Colony-Woodridge Venture Buys Ritz-Carlton Maui Resort

A partnership of Thomas J. Barrack’s Colony Capital LLC and Woodridge Capital Partners LLC bought the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua resort in Hawaii for an undisclosed amount.

The new owners, which include Colony Financial Inc., an affiliate of Barrack’s firm, plan to make additional investments in the luxury property, the companies said in a statement today. The resort, on the island of Maui, will continue to be operated by Marriott International Inc. under its Ritz-Carlton brand.

Colony Capital based in Santa Monica, California, and Los Angeles-based Woodridge acquired the property as lodging demand on the Hawaiian islands soars. Hotel occupancy statewide was 80 percent in January, the highest in the U.S., according to Hendersonville, Tennessee-based research company STR.

“With its special character, remarkable location and precious natural resources, the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua is a rare property that would be nearly impossible to duplicate today,” Michael Rosenfeld, Woodridge’s founder, said in the statement.

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., once the world’s fourth-largest investment bank, financed the resort before filing for bankruptcy in 2008 and gained control after foreclosing on the loan.

A joint venture of New York-based Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Gencom Group bought the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua in March 2006 and renovated the property before defaulting in April 2009 on a $260 million loan from Lehman. The resort sits on 54 acres (22 hectares) and has 463 guest rooms and suites. It also features a spa and two championship golf courses, according to its website.

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