DALLAS – Behringer Harvard announced today its acquisition of Aston Kauai Beach at Makaiwa, a 311-room hotel situated on a 10.4-acre oceanfront site on the eastern side of the island of Kauai, the northernmost of the Hawaiian Islands. The hotel is 15 minutes north of Lihue Airport, which offers nonstop flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco and other U.S. destinations.
This investment was made via a joint venture between Behringer Harvard Opportunity REIT II, Inc. and Austin, Texas-based JMI Realty, a private real estate investment company with deep development, construction, rebranding and repositioning experience.
“Aston Kauai Beach at Makaiwa benefits from an excellent location in a desirable market with high barriers to entry. We were able to acquire it with favorable in-place financing, at an attractive basis well below replacement cost,” said Mr. Samuel A. Gillespie, Chief Operating Officer of Behringer Harvard Opportunity REIT II, Inc.
Mr. Richard K. Frank, Senior Vice President of Behringer Harvard, oversees the management of all the company’s hotel assets. He said, “We will immediately begin to reposition the hotel to more effectively capitalize on existing demand in today’s market and to benefit from future growth in Hawaii’s tourism industry.”
The hotel was sold unencumbered by management or brand, allowing the new ownership to engage Davidson Hotel Company to begin managing the asset as of the closing date. From 2003 to 2006, the hotel underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation that included enhancements to many common areas and the complete renovation of all guest rooms. The hotel now offers oversized guest rooms averaging approximately 400 square feet. Each room features Polynesian designs with touches of dark tropical woods imported from Bali.
“We plan further capital improvements that will be part of a comprehensive repositioning and rebranding program that will include a new name for the hotel,” said Mr. Greg Clay, Chief Investment Officer of JMI Realty. “The hotel will be rebranded as a Courtyard by Marriott hotel and renamed Courtyard by Marriott Kauai at Coconut Beach.”
Hotel guests enjoy amenities including a day spa, a swimming pool and whirlpool spa, a fitness center, a 272-seat restaurant and open-air lounge, tennis courts, a business center, and six meeting rooms totaling nearly 6,200 square feet. All rooms feature a private lanai (balcony/patio), and two-thirds offer ocean views. The hotel is within walking distance of two shopping centers with nationally recognized grocery stores, drugstores, retail outlets and restaurants.
Kauai is known as the “Garden Isle” for its lush tropical greenery. With little commercialism and development, Kauai allows visitors to see Hawaii as most imagine the islands to be – a tropical paradise. The Kapaa-Wailua area surrounding the hotel, once an historical plantation town, is now a major tourist destination with spectacular white-sand beaches, scenic mountain views and premier resorts.