Little Rock Marriott offered for sale UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Little Rock Marriott offered for sale UPDATE

Posted By on Thu, Nov 30, 2017 at 9:42 AM

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The Marriott Hotel in downtown Little Rock, purchased by a Memphis investment group in 2012, is up for sale.

I have more calls to make, but in a summary document, a sales agent said it:

... is pleased to offer, on an exclusive basis, the opportunity to acquire the 418-room Marriott Little Rock (“Property” or “Hotel”),
a 20-story full-service hotel attached to Little Rock’s Statehouse Convention Center in the heart of the CBD. With over 40,000 square feet (“SF”) of on-site function space at the Marriott, and an additional 220,000 SF at the attached Convention Center, the Marriott is Little Rock’s premier group facility. Additionally, the Hotel’s urban CBD location along the Arkansas River – near the State Capitol, Clinton Presidential Center, the River Market District, Robinson Center, 11.5 million SF of CBD office space, and many other notable attractions – generates substantial corporate and leisure transient room nights. The Property opened as a Marriott in 2013, converted from the Peabody Hotel with approximately $16 million ($38,278/key) invested in the conversion/renovation. The Marriott is being offered unencumbered of the current management agreement with Davidson Hotels & Resorts, providing complete operational flexibility to a new owner.

The offering  calls it the "market-leading hotel and default convention center accommodations."

It also comments:

With very little new hotel projects under construction across the entire Little Rock market – only 340 rooms in 3 projects total – the Marriott will not see any new meaningful competition and will continue as the dominant full-service property well into the foreseeable future.
The neighborhood HAS seen a spate of small hotel developments in recent years, with a couple of the latest at Fourth and Rock. There's long been talk, but so far limited action, on the development of a hotel in the Boyle Building at Capitol and Main.

The offering doesn't list a sales price or existing debt. When purchased in 2012 by Fairwood Capital LLC of Memphis, the previous owners had a $24 million note with the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System.

A purchase now, ahead of an expected increase in the federal lending rate, could allow savings in financing. As for the market: in June, the Little Rock hotel market reported 65 percent occupancy, compared with a 73 percent national rate and down 3 percent from the same month a year earlier. Full-service hotels, with major restaurants, can be harder to operate says my source in the real estate business, compared with a smaller hotel offering little beyond a breakfast bar.

Any sale requires approval from the city because of the city-owned facilities the hotel shares.

UPDATE: Gretchen Hall, director of the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the owner of the building had made her agency aware of the marketing effort because of the shared facilities. She said there were "evaluating potential opportunities" and "not at all" cause for any concern. "It's just a kind of standard business practice."

Hall also said occupancy for eight hotels in the central part of Little Rock that are key to visitor business had lately been around 72 percent, stronger than the city as a whole.

She said she was confident in Fairfield as a long-term owner of the Marriott if a testing of the market doesn't produce a sufficient purchase offer.

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