Commercial Investment Real Estate March/April 2013 | Page 26

ROBIN’S RESORT KEEPS IT ALL IN THE FAMILY When Roger Langpaul, CCIM, of 360 Real Estate Services in Clive, Iowa, saw the rustic 6.5-acre Robin’s Resort on the Lake of the Ozarks shoreline near Osage Beach, Mo., his fi rst thought was: “Condominiums.” But that was in 2001, when developers were buying out small, family-owned resorts and putting up condos like clockwork. After spending time at the resort and taking in some of the most beautiful sunsets imaginable, Langpaul chose to buck the trend. He purchased the property as an investment and retained the family-owned resort structure. Not only has the investment been reward- ing for Langpaul, but “by Robin’s staying as a [single- owner] resort, we provide much more of an ongoing economic benefi t to the city and the surrounding community,” he says. “Our guests pay a city sales tax and a lodging tax that stays here in our community. Our guests also patronize the local restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, grocery stores, and other retail services.” Langpaul has made substantial investment into the property, including two condo-style buildings contain- ing a total of 22 units. “We designed the units such that our exit strategy is to be able to sell these as condos and continue to rent them in a rental pool,” he says. In addition, Langpaul added a second swimming pool, a hot tub, a large covered pavilion for guest use, and three new docks. The resort continues to offer a family-oriented environment with events such as spring and fall fi sh- ing tournaments and golf packages. Guest service is a critical aspect of the ongoing operational policy. “Robin’s Resort may not be part of the Marriott or Hyatt fl ags, but there is absolutely no reason that our guests should not get that level of service while they are here,” he says. The resort’s gross income “has more than doubled” in the 12 years since Langpaul bought the property. Overall, the investment in a seasonal tourist area has been a win-win for Langpaul and the local market. “We have a long-term business plan that complements and benefi ts the surrounding community.” 24 March | April | 2013 Audubon Building at 931 Canal Street was no worse for wear af er the storm hit. Originally built in 1909, the prop- erty served as of ce space with ground-f oor retail until 2004 when the interior was demolished. Af er Katrina in 2005, the building remained untouched until 2009, when Robert Hand, CCIM, SIOR, now president of Louisiana Commercial Realty in New Orleans, took on the listing, which had languished unsold for the previous 12 months. T e gutted eight-story building with no parking was located on the outskirts of the French Quarter, making it a prime location for a hospitality investment. But market- ing the property and convincing a prospective buyer of its future use was challenging. “Prospective buyers could not inspect above the f rst two f oors of the property since the stairs were demolished, there was no electricity, and the elevator was removed,” Hand says. But the structural challenges didn’t hamper his mar- keting strategy. “I developed a short list of existing hotel owners in the area and contacted each individually. I also marketed the property regionally and nationally, reach- ing out to hotel franchisees and national brands,” he says. “T e tourism market is a tight-knit group and people in the industry know each other, so you can work through referrals and centers of inf uence. I had almost 100 people on my short list and, of those, six made of ers.” But the deal-clincher resulted from a true act of dedica- tion that surpasses traditional marketing tactics. “T e last thing I did was climb out on a ledge 40 feet above Canal Street to post a large for-sale sign on the building,” Hand says. “It turns out the sign attracted at least one buyer.” Hand relied on his CCIM tools and professional net- work to help streamline the transaction. “I walked poten- tial buyers through that process of determining if they could make money of the property. I had already done the analysis and because of this, potential buyers were able to determine if this was the right project for them. I prepared a 30-page marketing presentation that covered everything a buyer would need to know, including contacts in the city planning department, architects, historic tax credit attor- neys, and even research on tourism, including the trend of tourists f ying in and out of the airport and how much money they spent on hotel stays. Site To Do Business was instrumental in providing the demographics.” Upon securing a buyer, Hand conducted negotiations with the New Orleans planning department, negotiated contracts, and helped the buyer receive $2 million in income from selling historic tax credits. With a total cost of $45 million dollars to purchase and renovate the prop- erty, the new owner, Canal Street Lodging LLC, rolled out T e Saint Hotel in 2012. T e boutique hotel includes 166 luxury rooms on eight f oors adjacent to the city’s Canal Street streetcar line and a short walk from the French Quarter. Commercial Investment Real Estate