Monday, June 9, 2008

Morgans Hotel Group Closes Financing for Hard Rock Expansion Project

NEW YORK, June 9, 2008 Morgans Hotel Group Co. (NASDAQ: MHGC) (“MHG”) today announced that the Hard Rock joint venture between MHG and its equity partner, DLJ Merchant Banking Partners (“DLJMB”), has closed on the financing for the expansion of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. (photos above and top left)

The financing consists of a construction loan of up to $620.0 million under the Hard Rock’s existing loan facility. Hard Rock has drawn $96.0 million for the expansion under the facility and anticipates drawing additional amounts as needed.

MHG and DLJMB also amended their joint venture agreement to reflect DLJMB’s commitment to make additional capital contributions to Hard Rock of up to $144.0 million for the expansion project.

In addition, up to $110.0 million will be made available by DLJMB (to the extent needed) to fund the satisfaction of minimum sales price or amortization payment requirements under the loan facility relating to the approximately 15.0 acres of excess land held for sale by Hard Rock.

Hard Rock also entered into a guaranteed maximum price contract with M.J. Dean Construction which covers the majority of work to be performed on the expansion project. The estimated total cost of the expansion project is approximately $760.0 million.

“We are quickly moving forward to transform this legendary Las Vegas property,” said Fred Kleisner, (top right photo) President and Chief Executive Officer of MHG.

“Construction is under way and we have taken the steps to help ensure that the project is completed on time and on budget. With the expansion and other improvements to the existing facility, we are further enhancing Hard Rock’s status as the one true boutique hotel in Las Vegas.”

As planned, the new Hard Rock will have an additional 875 additional guestrooms, including an all-suite tower with upgraded amenities, approximately 60,000 square feet of meeting and convention space, and approximately 35,000 square feet of casino space.

The project also includes an expansion of the hotel’s pool, several new food and beverage outlets, a new and larger “The Joint” concert hall, a new spa and exercise facility and additional retail space

. Construction is expected to be completed in the second half of 2009. Recent renovations to the existing property include upgrades to existing suites, a new Ago restaurant and the new Wasted Space Lounge Bar.

Other improvements to be completed in 2008 include the expansion of the Nobu restaurant and a new poker room.

Richard Szymanski, Phone: +1 212-277-4188 475 10TH AVE USA - New York, NY 10018. Phone: 212 277 4100. Fax: 212 277 4290

Regency Centers' Mary Lou Fiala Elected as Chairman of International Council of Shopping Centers for 2008-2009

Fiala to Focus on Complex Challenges in Retail and Shopping Center Development

Mary Lou Fiala, (top right photo) Regency Centers (NYSE:REG) president and chief operating officer, formally accepted the position as 49th chairman of the International Council of Shopping Centers, Inc. (ICSC) during RECon, ICSC's annual meeting in Las Vegas.

Fiala was elected by the ICSC board of trustees to serve as the association's chair during 2008-2009. Fiala succeeds Rene Tremblay, (middle right photo) president of Ivanhoe Cambridge, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Since 1997, Fiala has been an active member of ICSC and has served on the organization's board of trustees for the past five years.

According to Michael P. Kercheval, (photo at left) ICSC's president and CEO, Fiala is highly qualified to serve as the head of the worldwide organization as retailers, developers, and investors look for opportunities beyond their traditional borders.

"Mary Lou's unique knowledge of what it takes to be both a successful retailer and a successful shopping center developer will serve our members well. We look forward to working with her," Kercheval said.

During her acceptance speech as chairman, Fiala focused on the industry's challenges with the theme of "Tucking and Rolling Together". She acknowledged that current economic times are difficult for many retailers and developers. However, Fiala doesn't agree that the current economy has burst.

"I don't believe that the economic situation is as bad as it's being reported. Unemployment is low and wages are high. We can also consider that current economic arguments may be being fueled by two political parties for presidential election purposes," she said.

As a veteran professional in the retail sector, Fiala has experienced many economic challenges in the industry including the energy crisis in the 1970s to the credit crunch of the 1990s.

"I accept my role as ICSC chair with remembrances of my parents, who survived tough times during the 1920s as meat purveyors, and my father's service in World War II. My father was a paratrooper and during that time a common practice for surviving the jumps from antiquated airplanes was called, 'Tuck and Roll'," stated Fiala.

"I believe that if we as an industry 'tuck and roll' now, then we'll learn to spring back into action at any given moment. Employing this philosophy, I believe that we'll be better prepared to weather any economic forecast," Fiala said during her acceptance speech.

According to Fiala, with the support of fellow members and the organization's multitude of programs, ICSC provides a forum to share professional knowledge and networks among its members. "Experiencing this year's convention, I feel a great unification among many in our industry who could be construed as competitors," said Fiala.

"We're all in this together and to make our economy work we must find better and more innovative ways to improve our decisions in retail real estate development, store operations, diversity and dynamics in our work force and positive planning for the future. My mission this year is to provide direction and answers to some very difficult issues facing all of us," said Fiala.

Fiala credits her education and expertise in retail real estate to her mentor Martin "Hap" Stein, Jr. (middle left photo), who serves as Regency Centers Chairman and CEO.

"Hap has served as an excellent example in leadership at Regency Centers and as this year's president of National Real Estate Investment Trust (NAREIT). Both Hap and I share the same philosophy to forge ahead with cycle-tested insights to help our counterparts in the industry continue to fare better during tough times," she said.

Fiala joined Regency Centers in 1998. In her role as President and Chief Operating Officer, she oversees the operational management of Regency's retail centers nationwide.

Prior to working with Regency, Fiala served as managing director of Security Capital Global Strategic Group Incorporated and senior vice president and director of stores for Macy's East/Federated Department Stores. Fiala also served as senior vice president of Henri Bendel and senior vice president and regional director of stores for Federated's Burdine's Division.


