BET Founder Buys Midtown Hotel

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(Wall Street Journal) — A company controlled by Robert L. Johnson, the founder of the Black Entertainment Television network, has cut a $335 million deal for a Midtown hotel known for its striking architecture.  The upscale Doubletree Metropolitan Hotel is the third hotel that Mr. Johnson’s RLJ Development has bought in Manhattan since 2008. He also bought the Hilton Garden Inn at 63 W. 35th St. and the Fashion 26 Hotel at 152 W. 26th St. for more than $100 million each.  “These assets are compliant with our investment strategy to buy high-caliber real estate,” RLJ Development President Thomas J. Baltimore Jr. said in an interview Friday. “In New York, we have significant demand growth and high barriers to entry.”

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