CHICAGO - Bondholders who took ownership of two St. Louis convention center hotels after a bond default hope to close next month on the sale of the complex's two hotels in separate transactions totaling about $29 million.
Holders of $98 million of bonds took ownership of the hotel complex in downtown St. Louis in 2009 after foreclosure proceedings following the obligated group's default in 2008.
Trustee UMB NA reported last fall that it had entered into a purchase agreement with investment group 800 Washington LLC on the larger of the hotels, known as the Renaissance Grand, for $26 million. Potomac, Md.-based Haberhill LLC will act as the operating partner. Due diligence continues on the deal and a closing is anticipated by Feb. 28. The hotel has 918 rooms.
In a notice filed in December, UMB said it also has now entered into a purchase and sale agreement with investment firm Maritz, Wolff & Co. for the smaller of the two hotels, the Lennox Suites. for $3.2 million. That currently shuttered 165-suite hotel is across the street from the Grand.
"The assets to be sold include the land, building, and personal property comprising the Suites. No bondholder trust accounts are being sold, all of which will remain the property of the trustee for the benefit of the Bondholders," the notice reads. The net purchase price is subject to tax proration which may reduce the proceeds distributed to the bondholders. The trustee has not estimated the potential payout to bondholders.
UMB said the closing on the new Suites deal is dependent on various conditions including the ability of the buyer to enter into a new management agreement with the hotel's operator Marriott and agreements with the city and a state agency. A closing is expected by Feb. 14 although the trustee cautions it cannot predict that the buyer will satisfy all conditions.
UMB had previously hired Jones Lang LaSalle Americas Inc. to pursue a sale in 2010 but pulled back because of poor real estate values. It resurrected efforts in 2011 and in 2012 received responses from more than 50 potential buyers for the hotels.
The St. Louis Industrial Development Authority issued $98 million of senior lien revenue bonds in 2000 as part of a complicated $266 million financing that included public funding to acquire and renovate the hotels. The hotels have struggled since opening in 2003 and the recession's negative impact on tourism, along with competition from other new hotels, further hampered their performance. The bonds most recently traded last month at 25 cents on the dollar.