Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Lane Asset Management Acquires Texas Apartments

ATLANTA, GA (Dec. 14, 2010) – Atlanta-based Lane Asset Management, LLC has acquired The Villas at River Park West Apartments (top left photo) in the upscale Houston suburb of Richmond, Texas.

The gated community includes 252 one- and two-bedroom luxury garden-style apartments located on ten acres within River Park West, a 545-acre master-planned community.

“We are excited about this latest acquisition, it is a great asset in an excellent location,” said Lane Company President Cindy Pfeifer (top right photo).

 “The market has definitely become more active and we are looking at numerous other assets to add to the portfolio.”

Fort Bend County, where the community is located, is the 11th-fastest growing county in the U.S. The area’s population has been predicted to increase almost 20 percent by the year 2015.

“We are obviously very excited about our most recent acquisition,” added Bill Stahlke (middle left photo), President of Lane Asset Management. “The property is located in a very desirable and upscale area, with single-family homes averaging $300,000.”

Built in 2007, The Villas at River Park West includes amenities such a resort-style pool with a water feature, a fitness center, business center and club room with fireplace and pool table.

The grounds include landscaped courtyards with barbeque and picnic areas as well as greenspaces and nature trails.

Its location along the Southwest Freeway (U.S. 59) makes it accessible to millions of square feet of shopping, dining and entertainment as well as healthcare, professional and business centers.

It is also just minutes from the neighboring suburbs of Sugar Land and Rosenberg.

“The property is conveniently located to thousands of jobs in the medical field such as Methodist Sugar Land Hospital (lower right photo), Memorial Hermann – Sugar Land Hospital, and the Oak Bend Medical Center (lower left photo),” Stahlke added.

Lane acquired the property through a joint venture with Lubert-Adler, a real estate private equity firm specializing in joint ventures with local operating partners.

Lubert-Adler announced last year that it had allocated $250 million to fund the acquisition of multifamily properties with Lane, primarily in the Southeast and Southwest.

 “The transaction was consummated in less than 35 days from the execution of a letter of intent,” Stahlke said. “This is a testament to our strong working relationship with Lubert-Adler.

“We are currently actively pursuing numerous potential acquisitions both in the Southwest and Southeastern U.S. under our venture with Lubert- Adler and are very optimistic that we will be closing other acquisitions in the very near future.”

The deal closed December 1. The purchase price has not been released.

Media Contact: Terri Thornton, Thornton Communications, 404-932-4347 Terri@TerriThornton.com

Legacy Hotel Advisors to Develop New Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in Orlando Through a Collaborative Effort With Darden

ORLANDO, FL, /PRNewswire/ -- Legacy Hotel Advisors (Legacy), a specialized real estate services group and advisor to the lodging industry,  announced plans to develop a 129-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel (top left rendering) on the new headquarters campus of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI) in Orlando.

Attractively located along John Young Parkway at the intersection of Taft Vineland Road, the hotel will be supported by demand from Darden's Restaurant Support Center and the adjacent South Park Center office complex.

With convenient access to the Orlando International Airport, Orange County Convention Center, Walt Disney World Resort and other popular attractions, the five-story hotel should benefit from its close proximity to Marriott's luxurious Grande Lakes Orlando resort - which features a 1,000-room JW Marriott and 584-room Ritz-Carlton with 150,000 square feet of combined meeting space and world-class golf, spa and dining offerings.

Thomas J. Hutchison III  (top right photo), chairman of Legacy, said, "We are pleased to be working alongside a preeminent restaurant operator in Darden and to collaborate on a project in our hometown of Orlando, one of the most celebrated visitor destinations in the world.

“ In a market with a strong history of absorbing new inventory, we believe it's an opportune time to invest in lodging assets that can deliver quality, affordability and an exceptional location. And our longstanding relationship with Marriott is a testament to the strength of its brands and loyalty of its customers."

The Courtyard hotel represents the initial phase of a multi-phase development plan for Darden's new 64-acre campus, with future phases to include 28,000-square-feet of retail space and 45,000-square-feet of additional office space.

