Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Interstate Hotels & Resorts Signs Agreement to Manage Its First Cambria Suites

ARLINGTON, Va., April 16, 2008—Interstate Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: IHR), a leading hotel real estate investor and the nation’s largest independent operator of full- and select-service hotels, today announced that it has signed an agreement to manage the to-be-built, 143-room Cambria Suites near Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson International Airport. (South Terminal photo at bottom left)

The hotel is being developed by CQ Capital Partners for Charania Hospitality Group, both subsidiaries of Charania Group of Companies, an independent global real estate fund based in Clarkston, Ga. Construction of the property is expected to begin next month, with a scheduled opening in the first quarter of 2009.

“This transaction introduces a dynamic new brand to our management portfolio, as well as a new owner,” said Thomas F. Hewitt, (photo at right) Interstate’s chief executive officer. “The Charania Group of Companies is a proven and experienced developer/owner, who has plans to build additional Cambria Suites product by Choice Hotels. We are exploring other projects with the Charania Group of Companies, primarily in the southeastern region of the U.S.”

The Cambria Suites brand is designed to take advantage of new trends in lodging, reflecting the expectations of guests who want to carry their lifestyle with them when they travel. The hotel will offer the latest technology surrounded by a sophisticated, contemporary design that is both stylish and comfortable.

“Cambria Suites is a new, upscale, select-service brand that plays to Interstate’s strengths in the select-service segment,” said Barkat Charania, (top right photo) chief executive officer of Charania Group of Companies.

“With their operating and marketing strengths and size advantages, we feel Interstate is the best qualified to help us optimize the returns of this new hotel brand. We are excited about the collaboration between our groups and look forward to building a long-standing relationship.”

The Cambria Suites Atlanta Airport is only the second LEED certified hotel in Georgia and is located within minutes of one of the world’s busiest airports, which currently is undergoing a $5.4 billion expansion, and the Georgia International Convention Center, adjacent to the airport. Metro Atlanta, with more than 125 million square feet of office space, ranks third in the nation among cities with the most Fortune 500 headquarters.

“This continues our strategy of broadening our ownership universe, which now includes more than 60 owners,” said Leslie Ng, Interstate chief investment officer. “We look forward to building on our relationship, both with Charania Group of Companies and the emerging Cambria Suites brand.”

About Charania Group of Companies

Charania Group of Companies is a global real estate fund that invests in its subsidiaries for the creation of a portfolio of sustainably designed and LEED certified real estate projects. The Charania Group of Companies family includes CQ Capital Partners, the development company; CQ Construction, the construction company; B.C. Investments & Realty, the brokerage and asset management division; and Charania Hospitality Group, the hotel ownership entity.

Charania Group of Companies is led by Barkat Charania and Rahim Charania, who along with their team have more than 50 years of combined experience in global real estate acquisitions and development.

About Interstate

As of today, Interstate Hotels & Resorts has ownership interests in 54 hotels and resorts, including seven wholly owned assets. Together with these properties, the company and its affiliates manage a total of 217 hospitality properties with more than 45,000 rooms in 36 states, the District of Columbia, Russia, Mexico, Belgium, Canada and Ireland. Interstate Hotels & Resorts also has contracts to manage 16 to be built hospitality properties with approximately 3,800 rooms.

For more information about Interstate Hotels & Resorts, visit the company’s Web site:


Julie Tullbane
Daly Gray Public Relations
T 703-435-6293
F 703-435-6297

Carrie McIntyre
SVP, Treasurer
(703) 387-3320

Sheraton Hotels Announces Exclusive New Partnership with Core Performance to Develop a 360-Degree Training and Nutrition Program

(Niagra Falls Sheraton Hotel, Ontario, Canada)

Alliance Marks First-Time Hotel Partnership for Renowned Fitness Organization

SINGAPORE--Guests of Sheraton Hotels & Resorts will be fit to succeed through an exclusive new partnership with Core Performance, an organization dedicated to providing breakthrough fitness solutions to help individuals achieve their maximum performance.

The alliance with Sheraton marks the first time that Core Performance has partnered with a hotel company to create customized training and nutrition programs for travelers. The program is one component of a comprehensive effort to revitalize the Sheraton brand and differentiate the guest experience at Sheraton’s 408 hotels across 75 countries.

