Monday, April 8, 2013

(Almost) All the Way Back: Hotel Performance is Surging

Mark Woodworth

 ATLANTA, GA (April 8, 2013) – After tanking in the Great Recession, the hotel industry has almost fully recovered and now boasts rock-solid operating fundamentals.

 That was the consensus of a panel of experts on the most recent episode of the “Commercial Real Estate Show” radio program, hosted by Michael Bull of Bull Realty. The episode provided an enlightening look at the hospitality and lodging industry. Topics included occupancy rates, investment sales, the availability of capital and typical loan terms.

 “I would say it’s a fact that, by just about any measure, hotels have led all other property types in terms of the overall recovery,” said Mark Woodworth, president of PKF Hospitality Research. “We’ve seen some very, very attractive increases in demand.”

Michael Bull
The national hotel occupancy rate is now just shy of its long-term average of 62 percent, according to Woodworth.

 With decreased vacancies comes increased pricing power. Citing data from Smith Travel Research, Woodworth said the average U.S. hotel increased its rates by 4.2 percent on a year-over-year basis in 2012. Rates should increase by an average of 5 percent this year and an average of 6.2 percent in 2014, he predicted.

 While the sector as a whole is prospering, certain types of assets naturally are performing better than others, and, perhaps surprisingly, luxury hotels have shown the strongest recovery, guests noted.

Judy Hendrick
 “The way I think of it is, the higher your room rate, the better you’re probably doing,” Woodworth said.

 Despite the strong uptick in property performance, investment sales of hotels have yet to attain a brisk pace, guests observed. Uncertainty about the economic recovery has suppressed hotel sales and property values, but “the great news is that’s going to be dissipating as we move through 2013, and we expect some very attractive pops in hotel property values in 2014 and beyond,” Woodworth said.

 Debt and equity capital have returned to the hotel market, although the availability of funds does not match the 2006-2007 era, said Judy Hendrick, CFO of Aimbridge Hospitality, a firm that owns and operates hotels in 29 states.

Nelson Migdal

“Even a year ago, if I wanted to go look for debt to refinance or acquire a property, I would have had to search and search to get one quote from a lender,” she said. “Now there are numerous lenders that have come back into the market, so that has changed a lot of the dynamic.”

 Active lenders include Fifth Third Bank, Wells Fargo and JP Morgan, guests said.

 Despite increased lender appetite for hotels, the amount of equity needed to obtain an acquisition loan is considerable, said attorney Nelson Migdal, co-chair of the Hospitality Group in the Greenberg Traurig law firm. “You are going to have to have a capital stack where your equity is between 60 and 70 percent [of the purchase price],” he said. “You’re not going to walk in there with 20 percent equity any more.”

 The entire episode on the U.S. hotel and lodging market is available for download at The next “Commercial Real Estate Show” will be available April 11 and will examine legal issues prevalent in the commercial real estate industry.
For a complete copy of the company’s news release, please contact:

Stephen Ursery
The Wilbert Group
Office: (404) 965-5026
Cell: (404) 405-2354

HFF closes $30 million sale of Van Dyke Commons in suburb of Tampa, FL

Van Dyke Commons, Lutz, FL
ORLANDO, FL - HFF announced today that it has closed the sale of Van Dyke Commons, a 139,347-square-foot retail center in Lutz, Florida.

HFF marketed the property on behalf of the seller, iStar Financial Inc. (NYSE: SFI).  Prestige Properties & Development purchased the unencumbered property for $30 million.

Van Dyke Commons is located at the intersection of Van Dyke Road and North Dale Mabry Highway approximately 15 miles northwest of downtown Tampa.  Built in 2007, the retail center is 100 percent leased and includes a 0.88-acre undeveloped outparcel.   Van Dyke Commons is anchored by LA Fitness, HomeGoods and Golfsmith.

Brad Peterson
The HFF team representing the seller was led by senior managing director Brad Peterson and director analyst, Kim Flores.

“Van Dyke Commons was highly sought after by investors because it was located in a primarily institutionally-owned submarket.  The population growth and income demographics in the surrounding area significantly outpace the Tampa metro-wide averages. 

Kim Flores
“However, what really captivated investors was the strong performance by each of the anchors, shop occupancy, retention rate and the huge volume of daily traffic to the property driven by LA Fitness,” commented Peterson.

For a complete copy of the company’s news release, please contact:

Kristen M. Murphy
Associate Director
HFF | 9 Greenway Plaza, Suite 700 | Houston, TX 77046
tel 713.852.3500 | cel 617.543.4873 | fax 713.527.8725 |

HSA Commercial Partners with Industrial Income Trust to Develop 180,480 SF Spec Warehouse at Park 355 in Woodridge, IL

Rendering of planned spec warehouse 
at Park 355, Woodridge, IL

 CHICAGO, IL (April 8, 2013)— Jack Shaffer, chairman and founder of HSA Commercial, Inc., announced today that the firm will break ground this month on a 180,480-square-foot speculative warehouse facility at Park 355 in Woodridge, Ill.
Jack Shaffer

To launch the project, HSA Commercial is partnering with Denver-based Industrial Income Trust (IIT), a non-traded real estate investment trust that acquires and operates high-quality distribution warehouses and other industrial properties.

