The Hanover Marriott, an upscale hotel on Route 10 in the Whippany section of the township, has been sold for $27 million to HEI Hotels & Resorts, which will invest $20 million to fully renovate all public and private spaces of the 353-room hotel, according to NJBIZ reports.

“We believe this demonstrates the loosening of the hotel acquisition market,” said Roger Clark, HEI senior vice president for acquisitions and development, in a statement. “With approximately $500 million of equity in our fully discretionary fund, we intend to be in the vanguard of this wave, surfacing deals that make sense for our investment plans.”

HEI plans to “acquire between $1 billion and $1.5 billion in hotels and resorts in the coming years,” Clark added.

The $27 million price tag makes this the largest hotel deal in New Jersey this year, said Dan Fasulo, head of research for Real Capital Analytics, in New York. Fasulo said he’s not counting casino/hotel acquisitions in Atlantic City, since such properties generally are analyzed as casinos, not hotels.

When it comes to the U.S. hotel business, this year, “there has been little to no transaction activity anywhere,” Fasulo said. “Investors are having a hard time getting their hands around the fundamentals, which have fallen off a cliff since last October — it’s very hard to value these assets.”

Industry experts say commercial real estate properties are selling for 30 percent to 50 percent less than they would have brought several years ago, during the nation’s real estate boom.

The Hanover Marriott serves Morris County’s business community, and the pharmaceutical industry in particular, “which has visiting employees, doctors and scientists” seeking hotel rooms, Fasulo said.

Posted By: Richard Trautmann /