July 7, 2015

JLL Promotes 37 International Directors

JLL (NYSE: JLL) has promoted 37 colleagues across the globe to the firm’s top leadership group by naming them International Directors for 2015.

“As a group, these colleagues strengthen our integrated global platform and industry-leading position,” commended Colin Dyer, CEO of JLL. “We are now looking to them to lead by connecting across the firm to provide superior service to clients and drive success for the firm.”

JLL and LaSalle Investment Management have recognized these 37 professionals for their work with clients, their contribution to growth generation, their ongoing collaboration with colleagues, and superior development of individuals and groups.

The 2015 International Directors include:

JLL, a professional services and investment management firm offering real estate services to owners, occupiers and investors, operates in 80 countries from more than 230 corporate offices. With annual fee revenue of $4.7 billion and gross revenue of $5.4 billion, the firm provides management to a portfolio of 3.4 billion square feet and completed $118 billion in sales, acquisitions and finance transactions in 2014 alone. LaSalle Investment Management has $55.3 billion in real estate assets under management.

Article source: http://www.costar.com/News/Article/JLL-Promotes-37-International-Directors/173107?ref=/News/Article/JLL-Promotes-37-International-Directors/173107&src=rss

Homeowner Shift to Condos won’t affect Prices -S&P

In the SP/Case-Shiller home price indices report for
April David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and
Chairman of the Index Committee at SP Dow Jones Indices notes that, “Sales
of new and existing homes are rising in recent reports and construction of new
homes enjoyed strong gains in May. At the same time, the proportion of new construction
that is apartments rather than single family homes remains high.”  Over the last year, he says, 34 percent of
housing starts were apartments
compared to an average of 22 percent over the
years since 1975.  He points out that one
aspect of this could be an increase in condominium construction and that in all
five of the cities in which Case-Shiller tracks condos, their prices are rising
faster than single family homes.  

In the June edition of RealtyTrac’s HousingNewsReport Blitzer expands on that statement, saying that “The
U.S is witnessing a shift from single family homes to apartments and
condominiums.”  This is evidenced not
only in the multifamily share of housing starts, which rose from 19.8 percent
during the period of 2000 to 2004 to 35.2 percent in the 15 months that ended
this past March, but also in the decline in homeownership.  These indicate both a move from owning to
and a move from single to multi-family housing.

He points out that there are relatively few analyses that
focus on the condominium sector during the housing boom and its aftermath so he
uses the Case-Shiller price information on Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago,
Boston and New York and compares it to the corresponding single-family Case-Shiller
data for those cities.  The data covers
the entire metropolitan area in each case, not just the central cities.

Blitzer says that condo prices have recovered from the housing
bust more quickly than single-family houses. 
New condo price peaks have been set since the recession in San
Francisco, Boston, and New York.  Only
two cities among the 20 in which Case-Shiller tracks single-family home prices,
Denver and Dallas, have set new highs, it seems to be condos in dense urban
areas that are staging strong recoveries. 

The figure below shows how condo prices changed on an annual
basis in each of the five cities between January 1996 and February 2015 and
illustrate the individual ways each city reacted to economic events.  The tech boom in the late 1990s and bust in
2000 to 2001 are clear in the San Francisco data. Although the tech bust
affected Wall Street as much as it did Silicon Valley prices in New York
continued to show solid gains through both boom and bust and then accelerated
after the 2001 recession through 2006 with condo prices peaking in March 2005
with a 20 percent annual gain.



