PKF Launches New Program to Finance Hotel Projects

In an effort to help hotel real estate investors and owners weather the credit crunch storm, San Francisco-based PKF Capital has established a hotel finance program. Under the program PKF Capital will orchestrate debt and equity financing for clients in need of anything from construction loans to short- and long-term bridge loans to refinancing packages.Presently, the lending market isn’t exactly friendly to the real estate industry, and the hotel sector is no exception. However, it’s this current state of affairs that spurred PKF to make a move in the financing arena. The company has brought in Steve Hanover, a former principal with Sequoia Capital Partners and an accomplished player in the commercial real estate lending and hotel financing game, to oversee the program. “The timing was right to take advantage of some of the dislocation in the marketplace and to facilitate some of our transactional work,” Hanover told CPN. “If borrowers can go to an expert in the industry, that facilitates the process, and we have such an extensive client base consisting of lenders, potential borrowers and buyers.” In addition to PKF’s position as a leading hospitality and leisure real estate investment advisory services provider, the company’s confidence is further solidified by it’s observance of new financing sources. “It’s almost a new ballgame out there,” Hanover said. “The CMBS market has been sidelined, so we’re seeing lenders who couldn’t compete with CMBS reemerging. And we’re starting to see new lending outlets, predominantly private sources, both domestic and international.” While the downturn in the economy, the housing crisis and painfully high gas prices are taking a toll on the hospitality industry, there are certain markets in the country that remain relatively strong. Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., are among the cities that PKF points to as solid investment markets. The weak dollar is expected to continue to drive international travel to such popular tourist destinations as New York City, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., as well as Miami and Orlando, according to a midyear report by real estate investment services firm Marcus & Millichap. And in both Los Angeles and San Francisco, midweek business travel, although uneven at times, remains positive. Under PKF’s new program, financing for both small and grand pursuits–from boutiques hotel renovations to resort acquisitions–can be accommodated.