Sheraton is partnering with Core Performance to develop a 360-degree training and nutrition program for guests that incorporates the organization’s four fundamentals of optimal performance: mindset, nutrition, movement and recovery.

Guests will experience the new program through enhancements made to multiple touch points of their Sheraton stay, including new state-of-the-art fitness centers; healthier dining options; fitness programs offered on-demand in guest rooms; access to Core Performance’s customized on-line training programs; and a unique Conventions and Meetings program that enables enhanced performance.

Sheraton properties around the world will begin to roll out Core Performance programming this summer and continue throughout 2008.

“Our guests have told us that health and fitness are a priority and that they value tools to help them balance this aspect of their lives while traveling,” said Brian Povinelli, Vice President of Marketing for Sheraton. “Core Performance systems have trained many of the world’s top athletes and Olympian’s and Sheraton is proud to partner with an organization that can bring this level of expertise and success to our guests. This new alliance offers an array of programs and services to help them enhance their overall fitness and performance before, during and after their stay.”

“We’re excited to partner with Sheraton to develop a unique, co-branded program that touches multiple elements of a guest’s lifestyle, both in and out of the hotel,” said Mark Verstegen, (top right photo) Founder and Chairman of Core Performance.

“Travel can take its toll on all of us. To counter its effects, Core Performance is dedicated to working with Sheraton to create innovative solutions that will enhance the overall health of its guests, who very much mirror our target audience – the achiever set. We envision this as a long partnership that will provide tangible results for Sheraton’s guests and employees.”

Core Performance programs are derived from the methodology used to train elite athletes at the Athletes’ Performance Institutes, where they are developed, tested, and proven every day by the top minds in the field as they train the top champions in sport.

Athletes’ Performance, created by Mark Verstegen in 1999 as a refuge for elite athletes, is headquartered in Tempe, AZ with additional world-class facilities at The Home Depot Center, outside of Los Angeles, CA and at The Andrews Institute in Gulf Breeze, Florida.

For more information on Core Performance, including its integrated online performance training and nutrition programs, visit

For more information on Athletes’ Performance, visit


Hwee-Peng Yeo
Director, Corporate Communications
Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels & Resorts Ltd
9 Temasek Boulevard, Suntec City Tower 2
#24-02, Singapore 038989
Tel : +65 6335 4837; Cell : +65 9768 6087; +65 9248 0424
Fax : +65 6335 4820;

Grand Opening Date Set for Monkey Joe's Parties & Play Winter Park, FL Location

(Photo by Maricruz Ortiz, taken at Festival Bay Mall on International Drive)

ORLANDO, FL - CB Richard Ellis, worldwide leader in commercial real estate services, is pleased to congratulate Bobby Palta, (top right photo) Senior Associate, on the completion of a 12,366 square foot, 10-year lease with Monkey Joe's Parties & Play in Winter Park.

The Grand Opening for this latest Orlando area location is slated for April 26, 2008. With more than 40 locations nationwide, Monkey Joe's is an indoor play center with inflatable jumps and slides, arcades, games and party rooms for kids. For parents, they also offer flat screen televisions, computer stations, massage chairs and wireless internet access.

The new location is within the Lake Howell Plaza (photo at left) located at the 5471 Lake Howell Road @ Howell Branch Road in Winter Park, FL and will be their third location within Central Florida. Other locations are currently at Festival Bay Mall on International Drive and in at Apopka Square at Semoran Blvd & US 441 in Apopka.

Palta is pleased to represent Monkey Joe's throughout Central Florida, a subsidiary of parent company Raving Brands. "This Winter Park location will provide a convenient, safe, healthy activity for families - enjoyable for kids and parents alike. The Monkey Joe's concept is filling a void in the marketplace for this kind of family entertainment and CBRE looks forward to helping them expand to other markets within the region."

Per area franchisee Michael Carter, "We are very excited about the opening of our third central Florida location. The response has been tremendous regarding our new store and we are looking forward to serving the Winter Park, Casselberry and Maitland communities."