In Los Angles condo prices gained 35 percent in the 12 months
ending in August 2004.  This reflected a
response to gains in the national economy between 2002 and 2004 by a city with
a diversified economy and a strong reliance on tourism as well as a spike in its
population growth in the nine year that preceded the price surge.  However Blitzer says there is no major
development that can be easily identified in L.A. like the tech boom in San

Chicago and Boston saw condo prices follow the other cities
but without as sharp a pattern of peaks and troughs; a pattern more like that
of their single family home prices. In each of the five cities the peak in
condo prices occurred roughly at the same time as the peak in it single family house
prices and the levels in condo prices and single family houses are similar –
with no pattern among the cities as to which type housing had the higher

When the housing crisis arrived both condo and single family
prices collapsed and the peak to trough declines were very similar for each in
Los Angeles and Chicago.  In the other
three cities the condo swing was slightly smaller. Condo prices hit bottom in
all five cities in either February or March of 2012, the same time frame
generally given for the trough in single family home prices.



Blitzer says the data for the five cities shows generally
similar price patters with some indication that condo prices may be slightly
less volatile and gives no support to ideas that ownership in condos follows a
different pattern than in single family homes or is more transitive.  He concludes that “While the shift in
consumer preferences for condos versus single family homes seen in the housing
starts data may be a change in people’s housing preferences or housing
affordability, it does not appear to be changing the patterns of price
movement. Moreover, the shift to condominiums isn’t likely to make home prices
more or less volatile than in the past. It certainly won’t reduce the risk of
another housing boom-bust cycle in the future.

Article source: http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/06302015_condo_home_price_patterns.asp

The Promenade at Howard Hughes Center Sells for $111M

The Lazarus Corporation acquired The Promenade at Howard Hughes Center, located at 6081 Center Dr. in Los Angeles, CA from PASSCO Companies LLC for $111 million, or about $446 per square foot.

The two-story, 248,841-square-foot retail building sits in the Marina Del Rey / Venice submarket of Los Angeles County. The Center was 91 percent leased at time of sale.

Bryan Ley, John Crump, Todd Sugimoto, and Aldon Cole of HFF represented the seller. The buyer was represented in-house.

Please refer to CoStar COMPS #3317565 for more information on this transaction.

Article source: http://www.costar.com/News/Article/The-Promenade-at-Howard-Hughes-Center-Sells-for-$111M/172765?ref=/News/Article/The-Promenade-at-Howard-Hughes-Center-Sells-for-$111M/172765&src=rss

Coca Cola Manufacturing Plant Sells for $49.3M

Hudson Pacific Properties has purchased the former Coca-Cola manufacturing plant at 963 E. 4th ST. in Los Angeles, CA from Atlas Capital Group and Goldstein Plating Investments for $49.25 million, or about $328 per square foot.

ACG and GPI acquired the property in April 2014 for $19 million and started to renovate the 120,000-square-foot warehouse building into 150,000 square feet of office space complete with a ground-floor restaurant. The renovation was scheduled to begin in mid-October of 2014 and was anticipated to be completed by October 2015. At the time of Hudson Pacific Properties purchase, construction had not begun.

HLW International is designing the project. Industry Partners is responsible for leasing the property.

Both parties handled the direct sale in-house.

Please see CoStar COMPS #3315182 for more information on this transaction.

Article source: http://www.costar.com/News/Article/Coca-Cola-Manufacturing-Plant-Sells-for-$493M/172953?ref=/News/Article/Coca-Cola-Manufacturing-Plant-Sells-for-$493M/172953&src=rss

MBS RECAP: Abrupt Positive Adjustment After NFP, Then Silence

As far as days with big initial reactions to economic data go, today was about as boring as they come.  The first part of the problem was the overnight bond market weakness.  This had 10yr yields near 2.47 by the start of the domestic session.  As such, the post-NFP rally had to work through those losses before pushing into positive territory.

Now, about this post-NFP rally…  The headline wasn’t too bad–223k vs 230k forecast.  So why the rally?  First off, the revisions took 60k jobs out of the equation.  If you think about it, that would be like today’s report coming in at +163k, with no past revisions.  Wage growth (or lack thereof) also helped, coming in at 0.0 vs +0.2 forecast.  The previous month was also revised 0.1 lower.  With wages currently in the spotlight from a Fed policy standpoint, this created a visible response in Fed Fund Futures.  After NFP, the median view on the first rate hike moved into 2016.

