Hotel REIT Says It Will ‘Likely’ Return 19 Properties to Lenders

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(Bloomberg) — Ashford Hospitality Trust Inc. expects to return 19 hotels to lenders in cities including Las Vegas and Atlanta, declining to pour more cash into the properties, which are part of a $982 million mortgage pool that missed a repayment deadline in June.

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Keeping the hotels would have required a paydown of about $255 million to extend the financing and $80 million in capital expenditures through 2025, Dallas-based Ashford Trust said in a statement Friday. The equity in the properties is already negative, based on comparable sales and brokers opinion of value, according to the statement.

“At this time, it appears that the most likely outcome will be a consensual transfer of these hotels to the respective lenders,” the company said in the statement.

Ashford Trust worked out deals to extend debt on 15 other hotels in the portfolio by providing a total of $129 million in paydowns, according to the statement.

With higher interest rates and falling property values, many lenders are requiring borrowers to pay down part of the debt or provide additional capital for property expenses in exchange for extending a loan that comes due.

Braemar Hotels & Resorts Inc., whose ultimate parent — Ashford Inc. — is the same as Ashford Trust, agreed to make a roughly $121 million payment in June to extend a mortgage on four hotels, reducing the outstanding mortgage debt by 33% to about $249 million.

Through June, hotel values were down 3% from a recent peak compared with a 16% drop for all commercial property types and a 31% plunge for offices, according to Green Street.

Most of the hotels Ashford Trust expects to return to lenders “are located in markets that have experienced significant headwinds throughout their post-pandemic recoveries, and a number of these markets are not forecasted to reach pre-pandemic topline levels until 2025 or 2026,” Ashford Trust said in the statement.

Hotels that will likely be returned include properties with brands such as Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites, and Marriott.

The company said that after the situation is sorted with these hotels, the next upcoming debt maturity is a Morgan Stanley loan pool that’s secured by 17 hotels and matures in November.

“We currently believe that loan should be able to be extended with no paydown required,” Rob Hays, Ashford Trust’s president and chief executive officer, said in the statement.

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