Another W Hotel is in trouble. We've heard of troubles facing the W in Phoenix
but now the W San Diego
has a battle of its own ahead. Yesterday Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. announced that will default on the June mortgage payment
for the property. The real estate investment trust cited the travel downturn as well as the opening of other luxury hotels in the area as a reason for being unable to make the payments. Sunstone had sought lower interest rates and made the decision that, like many people in the U.S., it was underwater in its mortgage. So the investors are doing the corporate version of jingle mail and returning it to the lenders. The company says that the property which it purchased for $96 million in 2006 is worth less now. Right now the hotel has a $65 million, fixed-rate commercial mortgage-backed securities loan with a 6.14 percent interest rate due at the start of the year in 2018. This works out to more than $250,000 in debt per room.
A statement from the company says that it ""maintains more than adequate liquidity to support or repay this mortgage" but believes that turning it over to the lenders is in the best interests of stockholders. Sunstone Hotel has said that it may make the same move with selected other mortgaged hotels in its portfolios. It also owns properties under the Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt and Fairmont brands. The W San Diego remains open.