Island Capital Group

Island Capital Group buys historic Lexington Hotel

In early July, Andrew Farkas’ Island Capital Group, in conjunction with MCR and Three Wall Capital, purchased the historic Lexington Hotel, located at 511 Lexington Avenue, NY, for $185 million. Built in 1929, the 725-key Marriott International-branded hotel is known as a staple of hospitality along Lexington Avenue.

Island Capital’s offer comes in at 55 cents on the dollar when compared to the seller’s original purchase price. The seller, DiamondRock Hospitality Company purchased the hotel in 2011 for $333.7 million.

The purchase of the Lexington Hotel marks the first investment through Island Capital’s pandemic war chest, a $350 million fund created to target assets in New York negatively impacted by COVID-19. Farkas describes the purchase decision as a “plug-and-play opportunity” due to the time and money already invested in the renovation of the hotel by DiamondRock. 

Per the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), hotel markets around the U.S. are facing a “depression,” with New York’s hotel scene included. The purchase by Island Capital is an encouraging contradiction. Come 2022, New York City expects a hospitality rebound, with Andrew Farkas, founder, chairman and CEO of Island Capital, citing increasing tourism and business travel as key components of getting back to normal.

“We are proud to acquire the Lexington Hotel and we are excited about the reopening of the property as we emerge from the pandemic,” Farkas said. “We are confident that New York City will bounce back from what has been a very challenging time in [its] history… we are well positioned to capitalize on the return of [its] booming hospitality industry.”

Throughout the years, the Lexington Hotel has served as an iconic landmark, visited by celebrities, athletes and entertainers. Shut down due to the pandemic in March 2020, the hotel will reopen August 1, managed by MCR as part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection. 

2016 Lipsey Commercial Real Estate Survey Ranks NAI Global in Top 5

Every year, The Lipsey Company, a leading training and consulting firm specializing in the commercial real estate industry, ranks the top 25 commercial real estate brands worldwide. Over 100,000 industry members casted a vote in this survey through means of ballots, phone interviews and / or focus groups. This allowed Lipsey to capture both quantitative and subjective information about the industry. The Lipsey Company was established in 1980 and this is the 15th year anniversary of the Lipsey’s Top 25 Brand Survey. 

In the 2016 Lipsey Top 25 Brand Survey, NAI Global was ranked number four. This excellent ranking is a huge success for NAI Global, proving that their hard work and growth is being recognized by their industry peers. The company has been moving closer to the top of the rankings for the past few years and continued this trend this year, earning its best ranking yet. NAI Global is a commercial real estate company that is independently owned and operated. It is also the only independently owned company ranked within the top ten. As the largest and most powerful global network of owner-operated brokerage firm, NAI Global provides creative solutions in the commercial real estate industry to help consumers buy, sell, lease, finance, or manage commercial properties.

In 2011, NAI Global was acquired by C-III Capital Partners LLC, a commercial real estate services company. C-III is involved in a broad range of activities, including primary and special loan servicing, fund management and principal investment. C-III views NAI Global as a strategic acquisition because it allows C-III to diversify its services. C-III is a controlled affiliate of Island Capital Group LLC, a global real estate services company which was founded and is led by Andrew Farkas. Farkas was also the founder, chairman and CEO of Insignia Financial Group, Inc. Andrew Farkas has been very successful in his career, and this excellent ranking for NAI Global further enhances Farkas’ image in the industry.

Stephanie Brock Named President of U.S. Residential Group LLC

U.S. Residential Group LLC (USRG) has named Stephanie Brock, an industry veteran in property management, as their new President. Ms. Brock will manage all aspects of the company which currently is responsible for 40,000 apartments.

Al Fenstermacher, who Ms. Brock has replaced, will stay within reach of the company and serve as an advisor in the Office of the Chairman. There has been some other management position movement around the corporation, including C-III Capital Partners LLC’s own Mr. Geoffrey Woodward, who has been placed in the position of Chairman of the Board. USRG is an affiliate to C-III Capital Partners LLC.