With nothing more than those facts, we have more than enough to reconcile the strength that followed in bond markets.  But we should also consider that much of the overnight weakness was without any overt motivation, meaning it was likely a defensive move ahead of NFP.  Yesterday closed closer to 2.42 in 10yr yields, meaning that today’s closing levels were only about 4bps lower.

Once the post-NFP rally ran out of steam at 2.37, that was it for the day.  Yields never went lower and they never broke back above 2.40.  MBS were similarly steady with Fannie 3.5s holding 102-27 to 102-23 for the entire post-NFP day.  It’s a nice respite, but no change to bigger picture.

Article source: http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/mortgage_rates/blog/484512.aspx

CBRE Global Investors Closes Value-Add Fund at $1.3 Billion

CBRE Global Investors held final closing of CBRE Strategic Partners U.S. Value 7 LP, with equity commitments of more than $1.3 billion from 26 institutional investors in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The fund was targeting commitments of $1.5 billion.

Strategic Partners U.S. Value 7, which is now closed to new investors, is expected to have total purchasing power of more than $3.3 billion, including leverage.

The fund has invested 75% of this amount, or $2.5 billion, in office, multifamily and hotel assets and signed leases totaling 760,000 square feet in its office properties.

The investment team is targeting value-added-level returns through investment in institutional-quality real estate at a discount to replacement cost in U.S. markets that the fund expacts will outperform the overall real estate market.

The fund has been seeking off-market and limited bid situations and/or underperforming assets from distressed or transitional owners and has been projecting a two- to four-year holding period.

“We have a cycle-tested investment team that has already made substantial progress toward executing a disciplined and selective investment plan where we expect to be able to enhance value through our strong operations,” said Vance Maddocks, president of Strategic Partners U.S.”

Article source: http://www.costar.com/News/Article/CBRE-Global-Investors-Closes-Value-Add-Fund-at-$13-Billion/173052?ref=/News/Article/CBRE-Global-Investors-Closes-Value-Add-Fund-at-$13-Billion/173052&src=rss

Mortgage Rates Edge Slightly Lower After Jobs Data

Mortgage rates made an anti-climactic move lower today after the big jobs report proved slightly disappointing to markets.  Stocks and bond yields both fell after the Bureau of Labor Statistics said only 223k jobs were created in June compared to a negatively revised 254k in May.  Perhaps even more of an issue was the drop to 0.0 percent wage growth versus forecasts of 0.2 percent.  The Fed has recently expressed interest in wage growth as one of the signs that economy is ready for a rate hike.  After the data came out, options trading suggested the median Fed rate hike time frame moved into 2016.  It had been September 2015 until today.

Of course the Fed’s eventual rate hike doesn’t have a direct bearing on 30yr fixed mortgage rates, but it has all the bearing in the world on the short term money that financial markets use to facilitate the trading of long term money.  In all but a very few historical circumstances, when short term rates move up, so do mortgage rates.  Refreshingly though, much of 2015’s move higher in rates is, in fact, a preemptive move that attempts to account for the rate hike.  So when the time comes, it’s not as if mortgage rates will instantly rise a quarter of a point.

That preemptive move is ongoing, and it’s joined by the other big-picture theme of 2015.  That’s the gradual unwinding of the great European bond market rally of 2014 (and early 2015) ahead of their quantitative easing program.  (As a reminder, ‘bond market rally’ = lower rates.)  Now that inflation has begun picking up in Europe, the ultra low rate environment caused investors to panic this spring.  Rates have moved quickly higher since then, leaving us to wonder if the panic has subsided or if it’s merely taking a break.  Until and unless we see much more strength than we saw today, it continues to make most sense to assume the move higher in rates will continue and act accordingly in terms of locking and floating.