Jessica Wilhoite

Bobby Palta

Marcus & Millichap Sells Walgreens in St. Petersburg, FL for $2.825M

TAMPA, FL –-The sale of Walgreens was announced today by Steven M. Ekovich, (top right photo) First Vice President and Regional Manager for the Tampa, Florida office of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services.

Walgreens is located at 5400 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street North, in St. Petersburg, Florida.
The property sold for $2,825,000 to an investor/builder based out of Illinois. The seller, Marguerite Salinas, has owned the property since the 1950s. Jonathan Kim of Marcus & Millichap’s Tampa office represented the seller in the transaction.

“This deal presented significant challenges and embodies the epitome of proactive brokerage” states Jonathan Kim. Walgreens has been occupying the building since the late 1980s at a severely under-market rate. They also possessed multiple option rights extending another 60 years, with very nominal increases.

“We strategized to take the property to market at a cap rate of 6.5 percent when market cap rates were around 6 percent-6.25 percent. Through a very precisely targeted potential buyer campaign, we generated multiple contract offers within a short period.

"We then located an out-of-state investor/builder who specialized in drug store opportunities. Through the competitive bidding environment that we were able to create, we negotiated a deal netting the seller close to half a million dollars above the asking price.

"Additional challenges that had to be overcome during the due diligence process included the eviction of a sub-tenant, deferred maintenance issues and environmental contamination concerns.

"However, the deal successfully closed at the original contract price of $2,825,000, which was at an unbelievably low cap rate of 5.4 percent, in favor of the seller” states Kim.


Steven M. Ekovich
Marcus & Millichap
813 387 4700

Sue Sampson
Brokerage Administrator/CAST
Marcus & Millichap
7650 Courtney Campbell Causeway
Suite 920
Tampa, FL. 33607
Phone: (813) 387-4700
Fax: (813) 387-4710

WELBRO Building Corporation Ranked #1 in Revenues for 2007

ORLANDO, FL--WELBRO Building Corporation has been ranked #1 in Revenues for local general contractors for 2007 by the Orlando Business Journal.

With revenues of over $246 million WELBRO Building Corporation just completed the best year ever in the 29 year history of the company.

WELBRO’s success is based on it’s dedicated and well trained workforce of 200 professionals and over 200 craftworkers who manage and build projects such as Rosen Shingle Creek Resort, Bonnet Creek and the Hilton Orlando Convention Center Hotel for the hospitality industry and in addition have completed a number of very successful education projects in Orange, Lake and Citrus counties in the past year.

According to Steve Davis, (top right photo) President of WELBRO Building Corporation, "It is the dedicated men and women of WELBRO who make the difference; it is their performance on the job sites and their dedication to community and family that leads to the success of our company."

WELBRO Building Corporation is headquartered in Maitland, Florida and has been serving the Southeast commercial construction market since 1979. What started as a small commercial construction company, through partnership and collaboration is today ranked as one of the nation’s top contractors by Engineering News Record (ENR). WELBRO is a dominant force in the hotel/hospitality, education and commercial office markets, as well as retail/commercial and special use facilities.


Patricia A. Werner, CEcD
Vice President, Community & Economic Development
WELBRO Building Corporation
Telephone: 407/475-0800;
mobile: 407/766-3951
Fax 407-475-0801
2301 Maitland Center Pkwy, Suite 250
Maitland, Florida 32751
Branch Office: Pigeon Forge, TN

CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. Ranked No. 1 by National Real Estate Investor for Fifth Year in a Row

ORLANDO, FL - For the fifth year in a row National Real Estate Investor, the leading magazine for professional real estate investors, has ranked CB Richard Ellis No. 1 out of the 25 largest U.S.-based commercial real estate brokerage firms.

The ranking, featured in the publication's April 2008 issue, is based on the aggregate value of sales and leasing transactions completed globally during 2007.

CB Richard Ellis was responsible for more than $264.2 billion of global sales and leasing transactions in 2007. This total was 55% more than the nearest competitor.

"We have consistently attained the top market position globally by delivering best-in-class solutions to meet any client need," said CB Richard Ellis' Bill Moss, (top right photo) Senior Managing Director for Florida. "In Central Florida and around the world, our professionals can tap the industry's most comprehensive platform to tailor value-added solutions for owners, investors and occupiers of commercial real estate."


Jessica Wilhoite

Bill Moss