Ellis Partners LLC and Transbay Holdings Announce Joint Venture with Joie de Vivre Hospitality to Renovate Waterfront Plaza Hotel at Jack London Square

Oakland, CA – Ellis Partners LLC and Transbay Holdings have announced a joint venture with Joie de Vivre Hospitality, California’s largest boutique hotelier, to purchase, remodel, and operate the Waterfront Plaza Hotel at Oakland’s Jack London Square. The project, which will include a new restaurant also operated by Joie de Vivre Hospitality, will add to the momentum of the revitalization of Jack London Square and bring a fresh and talented team to the development.

Joie de Vivre Hospitality will conduct a multi-million dollar renovation that is expected to be completed in late 2008. The renovation plans will be comprehensive and will include the restaurant, lobby, exterior, as well as new finishes and furnishings in the hotel’s 145 rooms. When completed, the hotel will be a luxury destination in line with other Joie de Vivre properties, such as Hotel Vitale in San Francisco.

“We are thrilled at the opportunity to partner with Ellis Partners and Transbay on a hotel that is part of such an exciting project,” said Chip Conley. “Kicking off our East Bay presence at such a prestigious location is an honor for us and something we will enjoy being part of.”

The renovated hotel will address a lack of properties featuring a high level of service and amenities in the East Bay.    It will remain open during the remodeling process, although Jack’s Bistro, the current on-site restaurant, will close for renovations and will re-open under a new name and concept. The Hotel will target both business and leisure travelers, and the restaurant will be a regional destination, in keeping with future food-related retail planned for Jack London Square. The new Waterfront Plaza Hotel will also be well positioned to take advantage of continuing growth at Oakland Airport, just nine miles away, as well as Jack London Square’s easy ferry access to San Francisco’s financial district.

The new restaurant is expected to create a level of excitement for the hotel in the same way Americano Restaurant has for Hotel Vitale in San Francisco.

“With Joie de Vivre, we’ve found a premier operator for a premier location. The Waterfront Plaza Hotel will be a great complement to the rebirth of Jack London Square,” said Jim Ellis, Principal of Ellis Partners. “It’s especially fitting that Joie de Vivre is based here in the Bay Area, because Jack London Square is an original and authentic Bay Area icon, and respect for its unique personality is guiding our work here,” added Ellis.

Ellis Partners and Transbay also cite the important participation of Omar Benjamin, Director of the Port of Oakland and his entire team for their recognition of the need to re-invent the property.   “The Port has been an outstanding partner in seeing the possibilities for the hotel and how it will be an integral part of our plans for new entertainment, dining, and recreation at Jack London Square,” commented Jim Falaschi of Transbay Holdings.

“As California’s largest independent boutique hotelier, Joie de Vivre will bring more world-class hotel and restaurant options to Oakland,” said Port of Oakland Executive Director Omar Benjamin. “As Jack London Square continues to evolve as a popular entertainment destination spot along our waterfront, the Port of Oakland is committed to working closely with business partners like Joie de Vivre Hospitality, Ellis Partners and Transbay Holdings.”

About Joie de Vivre Hospitality
Based in San Francisco, Joie de Vivre Hospitality (www.jdvhotels.com) is a creative collection of lifestyle businesses. As California’s largest independent boutique hotelier, Joie de Vivre encompasses other hospitality businesses such as restaurants and spas. Celebrating 20 years of creating dreams, Joie de Vivre Hospitality is expanding its California presence in Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Sunnyvale, Huntington Beach and beyond.

About Ellis Partners:
Ellis Partners LLC (www.ellispartners.com) was founded in 1993 for the purpose of acquiring and developing commercial real estate properties. The firm has a long history of championing and completing architecturally significant renovation and development projects.