Resort Investor Opportunity by qey46226


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Vol. 7, No. 9


    ONLINE: Video Webcasts, Breaking News, Commercial Data Center

Three-building Telecom Technology
Center sells for $10.9M

Richmond McCoy, founding partner
and CEO of UrbanAmerica details
the massive overhaul of their first
hotel, the DoubleTree Resort-Orlando

$50-million price cut on a seven-acre
property in the Park West

Publix anchored center sells for $8.28M

Downtown’s Sheraton hotel is headed
for the auction block

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FLORIDA INVESTOR • SEPTEMBER 2009                                                                                                                                            11

                                                 Uber Renovation
  Richmond McCoy, founding partner and CEO of UrbanAmerica details
 the massive overhaul of their first hotel, the DoubleTree Resort-Orlando
                                             rooms will be completely refurbished
                                             with high quality fixtures and furnish-
                                             ings, and the grounds newly landscaped
                                             complete with Balinese inspired bridg-
                                             es, ponds and lush foliage. The newly-
                                             transformed property offers 1,094 guest
                                             rooms and suites situated in resort style
                                             buildings and a 17-story tower, a fitness
                                             center, day spa, restaurant, lounge, deli,
                                             poolside bar, kids game lounge, putting
                                             green and mini golf course and on-site
                                             car rental and attraction tickets. The
                                             resort’s three swimming pools all have
                                             been enhanced with relaxation areas
                                             and natural brick paver-lined sundecks
                                             and walkways. Business accommoda-
                                             tions include high-speed Internet access
                                             throughout the property, and 60,000
                                             square feet of meeting and banquet
                                             space with two grand ballrooms.
                                                “It was the above-market returns of
                                                                                                                              Renovated Room
                                             many of the round trip investments in
                                             Fund 1 that enabled us to engender the       the hotel offers three distinct floor plans   rooms, 1,000 guest rooms, retail outlets
                                             confidence of many of the institutional      all featuring Balinese-inspired fixtures      and restaurants. For UrbanAmerica,
                                             investors and allowed us to tackle larger    and furnishing, native dark woods and         this project will continue the tradition
                                             projects with even greater upside poten-     bamboo furnishings. State-of-the-art          of working with local economic devel-
                                             tial,” Mr. McCoy said. It was this more      amenities include 32-inch flat-screen         opment organizations to stimulate the
                                             aggressive investment strategy that was      televisions, wireless Internet access         economy while returning market rate
                                             employed to purchase the International       and iPod-compatible radios. The guest         returns to investors.
                                             Plaza Resort and Spa, once flagged by        rooms are really the highlight of the re-         “Bringing goods and services to
                                             Sheraton. “Three years ago, hospital-        sort. McCoy wanted the same thing for         emerging domestic markets while pro-
           DoubleTree Orlando                ity was very strong and the hotel was        his guests that he seeks in a hotel, and      viding market based returns to inves-
   In 2006, UrbanAmerica LP, a pio-          a great buy in a desirable location. We      that is affordable luxury. “The care with     tors is what UrbanAmerica was founded
neering brand in the area of urban real      knew with renovations the hotel had the      which each room was renovated is hard         on,” Mr. McCoy explained. This phi-
estate funds, grasped an investment          potential to be transformed into an up-      to find in today’s world where crafts-        losophy, once seen as risky by many in-
opportunity with the purchase of a ho-       scale, resort property for both families     manship is seen as cost preventative. I       vestors, has recently been embraced by
tel formerly known as Sheraton World         and convention guests.” The hotel is         believe, however, quality is an invest-       many institutional investors. UrbanA-
Resort in Orlando that culminated with       ideally located next to SeaWorld Orlan-      ment in success and longevity in a com-       merica currently manages over $1 bil-
the dramatic $35 million makeover of         do, directly across from Aquatica (Sea-      petitive marketplace.”                        lion in real estate assets for some of the
the resort. The minority-controlled reg-     World’s Water Park), and a few miles            The resort’s natural landscape offers      nations largest public and private pen-
istered investment advisor founded in        from the Disney and Universal theme          a variety of environments throughout          sion funds, as well as top banks and in-
1998 has an urban investment niche tar-      parks. The Resort is also only minutes       the 28-acre property. Visitors can seek       surance companies, including Citicorp,
geting properties in healthcare, govern-     away from the Orlando Convention             quiet solace in one of the resorts palm-      General Mills Pension Fund MBNA,
ment and academic spheres, along with        Center.                                      shaded hammocks or in one of several          Met Life, Nationwide Mutual Insurance
mixed-use projects and retail markets.          The final phase of the resort’s make-     intimate gathering spaces. As previ-          and Prudential Financial.
But as September approaches, UrbanA-         over will be its brand affiliation and re-   ously mentioned, the grounds are also             The State of Florida has figured into
