Acquisitions & Hotel Openings

AJ Capital Partners Converting Ohio's Former Bollinger Tower Into Graduate Columbus Set for Spring 2019 Opening

COLUMBUS, OH. September 19, 2017 - AJ Capital Partners announced its plan to open Graduate Hotels' newest location in Columbus, Ohio in spring 2019 as Graduate Columbus. AJ Capital acquired the Bollinger Tower, formerly an affordable housing complex and now vacant, on North High Street in the Short North neighborhood of Columbus, proximate to both Ohio State University and downtown Columbus. The property will begin renovations in spring 2018 to be converted into a hotel with 171 guestrooms, meeting and event space, two food and beverage outlets and ground floor retail space.

Prominently located in the Short North neighborhood of Columbus, the city's thriving retail, arts and culinary destination, the hotel is situated between several locally owned boutiques and restaurants. It is also conveniently located halfway between downtown Columbus and The Ohio State University's campus.

Created for travelers who seek memory-making journeys, Graduate Hotels are part of a well-curated, thoughtfully crafted collection of hotels that reside in the most dynamic, university-anchored cities across the country. Every property celebrates and commemorates the optimistic energy of its community, while offering an extended retreat to places that often played host to the best days of our lives. Locations include Ann Arbor, Mi.; Athens, Ga.; Berkeley, Ca.; Charlottesville, Va.; Lincoln, Ne.; Madison, Wi.; Oxford, Ms.; Richmond, Va and Tempe, Az., as well as Bloomington, ln.; Iowa City,Ia.; Minneapolis, Mn.; New Haven, Ct.; Seattle, Wa.; and New York City's Roosevelt Island as part of the Cornell Tech campus are slated to open in 2018 and 2019.

"We are thrilled to announce the newest addition to Graduate Hotels in Columbus, Ohio" says Tim Franzen, President of Graduate Hotels. "Columbus is an extremely desirable market for us to enter for many reasons; particularly, do to it being a hub for several major corporations and home to The Ohio State University. It is also a particularly exciting time to join this community with the recent urban revitalization of the city's Short North district where our hotel will reside. We're looking forward to contributing a lodging product unlike any other in Columbus today and one that will serve locals, members of the University community, as well as out of town visitors."

Formerly an affordable housing complex, the property will undergo extensive construction scheduled to begin in coming months. Once complete, the extensive renovation will result in 171 hotel guestrooms, 4,000 square feet of meeting space as well as two food & beverage outlets. Additionally, the hotel's ground floor will offer ample retail space for lease along its High Street frontage.

For more information on Graduate Hotels, please visit www.graduatehotels.com.

About AJ Capital Partners

Adventurous Journeys Capital Partners, based in Chicago, is an accomplished team of hospitality and real estate investors whose innate passion is to create a one-of-a kind portfolio of timeless assets. The counter-culture investors acquire, design and develop transformative real estate throughout the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean. In fall 2014, AJ Capital Partners launched the Graduate Hotels collection. AJ Capital Partners continues to grow its portfolio of lodging investments, firmly establishing the group as visionary leaders in the lifestyle-driven investment industry. For more information on AJ Capital Partners, please visit www.ajcpt.com.

Meg Connolly Communications

Coming Up In The November Online Hotel Business Review

Feature Focus
Architecture & Design: Authentic, Interactive and Immersive
If there is one dominant trend in the field of hotel architecture and design, its that travelers are demanding authentic, immersive and interactive experiences. This is especially true for Millennials but Baby Boomers are seeking out meaningful experiences as well. As a result, the development of immersive travel experiences - winery resorts, culinary resorts, resorts geared toward specific sports enthusiasts - will continue to expand. Another kind of immersive experience is an urban resort one that provides all the elements you'd expect in a luxury resort, but urbanized. The urban resort hotel is designed as a staging area where the city itself provides all the amenities, and the hotel functions as a kind of sophisticated concierge service. Another trend is a re-thinking of the hotel lobby, which has evolved into an active social hub with flexible spaces for work and play, featuring cafe?s, bars, libraries, computer stations, game rooms, and more. The goal is to make this area as interactive as possible and to bring people together, making the space less of a traditional hotel lobby and more of a contemporary gathering place. This emphasis on the lobby has also had an associated effect on the size of hotel rooms they are getting smaller. Since most activities are designed to take place in the lobby, there is less time spent in rooms which justifies their smaller design. Finally, the wellness and ecology movements are also having a major impact on design. The industry is actively adopting standards so that new structures are not only environmentally sustainable, but also promote optimum health and well- being for the travelers who will inhabit them. These are a few of the current trends in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.