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$150 Million Restoration Of Landmark Washington Hilton Completed
DC Mayor Adrian Fenty Joins Owners Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds And Lowe Enterprises As Well As Hilton Team To Celebrate Three-Year Journey To Complete Restoration
May 25, 2010
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Nearly three years to the day after announcing plans for a top-to-bottom overhaul of the iconic Washington Hilton near Dupont Circle, property owners Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds and Lowe Enterprises joined with Hilton executives today to mark the completion of a $150 million renovation encompassing all guest rooms, common areas, ballroom complex and exhibition spaces.
CJUF and Lowe acquired the property on May 31, 2007 in what was one of the largest hotel acquisitions in Washington D.C. history. CJUF is a joint venture between Canyon Capital Realty Advisors and basketball legend-turned entrepreneur Earvin "Magic" Johnson. Based in Los Angeles, CJUF is one of the largest private real estate funds focused on the development and repositioning of urban properties in the United States. Los Angeles-based Lowe Enterprises is a leading national real estate investment, development and management firm with extensive experience in the hospitality industry.
"When we purchased the hotel in 2007, we made a commitment to make the necessary investments to restore this hotel and position it for success for decades to come," said CJUF Managing Partner Bobby Turner. "Today, we celebrate the realization of the promise we made to restore this tremendous landmark."
At a news conference today, Johnson joined with Washington D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty and other executives to roll out the red carpet for a new generation of guests to the iconic hotel that has been the site of prestigious gatherings hosted by U.S. presidents, world leaders and other prominent figures since opening in 1965.
"We made a significant commitment to this property and to the entire Washington D.C. community, and we delivered on the promise," Johnson said. "This goes to the very heart of what Canyon Johnson is all about - investing in urban communities and serving as a catalyst for more redevelopment," he said.
Washington Hilton is located in a densely-populated urban neighborhood and employs hundreds of people. Set on five acres on Connecticut Avenue near Dupont Circle, Washington Hilton is in the heart of one of the area's most desirable and distinctive shopping, dining and residential neighborhoods. Its proximity to government and cultural institutions also make it a premier destination for both business and leisure travelers.
"The District applauds Magic Johnson, Canyon-Johnson and Lowe for honoring their commitment to invest in the District of Columbia, despite the dark economic clouds during this three-year renovation," said Washington D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty. "Not only have they breathed new life into the hotel, but they've also secured its role as an economic driver for years to come."
Executives from Lowe Enterprises oversaw the extensive renovation program from major new construction to detailed design features. The hotel's new interiors highlight the property's historic mid-century modern style and distinct features and amenities while introducing fresh, functional and timeless décor.
"Lowe Enterprises has been an owner and investor in D.C. area real estate for decades and we appreciated the rare opportunity to restore and enhance this irreplaceable property. Our team's extensive experience in both commercial and hospitality development and operations was the ideal combination to lead the renovation of Washington Hilton," said Robert J. Lowe, chairman and CEO, Lowe Enterprises.
The restoration of the property included a makeover of all 1,070 guestrooms, meeting rooms and function spaces, the lobby, restaurants and all public areas. All guestrooms have seen wall-to-wall updates including new color schemes, window treatments, bedding, floor and wall coverings, as well as new flat-panel HDTVs and updated bathrooms. The hotel's renewed 110,000 square foot function space now features a new 30,000 square foot multi-purpose addition, named Columbia Hall. The hall has a network of moveable walls, allowing for maximum flexibility to create areas ranging from 900 to 7,800 square feet of social and exhibition space.
Also, the new Heights Executive Meeting Center includes nine meeting rooms designed to accommodate the latest technology, 24-hour food and beverage service and new restroom facilities. An adjacent courtyard offers amazing views of the nation's capital.
Extensive modifications have also been made to the hotel's 36,000 square-foot International Ballroom complex, the site of the only official inaugural ball for President Barack Obama. The ballroom complex was reconfigured to handle multiple groups and events simultaneously, and can now hold up to 4,200 people for a reception, and 2,600 for a seated dinner.
From its location at the original district line separating Washington City and Washington County during the development of the Nation's Capital, to its listing as a place of significance within the Washington Heights neighborhood on the National Register of Historic Places, Washington Hilton has a place in history unrivaled by other D.C. hotels," said Ted Ratcliff, senior vice president, Operations East, Hilton Worldwide."
Steve Sugerman, Canyon -Johnson Urban Funds
+1 310 689 7537
Karen Diehl, Lowe Enterprises
+1 310 473 8090
Danielle Mackey, Washington Hilton
+1 202 729 4133
About Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds
The Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds (CJUF) are the country's largest private real estate funds focused on the development of urban properties in underserved neighborhoods. A joint venture between Canyon Capital Realty Advisors and an entity of Earvin "Magic" Johnson's Magic Johnson Enterprises, the funds were formed to identify, enhance and capture value through the development and redevelopment of real estate in densely populated, ethnically diverse urban communities. Fundamental to Canyon-Johnson's investment thesis is its commitment to a "triple bottom line" philosophy of achieving superior financial results, fostering opportunities within urban communities, and embracing environmental responsibility. With nearly $2 billion in committed equity capital, the funds are positioned to facilitate more than $8 billion in development and revitalization in major U.S. metropolitan areas. For more information, visit www.cjuf.com.
About Lowe Enterprises
Los Angeles-based Lowe Enterprises is a leading national real estate investment, development and management firm. Over the past 38 years, it has developed, acquired or managed more than $16 billion of real estate assets nationwide. Through its investment management affiliate, the firm currently manages in excess of $4 billion in real estate assets on behalf of institutional and investment clients. Lowe's hospitality management division, Destination Hotels & Resorts, is consistently rated one of the top 10 independent hospitality management companies in the United States with more than 30 luxury and upscale hotels, resorts and conference centers under management. In addition to its Los Angeles headquarters, Lowe Enterprises maintains regional offices in Denver, Irvine, San Francisco, Sacramento and Washington, D.C. For further information on Lowe's activities, please visit www.loweenterprises.com
About Hilton Hotels & Resorts
For nearly a century, Hilton Hotels & Resorts has been proudly welcoming the world's travelers. With more than 570 hotels across six continents, Hilton Hotels & Resorts provides the foundation for memorable travel experiences and values every guest who walks through its doors. As the flagship brand of Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts continues to set the standard for hospitality, providing new product innovations and services to meet guests' evolving needs. Hilton Hotels & Resorts is a part of the award-winning Hilton Honors program. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else, free standard Wi-Fi and digital amenities like digital check-in with room selection and Digital Key (select locations), available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton Honors app. Begin your journey at www.hilton.com and learn more about the brand by visiting news.hilton.com or following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.