For Regency Centers, Jacksonville, The Hoffman Agency, Bonnie Hayflick, 904398-9663

Regency Centers, Tiffany McAneny, Manager of Communications, 904-598-7667

Marcus & Millichap Lists 66,854-SF Shopping Center in Oklahoma City for $12.25M

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, has retained the exclusive listing for Sportsman’s Warehouse & Quail Springs Retail Shops, (top right photo) a 66,854-square foot shopping center in Oklahoma City.

The listing price of $12.25 million represents $183 per square foot.

Jamie Medress, (top left photo) a vice president investments and senior director of Marcus & Millichap’s National Retail Group in Phoenix, is representing the seller, Hawkins Companies.

“Sportsman’s Warehouse & Quail Springs Retail Shops is an excellent opportunity for an investor to acquire a newly built shopping center in a highly desirable location along a major retail corridor,” says Medress.

Located at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Memorial Road, the shopping center consists of one one-story multi-tenant retail building situated on a 9.47-acre lot, adjacent from Quail Springs Mall, which is one of the largest and busiest malls in the entire state, encompassing approximately 1.13 million square feet and containing more than 160 stores on three levels.

Built in 2007, the shopping center is 98 percent leased to four tenants on triple-net leases, including Sportsman’s Warehouse, Howard Sports, Push Pedal and Pull and AT&T.
The property is surrounded by major retailers including Gordmans, Best Buy, Super Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, The Home Depot, Pier 1 Imports, Super Target, Circuit City, Ross, Office Depot, Michael’s, PetSmart, Old Navy, Krispy Kreme Donuts, PF Chang’s and Arby’s.

Press Contact: Stacey Corso
Communications Department
(925) 953-1716

Tri-City Electrical Contractors, Inc. Completes New Residences at Midtown Condominium in Palm Beach Gardens, FL

PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL – Orlando-based Tri-City Electrical Contractors, Inc. completed $1.8 million of work at the new 4-story, 205-unit Residences at Midtown Condominium in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, (project site in top left map) under its contract with BJ&K Construction, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Florida’s leader in electrical contracting, communications and service, Tri-City reported 2007 revenues totaling $160 million. With nearly 1,200 employees statewide, the Orlando-based electrical contractor and service provider also operates divisional offices in Fort Myers, Ocala/Gainesville and Tampa, as well as satellite offices in Santa Rosa Beach and Sarasota.

Kenneth H. Cristol, President, Cristol Marketing Company, 237 Hunt Club Blvd., Suite 102, Longwood, FL 32779 USA. PH 407-774-2515. FX 407-774-6647. Strategic Marketing, Brand Management, Publicity and Advertising, and Corporate Communications

Shelli Mahan Earns Certification as Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)

Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites Director of Human Resources Awarded Certification by HRCI

LOS ANGELES, CA, June 9, 2008 – Shelli Mahan, Director of Human Resources at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites, (top right photo) has earned certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). Mahan exemplifies dedication to the human resources profession, as well as a commitment to personal excellence.

The certification, which is awarded on behalf of the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI), signifies that Mahan possesses theoretical knowledge and a vast amount of practical experience in human resource management. HRCI grants two levels of certification to those in the human resources profession: Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).

“Shelli represents the best in her profession and we are honored to work alongside her,” Director of Sales and Marketing Bob Nee said. “What some would consider going the extra mile has become habit for Shelli; she sets the bar for excellence at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites.”

Mahan not only passed the required comprehensive examination, but also possesses a strong background of professional human resource experience.

An employee of Interstate Hotels & Resorts, Mahan has served as Director of Human Resources at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites since 1995 and Director of Human Resources at the Holiday Inn Golden Gateway prior to her current tenure.

Before joining Interstate Hotels & Resorts, Mahan held positions in human resources with Kimpton Hotels, Bayview Hotels, Holiday Inns, Inc., and Marriott. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Personnel Administration and Spanish from the University of Kansas, and later earned her Master of Science in Human Resources Management from Golden Gate University.

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

Bob Nee Director of Sales & Marketing – Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites, (213) 624-1000 /

Hendricks & Partners Appoints Hal Warren Associate Partner

ORLANDO, FL– Hendricks & Partners, the Phoenix-based real estate advisory group that specializes in multi-family properties, has appointed longtime Orlando broker Hal Warren (top right photo) associate partner in its recently opened Orlando office.

Cole Whitaker, who heads Hendricks & Partners southeast regional office in Orlando, said Warren has almost 20 years of experience in commercial real estate specializing in multi-family properties. Warren earned his B.S. Degree from Florida State University –– and a Master’s Degree from the University of Central Florida.

Warren served as the southeast acquisitions director for United Dominion Realty Trust, Inc. (UDR) and as senior director with Cushman & Wakefield’s Apartment Brokerage Service Group.
“I’m delighted Hal Warren has joined our team,” said Whitaker. “He is one of the most knowledgeable multi-family property specialists in Florida and he will play a key role in our expansion in the southeast region,” Whitaker added.

Hendricks & Partners recently opened offices in downtown Orlando at 201 South Orange Ave. Hendricks & Partners has 30 offices throughout the country and plans to open other offices in the southeast over the next two years including Miami, Tampa, Atlanta and Jacksonville.

Hendricks & Partners plans to open other offices in the eastern seaboard region between Miami and New York, Hendricks said. Offices in Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville, Atlanta and the Carolinas are expected to open over the next 36 months.

For more information, please contact:
Cole Whitaker, Hendricks & Partners 407-256-9594
Hal Warren, Associate Partner Hendricks & Partners 407-929-8786
Larry Vershel, Larry Vershel Communications 407-644-4142