Mar 17

StepStone Real Estate Partners Closes Investment to Fund HRI’s Growth

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–StepStone Real Estate (“StepStone”), a private real estate investment firm affiliated with the StepStone Group, a global private markets firm, and HRI Properties, a leading diversified real estate company, today announced that StepStone committed to invest up to $87.5 million in HRI. New Orleans-based HRI Properties is a leading diversified real estate company that develops, acquires, owns and manages premium branded and independent hotels, upscale apartments, and mixed-use properties in major urban U.S. markets. The investment will fund the continued expansion of HRI’s portfolio into growing, dynamic urban markets. StepStone’s commitment dovetails with prior rounds of growth capital funded by Almanac Realty Investors in 2014 and 2016. StepStone closed its latest fund, StepStone Real Estate Partners III (“SREP III”), in February, with US$700 million in capital commitments, $1.1 billion including committed co-investment capital.

“The HRI investment provides us with diversified exposure to high quality assets in major urban markets”
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HRI specializes in urban in-fill projects and the adaptive reuse of historic buildings. Under the leadership of Tom Leonhard, CEO, HRI owns and operates a portfolio with over 3,000 hotel rooms, over 1,500 apartment units and over 165,000 square feet of commercial space. HRI also provides third-party hotel and apartment management services through its subsidiaries HRI Lodging and HRI Management, to 13 hotels and 31 multifamily properties. “StepStone’s investment will fund HRI’s ongoing growth through the acquisition, development and redevelopment of urban projects,” said Tom Leonhard.

“The HRI investment provides us with diversified exposure to high quality assets in major urban markets,” said Brendan MacDonald, a Partner at StepStone Real Estate. “HRI’s management team, portfolio and track record are best in class, and we’re excited to participate in their ongoing growth.”

HRI and its affiliates have completed more than 82 large-scale projects in 12 states totalling more than $2 billion in project costs. Current projects under development include:

Hyatt Unbound – Nashville, TN
Homewood Suites – New Orleans, LA
Aloft – Philadelphia, PA
Robert W. Baird & Co. served as financial advisor to HRI in the transaction.

Aug 16

New Embassy Suites by Hilton Opens in Downtown Minneapolis

Multi-million dollar renovation transforms historic Plymouth Building into upscale hotel

MINNEAPOLIS & MCLEAN, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Embassy Suites by Hilton, a global brand of upscale, all-suite hotels from Hilton (NYSE: HLT), announced today the opening of its fifth property in the Twin Cities – and first in downtown Minneapolis.

Embassy Suites Minneapolis Downtown is located in the historic Plymouth Building, an iconic landmark building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Ideally situated in the city’s Central Business and Warehouse District, the 290-suite hotel is directly linked to the Minneapolis Skyway System for a quick walk to offices, restaurants, shops, nightlife and both the Target Center and Target Field, home of the Timberwolves and Twins, respectively. Guests will be pleased with the hotel’s easy access to the Minneapolis Convention Center and convenient transportation to and from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and Mall of America via Metro Transit light rail.

The hotel, formerly a multi-use office building that underwent a multi-million dollar renovation, was developed and is owned by HRI Properties LLC and operated by HRI Lodging LLC. Locally-based U.S. Bank provided the financing to HRI to undertake the extensive rehabilitation project.

“Establishing this beautiful new hotel in such a notable building is an extraordinary way to expand our presence in Minneapolis,” said Bill Duncan, global head, All Suites Brands. “Like all Embassy Suites hotels, the upscale accommodations, free made-to-order breakfast and complimentary evening drinks and snacks will appeal to the city’s growing legions of business and leisure travelers.”

The Embassy Suites Minneapolis Downtown pays homage to the Plymouth Building’s original Beaux-Arts architecture, preserving such historic details as tall entry doors, marble guestroom corridors, granite staircases and oversized guest room windows. The inviting interior seamlessly blends all the modern comforts and amenities that travelers demand within the grandeur of the original historic building.

Guests may enjoy the brand’s signature amenities, including a free made-to-order breakfast and two-hour complimentary Evening Reception* with snacks and beverages, free Wi-Fi and comfortable two-room suites and guest rooms with a living area and bedroom. Features may include a desk with ergonomic chair, 49-inch TV, an oversized walk-in shower, microwave, mini-refrigerator and wet bar featuring gourmet coffee and teas from The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®. Corner suites offer more privacy, an L-shape sofa sleeper and breathtaking city views.

Meeting and event space is comprised of 10 separate meeting rooms totaling over 12,600 square feet of space, with the largest accommodating up to 350 guests. Ideal for weddings, social events and conferences, the Plymouth Ballroom features grand chandeliers, rich décor with luxe metallic finishes and soothing colors. Many conference rooms offer stunning views of the cityscape and natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows.

