RALEIGH, NC—With 14 hotels currently in active development, seven which are scheduled to open in 2014, Concord Hospitality Enterprises today announced the company’s most aggressive development pipeline to date.
“Because we believe there is a consistent market for strategically located, premium-branded hotels, we continued to build every economic cycle as we have every year for the past 20 years,” stated Mark Laport, president and CEO of Concord Hospitality. “However, we view this current phase as one of the strongest periods to be a hotel developer in recent memory, certainly in the past five years.”
He continued, “The key is to not jump at every opportunity out there; as financing becomes more available and more projects get underway, discipline becomes especially important. “While we are currently working the most aggressive pipeline in our history, we also are turning down more than ever. On average, only one out of every eight projects goes forward.”
According to Laport, locations with high or growing concentrations of medical, educational, banking and technology concerns, and solid infrastructures attract the attention of hotel developers like Concord, which spent $10-plus million a month in development in 2013 and expects a total development spend of $1 billion by the end of 2014.
In addition to the aggressive development roster, Laport noted that the company continues to grow its third-party management portfolio through strategic alliances with current institutional investors, as well as other ownership groups.
“The downturn demonstrated the importance of maintaining a healthy balance within the portfolio, and while development deals capture headlines, third-party management is a critically important part of our mix, and an area where we invest heavily to further establish our leading edge,” Laport said. “Even with all of our recent development, our portfolio is now 40 percent owned/joint venture partnerships, and 60 percent third-party managed.”
According to Laport, Concord’s longstanding owner and brand relationships and investment in technology leadership are paying dividends in terms of contract growth and the company’s growing prominence in the third-party management sector.
Concord started 2014 with three new contracts from the Wickens Group, a Michigan-based owner/developer of premier commercial real estate. This early uptick comes on the heels of nine new management deals in 2013; a company record.