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Historic Nob Hill hotel acquired by local magnate following closure, default during Covid

The Huntington Hotel, right, is seen on August 27, 2018, in San Francisco. | Lea Suzuki/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

San Francisco businessman Greg Flynn is partnering with major hospitality management company Highgate to purchase the shuttered Huntington Hotel in Nob Hill, aiming to restore and reopen the historic property in 2025.

The 12-story, 135-room Huntington Hotel closed its doors during the pandemic and never reopened, with former owner Woodridge Capital defaulting on the property’s $56.2 million mortgage and lender Deutsche Bank AG threatening foreclosure.

Woodbridge purchased the hotel for $87 million from Grace International back in 2018.

Among the renovations planned by Flynn and Highgate are updates to public areas and guest rooms and upgrades to the hotel’s Big 4 restaurant and spa. 

The new owners said they were attracted to the property because of the hotel’s large average room size and high proportion of suites, in addition to its location, which offers panoramic views of the city. 

“Being a San Francisco native and current resident, I am deeply committed to this city,” Flynn said in a statement. “The opportunity to contribute to its renaissance through investment in one of its true treasures is a privilege, and I am committed to making sure that it is done to perfection.”

Originally built in 1924 and named after Collis Potter Huntington, one of the Big Four railroad magnates of the Old West, the hotel played host to numerous luminaries over its history. 

Flynn, the owner of Flynn Holdings, has two primary business lines, including a restaurant group that ranks as the largest franchise owner in the country, with 2,300 restaurants across 44 states. His company’s commercial real estate and hospitality arm owns 115 hotels across 29 states, including luxury resorts in Cabo San Lucas, Napa Valley and Telluride. 

Last November, Flynn announced a joint venture with investment firm Värde Partners to acquire 80% ownership in a $1.1 billion portfolio of 89 select service hotels across the U.S.

New York-based Highgate has a total of 560 hotels in its network with 90,000 rooms, but the Huntington Hotel is part of the company’s growing luxury and lifestyle division, which includes over 7,500 rooms.

The company took over the Park Central Hotel and reopened it last year as the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Downtown SoMa after a $70 million renovation.

“Under our stewardship, The Huntington will reclaim its mantle as an indispensable component of the San Francisco community, through a revitalization project that will celebrate its heritage while making significant upgrades to meet the expectations of today’s guests,” Highgate CEO Arash Azarbarzin said in a statement.

Kevin Truong can be reached at