Just weeks after the grand opening of the first EDITION hotel in Hawaii, Marriott International has announced the acquisition of the historic Berners Hotel in London that will be renovated over the next 18-24 months to become The London EDITION.
The new boutique EDITION brand was conceived by Ian Schrager in partnership with Marriott International. It combines the personal, intimate, individualized and unique lodging experience that Ian Schrager is known for, with the global reach, operational expertise and scale of Marriott.
Marriott acquired the hotel from the previous owner (in administration). Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels marketed the hotel on instruction of the property's administrators.
Michelle Webb, Senior Vice President for Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, said: "This is an excellent result, achieved within 10 weeks of the commencement of marketing. The Berners is a rare freehold, trophy hotel development opportunity with vacant possession. We received unprecedented interest with almost 40 bids, representing over £1.5 billion of equity. Nearly 70% of bids were from overseas parties, demonstrating the continued appeal of London to international investors, who have been frustrated by a lack of quality hotel opportunities."
The hotel has been closed since 2006 and was placed in administration in August 2010. In partnership with Mr. Schrager, Marriott plans to completely redesign and redevelop the property before its grand opening as a new EDITION hotel.
"We are delighted to acquire Berners. It is a perfect property for an EDITION hotel in London. With its great location, beautiful facade, the building is a perfect canvass for creating a true work of art," said Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Operating Officer, Marriott International.
Bringing his original vision, passion and commitment to create something truly special in collaboration with Marriott, Ian Schrager added "I am thrilled to be returning to London for an incredibly special and historical building like Berners Hotel. I am excited and passionate about creating an authentic and original experience for this special EDITION hotel in this gateway city".
Earlier this year, Marriott also acquired the Seville Hotel in Miami Beach to redesign and redevelop into an EDITION hotel. As part of Marriott's longstanding business strategy, the company expects to manage the hotels under long-term agreements after selling them over time to third-party owners. Marriott expects to open the brand's second property, The Istanbul EDITION, in the first half of 2011.
The historic Berners Hotel dates back to 1835. The property originally was comprised of five residential houses and was ultimately converted into a hotel. The layout includes a basement, ground and seven upper floors, and incorporates original architectural features, such as ornate ceilings and a marble-clad reception area.
Source: Marriott International/Jones Lang LaSalle