Inn on Ferry Street deal completes with sale to Cloudland Capital

The Inn on Ferry Street in Detroit’s Midtown district officially has a new owner who plans to reopen it as a 33-room hotel.

New York-based real estate private equity firm Cloudland Capital, founded last year, has completed the purchase of the historic property on East Ferry Street between Woodward and John R, with new management by Life House Hotels, based in New York, for an undisclosed price.

Crain’s reported on the impending sale of the hotel, which was jointly owned by Midtown Detroit Inc. and the Detroit Institute of Arts, in late May. An email was sent to Life House Hotels on Monday for additional information.

Bryan Dunn, managing director and head of growth at Life House, said in a press release last week that the company looks forward to “continuing its aggressive expansion into inner-city markets with a focus on properties of locally rooted boutique like the Inn on Ferry Street.

Susan Mosey, Executive Director of Midtown Detroit, said the two companies “will continue to provide exceptional hospitality at the Inn to the many guests who have stayed with us over the past decades as well as newcomers visiting the Inn for the first time”.

In addition to The Inn on Ferry Street, Life House Hotels also worked on a deal to manage a hotel component of a new development next to Detroit Shipping Co.

Life House’s website says it has hotels in Miami, Nantucket, Denver and Miami Beach, and is in the process of opening hotels in Chattanooga, New York and Bali, among other places. It also manages 41 independent properties, 11 brand properties and 22 restaurants and bars in the United States and Mexico.

Hotel management reported in 2019 that Life House had landed $100 million in equity investment from Boston-based Blue Flag Partners, as founder and CEO Rami Zeidan and co-founder Yury Yakubchyk planned to expand by acquiring seven to 10 hotels.

The company is said to focus on properties with less than 120 rooms and relies on technology and automation to drive profits.

“We can make a small hotel profitable – or more profitable – in a significant way,” Zeidan told Hotel Management. “They have so (lots) of fixed expenses and GM and CFO, cleaners and housekeeping manager – all of those positions in a small hotel really add up.”

The Inn on Ferry Street reopened more than 20 years ago as a hotel space after an 18-month renovation. It consists of the House Pungs, built in 1891; Roehm House, built in 1888; Scott House, built in 1886; and Owen’s House, built in 1887; plus the Smith Carriage House built in 1892 and, until recently, a Carriage House on John R built in 1892, according to the hotel’s website.

It closed during the COVID-19 pandemic and at one point there were fears it would be permanently closed.

Mosey said last month that the John R shed was recently sold to Nancy and Arn Tellem, who are currently renovating the property for an expansion of BasBlue, a new nonprofit gathering place for women and non-binary people.

About Angelita A. Blanchard

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