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Queensgate Investments Acquires Freehand Hotels for $400M

The Freehand portfolio includes four hotels in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago. Pictured is the property in Manhattan's Flatiron District.

NEW YORK CITY, LOS ANGELES, MIAMI AND CHICAGO — Queensgate Investments has acquired Freehand Hotels from a seller consortium including The Yucaipa Cos. and Sydell Group for approximately $400 million.

Freehand is a lifestyle hotel brand, owner and operator of hotel assets with 922 rooms across four hotels in Manhattan’s Flatiron District, downtown Los Angeles, Miami Beach and River North Chicago. The brand advertises itself as combining the social culture of a hostel with top-shelf design, food and beverage. Included in the acquisition is the Broken Shaker bar concept that operates within the hotels.

Generator, a hostel business that Queensgate acquired in 2017, will manage Freehand. Generator seeks to appeal to millennial customers, focusing on capital city addresses, design-led interiors and shared social spaces.

“The acquisition of Freehand is of strategic importance to Generator, and the combined portfolio represents one of the largest asset-rich lifestyle hospitality platforms globally with 19 hotels in 17 gateway cities,” says Puneet Kanuga, investment director at Queensgate. “There is now a significant push to grow the presence of both Freehand and Generator across the United Kingdom and Europe, with opportunities currently being evaluated in London, Edinburgh, Milan, Amsterdam and other gateway European cities.”

London-based Queensgate is a partnership between the Kow Family, Alvarium Investments and Peterson Group.

Mark Elliott, Rudy Reudelhuber and Jay Marrow of Hodges Ward Elliott represented the seller in the transaction.

— Kristin Hiller

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