October 2015 – Laurus acquires centrally located hotel with plans to continue property repositioning and amplify meetings, weddings and event business
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Aug. 25, 2015)— Laurus Corporation has acquired the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel – Green Tree in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, expanding the Los Angeles-based real estate investment and development firm’s already robust hospitality platform. The Laurus team plans to leverage a recent multi-million-dollar top-to-bottom makeover of the 460-room property and invest an additional $7 million to improve customer experience and position the hotel as the go-to location for business meetings, conferences and weddings in the Greater Pittsburgh area.
Ideally located between the Pittsburgh International Airport and Downtown, the DoubleTree Green Tree draws guests and clients from across a region experiencing tremendous growth. As the largest Pittsburgh hotel within the Hilton family of brands, the Doubletree Green Tree holds a prominent position as an anchor hotel for city-wide conventions and events. The property boasts nearly 40,000 square feet of flexible, multi-functional meeting space – one of the largest concentrations of space in the region – that can be segmented to enable multiple meetings to take place concurrently. With its unique 13,000 square-foot indoor athletic training center, the hotel is highly sought after by professional and college sports teams participating in regional events.
“Based on the sheer strength of the local employment market, which draws hundreds of thousands of business travelers to the area every year, our team had flagged Pittsburgh as an absolutely essential region for Laurus to delve into in 2015,” said Jean Paul Szita, President of Laurus Corporation. “After carefully examining the inventory in the market, we are tremendously pleased with our purchase of the DoubleTree Green Tree. Extremely well-located, we believe our investors will agree there is incredible upside potential for this recently renovated and high quality property that expertly serves the true drivers of the hospitality market – corporate business, conferences and weddings .”
A recent $20 million renovation touched nearly all areas of the hotel, including new top-quality finishes throughout; the addition of meeting space with state-of-the art lighting, Wi-Fi and audio visual capabilities; a high-energy, inviting lobby with soothing, natural-colored finishes that complement the hotel’s brick exterior; as well as updated guestrooms, pool and fitness center and building roofs. Guest hallways now feature enhanced wall coverings with tasteful modern artwork in addition to durable carpets and beautiful eye-catching light fixtures.
Beginning immediately, Laurus will focus on further improving guest services by enhancing operations at the hotel, delivering a top-tier culinary experience across the hotel’s existing restaurants and introducing the all-new Asado Grill restaurant, which the team has included in several of their hotels across the country. Laurus has also tapped a new management team – TPG Hospitality – to further elevate the overall guest experience.
Pittsburgh boasts a vibrant economy that outperforms both the United States as a whole and several key benchmark cities. The region has built on its historic strengths in advanced manufacturing, but over the past twenty years has seen its emergence as a key center for financial and business services, healthcare and life sciences, education and information, and communications technology, while also gaining recognition as a new center of American energy. As the largest city in the Marcellus Shale region, Pittsburgh has also emerged as a center of activity for natural gas production, a sector that is expected to continue expanding rapidly in the years to come.
The City of Pittsburgh is located within 500 miles of more than half of the United States population, and is continuing to grow rapidly. The Port of Pittsburgh is the second busiest inland port in the United States and Pittsburgh’s health services sector employs more than 140,000 people. Major companies within the industry include Bayer HealthCare, United Healthcare and The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, a $10 billion global enterprise that is the region’s largest employer with more than 43,000 full-time employees. From an academic standpoint, the region is well known for its prominent, leading-edge research institutions including the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, and Duquesne University. As a result, Pittsburgh is pegged as the sixth-best area for U.S. job growth.
The hotel is primed to capitalize on the growing tourism and the long-standing sports markets within the Greater Pittsburgh area. The nearby David L. Lawrence Convention Center attracts a series of high-profile events throughout the year, including the USA Gymnastics Championships and the National Congress & Trade Show. The hotel’s central location also makes it an ideal base for visitors to explore the region’s historic landmarks, including more than 40 cultural attractions and museums, and it continues to attract the professional, collegiate and amateur sports teams that visit the Greentree SportsPlex, a large multi-sport fitness and training facility located less than 500 feet from the DoubleTree.
DoubleTree Green Tree is Laurus’ second acquisition in the Pittsburgh area. The team acquired an office building at 501 Technology Drive in 2012
About Laurus Corporation
Laurus Corporation is a real estate investment and development company that specializes in hotels and resorts, office buildings, multifamily and mixed-use properties. With more than $1 billion in assets under management, Laurus employs an entrepreneurial investment strategy designed to consistently achieve attractive risk-adjusted returns by creating capital appreciation opportunities through repositioning, restructuring, re-development and intensive post acquisition asset management. The company was founded in 1999 by Andres and Jean Paul Szita, and is affiliated with Ethika Investments, LLC, a real estate private equity firm.