SAN FRANCISCO–Geolo Capital, the private equity investment arm of the John Pritzker family office, announced the launch of a new hospitality finance vertical with the closing of two investment deals, Alila Marea in Encinitas, Calif., and Kimpton Buckhead in Atlanta, Ga. Following Geolo’s sale of Two Roads Hospitality, the international lifestyle hotel management company, to Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H), the company is now expanding its investment parameters with its new structured finance vertical which will deploy mezzanine and preferred equity investments in leading hospitality projects across both urban gateways and resort destinations.
“A year after our sale of Two Roads Hospitality, we felt this is an opportune time for Geolo to launch our structured finance vertical as we expand our investment parameters within the hospitality space,” said John Pritzker, founding partner and director of Geolo Capital. “As we enter a new decade, as a complement to our core business as a hospitality developer and owner, we look forward to providing capital solutions to third-party strategic partners to facilitate the creation and reimagination of distinctive hotels and resorts around the country, beginning with these destination properties in Southern California and Atlanta.”
In partnership with JMI Realty and Fenway Capital Advisors, Geolo recently closed an investment in Alila Marea, a 130-room new-build luxury resort set on a 4.3-acre oceanfront bluff in Encinitas, California. When the resort opens in 2021, the property will be the second Alila in North America, following Geolo Capital’s Ventana Big Sur, an Alila Resort. Located west of the North Coast Highway on a beautiful bluff-top setting, the luxury hotel will offer a resort destination experience defined by “barefoot luxury.” Alila Marea will feature three food and beverage venues and over 11,000 square feet of event and meeting facilities, all with unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean and direct access to the white sands of South Ponto Beach.
Additionally, Geolo recently closed an investment in the adaptive reuse of Buckhead’s Sobu Flats,near Buckhead Village, in partnership with Portman Holdings. While the Pritzker and Portman families have a business relationship that extends over 50 years, Geolo’s investment in Sobu Flats marks the inaugural deal for the current generation of both families. Currently an eight-story residential condominium property, the 1950s Atlanta address will undergo a comprehensive renovation to re-emerge as a 216-room lifestyle hotel managed by Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants. Upon completion in 2021, Kimpton Buckhead will feature a lush garden pool and three distinctive food and beverage venues, including a signature restaurant and bar at ground level, a bohemian courtyard dining and drinking venue, and an indoor/outdoor rooftop lounge
“With Alila Marea and Kimpton Buckhead we saw opportunities to provide capital and hospitality expertise to best-in-class operating partners in their respective home markets,” said Ben Gottlieb, Principal at Geolo Capital. “In Encinitas, we are honored and truly excited to be a part of the realization of this project which has literally been decades in the making. In Atlanta, we saw promise in the region’s strong macroeconomic fundamentals and the strategy of addressing an undersupply of boutique properties in Buckhead – Atlanta’s strongest submarket.”
Since its inception in 2005, Geolo has created a multi-billion-dollar portfolio of premier projects, including ground-up developments, complex adaptive-reuse projects and historical restorations within the urban, boutique, resort, multi-family residential and traditional hospitality space. In addition to Alila Marea and Kimpton Buckhead, highly anticipated Geolo projects currently under development include the Thompson Hotel in Washington, D.C., slated to open in January 2020, and a $300+ million-dollar mixed-use project in Austin, Texas, that will feature both a Thompson hotel and multi-family residential.
With an extensive investment track record, Geolo has partnered with some of the finest names in hospitality real estate. To date, Geolo, in partnership with Wanxiang America Real Estate, has invested more than $700 million in U.S.-based projects. Additional global real estate investment partners include: Goldman Sachs & Co., Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, AJ Capital Partners, Agman Partners, GFI Capital Resources, GreenOak, Heitman, Relevant Group, Market Street Equities, The Berger Company, JW Capital Partners, Touchstone, Magellan Development, Union – Bank AG, Brown Legacy Group and Sterling Bay.
About Geolo Capital
San Francisco-based Geolo Capital is the private equity investment arm of the John Pritzker family, continuing a four-generation unmatched record of creating, investing in and building a diversified portfolio of consumer-focused companies. From its legacy involvement helping to grow Ticketmaster, Mandara Spa and Two Roads Hospitality, Geolo Capital’s mission is to cultivate enduring world-class brands in four core industries – real estate development, hospitality, investment and lifestyle. Geolo combines operational expertise, strategic vision and highly targeted capital to create long-term value for the companies in which it invests.
About JMI Realty
JMI Realty is a private real estate investment and development company that was organized in 1992 as the real estate investment subsidiary of JMI Services, Inc., the investment vehicle of the John J. Moores family. In 1998, JMI Realty was appointed by the City of San Diego and the San Diego Padres to act as the Master Developer of the Ballpark District. JMI Realty’s successful planning and implementation of the Ballpark District Master Plan resulted in over $3.0 billion of redevelopment, and is viewed nationally as a template for successful urban revitalization. Over the last two decades, JMI Realty has also been active in developing and acquiring hotel projects. JMI Realty currently manages a real estate investment portfolio valued at approximately $800 million and has sold approximately $550 million of land, office, hotel and multifamily investments.
About Fenway Capital Partners
Fenway Capital Advisors’ (FCA) disciplined approach focuses on creating value through acquiring and repositioning mismanaged and/or under-invested assets in markets with strong fundamentals and positive growth characteristics across the Western U.S. Collectively, FCA principals have more than 50 years of industry experience, spanning multiple cycles, across all disciplines of the real estate industry, including acquisitions, asset management, development and leasing. The success of FCA is driven by a four-pronged approach of (i) identifying opportunistic situations, (ii) investing targeted capital, (iii) managing assets aggressively, and (iv) harvesting from a position of strength. By leveraging the Company’s brand and reputation, as well as unique broker and intermediary relationships, FCA benefits from proprietary deal flow that often isn’t available to the broader market. The primary mission of FCA is to protect investor capital and deliver attractive risk-adjusted returns across all phases of the real estate cycle.
About Portman Holdings
Throughout the past 62 years, Portman Holdings has developed over 65 million square-feet of premium real estate around the world with a focus on hospitality, office and mixed-use properties. The vertically-integrated real estate development, investment, and management company commands a successful global network and has a proven track record with the world’s top financial institutions. Teams in the company’s global offices seamlessly connect to develop, finance, and manage a diverse portfolio in the world’s core and emerging markets. Portman Holdings continues to achieve success through investor, partner, and client relationships that deliver exceptional real estate projects.