$31 Million Goes to Hotel Granduca

HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – JLL Capital Markets announced that it arranged $30.6 million in financing for the 122-room Hotel Granduca in Uptown Houston.

JLL represented the borrower, Transwestern Hospitality Group, and secured the five-year, floating-rate loan from Prime Finance. 

The hotel, which opened in 2006, was developed by Giorgio Borlenghi, a prolific developer who moved to Houston from Milano, Italy in 1978  and founded the Interfin company. His firm develop a number of high-rise properties just west of Loop 610 and north of Westheimer Road in an upscale district that became known as Uptown Houston.

Built in 2006, the six-story hotel sits on 3.57 acres of land and features an Italian-inspired design. Its centerpiece is a landscaped interior courtyard with a pool, garden, and seating area.

The ground floor of the building will undergo renovations in the second half of 2024. The lobby, breakfast area, bar, seating areas and event space will be completely redesigned, and the gym will be relocated. The lobby will be transformed with new materials and lighting to create a sense of luxury and comfort. The tearoom will be turned into a salon for social and cultural events, and a larger bar will be added adjacent to the salon.

When Houston-based Transwestern announced the acquisition last month, the company said Borlenghi will remain as a “stakeholder” in the Hotel Granduca, which sits on 3.5 acres at 1080 Uptown Park Boulevard.

“Our good friend, Giorgio Borlenghi, as master developer of Uptown, designed and built this iconic hotel some 17 years ago with his signature quality standards and remarkable eye for detail,” Transwestern Chairman Robert Duncan, said last month.

For the financing, he JLL Capital Markets team was led by Senior Director Jillian Mariutti and Managing Director Mark Fisher.

Westmont Hospitality Group has been selected to operate the hotel, which had been named to Conde Nast’s Gold List. It was also noted in Conde Nast’s Readers’ Choice “Top 15 Hotels in Texas,” and received Forbes’ Four Star rating.

Granduca’s Austin Adventure

Interfin had developed a second Granduca hotel, which opened in Austin in 2015. And it was soon reporting an average rate of $340 a night – one of the top four hotels in Texas.

At that time, Borlenghi was entertaining ambitions of taking the Granduca brand across the nation.

“We believe in Texas – and outside of Texas –  there are quite a number of cities that would be perfect locations for something like this,” Giorgio Borlenghi told Realty News Report in 2014. “Our hope and our goal is to start expanding in other markets because it’s a great concept and it works.”

However that was before Covid devastated the hotel industry. By 2020, Downtown Austin hoteliers saw RevPAR (revenue per average room) plummet to a phenomenal low of $3.62 a night.

So at the end of 2020, Borlenghi sold the 194-room Hotel Granduca Austin to the Pacific Hotel Group of California.

Feb. 16,  2024 Realty News Report Copyright 2024


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Image: JLL

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