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Hersha selling remaining Central Pa. hotels

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Hersha Hospitality Trust today announced plans to sell 16 noncore hotels, including its remaining four properties in Central Pennsylvania, to an affiliate of New York-based Blackstone Real Estate Advisors for $217 million.

The real estate investment trust, which has offices in Harrisburg and Philadelphia, owns the TownePlace Suites in Harrisburg, Holiday Inn Express and Hampton Inn in Hershey and Residence Inn in Carlisle. Those properties have a total of 373 rooms.

Hersha also is disposing of seven properties in the Philadelphia metropolitan area, three in the New York City and New Jersey metro area and one each in Rhode Island and Connecticut.

Once the sale closes — that is expected by the end of the first quarter 2014 — Hersha will have 48 properties totaling 7,755 rooms in its portfolio. Those properties are in Boston, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and select markets on the West Coast.

“The anticipated sale of these non-core portfolio hotels completes our transformation into a pure play, urban transient portfolio with exposure to some of the highest demand gateway markets in the United States,” said Jay Shah, the company’s CEO.

Since 2008, Hersha has sold 46 nonstrategic hotels. That has generated about $460 million in gross proceeds. In 2011, it sold 18 properties to an affiliate of Starwood Capital Group, including one in Carlisle.

Also in that five-year span, Hersha sold Comfort Inns in Harrisburg and West Hanover, a Holiday Inn in New Cumberland and Hilton Garden Inn in Gettysburg.

“In addition to further reducing leverage, we expect to redeploy the cash proceeds from this sale into higher growth opportunities in Miami and the West Coast,” Shah said.

Hersha trades shares of its stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol HT.

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Jason Scott

Jason Scott

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin County. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at Follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal. Circle Jason Scott on .

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