Gary's Blog

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Renaissance has a New Owner/Developer

Spectacular ocean-front property located on Mokapu Beach in Maui, HawaiiCHICAGO, Oct 22, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) --

Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) and an affiliate of Starwood Capital Group, a leading global private investment firm focused on real estate, announced today that affiliates of Hyatt and Starwood Capital Group have formed a joint venture to acquire an existing property and redevelop it into Andaz Wailea Resort and Residences, an ocean front resort on Mokapu Beach in Maui, Hawaii, within the premier master planned resort of Wailea.

Hyatt anticipates that its investment in the project will be approximately $90 million. Slated to open in the fourth quarter of 2012, Andaz Wailea Resort and Residences will mark the expansion of Hyatt's Andaz brand into a key resort market. Andaz Wailea Resort and Residences will be located along 600 feet of Mokapu Beach in one of the most sought after leisure and resort destinations in North America. The Wailea master plan includes a 1.2 mile-long oceanfront beach path connecting all of its world class beaches, a premier shopping center, distinguished restaurants and a 54-hole golf club and a tennis club. Andaz Wailea will feature 255 rooms and 35 suites ranging from 456 to 2,321 square-feet, as well as six four-bedroom villas averaging approximately 3,500 square-feet.

The property will include a variety of amenities including a three-meal specialty restaurant, cascading outdoor pools with an adjacent bar and specialty restaurant, a 15,000 square-foot spa, gym, lobby lounge, and meeting space. The hotel will be the second Andaz hotel designed by internationally acclaimed architect and designer David Rockwell of Rockwell Group, following the January 2010 debut of Andaz Wall Street in New York City. "The opportunity to develop a world-class resort along one of Hawaii's most desirable beaches is unique, and we are delighted to partner with Starwood Capital, a company with a long history of designing and building world-class hotel and resort properties," said Hyatt Hotels Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Mark S. Hoplamazian. "

Andaz Wailea will be a great addition to Hyatt's resort portfolio and an important new market for Andaz." "Wailea is truly one of the world's great treasures and we are very pleased to deepen our relationship with Hyatt through this partnership and create a unique destination resort there," said Barry S. Sternlicht, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer of Starwood Capital Group. "The burgeoning Andaz brand is a perfect fit for this vibrant community and the partnership structure with Hyatt ensures we will bring the best of both companies together to create a stunning property. Having been intimately involved in the design of the asset, it will be exciting to see it come to life as the Andaz Wailea." Personal and uncomplicated, Andaz is a new hotel experience that blends fresh, engaging hospitality and stylish, vibrant settings, created with simplicity and locality in mind.

Andaz Wailea will join Andaz Liverpool Street, London, Andaz West Hollywood, Andaz Wall Street, Andaz San Diego and Andaz 5th Avenue. Additional Andaz hotels under development include Andaz Amsterdam, Andaz Delhi, India; Andaz Papagayo, Costa Rica; Andaz Sanya Sunny Bay, China; and Andaz Turks and Caicos.

SOURCE: Hyatt Hotels Corporation Hyatt Hotels & ResortsLaurie Cole, 312-780-5935

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Market Update

Beacon Economics analyzed home affordability and came away feeling optimistic.

Beacon Economics founding principal Christopher Thornberg, whose firm advises a variety of business clients, says the high level of affordability is likely to drive demand and reduce the stock of excess inventory, ultimately resulting in the need for new housing, a rise in prices, and a pickup in new construction. "While prices may fluctuate modestly over the next several months, we believe the worst of the housing crisis is behind us," says Beacon Economics Research Manager Jordan G. Levine. "We expect prices to stabilize around current levels and likely be higher in the next 12 months."

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Biggest and Best News in Three Years!

Maui Real estate buyers are seeing competition again.

First my personal experiences this week:

1. One of my listings, for $1,595,000, had three showings and three over full-price offers. Two are cash buyers, and they are still bidding against each other as I type this.

2. A small condo in North Kihei, listed at $138,000 has had two offers, one over full price, and is in escrow now.

3. A house in South Kihei listed at $489,000 has an offer in escrow with a bigger offer waiting in back-up position hoping for the first offer to fall out.

4. My buyer made an offer on a home on the market for over 1000 days ($5,900,000 list price). After months of negotiations and deliberations, appraisal, and writing an offer, the morning we expect a counter offer, the seller gets an all-cash offer that blows us out of the water.

Overall Trend Upward is the title of the article in today's Maui News.Closings of single-family homes through the first three quarters of this year, as reported by the MLS of the Realtors Association of Maui, were up to 616 in Maui County, compared with 462 in the same period in 2009. Average prices were up 10% to $779,769. The number of days on the market before closing is an amazingly small number, 122 days for houses, 130 days for condos. Many of these are short sales that take 3-4 months to negotiate with the bank.

So in many cases, we are seeing homes under contract in less than 30 days. So far this year, we have seen a 47% increase in dollar sales to $480 million for single-family transactions, and up 36% to $624 million in condo sales.

We expect a phenomenal winter, with all the pent-up demand out there.

Oahu Median Home price up to $622k from $605k in September '09. The median price for a condo increased to $335,000 from $309,500 a year ago.

Maui Named Tourists' Top Stop- AgainFor the 16th time in the past 20 years, Maui was named the Best Island in the World by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine.

Maui's Hotel Occupancy Up Considerably in AugustMaui hotel occupancy bounded up nearly 10 percentage points in August, according to the consulting firm Hospitality Advisors. Maui's occupancy rate was 73.4%, not impressive for a normal August, but much better than 63.5% a year ago. Prices held stable, at about $238 per night.

Every other county in the state also gained in visitors over the steady summer. This is on top of the 18.1% jump in revenue per available room in July, and an 11.7% increase in visitor days. Wholesale Inventories and sales up in August 0.8% following a 1.5% increase in July, a sign that businesses expect the economic recovery to continue.

More good news: A new federal report says personal income in Hawaii grew by 0.8% in the second quarter.

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