used to traditional methods will pony up smaller amounts with a crowdfunding firm to learn how it works. If it proves to be a successful model, they will contribute more money on the next project.