The tower will dominate Shanghai's skyline when it opens in 2014 — Photo by Interstate
Today, Interstate (China) Hotels & Resorts Company Limited ("Interstate China"), a wholly owned subsidiary of a joint venture between Thayer Lodging Group ("Thayer"), a US-based private equity real estate firm, and Shanghai Jin Jiang International Hotels (Group) Company Limited ("Jin Jiang Hotels") China's leading hotel group, has been appointed by Shanghai Tower Group to manage the world's highest luxury hotel – Shanghai Tower J-Hotel.
Due to open in 2014, the new Shanghai Tower J-Hotel is the centerpiece of the stunning Shanghai Tower being constructed in the hub of the central business district of Lujiazui, Pudong, neighboring the Shanghai World Financial Center and Jin Mao Tower. Upon completion, Shanghai Tower will be China's tallest building and the second tallest in the world rising 121 stories (2,073 feet) with a GFA of more than six million square feet. The Shanghai Tower symbolizes modern China and will be the world's tallest LEED certified structure. A 'vertical city' providing every facility and amenity, it will set new standards in design.
Shanghai Tower J-Hotel is the new ultra-luxury brand, "J", of Jin Jiang, the leading hotel group in China. The lobby of the hotel will be located on the 101st floor of the building and the hotel itself will boast 258 guest rooms within floors 84-110. The signature of the J-Hotel brand will be emulated throughout the luxury property from world class design appealing to the modern, discerning traveler to technology advancements which are unparallel worldwide. Another footprint of the Chinese "J" brand is a true sense of culture and authenticity reflected throughout the gracious interiors and embedded into its service.
With 50 years of experience managing hotels around the globe, Interstate Hotels & Resorts has long enjoyed a reputation for excellence. Today, Interstate operates in China, Russia, India, Ireland, England, Belgium, Canada, Mexico, 36 US states including the District of Columbia and continues to grow rapidly. According to Thomas F. Hewitt, Chairman & CEO, Interstate Hotels & Resorts, "I am very proud of the reputation that Interstate Hotels & Resorts has built over the past 50 years, a reputation for outstanding results, the finest in service and quality, and the most professional associates in the industry."
In March 2010, Hotel Acquisition Company, LLC, a 50/50 joint venture between subsidiaries of Thayer Hotel Investors V-A LP, a private equity fund sponsored by Thayer, and Jin Jiang Hotels, acquired Interstate Hotels & Resorts in a transaction valued at approximately $400 million. The transaction represented three significant milestones: it marked the first time a Chinese State Owned Enterprise acquired an overseas hospitality company; it was also the first time such an entity purchased a publicly listed US company and took it private; lastly, it resulted in a private equity finance company being established to acquire real estate overseas. "The announcement of the Shanghai Tower J-Hotel further solidifies the Interstate, Thayer and Jin Jiang collaboration as one of the most powerful global relationships in the international hospitality industry," said Leland C. Pillsbury, Co-Chairman and CEO, Thayer Lodging Group.
As part of this alliance, 100 executives from Jin Jiang will be sent to the United States for an executive development program to be trained on western hotel management principles. This includes time at the prestigious Cornell University School of Hotel Administration and the Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship.
The agreement signing marks the latest in a series of transactions Thayer has entered into with Jin Jiang Hotels. In 2004, the companies aligned to bring 21st century technology and management to China's exploding hospitality industry with the creation of HUBS1, China's largest B2B hotel reservation platform. It became the only web-based, fully automated reservations system in China operating in Mandarin. HUBS1 currently serves more than 5,000 hotels and 7,000 travel agents. It was the exclusive accommodation reservation service provider for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, serving more than 240 countries and 73 million visitors during the six-month period. The J-Brand will leverage HUBS1 for distribution services. Teddy Zhang, HUBS1 President & CEO, and former senior executive at Thayer, was recently named one of China's Top 10 CEO's in 2010.
In addition to the newest hotel announcement, Thayer and Jin Jiang have launched the formation of JT Realty Advisors, a Chinese hotel and tourism sector investment fund, and also initiated other hospitality initiatives in China.
"The relationship with Jin Jiang continues to blossom and is a powerful example of how partnerships between U.S. and Chinese companies flourish when their respective strengths are equally applied as has been the case with Interstate Hotels & Resorts," concluded Mr. Pillsbury. "We are very optimistic about the future and will continue to explore further opportunities together."
About Interstate Hotels and Resorts | Interstate Hotels & Resorts is the United States' largest independent hotel management company. The company and its affiliates manage and/or have ownership interests in 246 hotels with more than 51,000 rooms in 36 states, the District of Columbia, China, Canada, England, Ireland, Belgium, Mexico, Russia and India. As a leading hotel real estate investor, Interstate has ownership interests in 54 of its managed hotels and resorts, including six wholly owned assets. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of a joint venture between subsidiaries of Thayer Lodging Group and Jin Jiang Hotels.
As a preferred hotel management company, Interstate Hotels & Resorts consistently delivers results for hotel owners such as institutional real estate owners, high net worth investors, non-institutional ownership groups, privately held companies, and private equity funds.
With 50 years of experience managing hotels, resorts and conference centers, Interstate is a proven choice among hotel management companies providing extensive resources with responsiveness and dexterity that allow its hotels to succeed in any marketplace and in any business cycle.
About Thayer Lodging Group | Thayer Lodging Group, based in Annapolis, Maryland, is a privately held hotel investment company that was formed in 1991 by Frederic V. Malek and Leland Pillsbury. Thayer has a lengthy and successful track record that spans multiple investment cycles.
About Jin Jiang Hotels | Shanghai Jin Jiang International Hotels (Group) Company Limited is one of the leading hotel operators and managers in China. The Group is licensed to use the well-regarded "Jin Jiang" brand. Currently, over 650 hotels are under operation and development, including star-rated hotels and Jin Jiang Inn budget Hotels, providing over 100,000 rooms in aggregate. With a solid home base in Shanghai and Beijing, the Group has also successfully spanned its hotel network across nearly 150 cities and towns in 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities throughout the PRC as of end of June 2010. In October 2010, the Group was ranked the 13th in the world in terms of number of rooms according to HOTELS Magazine, the official publication of the International Hotel & Restaurant Association.