Geolo launches hospitality finance vertical

Geolo Capital, the private equity investment arm of the John Pritzker family office, announced the launch of a new hospitality finance vertical with the closing of two investment deals, the Alila Marea in Encinitas, Calif., and the Kimpton Buckhead in Atlanta. Following Geolo’s sale of hotel management company Two Roads Hospitality to Hyatt Hotels Corp., the company now is expanding its investment parameters with its new structured finance vertical that will deploy mezzanine and preferred equity investments in leading hospitality projects across both urban gateways and resort destinations.

In partnership with JMI Realty and Fenway Capital Advisors, Geolo recently closed an investment in Alila Marea, a 130-room new-build luxury resort set on a 4.3-acre oceanfront bluff in Encinitas. When the resort opens in 2021, the property will be the second Alila in North America, following Geolo Capital’s Ventana Big Sur, an Alila Resort. Alila Marea will feature three food-and-beverage venues and more than 11,000 square feet of event and meeting facilities.

Additionally, Geolo recently closed an investment in the adaptive reuse of Buckhead’s Sobu Flats, near Buckhead Village, in partnership with Portman Holdings. While the Pritzker and Portman families have a business relationship that extends over 50 years, Geolo’s investment in Sobu Flats marks the inaugural deal for the current generation of both families. Currently an eight-story residential condominium property, the 1950s Atlanta address will undergo a comprehensive renovation to re-emerge as a 216-room lifestyle hotel managed by Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants. Upon completion in 2021, Kimpton Buckhead will feature a garden pool and three food-and-beverage venues: a signature restaurant and bar at ground level, a bohemian courtyard dining and drinking venue, and an indoor/outdoor rooftop lounge.

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Since its inception in 2005, Geolo has created a multibillion-dollar portfolio of projects, including ground-up developments, adaptive-reuse projects and historical restorations within the urban, boutique, resort, multifamily residential and traditional hospitality space. In addition to Alila Marea and Kimpton Buckhead, projects under development include the Thompson Hotel in Washington, D.C., slated to open in January 2020, and a $300 million-dollar-plus mixed-use project in Austin, Texas, that will feature both a Thompson hotel and multifamily residential.

To date, Geolo, in partnership with Wanxiang America Real Estate, has invested more than $700 million in U.S.-based projects.