Loan Originator Perspective

“Well, a “Goldilocks” jobs report today (not too hot, not too cold) has
pushed back expectations for an imminent Fed rate hike, and bonds
improved. My pricing is better than yesterday’s, but Tuesday’s was
still the best of the week. We are firmly entrenched in the current
range, just bouncing up/down within it. Until that range breaks, I’ll
be locking in the lows. Happy Independence Day, all!” -Ted Rood, Senior Originator

“Rates improved a bit following a NFP report which was a bit worse than
expected. The next big market mover will be Greece and the outcome of
the referendum. This vote is being perceived as saying yes or no to the
Euro. If the vote comes back as a NO we could see rates come down a
bit. If it comes back as a YES the market should not really be impacted
to much for the market appears to have priced in a YES response. On a
side note I just spent a few weeks in Greece and talked to a lot of
citizens there and they all shared more or less the same message. They
are not happy with the EURO and can care less about the EURO union. By
biased opinion leads to me believe the Greek referendum will come back
with a NO and for that reason I am recommending floating over the
Holiday weekend. Please to take into consideration floating will come
with risk. ” –Manny Gomes, Branch Manager Norcom Mortgage

“I continue to favor locking at loan application. A mixed employment
report has helped bonds recover all of yesterday’s losses. Much of
today’s gains have come after initial rate sheets so look to lock later
in the afternoon.” –Victor Burek, Open Mortgage

Today’s Best-Execution Rates

  • 30YR FIXED – 4.125%-4.25%
  • FHA/VA – 3.75-4.0
  • 15 YEAR FIXED – 3.375%
  • 5 YEAR ARMS –  2.75 – 3.25% depending on the lender

Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations

  • 2015 began with a strong move to the lowest rates seen since May 2013.  The catalyst was Europe and the introduction of European quantitative easing.

  • It’s a highly uncertain time for global financial markets.  There is much debate over whether or not the global economy is turning a corner, thus justifying a widespread move to higher rates.  That’s made 2015 significantly more volatile than 2014 for markets.  This means lender rate sheets may change appreciably from day to day, and sometimes even several times in the same day.
    • Bottom line: European Quantitative Easing helped push global rates to all-time lows in April.  Now, the big risk for mortgage rate watchers is that we might have turned a long term corner.  That risk is being compounded by speculation about the Federal Reserve raising rates by the end of 2015.

    • May and June have amounted to the 2nd major move higher bounce so far this year.  Every time this happens, we have to consider the possibility that this will be a big-picture, long-lasting correction.  Until such a thing can be ruled out, Locking makes far more sense. 

    • As always, please keep in mind that the rates discussed generally refer to what we’ve termedbest-execution(that is, the most frequently quoted, conforming, conventional 30yr fixed rate for top tier borrowers, based not only on the outright price, but also ‘bang-for-the-buck.’  Generally speaking, our best-execution rate tends to connote no origination or discount points–though this can vary–and tends to predict Freddie Mac’s weekly survey with high accuracy.  It’s safe to assume that our best-ex rate is the more timely and accurate of the two due to Freddie’s once-a-week polling method). 

    Article source: http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/consumer_rates/484511.aspx

    In Warsaw, Changes in Altitudes

    The Warsaw Spire building under construction. The 49-story tower and two adjacent smaller buildings are expected to be completed in March.

    WARSAW—From the 40th floor of the tallest office tower under construction in the European Union’s emerging east, a sign put up by a Belgian developer says: “I Love Warsaw.”

    The developer, Ghelamco Group, is feeling the love as well. Tenants already have leased 65% of the Warsaw Spire, even though the 722-foot-tall, 49-story tower and two adjacent smaller buildings in the complex won’t be completed until next March.

    This and other buildings are altering Warsaw’s skyline as the city goes through its latest surge of development. The once dominant Palace of Culture and Science, developed by the Soviet Union during the communist era, has steadily been reduced to just one of many towers in the heart of a metropolitan area of more than two million people.

