ATLANTA, Ga., January 20, 2010—Hodges Ward Elliott, Inc. (HWE), the nation’s premier hotel brokerage and investment banking firm, today announced that it closed on $2.4 billion in transactions in 2010, led by a strong fourth quarter. The company predicted a solid increase in transactions in 2011 due to pent-up buyer demand, an increase in available financing and a positive outlook for the hotel industry over the next few years.
“We saw a marked increase in properties being brought to market beginning in the second quarter of 2010,” said Mark Elliott, principal of Hodges Ward Elliott. “The mix ranges from luxury to premium-branded, select-service properties and includes both cash flowing and distressed hotels. We enter 2011 with more properties being brought to market than anytime in the last three years. Since the beginning of 2011, HWE already has transacted seven hotels, including the Renaissance in downtown Pittsburgh. The hotel real estate market is definitely on the upswing.
“As a result of rapidly improving fundamentals and increasing liquidity in the capital markets the gap between buyer and seller has narrowed. Consequently, we expect the 2011 transaction activity to be greater than 2010,” he said.
Bill Hodges, founding partner of HWE, said the company will actively expand its staff in the U.S. and Europe in 2011. “We currently have 30 professionals in the United States and six in our affiliate firm HVS Hodges Ward Elliott in London. We intend to add top quality talent on a highly selective basis to assist us in achieving optimum returns for our clients.” He noted that long-time associate, Bob Webster, recently left the company. “We wish him well in his new endeavors.
“We anticipate an increase in mixed-use development transactions over the next several years and are looking at adding executive talent that also has expertise in other real estate classes,” he commented. “We also expect to handle more portfolios and financing transactions.”
Among the key transactions in 2010 handled by HWE were:
The 270-room W Hotel Union Square, the 760-room Metropolitan and the 1301-room Milford Plaza, all in Manhattan.
The 306-room Sofitel Hotel and 294-room Westin Hotel in Philadelphia.
The $200 million financing of a 10-hotel portfolio for Columbia Sussex.
The 288-suite, Embassy Suites in Irvine, Calif.; the Moderne Hotel, Chicago (currently under development); and the 237-room Sofitel, Washington, D.C.
HWE also advised an affiliate of Lone Star Funds on the real estate in their public-to-private transaction of Lodgian, Inc.
About Hodges Ward Elliott
Founded in 1975, HWE is the world’s leading hotel brokerage and investment firm and consistently has been ranked the leader in hotel transactions with greater than 30 percent market share over the past three years and has produced the #1 market share five of the last six years, according to independent outside sources. Since 1990, HWE has structured the sale of more than 1,200 hotels, totaling nearly 245,000 rooms. Hodges Ward Elliott is world renowned for representing leading asset and real estate investment opportunities spanning all hotel categories and markets.
Jerry Daly or Chris Daly