LONGWING AND OXFORD LODGING BUY SAN FRANCISCO LANDMARK SIR FRANCIS DRAKE HOTEL
Renowned 1928 Property at Union Square
Will Undergo $20-million Renovation Celebrated Beefeater Doormen and Scala’s Bistro to Remain
SAN FRANCISCO (June 30, 2005) – The 417-room Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco, the Union Square landmark built in 1928 to mirror the spirit of a proud new city rebounding from the great earthquake and fire, has been purchased by Sir Francis Drake, LLC – a joint venture between Oxford Lodging Advisory & Investment Group, LLC, of San Francisco and Longwing Real Estate Ventures, LLC, a member of the Dubai Investment Group – from San Francisco-based Sir Francis Drake Hotel Associates, L.P., led by Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group, LLC.
The new owners plan a $20-million renovation intended to restore the property to its original “classic San Francisco” glory reflecting the European Renaissance of its namesake English explorer. Plans call for the hotel’s celebrated English beefeater doormen and Scala’s Bistro to remain. Kimpton will continue to manage the renovated property.
The announcement was made today by Robert D. Kline, president of Oxford Lodging Advisory & Investment Group, LLC. Located at the heart of the Union Squaredistrict on the Powell Street Cable Car lines, the Sir Francis Drake Hotel was named for the legendary explorer who in 1579 narrowly missed discovering San Francisco Bay and instead founded Drake’s Bay 28 miles to the north. The property was designed in the rich European style of Drake’s era with crystal chandeliers, a grand marble staircase, vaulted gold-leaf-embossed ceilings and bas-relief detail.
The hotel’s prime location puts it steps from Moscone Convention Center, the Financial District, Nob Hill, Chinatown, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), and the Theatre District, as well as world-class shopping and dining. Guests are within a block of Neiman Marcus, Macy's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany & Co, Gucci, Prada, Giorgio Armani, Coach, Betsy Johnson, Louis Vuitton, North Face, Niketown and the flagship Levi's.
A $20-million, property-wide renovation encompassing all guestrooms, guest bathrooms and targeted public areas will begin immediately and is due for completion by late 2006. Renovation highlights include a completely new guestroom décor featuring the acclaimed new Kimpton beds, a full rehabilitation of the guest bathrooms, new HVAC systems, new meeting space décor and a new state-of-the-art fitness center. The hotel will remain open throughout the renovation process.
The new owners plan to leverage the hotel’s rich history and name awareness with domestic and international travelers, and explore expansion of the dining room and bar facilities of the popular onsite Scala’s Bistro, serving Italian and French regional cuisine.
“Oxford Lodging has confidence in Kimpton’s ability to offer an upscale and cutting-edge experience to the customer, and we look forward to building upon the extensive work Kimpton has done to restore this legendary property to its classic San Francisco glory,” said Kline. “The Sir Francis Drake has an extraordinary, 77-year story to tell, and we want to capitalize on this unique legacy and strong ties to the city to create a new landmark for the Union Square District. Since both Oxford Lodging and Kimpton Hotels are based in San Francisco, you might say we take a special interest in this property."
Kimpton has owned the Sir Francis Drake Hotel since 1994 and will remain as manager of the property. “Kimpton looks forward to embarking on a longstanding mutually rewarding relationship with Oxford Lodging,” explained Mike Depatie, CEO of Kimpton Real Estate. “They clearly recognize what can be achieved with the renaissance of the Sir Francis Drake and we are confident that Oxford’s support and expertise will ensure our combined success.”
“We and our partners at Oxford Lodging are patient and disciplined investors. It’s not often that such a blend of location, architecture, features and sense of history and civic pride comes together in a single downtown property, and we were delighted to be able to move decisively together to acquire it," said Vincent Pica, CEO of Longwing.
Catering to the small to mid-size meeting market, the Sir Francis Drake Hotel offers 20,000 square feet of flexible meeting, conference, and banquet space. Other hotel highlights include Café Espresso and Harry Denton’s Starlight Room nightclub on the hotel’s 21st floor.
about Kimpton Hotels San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants is a unique collection of boutique hotels coupled with chef-driven, high profile restaurants. Founded in 1981, all Kimpton Hotels are thoughtfully appointed and managed to help guests maintain and enrich their lifestyles on the road, in addition to being individually designed to reflect the energy, personality, and pulse of its distinct location, history, and architectural style. Featuring highly personalized guest services, comforting in-room amenities, and one-of-a-kind specialty rooms and suites, Kimpton Hotels provide travelers with welcoming atmospheres that embrace its signature elements of care, comfort, style, flavor, and fun. Kimpton takes pride in its social responsibility, supporting select like-minded partners and is a hospitality industry leader in ecological practices. Kimpton currently operates 39 boutique hotels with restaurants throughout the United States and Canada. This includes the recently opened Onyx Hotel in Boston, 70 Park Avenue Hotel in New York City, and the Hotel Solamar in San Diego. Palomar hotels are currently under development in Dallas and Arlington, Virginia, and additional projects are underway in South Beach and the Washington, D.C. area. For more information, please visit www.kimptonhotels.com or call 1-800-KIMPTON.
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