University hotel specialist secures Alabama site

Penni Schewe

US-based Graduate Hotels, which specialises in upscale hotels in university towns, has got the financial green light for a new site in Auburn, Alabama.

JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group arranged $40 million in construction financing for the development of the 177-key Graduate Auburn. JLL worked on behalf of project sponsor, Adventurous Journeys Capital Partners (AJ Capital), in securing the five-year, floating-rate loan with Southern States Bank.

Historic references

Upon completion, the hotel will offer a mix of traditional guestrooms and suites, approximately 10,000 sq ft of flexible meeting and event space and two food and beverage outlets, including a rooftop lounge with an outdoor terrace featuring panoramic views of the Auburn campus.

Graduate Auburn, designed by Hartshorne Plunkard Architects and AJ Capitals’ in-house interior design team, will reference the storied history of Auburn University and provide an aesthetic designed to appeal to university visitors and locals.

Premier hotel

The JLL Hotels & Hospitality team representing the sponsor was led by executive vice president Jeff Bucaro and senior MD Danny Kaufman.

Bucaro said: “Graduate Auburn will enjoy a substantial competitive advantage as the premier hotel at Auburn University. The combination of amenities, as well as its premier location, will position the hotel as a top choice for Auburn University-related travel.”

Further Graduates

Graduate Auburn will join a collection of 35 other Graduate Hotels and will be the brand’s seventh location in the US Southeastern Conference region.

Also in the pipeline for the chain are several conversion projects: Graduate Palo Alto bringing 100 keys to California by the end of this year; Graduate Dallas, adding 95 guestrooms in Texas in Q3 2023; and Graduate Princeton, a 178-room site completing in Q4 2023.

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