The purchase of the long-shuttered Normandie Hotel by the Texas-based Interra Capital Group represents the company’s first hotel property acquisition, said an executive close to the transaction.
Interra, which acquired the Normandie from its owner, New York-based Capmark Finance Inc., plans to invest $40 million to turn the art deco icon into a boutique hotel, said Hector Aponte, business director of NAI Puerto Rico, a commercial real estate brokerage firm and one of two companies handling the sale of the property. The other firm was CBRE, a commercial real estate service firm.
Aponte said Interra’s portfolio of real estate properties does not include any hotels, making the 173-room Normandie its first hotel acquisition. There is strong interest by many hotel chains in operating the property, he said.
“Multiple brands including W Hotels, Inter-Continental and Aloft have expressed strong interest in branding the property and have reviewed the hotel,” states the CBRE Marketplace listing information on the Normandie. According to Aponte, the availability of Puerto Rico government incentives is one of the factors contributing to this flurry of interest.
Aponte could not say when the Normandie, shuttered since 2009, will reopen for business as it will depend on such factors as the permitting process, securing incentives and construction. However, he expects the hostelry to be operational by 2015.
Interra has offices in Houston, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; and New York city.
La Fortaleza is expected to make an announcement on the property’s future in coming weeks, this media outlet learned.