LaSalle Buys Viceroy Santa Monica Hotel for $80M

Upscale and luxury full-service hotel operator LaSalle Hotel Properties (NYSE:LHO) has snatched the leasehold interest in the Viceroy Santa Monica for $80.1 million.

Located on Ocean Avenue a block from the beach in Santa Monica, Calif., the urban, full-service hotel boasts 162 rooms and sits in a pristine area surrounded by beaches, leisure attractions and Main Street shopping.

The property, purchased in an all-cash transaction, will continue to be managed by Viceroy Hotel Group. LaSalle said it expects to book total transaction expenses related to the hotel of $500,000 during the first-quarter of 2011.

"We are very excited about the purchase of the Viceroy Santa Monica,” said Michael Barnello, chief executive of LaSalle Hotel, which is headquartered in Bethesda, Md. “This extraordinary asset features a premium location, top-notch accommodations and it benefits from multiple demand generators. Furthermore, we believe the hotel’s performance will benefit from the implementation of our asset management best-practices.”

The hotel originally opened as the Pacific Shares Hotel in 1967, then reopened in 2002 as the Viceroy following a $20.3 million renovation. The hotel hit the list of 100 best hotels by Travel + Leisure.

In addition to its rooms and 18 suites, the hotel features two food and beverage outlets, including the hotel restaurant Whist and the Cameo Bar, as well as two outdoor heated pools and a fitness center. The hotel also has nearly 2,000 square feet of meeting and function space.

The hotel is subject to a ground lease with the City of Santa Monica, which expires on Sept. 25, 2065. Companies with offices in Santa Monica include Apple (NYSE:AAPL), Microsoft (NYSE:MSFT), Symantec (NYSE:SMYC) and Blackstone (NYSE:BX), among others.