Tourism/Transportation

Paulson & Co. buys Condado Vanderbilt, La Concha duo

La Concha Renaissance Hotel and Tower is part of the purchase finalized Monday. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual) La Concha Renaissance Hotel and Tower is part of the purchase finalized Monday. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

Paulson & Co. Inc., a New York-based investment firm, announced Monday it has acquired a majority interest in the Condado Vanderbilt and La Concha Renaissance Hotel and Tower, and the accompanying Condado Vanderbilt condominium towers in San Juan, for $260 million, including costs to complete construction of the Vanderbilt.

The investment was made in partnership with hotel operator International Hospitality Enterprises, which less than two weeks ago told this media outlet the transaction had taken them “by surprise.”

The two oceanfront resorts are located in the heart of the Condado district in San Juan and comprise a total of 802 hotel rooms. High-end retail stores, numerous restaurants and luxury condominium developments, characterize the immediate surroundings. The two resorts are separated by approximately 200 feet via the La Ventana al Mar public park.

Both properties have their main entrances along Ashford Avenue, providing unparalleled access to Old San Juan, extensive shopping, cruise ship piers, the new Puerto Rico Convention Center and the Hato Rey financial district. In addition, the Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport is only six miles away.

“These two properties are at the epicenter of luxury in San Juan. When completed, the oceanfront, 5- star Vanderbilt will be the most luxurious hotel in San Juan and a global destination spot. We believe the Puerto Rican economy is at the cusp of recovery and both these hotels will benefit from future growth in Puerto Rico,” said John Paulson, president of Paulson & Co.

“We are excited to partner with Paulson & Co. and look forward to a prosperous relationship and to the successful completion of the Condado Vanderbilt,” said Hugh Andrews, Founder and CEO of IHE.

Upon completion, the Condado Vanderbilt will contain 319 spacious hotel rooms, including 108 suites, three food and beverage outlets, an 8,000 square foot spa and fitness center, 17,000 square feet of meeting space (30,000 with outdoor space), two pool areas and 370 parking spaces.

The two resorts are separated by approximately 200 feet via the La Ventana al Mar public park. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual) The two resorts are separated by approximately 200 feet via the La Ventana al Mar public park. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

“We look forward to working with Paulson to continue the successful development of these properties and the growth of downtown San Juan,” said Economic Development and Commerce Secretary Alberto Bacó, adding the agency had worked closely with Paulson & Co. to facilitate the purchase.

Last October, NIMB reported that Caribbean Property Group was negotiating to buy the Condado Duo. But the negotiations fell through. A source explained that Paulson & Co. stepped in when CPG failed to get an extension on its offer to buy the complex.

“The announcement adds to the building momentum behind economic development efforts in Puerto Rico. Investors like John Paulson are increasingly looking to Puerto Rico for investment opportunities, attracted by a business-friendly economic climate, a talented workforce and a good quality of life,” Bacó added. “There is more good news to come.”

La Concha, a Renaissance Resort, currently contains 483 hotel keys, including 225 suites, 30,000 square feet of meeting space, a 17,000 square foot casino, five food and beverage outlets, three pools, generous common areas and 568 parking spaces.

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