First Hospitality, Georgetown Company Partner for $1B Lodging Investment

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The Georgetown Company and hotel developer First Hospitality are launching a new platform targeting a $1 billion investment in luxury hospitality properties, Commercial Observer has learned. 

The firms jointly announced the new venture Tuesday morning and said it indicates a bullish belief on leisure travel, despite recent struggles posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. They are planning to acquire hotel properties throughout the U.S. later this year and throughout 2022.

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“This time of displacement during COVID provides an opportunity for investors and developers such as ourselves to find situations and opportunities which provide really great, long-term value,” said Adam Flatto, president and CEO of The Georgetown Company. “We’re taking a longer-term view, and we’re very bullish on travel and desire to travel, and so we’re working with that as our overarching vision.”

Flatto added that the hospitality investments will be focused all over the U.S and not concentrated in certain regions. Manhattan-based Georgetown currently owns properties in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

The new platform is headed by First Hospitality CEO David Duncan and Michael Fishbin, who joined Georgetown in February 2020 just before the pandemic struck to grow the company’s hotel development and acquisition portfolio. He has served as an advisor on more than $30 billion of hospitality transactions through his 35 years in the industry.

TRE bio Fishbin Picture 08 28 15 First Hospitality, Georgetown Company Partner for $1B Lodging Investment
Michael Fishbin joined The Georgetown Company in February 2020 as head of hospitality. Photo: The Georgetown Company

“We’re under contract on our first acquisition and we’re negotiating for several others right now,”  said Fishbin, who previously spent more than 12 years as EY’s global and Americas hospitality leader. “It puts us in a really good, competitive position to both underwrite with our capital base and to be able to close our transactions in a very quick fashion.”

The Georgetown Company also announced it will take a significant ownership interest in First Hospitality alongside its founder, Stephen L. Schwartz, who will continue as chairman. The Schwartz family will maintain long-term strategic control of the 35-year-old company, and First Hospitality’s existing leadership team headed by Duncan will continue to run day-to-day operations.

Andrew Coen can be reached at acoen@commercialobserver.com.