Archstone Joins Ranks of Firms Launching Advisory Groups in Down Economy

With the ever-growing uncertainty of the economy, real estate firms are looking for ways to cash in by offering advisory services to developers. Denver-based Archstone is the latest to join the move with its unveiling of Archstone Real Estate Advisory Services, which is designed to help lenders and investors maximize the value of their multi-family and mixed-use assets. Archstone’s new group will focus on asset strategy, development, construction management and asset management. And Archstone is certianly no stranger to the multi-family sector, having developed and operated multi-family portfolios with more than 80,000 apartments and completed more than $30.8 billion of acquisitions and dispositions. In this difficult economic environment, it’s more important now than ever to choose an experienced partner who not only provides advice but has the operational capabilities to deliver superior results, an Archstone spokesman said in a prepared statement. Archstone joins a number of other companies making similar business moves. On Jan. 14, CPN reported that real estate brokerage and advisory firm Calkain Cos. established a new division aimed at aiding clients in dealing with adverse investment situations on net lease properties. The group, dubbed Calkain Opportunity Services, was formed as a result of the increase in debt restructurings, failed investments and transaction-related litigation in the current environment of economic turmoil. And on Jan 23, CPN reported that James O’Connell, principal of O’Connell Hospitality Group, and Robert Crawford, president of Hospitality Resolutions Inc., formed a new venture called Collateral Strategies Inc. with a goal of providing lenders, loan servicers, borrowers and investors with focused strategic plans designed to assist with portfolio and single asset credit recovery. CS’s credit strategies will identify the maximum recoverable value for both the asset and the collateral debt. CS’s team will assist its clients in achieving optimal values for troubled hospitality loans and investments. “Bob and I created the group because of the timing,” O’Connell told CPN. “Where we are in the real estate and credit cycle is exactly where we were in 1990. We came together in 1990 to assist people in evaluating and reviewing debt, credit and strategic plans. The reasons we got here are different, but the fundamental crisis with confidence in credit and capital are exactly the same.”