Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank Finance $705M Acquisition of Arizona Hotel – Commercial Observer

A joint venture between private equity firms Henderson Park and Pyramid Global Hospitality has acquired the 39-acre Arizona Biltmore hotels and resorts in Phoenix from Blackstone Real Estate for $705 million, Blackstone announced Monday.

Morgan Stanley (MS) led a $460 million acquisition loan for the deal, with Deutsche Bank (DB) and JP Morgan also participated. Additional financing on the deal comes in the form of equity managed by Henderson Park, as well as commitments from Western & Southern Finance Group and Eagle Realty.

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Eastdil Secured advised Blackstone on the transaction, while Jones Day advised Henderson Park.

The $705 million purchase is one of the largest national hospitality deals of the year and the biggest hospitality play in the Phoenix metropolitan area in the last 12 months, dwarfing the $115.5 million deal for the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Paradise Valley that closes July 2023.

Pyramid Global Hospitality will serve as the Arizona Biltmore’s hotel manager going forward.

Nick Weber, CEO and founder of Henderson Park, called the Arizona Biltmore “an iconic hotel.” The hotel opened in 1929 and has been a bastion for celebrities for decades.

“This transaction presents a rare and compelling opportunity to acquire a historic but newly refurbished hotel in one of the country’s premier hospitality markets,” said Weber in a statement.

Back in 2018, CO reported that JP Morgan Chase and Deutsche Bank provided $1.1 billion to Blackstone to finance several single-asset, single-borrower commercial mortgage-backed securities transactions, including a $281 million mortgage secured by the Arizona Biltmore hotel that was rolled into the BX Trust 2018-BILT transactions.

In a statement, Rob Harperhead of Blackstone Real Estate Asset Management Americassaid that Blackstone’s deal “position[s] the asset for long-term success.” Harper’s firm had overseen a $150 million restoration and upgrade of the resort in 2020.

“As owners of the Arizona Biltmore, we brought our hospitality expertise and experience to enrich and preserve this historic property,” Harper said.

Located at 2400 E Missouri Avenue in Phoenix, the 705-key Arizona Biltmore sits on 39 acres just 15 minutes from the Sky Harbor International Airport. The renovated resort includes 200,000 square feet of corporate meeting space, seven swimming pools, and 28,000-square-foot spa.

A favorite of Hollywood stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, and Carole Lombard, the Arizona Biltmore was designed by famed American architect Albert Chase McArthur, whose work often engenders comparisons with his mentor, Frank Lloyd Wright.

The Roaring `20s-era property carries decades of history within its famous themed rooms, which include the “Mystery Room,” the “Aztec Room” and the “Gold Room,” where Gable frequently entertained guests.

There’s more fun trivia: former President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan honeymooned at the Arizona Biltmore in 1955, and the nation’s first Tequila Sunrise cocktail was allegedly invented by the hotel bar in the late 1930s, according to the Phoenix New Times.

And on election night 2008, Republican nominee for president John McCain conceded defeat to Barack Obama in a speech from the hotel’s front lawn.

Brian Pascus can be reached at [email protected]