Wednesday, February 1, 2017

New Castle Hotels & Resorts Renews First Franchise with Westin Hotels & Resorts

The Westin Nova Scotian, Halifax, NS

 SHELTON, CT -- (Feb. 1, 2017) - - New Castle Hotels and Resorts, which made history in 1996 when it became the first franchisee of Westin Hotels & Resorts, today announced that it has renewed the Westin franchise for another 20 years for The Westin Nova Scotian in Halifax. 

Gerry Chase
“The Westin brand is among the most recognizable and resonant brands with both business and leisure travelers,” said Gerry Chase, president and COO of New Castle. 

“Westin’s wellness branding and focus on authenticity really speak to the heart of Maritime Canada, which prides itself on a level of genuine hospitality rarely seen in other places.

“ It’s about a sincere smile, a warm handshake and empathy for our guests that is instinctive.  Westin was the right brand partner in 1996 and, 20 years later, Westin is a more powerful proposition than ever before.” 

The Westin Nova Scotian was built in 1930 as one of the famed Canadian National Railway hotels that stretched across Canada from the Pacific to the Atlantic oceans.  Since re-opening as The Westin Nova Scotian, the south end of Halifax has become a lifestyle hub featuring Atlantic Canada’s the only national museum; the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, the Cunard Center and dozens of shops and restaurants as well as the new ViaRail Train station.

John Wilson
“Historic hotels convey a sense of place that no other hotel can claim, and that has a tremendous amount of appeal to guests in search of a locally authentic experience,” John Wilson, general manager. 

“At the same time, today’s travelers also appreciate the consistency of a known brand, particularly one with the overall wellness programming that’s Westin’s hallmark. 

"Amenities like our indoor saltwater pool and full-service Sykea spa, as well as our green meetings designation and other environmental recognition bring that message home.  It’s an ideal combination.”

The Westin Nova Scotian has earned 4-Diamond status from CAA/AAA for the past seven years and its Elements on Hollis restaurant has earned six consecutive Wine Spectator awards of excellence.  According to Guido Kerpel, regional vice president for New Castle, the franchise renewal will coincide with a multi-million-dollar renovation now in the planning stages. 

Shelton, Conn.-based New Castle Hotels & Resorts is an award-winning, independent, third-party hotel manager, owner and developer with 20 hotels and resorts and nearly 3,500 rooms under contract or in development.  New Castle’s growing portfolio of hotels spans 10 states and two Canadian provinces and includes several of Canada’s historic landmark resorts.  The privately held company was established by CEO David Buffam in 1980 and consistently ranks among the top hotel management and development companies in North America, serving the United States and Canada.  New Castle is a preferred operator for diverse brands within the Marriott, Hilton and Starwood families.
For a complete copy of the company’s news release, please contact:

Lauralee Dobbins
609-451-5102 Stay connected to Westin: @westin on Twitter and Instagram and

Chris Baer and Brian Hennessey join Avison Young in Los Angeles North

Brian Hennessey
Los Angeles, CA – Christopher Cooper, Avison Young Principal and Managing Director of the company’s Southern California region, announced the strategic hiring of Chris Baer, Brian Hennessey and Armand Aghadjanians in the firm’s Los Angeles North office.

Effective immediately, Baer, a 31-year commercial real estate industry veteran, becomes a Principal of Avison Young with a mandate to expand the company’s Tri-Cities and San Fernando Valley agency leasing and office investment real estate sales practice.

Baer rejoins Avison Young following a four-year tenure with Colliers International in Los Angeles, where he was an executive vice-president. He initially joined Avison Young as an executive vice-president following the company’s acquisition of Ramsey-Shilling Commercial Real Estate Services, Inc., a full-service commercial real estate brokerage firm, in December 2011.

Hennessey, a 33-year veteran of the commercial real estate industry, joins Avison Young as a senior vice-president. He was most recently a senior vice-president at Colliers International in Los Angeles, specializing in office sales and leasing with a focus on the West San Fernando Valley and Tri-Cities markets.

Chris Baer
 Also joining Avison Young from Colliers International in Los Angeles is Aghadjanians, as an Associate.

“Chris and Brian are highly respected real estate industry leaders who have gained considerable recognition in Southern California for their proven expertise in agency leasing and office leasing and investment sales,” comments Cooper.

 “We couldn’t be more pleased to have Chris, Brian and Armand come on board to further expand our Los Angeles service delivery platform. The addition of all three members will further our ability to provide high-level, value-added owner and investor services to our clients.”

According to Mark Evanoff, Avison Young Principal and Managing Director of the Los Angeles North office: “We are thrilled to welcome Chris back to Avison Young and to bring Brian and Armand on board.

“The addition of all three members to the Avison Young team shows our firm’s continued commitment to client service through superior expertise. Their deep market knowledge of the Tri-cities and San Fernando Valley areas will be a tremendous complement to Avison Young’s service offerings in our rapidly growing region.”