    The change has been under way for a quarter-century as Poland has become a regional leader in business and finance. But lately the pace has accelerated. Completion of some 32.3 million square feet is expected over the next three years in the market, increasing the total to more than 75 million square feet.

    To be sure, this new development is expected to cause headaches in the short term. The vacancy rate in the city’s center is 13%, up from 8.8% in 2012 and 2.9% in 2008, according to a report by consultant JLL. Rents for prime, central locations in Warsaw are about €23 ($26) a square meter a month and are expected to fall in 2015 as new supply hits the market, according to JLL.

    “Over the next year, the vacancy rate may reach 20%,” said Maciej Zajdel, managing director at Warsaw-based Kulczyk Silverstein Properties, a joint venture of Poland’s wealthiest businessman, Jan Kulczyk, and Larry Silverstein of New York-based Silverstein Properties Inc.

    A rendering of the Warsaw Spire building.

    But he and other market participants expect the supply glut to be absorbed. They point out that much of the space is so old or poorly constructed that it no longer is desirable by many tenants.

    Meanwhile, demand from international companies shows no signs of abating. Leasing volume in the first quarter exceeded 1.8 million square feet, up 30% from the same period in 2014.

    Tenants like Samsung Electronics Co.


    and Citibank International PLC, a unit of Citigroup Inc., continue to expand. “We see a lot of demand,” said Jeroen van der Toolen, managing director of Ghelamco for Central Europe. He said he expects the project to be 75% leased by the end of the year, and because of the strong leasing Ghelamco started construction on another office building next to Warsaw Spire.

    Many of the office buildings that rose in the first chaotic wave of development, after the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, are now considered at the end of their life cycles. Technical requirements are higher and tenants increasingly want low energy consumption, which is tough in many older buildings.

    Some properties are being demolished to make way for more efficient structures. The first Mercure hotel in Warsaw, opened in 1993, was recently torn down and replaced with the neo-modern Q22 office tower, set to open next year. The first modern shopping center in Warsaw, built in 1991, also was demolished some years ago and replaced with the 52-story Zlota 44 residential building.

    Some buildings are undergoing complete refurbishment, like the Ethos building owned by Kulczyk Silverstein Properties that previously housed the Polish operations of Dutch finance firm ING Groep



    Samsung will move into the Warsaw Spire, consolidating its offices scattered around the city. Citibank


    recently has leased 140,000 square feet from Ghelamco as it expands.

    Polish government offices after decades of sitting in communist-era spaces also are looking for more efficient space. The European Union’s border protection agency, Frontex, is moving from the 40-story Rondo 1 tower, which opened in 2006, to a building in the Warsaw Spire complex.

    This new demand and development isn’t just changing Warsaw’s skyline; it also is altering the city’s streetscape. Devastated during World War II, Warsaw still has empty plots in central locations, many held by companies that used to be communist-era monopolies.

    But slowly these sites are being developed. Skanska


    AB, of Sweden, which developed a major boulevard in the city center in the 1990s, is planning an office building on a plot next to the Warsaw Spire previously occupied by the former press distribution monopoly, Ruch.

    PKP, Poland’s railway company, is among the largest landowners in the country and has recently begun working with commercial developers that have turned some of its neglected train stations into retail and office centers.

    Ghelamco’s Warsaw Spire sits on a former warehouse of another communist-era publisher. Mr. Van der Toolen said the company has bought a number of plots in the area, previously an industrial zone just off the city center, and plans to turn them into a vibrant new part of Warsaw.

    “There’s a big opportunity now because there will be a lot of new investment here making it possible to change this space and…finally create a coherent architectural design,” he said.

