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Crescent buys Brown Palace for $125.35 million

brown palace
The Brown Palace has stood on a triangular parcel of land bordered by Broadway, and 17th and Tremont streets since 1892.

Crescent Real Estate LLC has acquired Denver’s legendary Brown Palace Hotel and Spa and the adjacent 231-room Holiday Inn Express, which is part of the Brown Palace complex.

The price wasn’t released, but Denver County records show the hotels sold for $125.35 million.

The 241-room Brown Palace and Holiday Inn Express are located at 321 and 401 17thSt., respectively, in the heart of Denver’s financial district and a block off the 16thStreet Mall.

Crescent plans significant capital investments and service upgrades to enhance the customer experience and operations at the Brown Palace and Holiday Inn Express, including renovations to the top two floors at the Brown Palace known as “Top of the Brown.”

The Brown Palace opened in 1892 and features one of the West’s first atrium lobbies. Affiliated with Marriott’s Autograph Collection, it features luxury amenities as well as six food and beverage venues, including Palace Arms, Ship Tavern, Ellyngton’s and Churchill Bar. The nine-story Brown Palace also offers 19,900 square feet of meeting space, including a 5,800-sf ballroom, along with a full-service spa and salon, and a flower shop.

The hotel has a long-standing tradition of afternoon tea in its famed lobby and is one of only a few Denver hotels to receive both the Forbes Four-Star and AAA Four-Diamond awards.

Crescent has engaged HEI Hotels & Resorts, a nationally recognized hotel management firm with extensive experience managing luxury and full-service hotels, including numerous Autograph Collection properties.

“Acquiring the Brown Palace Hotel and Spa is another rare opportunity to own and operate a timeless and iconic hotel asset in a robust market for tourism and commercial business, downtown Denver,” said Conrad Suszynski, co-CEO of Crescent.

The 22-story Holiday Inn Express completes the Brown Palace hotel complex. Hotel guests can conveniently access restaurant hospitality and meeting space amenities at the Brown Palace Hotel and Spa via a pedestrian sky bridge. The Holiday Inn Express has 22 suites and 1,287 sf of contemporary meeting space on site, in addition and convenient access to the meeting space at the Brown Palace.

Crescent used its GP Invitation Fund I to purchase the Brown Palace Hotel and Spa and Holiday Inn Express. They were the fifth and sixth hotels purchased with the fund since July 2016.

“Denver’s lodging market is robust as it has outpaced both the Top 25 markets and national average over the last five years. We believe future demand is fueled by exceptional employment and visitor growth which makes the Brown Palace hotel complex an exciting investment for Crescent,” added Suszynski.

The seller, Crow Holdings Capital Partners, bought the Brown Palace and Holiday Inn Express through its Crow Holdings Fund VI for $103 million in 2014.

Kris Oppermann Stern is publisher and editor of Building Dialogue, a Colorado Real Estate Journal publication, and editor of CREJ's construction, design, and engineering section, including news and bylined articles. Building Dialogue is a quarterly, four-color magazine that caters specifically to the AEC industry, including features on projects and people, as well as covering trends…