Henley Investments, a leading private equity real estate firm based in the UK and the US, has announced the acquisition of their fourth boutique hotel in Miami in partnership with Life House, the venture-backed, technology-enabled hotel management company. The largest US hotel acquisition to-date by Henley with a total project capitalization in excess of $40M (including acquisition and renovation cost), this deal signals Life House’s expansion into managing bigger hotels where its proprietary approach to hotel operations will continue to add significant value to both the underlying real estate and the hotel guest experience.
“We are very pleased with Life House’s performance over the past 12-16 months throughout our existing Miami portfolio, whereby their advanced platform has enabled extremely efficient and profitable hotel operations,” said Ian Rickwood, CEO of Henley. “We are actively seeking opportunities to acquire additional hotels in partnership with Life House across the US, and feel that with Life House, we are the best buyer of hotels with less than ~125 rooms.”
Life House will initially operate the hotel leveraging its white-label platform, maintaining the property’s historic branding as the “Lord Balfour Hotel,” before executing a comprehensive renovation that will see the hotel rebranded as Life House Ocean Drive alongside timeless updates to all rooms, suites, and public spaces, as well as the build-out of a well-equipped fitness center and yoga studio.
“We’re proud to offer a growing diversity of unique, locally-rooted options to travellers to Miami in partnership with Life House. The Lord Balfour Hotel is a high-quality existing asset, and we expect Life House Ocean Drive will dovetail perfectly with Henley’s existing portfolio,” added Garrett Solomon, Henley’s Chief Investment Officer for the company’s North American operations. Life House Ocean Drive will join Henley’s current line of lifestyle hotels in Miami, including 33-key Life House Little Havana on 9th Avenue, 26-key Life House South Beach on Collins Avenue, and 50-key Life House Mid Beach on Park Avenue.
Unlike traditional hotel management companies, Life House is backed by institutional venture capital firms which enable the company to develop powerful software systems that create value for real estate owners. In live projects, Life House has proven its ability to leverage this proprietary technology to materially decrease operating expenses and drive strong incremental revenue, yielding a 30-50% higher return on hotel investments for their real estate partners than incumbent operators.
“We continue to be impressed by Life House’s strong growth and long-term real estate partnerships. We are excited for the Company to scale nationwide on the back of strong fundamental performance”, said Daniel Gulati, Managing Director at Comcast Ventures and a Life House Board Member.
During its first year of operation, Life House has signed over 500 rooms across 10 hotels and will be opening a new hotel every month for the next six months. “We’re proud to have judiciously built a robust asset-light, software-driven platform in less than 18 months and with only $10M of venture backing,” said Rami Zeidan, Founder & CEO of Life House. “We’re now stable and poised to rapidly scale towards our vision of bringing Life House to every neighbourhood of every city in the US – and we’re just getting started.”
Established in 2006, Henley is a leading private equity real estate investor focusing on development, investment and asset management in the commercial, residential, healthcare, land infrastructure, debt and other alternative real estate assets. Since inception, Henley has approximately doubled in size every year. The company currently has approximately $2 billion in assets under management. With offices in Boston, Massachusetts; Newport Beach, California; and Naples, Florida, Henley’s North American operations are led by Garrett Solomon, who previously founded the award-winning, nationally recognized residential land development and management company, Corbelis. Prior to forming Corbelis in 2012, Solomon spent almost two decades with a series of well-known real estate private equity firms. For more information on Henley, visit https://www.henleyinvestments.com/.
About Life House
Life House is a New York-based, venture-backed vertically-integrated hotel brand, management and software company. Life House has built a proprietary technology stack that makes hotels more seamless and more profitable for hotel owners and more meaningful and more accessible for travellers. The platform encompasses seven proprietary software products that power its hotels, from a booking engine and mobile app to an automated accounting and financial reporting system. The company has launched both a 4-star brand (“Life House”) – an authentically local lifestyle brand that responds to each neighbourhood – as well as a white-label offering for independent hotel owners who are underserved by brands and unsophisticated management companies. Life House will have more than 25 hotels open and under development by the end of 2019. For more information on Life House, visit https://www.lifehousehotels.com/.