    Write to Martin M. Sobczyk at martin.sobczyk@wsj.com

    Article source: http://www.wsj.com/articles/in-warsaw-changes-in-altitudes-1435620242?mod=residential_real_estate

    CoStar’s People of Note (June 28

    It’s time to update those contact managers with CoStar’s People of Note, reporting news on significant new CRE hires and promotions. This week’s issue includes the following markets: New York City, Houston, Northern New Jersey, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Chicago, South Florida, Phoenix / Tucson, and San Antonio.


    Eastern Consolidated Promotes Schnurman

    By Justin Sumner

    Mark Schnurman has been promoted to principal with Eastern Consolidated.

    Schnurman joined Eastern in 2013, and has since restructured the firm’s sales recruitment, training and development program in conjunction with Daun Paris, president. His efforts contributed to nearly doubling the size of the program while accelerating the firm’s revenues. Before that he held senior sales management and training positions with Morgan Stanley, GFI Capital Resources, and Wachovia Securities.

    A faculty member at Penn State University’s World Campus, Schnurman holds a Juris Doctorate from Ohio State College of Law and a bachelor’s degree in labor studies from Penn State.


    Zigler Joins Cypressbrook Co.

    By Andrea Lester

    Richard Zigler joined the Cypressbrook Co. as a principal. In his new role, he will he will direct multifamily acquisition transactions.

    Zigler was previously at The Barvin Group working with acquisitions, finance and asset management. Prior to that, he directed LMI Capital and handled more than 200 loans that totaled more than $1 billion in debt. He also worked at O’Connor Associates as a feasibility consultant, handling real estate projects that totaled more than $1.2 billion.

    CoStar’s People of Note is published each Friday covering the latest commercial real estate executive level promotions and new hires. Click on the headline of each article to jump to full coverage. Follow the news on Twitter @TheCoStarGroup and @JSumner2.
    Send your new executive hires and promotion announcements to news@costar.com.


    Cushman Wakefield Promotes Danzig to EVP

    By Ronan McNulty

    Stan Danzig is Cushman Wakefield’s newest executive vice president after being promoted to the position in the firm’s East Rutherford, NJ office, where he has been specializing in industrial real estate since 1981, most recently as an executive director.

    Danzig’s seven-person team works on industrial leasing and sales. Since 2001 he has completed eight sales over the $10 million mark, and 16 leases larger than 250,000 square feet.

    Danzig sits on the national board of the Warehouse Education and Research Council and the advisory board for The Center for Real Estate at Rutgers Business School.


    Cushman Wakefield Adds Black in Midtown Manhattan

    By Bleejay Innis

    Sean Black has joined Cushman Wakefield’s world headquarters in Midtown Manhattan as an executive director.

    Black was formerly a managing director at JLL, and brings more than 15 years of experience in leasing. Black has handled a total of 400,000 square feet in various locations for WeWork across New York City and Washington, DC. He represented Foursquare’s 56,000-square-foot lease at 568 Broadway, and has been involved in many other notable transactions.

    Black received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Western Ontario, and also attended the University of Toronto.

    Chambers Street and Gramercy Property Trust to Merge

    By Mark Heschmeyer


    SRS Real Estate Names First VP in San Francisco

    By Leslie White

    Ranfie Ancelovici joined SRS Real Estate Partners’ San Francisco office as first vice president.

    A 13-year industry veteran, Ancelovici began his career with The Staubach Co. and CBRE as a tenant rep. He would later provide in-house leasing for Blake Hunt Ventures and for Regency Centers.

    Ancelovici holds a bachelor’s degree in advertising and a minor in regional development from the University of Arizona.


    CBRE Seattle Hires Brunette as FVP

    By Mike LaPointe

    Steven Brunette has joined CBRE as a first vice president.

    Based in the firm’s Seattle office, Brunette will work with the brokerage team focusing on private equity investment sales of office and industrial products entities in the Greater Seattle region.

    Brunette brings more than 17 years of consulting, asset management, and acquisitions experience, most recently serving with Cushman Wakefield as a real estate and financing representative. Brunette holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and an MBA from Notre Dame.


