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May. 31, 2013

Local Hotel Operator Signs Deal to Purchase Hyatt Regency

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

The 395-room Hyatt hotel building in Downtown Albuquerque is changing ownership. Hotel operator Jim Long and his business partner Chris Smith have signed an agreement to a contract that will close in the next 60 days, reports Albuquerque Business First

The name of the seller and the price of the transaction have not been disclosed, but the 20-story building had an outstanding mortgage of $43 million when it went into foreclosure in 2010. Bank of America subsequently retained ownership. In the last few years, the hotel received investments totaling $6.4 million in room updates, lobby remodelling and a rebranding of the Forque restaurant. “We’ll continue to upgrade it, and make it a premier hotel Downtown,” said Long. “It’s one of the largest hotels in New Mexico, and it has a significant amount of meeting facilities.”

The hotel was built in 1990, and even during the foreclosure process it continued to operate. As soon as the deal closes, it will have the same owner as the tallest building in the state which is next to the Hyatt hotel, the Plaza office tower the duo acquired in 2005. “We’re quite excited to be able to combine the Hyatt property with our existing office building and own the most iconic property in New Mexico,” Long reported. “This is the first time in the buildings’ history that both will be owned by local management,” he added.

Well-known Jim Long is the owner of the Heritage Hotels and Resorts chain, a total of seven hotels across the state, but for Hyatt he has different plans. Together with Smith, they plan to sign a new franchise agreement with Hyatt. Long is also the owner of Southwest Brands, the company that owns the Keva Juice location in the lobby of the Hyatt hotel, as well as the Garduno restaurant chain.

 Photo credits: www.en.wikipedia.org