The Huntington Hotel Group has purchased a 5.7-acre parcel of land in Agoura Hills with plans to build two limited-service hotels on the site totaling 225 rooms.
LOS ANGELES—The Huntington Hotel Group has purchased a 5.7-acre parcel of land in Agoura Hills with plans to build two limited-service hotels on the site totaling 225 rooms. There is a tremendous demand for limited-service hotels in the Ventura County market, which has a hotel occupancy rate of 77%, and several hotel developers were interested in the property.
“There is quite a bit of demand right now along the 101 corridor between Calabasas and into Ventura County for limited-service type hotels, like Marriott Courtyards and Hilton Garden Inns,” John Battle, a principal at Lee & Associates LA North/Ventura office, tells GlobeSt.com. “Every time they build one, it seems to be successful, so they continue to build. They generally need two to three acres, depending on the size; they generally have 140 rooms and they are all usually the same type of format. It is a very good model, and it works well in areas like this where there is a good employment base and lots of rooftops where people have visitors over the weekend that need to stay nearby.” Battle represented the buyer and seller in the transaction, along with principals Mike Tingus and Grant Fulkerson.
Noting the high demand for limited-service hotels, the sales team shopped the property to hotel developers specifically, executing a targeted marketing plan rather than a wide-scale marketing plan, and received ample interest. “We basically took it to the people that we knew would have interest and who would be willing to meet us on pricing that was fair,” says Battle. “Because of our relationships, we know who the
developers are and we knew who would like to be there.”
The seller, Selleck Development Group, has owned the property for 20 years, and never persued potential uses for it. Because it sat vacant for so long, the site, which is not entitled, has gotten numerous cold calls from developers. Tingus says that they received calls from a lot of the developers that could never use the property, like multifamily developers. The city of Agoura Hills has a lengthy approvals process, and was looking for a development that would generate tax revenue, explains Tingus, making a hotel the perfect fit.
In general, there is almost no available raw land in the Ventura and Calabasas market. “We have sold a bunch of the land in the entire marketplace over the last four-to-five years,” Tingus tells GlobeSt.com. “There is only a handful of land parcels larger than an acre left. There are only so many uses that this land will allow.” The buyer purchased the site for $6.5 million, and has not yet finalized construction plans.