Ms. Brock remarked that USRG has made great progress as an industry leader through their commitment to customer service, diverse client base and lastly their team of experts. Ms. Brock’s experience includes developing seven new markets for Riverstone Residential Group and re-creating a presence in Houston, Denver and Phoenix for Trammell Crow. More recently, she was a Senior Managing Director at Greystar Real Estate Partners, before moving to the U.S. Residential Group.

U.S. Residential Group LLC, with offices located throughout the country, has over 30 years’ experience in all types of economic environments. This fee-based firm helps manage professional real estate services to the owners of multi-family properties throughout the United States. The Andrew Farkas lead C-III Capital Partners LLC has overseen USRG since their acquisition of the firm in November 2011.  In addition to C-III Capital Partners, Mr. Farkas is the Chairman and CEO of Island Capital Group and CEO of Anubis Advisors.

Andrew Farkas Named Among 50 Most Important People in Commercial Real Estate Finance

To compile its self-admitted subjective list of The 50 Most Important People in Commercial Real Estate Finance, Commercial Observer consulted various industry professionals and lists of top producers. Additionally, charts noting the most active banks were taken into consideration.

While an emphasis was placed on the New York tristate region, geography was not the only factor to come into play. When battling the question of who is more important among brokers or lenders, predictions for 2013 investments had to be considered.

“Brokers control the deals and the bankers control the money – and the money makes the deal happen,” one executive, himself a broker, told Commercial Observer. But then: “I feel like the brokers have the upper hand in the moment.”

As Chairman and CEO of Island Capital Group, Andrew Farkas was named number 7 on the list. Noting a “big year,” C-III Partners acquired NAI Global last year, as well as its 5,000 real estate professionals. The firm manages four funds totaling a $2 billion investment.

After the NME List: What Real Estate Stars are Doing Now

Since their names were listed on the National Real Estate Investor’s (NME) website, the ten real estate moguls who made the magazine’s Top 10 to Watch list have shown no signs of stopping. Among them was Island Capital Group CEO and Chairman Andrew Farkas, who has been spending some of his recent time with his latest company, Anubis Advisors, which he founded in March 2010.

Anubis Advisors, which is a subsidiary of Island Capital Group LLC, is in the management consulting, restructuring, distressed debt and real estate advisory business. Andrew Farkas launched the company to provide strategic planning, M&A and other financial services.

Also making recent headlines is another CEO from NME’s list, Sandeep Mathrani, who runs General Growth Properties, a publicly traded real estate investment trust. Mathrani’s company owns 169 malls, and the The Wall Street Journal interviewed the CEO about the trend of large real estate groups selling malls to take advantage of the slowly improving economy. Stay tuned to learn what the other big names on NME’s list are up to.

ENSeC’s Impact on the Asian and Middle East Market

Island Capital Group has been involved in multiple international ventures since former Insignia Financial Group Chief Executive Officer Andrew Farkas founded it in 2003. The real estate merchant banking firm specializes in real estate operating businesses, real estate investment, and real estate securities.  It has operated as an advisor to the government of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The government of Dubai hired Island Capital Group to be the sole consultant in the creation of the Emirates National Securitization Corporation (ENSec). ENSeC focuses on securitizing pools of commercial and residential loans on real estate in Dubai by working closely with local banks and government entities. Its advising and structuring services reach across various capital markets in Asia and the Middle East.

As part of Island Capital Group’s portfolio, Andrew Farkas has the opportunity to tap into ENSeC’s expertise and embedment in the local prosperous market in order to further establish his leadership in the global real estate industry. Throughout its life, ENSeC has been able to gain the trust of its clients by focusing on securing commercial and residential backed financings, small-scale enterprises and industries loans, operating cash flows, future cash flows, and consumer assets to facilitate the real estate finance sector.