merica’s first hotel renovation is nearing   naming to the Doubletree Resort Orlan-       newly landscaped, complete with Bali-         the UrbanAmerica’s eleven-year history
completion and will soon become brand        do - International Drive in September.       nese-inspired bridges, Indonesian Stone       prominently, beginning with the acqui-
affiliated and known as the Doubletree       The resort caters to both the vacation       Ceramics, ponds and lush foliage.             sition of the Tampa Festival Center in
Resort Orlando – International Drive.        traveler and the business traveler, and         While renovating the resort, Urba-         January of 2000 and, notably Northside
   “UrbanAmerica has been a long-term        offers all guests a warm chocolate chip      nAmerica wanted to ensure that “green”        Shopping Center in September 2002, lo-
investor in Florida since its inception.     cookie upon arrival.                         standards and energy conservation were        cated in Dade County. Northside is home
We have purchased over $200 million             “While renovating, we wanted to as-       used. The Doubletree Resort Orlan-            to two government agencies, as are the
in Florida real estate, representing over    sure the leisure traveler looking for a      do - International Drive is certified as      majority of the properties in UrbanAmer-
two million square feet of property,”        fun-filled family getaway and the busi-      a Green Lodging Facility through the          ica’s portfolio, past and present. Once the
explained Richmond McCoy, found-             ness traveler or convention seeker that      Florida Department of Environmental           largest landlord to the State of Florida,
ing partner and CEO of UrbanAmerica.         the property would be ideally suited for     Protection, which rewards environmen-         UrbanAmerica has long seen the advan-
“We have found Florida very desirable        both experiences.” The dramatic over-        tally conscious lodging facilities. In        tage of leasing to government agencies
for investing because historically – that    haul has transformed the hotel into what     order to receive this standing, the re-       because of the low credit risk and the po-
is over the last ten years -- we have seen   McCoy describes as “a warm and tran-         sort implemented practices such as wa-        tential for long term leases. Northside, a
population growth, affordable housing,       quil travel oasis redefining the meeting     ter conservation, recycling and energy        465,000 square foot open-air, mixed-use
and a good and abundant labor force          and vacation experience.”                    reduction. These initiatives include          community center, is still owned by Ur-
that has been under-retailed.”                  One of the inspirations for the re-       water conservation measures through           banAmerica and is seeing revitalization
   By the time the renovation and Dou-       sort’s renovations was the tropical is-      low-flow plumbing fixtures, a linen           in terms of a $4 million renovation – an-
bletree conversion is complete, the guest    land of Bali. As part of its makeover,       reuse program, Energy Star appliances         other example of UrbanAmerica’s dedi-
                                                                                          and programmable thermostats. Waste           cation to providing economic stimulus to
                                                                                          reduction programs have also been im-         its investment locales.
                                                                                          plemented, recycling including ink and            McCoy is looking toward the future
                                                                                          toner cartridges, purchasing items in         and believes with the passing of the re-
                                                                                          bulk and purchasing recycled materials.       cent stimulus legislation we will see an
                                                                                          All air filters in the resort are high ef-    increased importance of the urban core.
                                                                                          ficiency.                                     “We can see the federal government rec-
                                                                                             With an established investment track       ognizes the strategic importance of in-
                                                                                          record and the experience from the            vesting in the urban core. We think the
                                                                                          Doubletree Resort Orlando - Interna-          impact of the legislation that focuses on
                                                                                          tional Drive hotel renovation, in June,       the green movement, mass transit loca-
                                                                                          UrbanAmerica delved further into hos-         tions and strengthening our education-
                                                                                          pitality investments by being named to        al system is a compliment to our long
                                                                                          fund the new convention center hotel          standing investment strategy,” stated
                                                                                          in Nashville as part of a public-private      McCoy. In fact, now winding down the
                                                                                          partnership with the Metropolitan De-         deployment of the capital in UrbanA-
                                                                                          velopment and Housing Agency. The             merica’s second fund, McCoy doesn’t
                                                                                          estimated $350 million hotel will be          see the urban investing trend ending any
                                                                                          adjacent to the planned new Music City        time soon. McCoy will be looking to
                                                                                          Center in the downtown area. Plans for        Florida for his next deal to continue the
                                                                                          the hotel feature approximately 100,000       work UrbanAmerica, began there nearly
                                DoubleTree Lagoon Pool                                    square feet of meeting space and ball-        nine years ago.

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