    Avison Young Promotes Peyton

    By Heather Burgess

    One day after appointing Keith Lipton and Mark Fieder to the newly created positions of Chief Operating Officer, U.S. and Canadian Operations, Avison Young has promoted Josh Peyton to managing director of its Washington, D.C. region.

    In his new position, Peyton will oversee day-to-day operations for the company’s Tysons Corner, VA and Suburban Maryland offices. He will also continue to drive Avison Young’s growth strategy in the region.

    Peyton joined Avison Young in 2010 as a principal after previously serving as a senior vice president with Grubb Ellis Co. He broke into the industry in 2002 as a tenant representative with Transwestern.


    Jensen Joins Cushman Wakefield | Commerce

    By Phillip Weisburd

    Brie Jensen has joined Cushman Wakefield | Commerce as a senior director. Based in the firm’s Seattle office, Jensen will work with the industrial team focusing on bringing the legal and business sides of negotiations together.

    “We are thrilled to have Brie join the Cushman Wakefield | Commerce team,” said Dave Magee, market leader, Washington Region. “Her diverse and impressive professional experience is enhanced by her legal background, which gives her a significant competitive edge.”

    Jensen most recently served as a partner at Pacifica Law Group. Before that she was with Socius Law Group, Jameson Babbit Stites Lombard, and Preston Gates Ellis (now KL Gates).


    Erickson Promoted at Cushman Wakefield

    By Timothy Stuart

    Cushman Wakefield of New Jersey, Inc. has promoted Nancy Erickson to senior director for its National Retail Services Group.

    Erickson first joined Cushman Wakefield in 2004, and currently serves as the firm’s NJ Retail Lead.

    A licensed broker in both New York and New Jersey, Erickson currently serves as an active member of the ICSC and has also served on the Board of Directors and various chair positions of CoreNet Global NYC. She is currently managing many of the most prominent landlord assignments in NJ, including the Plaza at Harmon Meadow in Secaucus and the Streets of Chester.

    JLL Announces Raft of UK International, Regional and National Directors

    By Paul Norman

    Landver Joins Travers Cresa
    By Lauri Watkins

    Mark Landver has joined the Travers Cresa Downtown Los Angeles office as a vice president. Landver will provide services to national corporate tenants. He was previously with a boutique tenant rep firm…

    Golumbeck Promoted to VP
    By Gaurab Reja

    Peak Construction recently promoted Steve Golumbeck to vice president. His responsibilities will include handling the acquisition and management of new Peak Construction projects as well as being…

    Stilwell Joins Konover South
    By Julian Thompson

    Erika Stilwell has joined Konover South Development Corp. as a vice president of asset management in the firm’s Deerfield Beach, FL office. Stilwell will be in charge of optimizing the value of the company’s…

    Kirby Joins Cushman Wakefield
    By Justin Sumner

    John Kirby has joined Cushman Wakefield of Arizona, Inc. as a director with the firm’s valuation and advisory group. Kirby brings 11 years of commercial real estate appraisal experience, including…

    Bacon Joins Kennedy Wilson
    By Jamie Derizzio

    LaDonna Bacon joined Kennedy Wilson as a senior commercial property manager. Bacon has been in the business for more than 20 years and spent the last decade working for Black Hawk Real Estate…

    Send your new executive hires and promotion announcements to news@costar.com.
    Follow the news on Twitter @TheCoStarGroup and @JSumner2.
    Check out last week’s edition of People of Note.

    Article source: http://www.costar.com/News/Article/CoStars-People-of-Note-June-28-July-4/173075?ref=/News/Article/CoStars-People-of-Note-June-28-July-4/173075&src=rss

    Eccentric European Hotel Chain Says Hello to Hollywood

    Mama Shelter is a popular European hotel brand bringing its try-anything approach to Los Angeles.