Andrew Farkas on NREI 2011 Top 10 to Watch List

The National Real Estate Investor has come out with its 2011 Top 10 to Watch list. Island Capital Group CEO and Chairman Andrew Farkas was selected to be one of them. Next to Andrew Farkas, nine other candidates were chosen from the varying financial interests and property types. The list shows the real estate leaders who have shaken up the industry and are expected to make the largest impact in the commercial real estate industry during this year. It refers back to deals the leaders made and on actions they took in 2010 and will show whether the risks associated with these actions will pay off. The results of their bold moves will be signs for the impact the recession has made on various industries.

Accompanying Andrew Farkas on the 2011 National Real Estate Investor Top 10 to Watch list are Andrew Mathias, President of SL Green; Michael Tompkins, Managing Partner of TriBridge LLC; Mark Burkhart, CEO of Cassidy Turley; Bill Pettit, President & COO of Merrill Gardens; Sandeep Mathrani, CEO of General Growth Properties; Chris Merrill, President & CEO of Harrison Street Real Estate Capital LLC; George Toth, President & CEO of CanCan Development LLC; Ronald Dickerman, President of Madison International Realty; and Marc Nemer, President of Cole Real Estate Investments.

ATM – A Valuable Asset to Island Capital Group

The world is more environmentally concerned than ever. Institutions, such as the US Environmental Protection Agency, focus on making sure developments and advancements do not come at the cost of nature. To support their mission, companies on a small and large scale need to assess the impact of their operations on the environment. Applied Technology & Management Inc., a coastal, marine, environmental and water resources consulting firm, is one of the companies that works closely with the developmental enhancements and their consequences. As part of the portfolio of Andrew Farkas’ company Island Capital Group, it assesses environmental impacts of proposed development projects.

Applied Technology & Management Inc. was founded in 1984 and has since been investigating mitigation plans to supply its customers with ecologically-balanced and long-term alternatives in order to tightly monitor, decrease or even eliminate potential impacts of future developments. The company’s services do not only cover the United States, but they also reach as far as Dubai. With nine offices, approximately one hundred professionals and involvement in over 300 marina projects, the ATM’s Coastal and Marine division has become an industry leader in its field. It is a highly valuable asset to Island Capital Group CEO Andrew Farkas with its high knowledge and specialization in marina and waterfront development.

Andrew Farkas on Panel at The Wharton School

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania will hold its Spring Members Meeting on Wednesday, April 27th and Thursday, April 28th at The Rittenhouse in Philadelphia. The meeting is going to cover major economic issues with experts on panels replying to questions and addressing important topics related to property markets, capital markets and the economy. Andrew Farkas, Chairman and CEO of Island Capital Group, is going to take part in the discussion “Capital Markets—Which Way is Up?” Farkas is one of four panelists who will provide answers, perspectives and outlooks to questions dealing with trends of capital rates. They are also going to cover areas within the real estate investment world, including risks, debt, equity and how to manage them.

Andrew Farkas is going to be joined on the panel by Michelle Felman, Mark D. Gibson and Dean S. Adler, while Asuka Nakahara, Associate Director of the Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center at The Wharton School, is the moderator. The discussion will last approximately an hour and will lead to the next part of the meeting where keynote speaker Ronnie Chan, Chairman and CEO of Hang Lung Properties, will give his perspective on “The Future of China and Its Investment Risk.”

The Real Estate Industry and Albany in 2011

Only a year ago, the climate in Albany for the real estate industry seemed ever more threatening. The governor actually lived in a rent-regulated apartment and was proud of it. Democrats in the Assembly had prepared an onerous series of bills to strengthen rent rules. The Senate was in Democratic hands and passage of the Assembly package in both houses seemed possible. Today, with the Senate almost guaranteed to return to Republican control, the industry is in much better position to protect its interests–just as the city’s rent regulation system laws are set to expire at midyear. Read More…

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