Baer is looking forward to being reunited with Evanoff and several other colleagues with whom he worked previously.

Armand Aghadjanians 
“I am very excited to be returning to the Avison Young family,” says Baer. 

“The firm's Principal-led, client-centric culture places a high emphasis on honesty and integrity while fostering a collaborative partnership that is unique in the real estate industry. 

"Furthermore, Avison Young’s encouragement for an entrepreneurial approach to client service and solutions sets the company apart. 

"We are looking forward to expanding our market share in the Tri-Cities/San Fernando Valley, and working with our new colleagues throughout North America and Europe.”

Prior to joining Ramsey-Shilling in 2007, Baer, a perennial top producer, spent 21 years as a senior vice-president at Grubb & Ellis Company. Baer specializes in the delivery of comprehensive real estate consulting and transactional services for U.S./foreign corporations, governmental agencies, non-profits and institutional investment companies.

During his illustrious career, he has represented numerous entertainment companies, including Sony, Warner Bros., Disney, Dolby Labs, MCA/Universal and Fotokem in major acquisitions and dispositions of office, production and industrial properties. Baer has also been integral in assembling, entitling and selling nearly 1,500 units of mixed-use projects throughout Southern California.

Christopher Cooper
He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics, graduating with honors from the University of California-Los Angeles. An inactive Certified Public Accountant (CPA), he has begun studying for a Master’s degree in business taxation at the University of Southern California.

Hennessey has completed transactions totaling approximately 12 million square feet during his career, for a combined value in excess of $1 billion. 

In the process, he has managed every aspect of the real estate transaction, from developing acquisition and disposition strategies to conducting market and feasibility analyses to negotiating and executing leases and multi-state portfolio transactions.

He is the author of the highly regarded real estate book on The Due Diligence Handbook For Commercial Real Estate and the audiobook of the same title.

Aghadjanians is in his second year in the commercial real estate industry and specializes in office sales and leasing in the San Fernando Valley/Tri-Cities.

Adds Cooper: “We believe that the San Fernando Valley and Tri-Cities communities of Pasadena, Burbank and Glendale are under-serviced. While offering strategic investment sales advisory services, Chris, Brian and Armand will provide the agency leasing horsepower that our Tri-Cities clients need.”

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

Darcie Giacchetto


HFF closes sale of Whole Foods-anchored retail center in Birmingham, AL

Cahaba Village Retail Center, Mountain Brook, AL

Jim Hamilton
ATLANTA, GA –– Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P. (HFF) announced it has closed the sale of Cahaba Village, a trophy 115,180-square-foot, Whole Foods-anchored retail center in the affluent Birmingham submarket of Mountain Brook, Alabama.

L & B Realty Advisors purchased the asset free and clear of existing debt on behalf of an institutional separate account client.

Cahaba Village is a generational asset located in Mountain Brook, one of the most affluent markets in Alabama, and is strategically positioned along U.S. 280, the main retail corridor in Birmingham. 

The property is home to one of the most dynamic, highest-performing tenant line-ups in the southeast and features such notable tenants as Whole Foods, Diamonds Direct, Mountain High Outfitters and Bryant Bank.   

The HFF investment sales team representing the seller was led by senior managing directors Jim Hamilton, Richard Reid and Barry Brown; managing director Ryan Shore and associates Mike Allison and Brad Buchanan.

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

Kristen Murphy
Director, Public Relations
HFF | One Post Office Square, Suite 3500 | Boston, MA 02109
tel 617.848.1572 | cell 617.543.4873 |

Former Fannie Mae Exec Peter Poidomani Joins Renovo Financial as Executive Vice President

Peter G. Poidomani

CHICAGO, IL (Feb. 1, 2017) — Chicago-based Renovo Financial, a private lender to residential real estate investors, has hired asset management expert Peter G. Poidomani as executive vice president of portfolio management to help oversee the firm’s portfolio and strengthen the organization’s foundation as it continues its expansive growth.

Founded in 2011, in partnership with Chicago-based private equity firm Granite Creek Partners, Renovo Financial has loaned more than $250 million to residential real estate investors on revitalization projects valued in excess of $400 million. The firm closed its 1000th loan in December of 2016 and saw its revenue increase over 100 percent from 2015 to 2016.

“The hiring of Peter is just one more example of how we are investing in the future and taking strategic steps to build a strong team that will help Renovo as we look to expand not only locally, but also into new regions,” said Kevin Werner, CEO at Renovo Financial. “Peter brings 20 years of industry experience and his knowledge as the former director of real estate asset management at Fannie Mae will be a huge asset to Renovo.”
Kevin Werner
In his new role at Renovo Financial, Poidomani will be responsible for optimizing the portfolio management process while placing equal emphasis on managing risk for the company.

 In addition, Poidomani will be focused on ensuring that internal operations are executed with world-class speed and service in mind. 

Prior to joining Renovo, Poidomani’s work at Fannie Mae included creating a production platform that managed a property portfolio in excess of $2 billion. 