    A French boutique hotel brand known for outrageous flourishes is hoping its risqué formula can translate across the Atlantic, starting with the opening of its first U.S. property in Los Angeles.

    Mama Shelter expects to open the doors to a 70-room hotel in Hollywood during the first week of July and says it won’t change the approach that has made its properties a hit in four locations in France and one in Istanbul.

    The hotels are known for providing black chalkboard ceilings in public areas decorated by local artists, masks of superheroes and cartoon characters for guests to pose in and, most famously, free pornographic movies in each room.

    “Guests would watch it anyway on their computers or phones. Why not let them use a bigger screen and have a better viewing experience?” asks Benjamin Trigano, one of Mama Shelter’s founders and the grandson of a founder of Club Méditeranée, the vacation-resort chain better known as Club Med.

    Mr. Trigano, 44 years old, and his partners, his brother Jeremie, 38, and their father Serge, 69, are already scouting locations in Detroit and New Orleans for their next hotels. “People either love or don’t get us,” he said.

    If Mama Shelter pulls it off, it would mark the rare instance of a European hotel operator successfully transporting its brand to the U.S. Analysts say that even the large European lodging companies have shied away from trying to compete against behemoths such as Marriott International Inc.


    and Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc.


    on U.S. turf because they are already so far behind and often lack brand recognition with locals.

    Still, some industry experts see promise in Mama Shelter’s unconventional approach. “For those who think boutique hotels are becoming too boring, this might work,” said Chad Beynon, lodging analyst for Macquarie Securities Group.

    Mama Shelter started as a partnership primarily between the Trigano family and Cyril Aouizerate, founder of Urbantech, which advises on urban restructuring projects. He sold his stake last year to the family and to Paris-based hotel company AccorHotels SA, which owns 37% of the brand and has a call option to buy more.

    One of the other founding partners is French designer Philippe Starck, who rose to fame in the hotel world collaborating with boutique hotelier Ian Schrager on stylish properties and has designed Mama Shelter’s hotels.

    The hotel’s name is meant to evoke warmth and a communal feeling, distinguishing the brand from what the owners felt was a “too cool” vibe at many sleek boutique properties that attract a stylish crowd.

    The first Mama Shelter opened in 2008 in Paris’s unfashionable 20th arrondissement, where the only tourists were the few who trekked out to the Pere Lachaise Cemetery, where Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison of the Doors and other famous people are buried. That started a tradition of opening hotels in off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods. They followed with a hotel in Marseille, France, part of it in a former butcher’s shop.

    While most of the brand’s experiments have been successful, Mr. Trigano said, there has been the occasional costly mistake, too.

    One of the hotels featured a 13-yard glass table with television screens that was built to serve as many as 40 people. The owners thought it was a cool idea at first, but the glass table heated up quickly when hot food was placed on it, turning cold drinks warm and making diners uncomfortable.

    “It turned out to be a disaster,” said Mr. Trigano. “We removed it, but it cost us a fortune, maybe €100,000 ($112,370).”

    The Hollywood property is a former 1930s hotel that the company paid $7.2 million to acquire. It will include local touches like stocking rooms with film scripts from L.A.-themed movies such as “Chinatown” and “Swingers.” Each room will also include a King James Bible and what Mr. Trigano calls Mama Shelter’s bible—the autobiography of Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones.

    But don’t expect the hotel to host any splashy events tied to blockbuster film openings. “It’s more of a place to roll a joint and watch a movie than see a premiere,” he said jokingly.

    Mr. Trigano added that friendly service is a hallmark of Mama Shelter, but that it took longer than expected to find the right staff for his newest hotel.

    “L.A. is hard because everyone wants to be an actor and doesn’t always take the job seriously,” he said.

    Write to Craig Karmin at craig.karmin@wsj.com

    Article source: http://www.wsj.com/articles/eccentric-european-hotel-chain-says-hello-to-hollywood-1435676927?mod=residential_real_estate