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HFF announces $18.72M construction financing for Houston Astros’ hotel in West Palm Beach, Florida

12/12/2017

MIAMI, FL – December 12, 2017 – Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P. (HFF) announces the $18.72 million construction and redevelopment financing for a 191-room, upscale, select-service hotel that will serve as a hotel for the public as well as for the 2017 World Champion Houston Astros players, staff and family near the Astros’ Spring Training facility in West Palm Beach, Florida.

The HFF team worked on behalf of the borrower, a partnership between Crane Capital Group, Inc. and Westmont Hospitality Group, to place the three-year, fixed-rate loan with Woodforest National Bank®.  Loan proceeds will be used to convert an office tower into the select-service hotel.  Westmont Hospitality Group will manage the hotel, which is expected to open mid-year 2018.

The borrower acquired the vacant Forum Office tower at 1675 Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard in early 2017.  The property is located at the corner of Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard and Congress Avenue half a mile east of Interstate 95 and five miles from the new $150 million, state-of-the-art, fan-friendly Houston Astros Spring Training facility, The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, which is also the spring training facility for the Washington Nationals.  Additionally, the hotel is adjacent to the Palm Beach Outlets Mall and proximate to downtown and beaches.  The redeveloped 10-story hotel will feature a complete amenity package, including a restaurant, pool and gym.

The HFF debt placement team included senior director Scott Wadler and analyst Wesley Hightower.

“Jim Crane and the entire Houston Astros organization are looking forward to deepening our involvement in West Palm Beach,” said Astros SVP and general counsel Giles Kibbe.  “After a successful inaugural season at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, we have been excited to explore new opportunities in the area. This new hotel will bring the excitement of the 2017 World Series Championship to Florida, serve as an excellent home for our players and staff during spring training, and will be enjoyed by the public throughout the year.”

About Crane Capital Group, Inc.
Crane Capital Group, Inc. was founded in 2006 and is a successful investment management company led by Jim Crane, CEO and chairman of Crane Worldwide and the Houston Astros.   Crane Capital is part of a portfolio of companies owned by Jim Crane with assets compromised of both BtoB and BtoC investments.  Crane Capital Group, Inc. both invests and provides investment advisory services across a broad number of industries primarily focused on service-based companies.

About Houston Astros
The 2017 World Champion Houston Astros have been Houston’s hometown baseball team since 1962, when the Colt .45s first took the field in Colt Stadium.  Three years later, the team became the Houston Astros, and are entering their 57th season in Major League Baseball, their first as World Series Champions.  In 2013, the Astros moved to the American League West Division, becoming the first franchise to move from the National League to the American League.  For 81 regular season games a year, the Astros can be found on their home field at Minute Maid Park, where families and friends come together to enjoy America’s favorite pastime in one of baseball’s most comfortable and fan-friendly ballparks.  In addition to striving for success on the field, the Astros take pride in their local community and are committed to making Houston a better place by honoring our nation’s military, combatting homelessness, aiding in the fight against cancer and supporting youth baseball and softball through the Astros Foundation’s cornerstone programs.  For more information on the Astros, please visit astros.com.

About Westmont Hospitality Group
Westmont Hospitality Group was founded in 1975. What started with a single hotel in North America, has grown to become one of the largest privately-held hospitality organizations in the world.

Throughout the years, Westmont has had an ownership interest in and operated over 1,100 hotels. Currently this stands at over 500 hotels across three continents. Westmont has formed strategic alliances with many of the world's largest hotel brands. These include Fairmont, InterContinental Hotels Group, Hilton, Accor, Starwood, Wyndham, Choice Hotels, Renaissance, Radisson and Best Western.  The company is one of the largest franchisees and co-owners of IHG hotels and Hilton hotels worldwide.  Westmont has a very diversified portfolio ranging from budget and aparthotels to mid-market business and large conference hotels to boutique hotels and luxury resorts.  Visit whg.com for more information.

About Woodforest National Bank® 
For over 35 years Woodforest National Bank® has successfully stood among the strongest community banks in the nation, proudly offering unsurpassed quality customer service since 1980. Woodforest offers both consumer and business products and services.  For more information, visit woodforest.com.

About HFF
HFF and its affiliates operate out of 25 offices and are a leading provider of commercial real estate and capital markets services to the global commercial real estate industry.  HFF, together with its affiliates, offers clients a fully integrated capital markets platform including debt placement, investment advisory, equity placement, funds marketing, M&A and corporate advisory, loan sales and loan servicing.  HFF, HFF Real Estate Limited, HFF Securities L.P. and HFF Securities Limited are owned by HFF, Inc. (NYSE: HF).  For more information, please visit hfflp.com or follow HFF on Twitter @HFF.

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