"Beyond providing on-campus lodging for our specialized training programs and visiting management, the hotel property will further our dedication to sustainable design and construction through Legacy's commitment to develop a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified hotel facility," said Suk Singh (middle right photo), senior vice president of development for Darden.

Darden's 469,000-square-foot support center, which opened in September 2009, received LEED Gold certification from the United States Green Building Council, making it the largest newly constructed building in Florida to do so.

 In the Orlando market, the Courtyard hotel will mark the first Marriott branded property with LEED certification.

Legacy's CEO, Jay H. Berlinsky (middle left photo), added, "We're particularly excited to support our local business community and to help attract more visitors to the area. The Courtyard project is a great indicator of the emerging lodging opportunities in Central Florida, and will serve as a catalyst to several new development projects we're pursuing in the region."

Legacy expects to begin construction in 2011. Upon completion, the property will join a local Orlando portfolio of six Courtyard hotels.

With more than 860 locations in 30 countries, Courtyard is Marriott's largest hotel brand and is expanding internationally with 200 additional hotels planned over the next three years.

Legacy has engaged award-winning, Orlando-based designers L2 Studios, Inc., with a proposed exterior rendering of the hotel accessible at www.l2studios.com/news-events.

 For additional information, please visit http://www.legacycos.com/

Contact:: Jay H. Berlinsky, Legacy Hotel Advisors, +1-407-412-9200

Latino Hotel Association's First Hotel Franchising Forum Draws Nearly 90 Potential Developers

 HOUSTON, TX Dec. 14, 2010--Officials of the Latino Hotel Association (LHA), the global organization dedicated to expanding Latino ownership, leadership and commerce in the hotel industry, today announced the successful completion of "Hotel Franchising," the group's first hotel franchising forum held outside the U.S. 

The event, which was held November 30 to December 3, 2010, in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico, attracted nearly 90 potential developers.

"The positive interest and feedback exceeded our expectations," said Angela Gonzalez-Rowe (top right photo), president and founder of LHA.

 "As many as 90 percent of attendees expressed interest in developing hotels, especially franchised properties, in the immediate future.  As a result of the success of the event, we intend to hold at least one additional forum next year, in conjunction with the Mexican Hotel Association."

"Mexico has tremendous growth potential for the hotel industry," said Armando de la Garza Gaytan (top left photo) president, Convention & Visitors Bureaus Association; president, Hispanic Meeting Professionals.  "Feedback from our members and attendees new to the hotel industry was very positive.  We look forward to a follow-up session in 2011."

Hotel investors, owners and developers in attendance learned the fundamentals of hotel development, acquisition, repositioning and financing at the forum. 

In addition, participants heard strategies for executing successful hotel investment offerings and maximizing strong relationships with brands' management and franchise companies. 

The success of the forum has prompted LHA to begin researching the feasibility of holding similar sessions in Central and South America.

 "Hotels and brands are expanding in Latin America, and we view our role as a resource to help Latino owners and investors make the most informed decisions," said Gonzalez-Rowe.

Mexican attendees came from Saltillo, Monterrey, Guadalajara, Mexico City, Monclova, Parras de la Fuente, Zapopan, andPiedras Negras.

 In addition, Latino attendees from the U.S. came from Florida, Texas, Tennessee, New Mexico and California. 

Many of the 86 registered participants already were hoteliers, representing 42 hotels with 76 to 150 rooms on average.  Some 80 percent expressed an interest in hotel franchising.

More than 90 percent of participants were looking at new hotel development within Mexico, while 10 percent were interested in developing hotels in the United States.

Sponsors of the event include Hilton Hotels & Resorts; Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, LLC; Hyatt Hotels and Resorts; Accor; HVS International; JMBM; Carl Ross Design Group; LLW Architects; Smith Travel Research; and Hotel and Motel Management Magazine.

Additional information is available at the association's website, http://www.latinohotelassociation.org/.

Jerry Daly, Chris Daly, Daly Gray Public Relations,  (703) 435-6293, jerry@dalygray.com