MILWAUKEE—Marcus Hotels & Resorts, a division of The Marcus Corporation and its affiliate, MCS Capital LLC, announced an agreement, subject to the satisfaction of certain standard and customary conditions to closing, to purchase the Cornhusker Hotel and Office Plaza in Lincoln, Neb. Marcus Hotels will be the majority owner of a joint venture with a fund affiliate of LEM Capital of Philadelphia. The Cornhusker Hotel acquisition is the first transaction sourced by MCS Capital, The Marcus Corporation’s new hotel investment business. Marcus Hotels & Resorts assumed management of the property as of September 6. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The Cornhusker Hotel is a 297-room, full-service hotel with 45,600 square feet of meeting space located in downtown Lincoln. Upon completion of the transaction, Marcus Hotels plans to begin a multi-million dollar renovation and affiliate the property with Marriott International, Inc. as the Cornhusker Marriott Hotel. The Cornhusker Office Plaza is connected to the hotel by a four-story atrium that will be used for local events and exhibits, and will feature the work of local artists.
“We are excited about this opportunity because the project will leverage Marcus Hotels’ 50 years of experience in restoring landmark hotels and will be an excellent fit for our portfolio. We believe we can make this distinctive hotel an even greater asset to the community and return the property to its former position as the social center of Lincoln,” said Gregory S. Marcus, president and chief executive officer of The Marcus Corporation, in an announcement. “The Cornhusker Hotel renovation is similar to several other premier downtown hotel restorations we have successfully completed, including The Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, Wis., the Skirvin Hilton in Oklahoma City, Okla. and the Hotel Phillips in Kansas City, Mo.”
Marcus said the company plans to renovate the hotel lobby, all guest rooms and suites, meeting space, restaurant, and bars. The company will also bring its restaurant and bar concept, Miller Time Pub & Grill, developed in association with MillerCoors.
The company also today announced Charles Harper will be the Cornhusker Hotel’s general manager responsible for overseeing hotel operations and management. Harper has extensive experience in the hospitality industry, previously serving as general manager of Marcus Hotels’ Sheraton Clayton Plaza Hotel in St. Louis, Mo. Prior to joining Marcus Hotels & Resorts in 2008, he held various positions with Ritz-Carlton hotels, including general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis, and positions focused on sales and marketing at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel in Dana Point, Calif. and The Ritz-Carlton, Aspen in Aspen, Colo. Harper graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Stout in Menomonie, Wis. with a bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant management.
Other amenities at the Cornhusker Hotel include a coffee shop/café, bar/lounge, indoor pool, fitness center, business center, wireless access throughout, meeting rooms, convention center, and a 10,500 square foot ballroom.
The transaction is expected to close in the next several weeks, assuming all closing conditions are satisfied.