Wheelock Street Capital Buys New West Palm Hotel for $106M

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In large part due to the corporate migration to West Palm Beach, private real estate investment firm Wheelock Street Capital has purchased The Ben hotel for $106.4 million.

Located at 251 N Narcissus Avenue, the Marriott-branded establishment sits between 1st and 2st streets just west of the N Flagler Drive and the Intracoastal Waterway. The 208-room hotel was completed in 2020, the year COVID-19 hit and decimated the hospitality industry. 

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The industry has made a comeback, with average room rates now higher than pre-pandemic levels, according to data from STR. A nightly stay at The Ben now costs approximately $350.

Developer Concord Hospitality bought the half-acre parcel for $4 million and secured a $42 million construction loan from Florida Community Bank in 2018, property records show. Concord will continue to manage the hotel under Wheelock Street’s ownership.

The real estate investment firm scored a $101.1 million acquisition loan from Wells Fargo, property records indicate. The sale equates to $509,615 a room and marks Wheelock Street’s first hotel acquisition. 

“West Palm Beach is in the midst of a development and investment renaissance,” Wheelock Street’s statement notes. “A number of high-quality new tenants, including Goldman Sachs, Point72 Asset Management… have made announcements regarding establishing a meaningful presence in the market.”
Based in Greenwich, Conn., Wheelock Street is run by Rick Kleeman and Jonathan Paul, having raised over $4 billion from investors since 2008. Adjacent to The Ben, Wheelock Street is developing a 153,000-square-foot office building. Earlier this summer, it sold a Boca Raton multifamily rental property, which it co-owned, for a record $230 million.