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Boston University Sells the Hotel Commonwealth to Fundamental Advisors and Sage Hospitality

Friday, December 21, 2012
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Sage Hospitality
Sage Hospitality

Boston University announced today that it has sold the Hotel Commonwealth to a partnership between investment firm Fundamental Advisors LP and Sage Hospitality, one of the nation’s largest privately held hotel management and ownership companies. The four-star boutique hotel, which was developed by Boston University, is located at the campus gateway overlooking historic Kenmore Square and within walking distance of Fenway Park.

“The sale of the Hotel Commonwealth represents an important step forward in fulfilling our long-term vision of transforming Kenmore Square into a vibrant destination,” said Gary Nicksa, Senior Vice President of Operations at Boston University. “We look forward to collaborating with Fundamental Advisors and Sage Hospitality, who have a deep interest in the community and a proven track record of working together productively in the hospitality space.”

A five-story hotel featuring 149 rooms, the Hotel Commonwealth is ranked the #1 hotel in Boston by Trip Advisor, the world’s largest travel website, and has received numerous accolades from publications such as Travel & Leisure and U.S. News and World Report. In addition to the hotel, the partnership between Fundamental Advisors and Sage Hospitality is also acquiring adjoining retail space totaling nearly 30,000 square feet, the tenants of which include two award-winning restaurants, Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks and Island Creek Oyster Bar, and a craft cocktail bar, The Hawthorne. The celebrated restaurants and bar have received top billing from Boston magazine for best “Brasserie” and “Late-Night Dining” restaurant (Eastern Standard), top “Seafood-Upscale” restaurant (Island Creek Oyster Bar), and best “Upscale Bar” (The Hawthorne). These entities will continue to operate under the expert guidance of restaurateur Garrett Harker, executive chef Jeremy Sewall, and mixologist Jackson Cannon.

In addition to the prominent retail space and existing hotel structure, the sale price of $79 million includes a significant acquisition of developable land. All parties to the transaction have agreed to work cooperatively with regard to the undeveloped land to continue the urban revitalization efforts in the area.

“We are pleased to continue our partnership with Sage Hospitality through this important project,” said Laurence Gottlieb, Chief Executive Officer of Fundamental Advisors. “As a graduate of Boston University, I am fully aware of the unique vitality of the Hotel Commonwealth and Kenmore Square, and we look forward to joining such a dynamic community.”

"Sage is very excited for the addition of the Hotel Commonwealth to our portfolio as part of an aggressive growth strategy for our company," said Walter Isenberg, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sage Hospitality. "We look forward to continuing the success of the hotel, while applying our vast experience in driving revenue and results."

Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels represented Boston University on the sale of the Hotel Commonwealth and secured debt financing for the new owner.

About The Hotel Commonwealth
As the elegant cornerstone of Boston’s historic Kenmore Square, Hotel Commonwealth is an independent, luxury boutique hotel featuring 149 guest rooms. With custom-designed furniture and Frette Linens, the property’s guest rooms echo a classic European style of gracious hospitality and understated elegance. In the spring of 2010, the hotel opened its first specialty suite, the Luxury Baseball Suite, a nostalgic look back at America’s favorite pastime. Since opening its doors in 2003, the property has garnered multiple prestigious accolades, including Travel Leisure’s World's Best Awards list of Top Large City Hotels (2010-2012) and U.S. News and World Report’s Best Hotels in the USA (2011). Hotel Commonwealth is currently ranked the #1 Hotel in Boston and the #6 Hotel in the USA on Tripadvisor.com. www.hotelcommonwealth.com.

About Fundamental Advisors
Fundamental Advisors was formed in July 2007 to invest in special situations related to the municipal bond market, seeking to enhance assets in such sectors as hospitality, senior care, affordable housing, student housing and infrastructure.

About Sage Hospitality
Founded in 1984, Sage Hospitality has strategically grown into one of the largest privately held hotel management and ownership companies in the nation operating a variety of large, full-service hotels as well as extended stay and select-service properties. Sage Hospitality's comprehensive portfolio includes major international brands such as Marriott, Sheraton, Renaissance, Hilton and Westin, as well as independent boutique hotels. Sage Hospitality has further differentiated with the creation of the Sage Restaurant Group, which has created and is managing 10 unique restaurant concepts including the acclaimed Mercat a la Planxa in Chicago.

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