iStar Taps Sage Hospitality Group as Management Partner for Asbury Ocean Club Hotel and The Asbury

Michal Christine Escobar
Senior Editor, Hotels

iStar, a full-service real estate investment, finance, and development company, announced that it has partnered with Sage Hospitality Group on the management of the company’s two independent properties in Asbury Park, NJ: The Asbury and Asbury Ocean Club Hotel. Sage Hotel Management and Sage Restaurant Concepts, both Sage Hospitality Group companies, will lead the operations for the hotels and their numerous food & beverage and entertainment outlets. The process was facilitated by JLL Hotel and Hospitality Advisory Group.

Once called the “Jewel of the Jersey Shore,” Asbury Park has a long and rich history as a vacation destination for those looking to trade the buzz of New York City for an ocean breeze with a side of rock and roll. Located just 70 minutes away from Manhattan, Asbury Park has long been known as a destination for music lovers, owing to its place in rock and roll history where both Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen got their start. Since 2008, the city has been undergoing a renaissance and reawakening that began with the renovation of historic landmarks along the boardwalk and has continued with extensive development along the oceanfront led by iStar, whose roots in town stretch back more than a decade.

Led by innovative Chief Executive Officer Jay Sugarman, iStar is responsible for spearheading the multi-billion-dollar redevelopment of Asbury Park’s iconic 1.25-mile stretch of oceanfront. To date, iStar’s development work in the city includes The Asbury, the Asbury Ocean Club, Asbury Lanes and Monroe. Imagined by Creative Director and Design Lead Anda Andrei, working in collaboration with industry-leading firms of Stonehill Taylor, Handel Architects, Oppenheim Architecture + Design, and Bonetti Kozerski, these projects have helped breathe new life into the oceanfront and paved the way for it to reemerge as not only a vacation destination but one of the most desirable places to live along the Jersey Shore.

“iStar is first and foremost dedicated to the community of Asbury Park, and we strive to ensure that everything we do supports the growth of the City,” said Brian Cheripka, senior vice president, land and development of iStar. “We are committed to doing our part to continue to drive Asbury Park into the future as a City for people to live, play and work. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Sage Hospitality Group on the operation of our award-winning hotels. Sage has a remarkable track record of both developing and managing stunning hospitality destinations, and a reputation for consistently delivering results. Our team looks forward to working with Sage to showcase Asbury Park as an amazing destination, and to create unforgettable memories for our guests and residents alike.”

The properties will join the Sage Independent Hotel Collection, a growing portfolio of more than 1,700 rooms that includes The Rally Hotel at McGregor Square (Denver), Hutton Hotel (Nashville), The Crawford Hotel at Denver Union Station (Denver), The Maven Hotel at Dairy Block (Denver), The Hotel Landing (Wayzata, MN), Hotel Commonwealth (Boston), The Oxford (Denver), Continuum (Jackson Hole, WY), The Hotel Zags (Portland, OR), and the soon-to-open Catbird (Denver), with several more independent properties in the pipeline to be added in 2021.

“These two stunning properties, along with the historic Asbury Lanes, are a perfect fit for our company and, in fact, represent a ‘bullseye’ in terms of the type of assets we seek to add to our growing portfolio of distinctive independent hotels. For years now, our property teams and home office organization have excelled at operating exactly these types of award-winning assets.” said Daniel del Olmo, president and COO of Sage Hotel Management, a Sage Hospitality Group Company, which will operate the two hotels.

“We anticipate, and are actively preparing for, continued growth for our Sage Independent Hotel Collection through the coming year as the economy returns to sustained growth,” del Olmo continued. “To that end, we continue to make strategic investments with the goal to not only be the management company of choice for independents, but also further enhance our best-in-class support structure and tools to help each of our hotels own the upswing as travel returns. Lastly, we couldn’t be more delighted with having iStar as our partner. Their values and business philosophy completely align with ours, and we look forward to an exciting journey ahead, together.”  

The extensive food and beverage operations across The Asbury, Asbury Ocean Club Hotel and Asbury Lanes will be led by the expert team at Sage Restaurant Concepts, a Sage Hospitality Group Company, which operates more than 30 restaurants, bars and coffee shops in 11 states. No strangers to complex, multi-outlet operations, the Sage Restaurant Concepts team brings a depth of experience to the table that will allow them to deliver on and continually elevate the experience that guests have come to love in Asbury Park.

“The outlets we will be managing in Asbury Park fit perfectly in our portfolio, as they are right in our wheelhouse of operating unique venues and delivering unforgettable experiences,” said Sage Restaurant Concepts COO Meaghan Goedde. “We are excited to continue to expand our portfolio alongside Sage Hotel Management, and we look forward to welcoming the Asbury Park community back into these well-loved venues.”

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