He was responsible for strategy execution and the day-to-day operation for 36 real estate asset management units across the Midwest.

In addition to his Government-Sponsored Enterprise experience, Poidomani has worked in both the private mortgage and banking fields spending time at Fieldstone Mortgage, Aurora National Bank and Cityscape Mortgage in New York. 

 “I am excited to align my talents with a high-energy firm such as Renovo, Chicago’s leading private lender and one of the most advanced in this field nationally,” said Poidomani. “There are multiple markets across the Midwest that are deep with potential for residential real estate investors/flippers. The opportunity to be a part of the Renovo team, which is at the forefront in lending efficiency and customer service, was very compelling to me.” 

Renovo Financial’s team has expertise spanning an array of disciplines, including financing, renovation and property management, and provides high-touch customer service throughout the life of the loan. Through its "Circle of Success," which includes third-party professionals such as attorneys, property managers, general contractors and Realtors, Renovo Financial aids clients in assembling a team to help drive a successful outcome for each project.
Werner added, “We believe in building for the future and know that Peter has the vision to help Renovo expand its base of operations and the communities we serve. He is an outstanding addition to our team.” A graduate of Pace University, Poidomani holds a Master of Science in finance/investment management.

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

 Kim Manning,, (312) 267-4527
Kate Koziol,, (312) 267-4521

Morris, Manning & Martin (MMM) Honors Christina Graham For Community Service

Christina Graham

Atlanta, GA  - Every year MMM bestows the Wells Award for Outstanding Service upon an individual who goes above and beyond dedicating time and energy to helping others. Christina Graham was honored for her work chairing MMMPact, the firm’s Corporate Social responsibility (CSR) initiative, which has raised thousands of dollars for nonprofits and donated countless volunteer hours, while working to improve diversity, advance women’s issues and encouraging civic leadership.

“A good idea without great execution would be a zero,” said MMM Managing Partner Louise Wells, as she surprised Graham with the award Jan. 24. “Because of everything Christina has done, we are renaming the award the Wells-Graham Award.”

Graham was initially speechless about both the award and the fact that it now bears her name. “I am always so humbled by what so many people do everyday,” Graham said. “It really does matter a lot to the people we serve.”

The MMMPact committee consists of five established programs: Civic Leadership, Community Involvement, Diversity, Pro Bono, and the Women’s Initiative. In addition, each year MMMPact embraces a different nonprofit organization.

Louise Wells

 This year’s nonprofit partner is Ahimsa House, which helps domestic abuse victims and their pets escape violence. The nonprofit, which was founded by a survivor of domestic violence, finds temporary homes for pets for up to 60 days while also helping their owners start new lives.

The surprise award ceremony was held during a kick-off event for Ahimsa House at the MMM’s Buckhead office.

Graham, a Partner in the firm’s Real Estate Development and Finance Practice, represents developers and owners in all phases of commercial real estate including acquisition, development, financing, disposition and tax-free exchanges. She focuses on representing multifamily developers and owners in the development and financing of new apartment projects and in the acquisition, financing and disposition of existing projects.

For a complete copy of the company’s news release, please contact: Terri Thornton
Partner, Thornton Communications
Phone: 404-932-4347


HFF arranges $21.6 million first mortgage financing for Class A loft-style apartment community in Porter Square at Cambridge, MA

Xave Jacoby
 BOSTON, MA –– Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P. (HFF) announced it has arranged $21.6 million in first mortgage financing for Hathaway Lofts, a recently-completed, Class A multi-housing community in the Porter Square neighborhood of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Working on behalf of Camco Management Company, HFF placed the 10-year, 3.23 percent, fixed-rate loan through a correspondent life insurance company. 

Formerly the Hathaway Bakery, Hathaway Lofts was completed renovated and restored into a luxury residential community comprising 46 loft-style, condominium-quality apartments.

 The building offers 35 distinct floor plans in loft, duplex and flat configurations and incorporates the bakery’s historic attributes such as exposed brick walls, 10’ to 17’ ceiling heights, wood beams and industrial style windows.

Brett Paulsrud
 The community was fully pre-leased prior to construction being completed and opened in June 2016. 

Situated at 15 Richdale Avenue, Hathaway Lofts is in close proximity to numerous restaurants, boutiques and cultural offerings in Cambridge and is located just two blocks from the MBTA Porter Square Station, providing direct access to Harvard Square, Kendall Square and downtown Boston.

The HFF debt placement team representing the borrower was led by director Brett Paulsrud and senior real estate analyst Xave Jacoby.

“Hathaway Lofts offers unique, luxury, loft-style living that is unparalleled in today’s market,”   said Paulsrud. “It was a pleasure working with Camco Management to meet the financing objectives for this one-of-a-kind project.”

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

Kristen M. Murphy
Director, Public Relations
HFF | One Post Office Square, Suite 3500 | Boston, MA 02109
Main: 617-338-0990 | Direct: 617-848-1572 | Cell: 617-543-4873 |