The proposed industrial building, which will feature 30-foot clear heights, frontage on Interstate 355, an ESFR sprinkler system, 49 exterior truck docks, and four drive-in doors, will be divisible to 17,580-square-foot suites to accommodate smaller industrial tenants seeking immediate leasing opportunities.

 “HSA Commercial experienced a lot of success in attracting a stable, national tenant mix with the first phase of Park 355,” said Craig Phillips, executive vice president of development with HSA Commercial. “We are looking forward to working with IIT to continue that success in Phase II.”

Craig Phillips
 “For industrial tenants around 20,000 square feet, there are not a lot options in the I-55 corridor, especially in the type of Class A industrial space that our project will have to offer,” said Tim Thompson, SIOR, executive vice president and managing director of the Industrial Services Division at HSA Commercial, who is responsible for the leasing of Park 355’s second phase.

 “We expect that this will be an attractive opportunity for those smaller tenants that are still struggling to find a spot in the market.”

Tim Thompson
For a complete copy of the company’s news release, please contact:

Mark Thomton,

Kim Manning,

John Hackett Appointed Vice President of Transient Sales for Loews Hotels & Resorts

John Hackett
NEW YORK, NY (April 8, 2013) – Loews Hotels & Resorts announces the appointment of John Hackett as Vice President, Transient Sales.  Hackett will lead the company’s centralized transient sales efforts within the business and leisure traveler segments. 

"John joins Loews Hotels at an exciting time as we grow our brand and expand our transient sales focus, especially with corporate professionals,” said David Wiener, Senior Vice President of Sales, Loews Hotels & Resorts.  "His proven track record in the travel industry supports our goal to be the brand of choice among business and leisure travelers."

 Hackett has more than 20 years of travel and hospitality industry experience.  He has led domestic and global sales teams for a number of diverse companies including Wyndham International, Omni Hotels and Travelocity.  

David Wiener
In Hackett’s most recent role at BCD Travel, he was responsible for new business acquisition, account retention and new product development while representing one of the largest travel management companies in the world to the corporate travel industry.

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  For a complete copy of the company’s news release, please contact:

Loews Hotels & Resorts
Lark-Marie Anton                                            
(212) 521-2779                                                         

 Sarah Murov
(212) 521-2495

Reignited: Foreclosure Filings Spike 34% In South Florida Region In Q1 2013

Peter Zalewski
MIAMI, FL, April 8, 2013 -- Nearly 13,700 foreclosure actions were filed in the tricounty South Florida region of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach in the first quarter of 2013, representing a 34 percent increase in notices of default initiated on a year-over-year basis compared to the same January through March period in 2012, according to a new report from

The surge in foreclosure filings in the first quarter of 2013 means more than 362,000 notices of default - the first step in the repossession process - have been initiated in South Florida since the real estate crash began in 2007, according to the report based on the Condo Vultures® Foreclosure Database™.

Despite the spike in South Florida foreclosure actions, the total number of filings initiated in 2013 in the region is down compared to the same three-month period in previous years when more than 20,000 actions were filed in 2010 and nearly 24,000 actions were filed in 2009, according to the report based on filings with the Clerks of the Court for each respective county. 

"Foreclosure filings are on the rise again in South Florida," said Peter Zalewski, a principal with the Greater Downtown Miami-based real estate consultancy Condo Vultures® LLC.

"After a couple of years of minimal activity due in part to the 'robo-signer' controversy, lenders are once again stepping up efforts to confront borrowers who are in default on their mortgages in South Florida. At the current pace of foreclosure actions, South Florida could experience nearly 55,000 filings in the year 2013."

 For a complete copy of the company’s news release, please contact:

Condo Vultures® LLC
225 Midtown Building
225 NE 34th St., Suite 209B,
Downtown Miami, Florida, 33137.
PH: 1-800-750-0517.

Berger Commercial Realty Announces Four New Leases at Oakland Commerce Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Judy Dolan
 FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (April 8, 2013)- Berger Commercial Realty brokers Judy Dolan, Greg Milopoulos and Keith Graves recently represented Oakland Center Associates, LTD in four lease transactions. They are:

 3317 NW 10th Terrace, Suite 405/406, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309. Landlord: Oakland Center Associates, LTD, represented by Dolan, Milopoulos and Graves
Tenant:American Guard Systems LLC. Transaction:New Lease. Square Footage:2,522  Type: Office Space

Greg Milopoulos
3404 N. Powerline Road, Suite 805, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309. Landlord: Oakland Center Associates, LTD, represented by Dolan, Milopoulos and Graves
Tenant:Wickedtronics, Inc. Transaction:New Lease Square Footage:810 Type: Office Space

 3317 N.W. 10th Terrace, Suite 401, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309  Landlord: Oakland Center Associates, LTD, represented by Dolan, Milopoulos and Graves
Tenant:NCS Pearson, Inc. Transaction: Lease Renewal Square Footage:1,980
Type: Office Space

Keith Graves
3223 N.W. 10th Terrace, Suite 608, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309  Landlord: Oakland Center Associates, LTD, represented by Dolan, Milopoulos and Graves  Tenant:Cornerstone Recovery Center, Inc. Transaction:Expansion  Square Footage:1,775  Type: Office Space

 For a complete copy of the company’s news release, please contact:

 Marielle Sologuren
Pierson Grant Public Relations
(954) 776-1999, ext. 226