KEVIN MARTIN, TODD PICKUP,
JOE MOODY, RICK WEINER,
EAGLE FOUR PARTNERS
Locally based private equity group of investors who’ve become the largest owner of hotel and resort properties in Newport Beach. Founded in 1996, firm has participated as the lead equity investor in more than $2 billion of real estate transactions.
THEN: Built collection of Newport Beach assets including Balboa Bay Resort & Club and Newport Beach Country Club, as well as the nearby Paséa Hotel & Spa in Huntington Beach.
NOW: Newport Center focus. Team was part of the largest hotel sale in the state in 2020 when it and other investors paid $216 million for the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa near Fashion Island. That spot is being revamped as a new Marriott-branded project called Vea Newport Beach. In February, completed purchase of another nearby hotel property, the currently shuttered Fashion Island Hotel. Paid Irvine Co. $143.6 million for the 295-room hotel.
FUTURE: Fashion Island Hotel to open next year as a Pendry Hotels & Resorts, a growing luxury boutique hotel line from Irvine-based Montage International, following spots in West Hollywood and San Diego. Ritz-Carlton residences being added to Vea.
IN THEIR WORDS: “We are dedicated to continuously investing in Newport Beach and elevating the hospitality experience of our neighbors and guests,” said Kevin Martin, following the purchase of the future Pendry.
SUNSTONE HOTEL INVESTORS
Heads $2.6B-valued hotel-focused REIT that’s reinvented itself as owner of high-end resort properties, which it dubs “long-term relevant real estate.” Named to top spot in March after serving as CFO. Sunstone has spent nearly $700 million since April 2021 on a trio of high-profile purchases while disposing of properties in other markets like Chicago.
THEN: Sunstone went nearly four years without an acquisition, slimming down portfolio to less than 20 holdings, about half what it owned at the end of 2014.
NOW: In late 2021, paid nearly $175 million to buy a recently built Four Seasons in Napa Valley, an 85-room resort that opened a month ago near Mount Saint Helena. That came a few months after spending $265 million for another recently built hotel in Northern California, the 130-room Montage Healdsburg in Sonoma County.
This month announced plans to buy the Confidante Miami Beach hotel, a 239-unit property on 1.5 acres along a busy stretch of upscale hotels along the water in Miami Beach. Sunstone is paying $232 million, or $684,000 per key, for the hotel. Will spend another $60 million on upgrades and rebranding it to the Andaz Miami Beach, a Hyatt brand.
FUTURE: “Upon completion of the planned renovation, we will have transformed the earnings potential of the hotel and we will own a premier Miami Beach luxury resort at a highly attractive all-in basis in a resilient, supply-constrained market that has continued to demonstrate meaningful rate growth,” Giglia said.
BOARDWALK INVESTMENTS GROUP
Until late last year, Jabara was the largest private owner of wireless infrastructure in the U.S. Now, the prominent Orange County telecom exec is the largest owner of commercial real estate in the chic Napa Valley city of Yountville, and adding to his commercial real estate portfolio in San Diego.
THEN: Last October sold Newport Beach’s Mobilitie, the telecommunications infrastructure company he founded and chaired, in a deal news reports pegged around $1.7 billion. At time of sale, told the Business Journal he’d be putting proceeds into CRE holdings, which he runs under the Boardwalk Investments umbrella.
NOW: Late last year bought the The Estate Yountville, a 22-acre “village-within-a-village” collection of upscale hotels, restaurants, wedding facilities, shops, meeting space, a vineyard and other facilities that he bought late last year in the heart of wine country. Reports and brokerage data indicates Jabara paid close to $360 million for The Estate, which he calls “the gem of Napa Valley.” Followed that deal up with a pair of San Diego deals, including the nearly $200 million buy of Flower Hill Promenade, a 165,000-square-foot open-air center in the town of Del Mar just off the San Diego (5) Freeway. The North County property, anchored by a Whole Foods, is “the greatest shopping center in all of San Diego,” Jabara said.
FUTURE: Upgrades underway at Yountville property, and residential development could be added to Flower Hill site.
IN THEIR WORDS: “I really like the [retail] real estate space post-COVID.”
R.D. OLSON DEVELOPMENT
R.D. OLSON CONSTRUCTION
California’s dominant hotel developer for over a decade. Since 2008, company has completed about 20 projects with nearly 3,000 rooms. Those projects have a value topping $2 billion.
THEN: None of his properties closed during the pandemic, though some operated with limited capacity. As travelers returned last summer, he said the biggest challenge is staffing up the properties. “Leisure travel is out in force, like never before,” Olson, who was named the Business Journal’s Businessperson of the Year in 2019 following the opening of the Lido House boutique hotel in Newport Beach, as well as the Marriott Irvine Spectrum, said last year.
NOW: Said last year he’s on the hunt for new hotel opportunities after selling a trio of properties to locally based Dauntless Capital Partners. The three sales, two in Maui and one in Pasadena, sold for a combined $290 million, sources told the Business Journal.
FUTURE: Along with a pair of hotels in the works at the revitalized Dana Point Harbor, he’s planning his first development in Arizona, at an 11-acre site along the river in Sedona. It’ll be a five-star, bungalow-style retreat for leisure travelers, he said. A brand hasn’t been announced yet.
IN THEIR WORDS: “It’s an unequal market,” he says, noting challenging times for hotels catering to business travel, in central business districts, while the coastal leisure market thrives. “What matters most is the market and the product.”