Saturday, December 6, 2008

Hotel and Retail CMBS

Maris Zivarts and Courtney Alexander of UNITEHERE did an excellent write-up about the Columbia Sussex portfolio. Obviously there is a slight conflict given they work for the union of workers who are employed at some of the properties, but it is duly noted and the article is well written.

Hotel CMBS is historically one of the most volatile sectors with the highest losses. It was obviously on its way up at a frothy pace in 2004 & 2005, which can be tracked by the ~$3-4 billion in new cash put into Extended Stay Hotels by Blackstone, to be flipped two years later to Lightstone for more than 2x as much, $8 billion.

Lightstone Group turned in the keys on two malls that it defaulted on this year. Although I think it is undisputed that Retail will feel some pain, I'm beginning to believe that Regional Malls may feel more pain than strip centers given the concentration of highly levered retail tenants.

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