For smaller meetings, Embassy Suites by Hilton Minneapolis Downtown offers the Meetings Simplified™ by Embassy Suites by Hilton package, which includes the meeting room, basic meeting Wi-Fi, meeting room supplies including a flipchart, markers, extension and power cord, and all-day non-alcoholic beverage service. Also available for travelers is a 24-hour business center.

The property features an extensive, well-appointed lobby bar that will also provide grab-and-go coffee service in the morning hours. Dining is also available in the adjacent Lyon’s Pub, located on the lobby level. The quaint, English-style tavern offers tap beers, pub food, TVs and a weekend dance floor. Those preferring to dine in-suite may select evening room service or pick up snacks and sundries in the hotel’s 24-hour convenience store.

Guests may burn off their meals in the more than 3,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art fitness center featuring cardio equipment and free weights, or relax in the L-shaped, indoor heated pool. The hotel will also provide guests the convenience of on-site heated parking.

“We are proud to bring the Plymouth Building back to life as an Embassy Suites by Hilton hotel,” said Tom Leonhard, CEO and president, HRI Properties. “This beautiful property stands out for the unbeatable combination of all-suite accommodations and high-end amenities that have given this brand its worldwide reputation.”

Embassy Suites by Hilton Minneapolis Downtown participates in the Hilton HHonors® loyalty program, which is open to all guests and free to join – visit here for enrollment information. HHonors members always receive the lowest price with Hilton’s Best Price Guarantee, along with HHonors Points, free standard Wi-Fi access, digital check-in, Digital Key and no hidden fees, only when they book directly through Hilton. To celebrate the opening of the hotel, 1,000 bonus points will be offered on qualified stays from November 1, 2016 through April 30, 2017.

Embassy Suites by Hilton Minneapolis Downtown is located at 12 Sixth Street South, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55402. For more information, or to make a reservation, travelers may visit or call +1 612 351 2554.

Media can access additional information – including downloadable images – on Embassy Suites by Hilton hotels at For development queries, please visit

About Embassy Suites by Hilton

Embassy Suites by Hilton, one of Hilton’s 13 market-leading brands, is dedicated to delivering what matters most to travelers. The full service, upscale brand offers two-room suites, free made-to-order breakfast and a nightly two-hour reception with complimentary drinks and snacks. Both leisure and business travelers looking for a relaxed, yet sophisticated experience will feel right at home with brand-standard amenities like inviting atriums and complimentary 24-hour business and fitness centers. Embassy Suites by Hilton has 228 hotels with nearly 50 in the pipeline. Hilton HHonors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels receive instant benefits, including an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else, free standard Wi-Fi and digital amenities like digital check-in with room selection and Digital Key (selected locations) available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton HHonors app. For more information, or to book a stay, visit Social media users may connect with Embassy Suites by Hilton at, and For the latest news, media may visit the Global Media Center at

*Service of alcohol subject to state and local laws. Must be of legal drinking age.

About Hilton

Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, comprising more than 4,700 managed, franchised, owned and leased hotels and timeshare properties with over 775,000 rooms in 104 countries and territories. For 97 years, Hilton has been dedicated to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional guest experiences. The company’s portfolio of 13 world-class global brands includes Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Curio – A Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Tru by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton HHonors®. Hilton HHonors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to benefits including an exclusive member discount, free standard Wi-Fi, as well as digital amenities that are available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton HHonors app, where Hilton HHonors members can check-in, choose their room, and access their room using a Digital Key. Visit for more information and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, LinkedIn and Instagram.

About HRI Properties, LLC

Founded in New Orleans in 1982 by Edward B. Boettner (1933-2000) and Pres Kabacoff, HRI Properties (HRI) is dedicated to the pursuit of rebuilding neighborhoods and recreating entire communities. Through its subsidiaries, HRI has completed 70 large-scale projects for a total funding value of $2 billion which include 5,114 apartment units, 4,116 hotel rooms, and more than 1,300,000 square feet of office and retail space. HRI is a full-service real estate development company and a national leader in the adaptive reuse of historic structures. HRI’s mission is – Revitalizing Cities by Creating Diverse, Vibrant and Sustainable Communities. For more information, please visit our website at

About HRI Lodging LLC

HRI Lodging, LLC. (HRIL) is one of the 50 largest hotel management companies in the U.S. with a current portfolio of 25 hotels and resorts spanning the continental U.S. By building alliances with major domestic and international investment firms, the organization pursues a dual mode growth strategy of managing independent, boutique properties as well as partnering with industry leading brands. HRI Lodging is the hotel management division of New Orleans-based HRI Properties, a full-service real estate development company and a national leader in the adaptive reuse of historic structures. For more information, please visit

Aug 16

HRI Properties Buys DoubleTree in Minneapolis

Original Post – HotelBusiness

MINNEAPOLIS—HRI Properties, LLC, has acquired the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Minneapolis.0005984

The hotel is located at 1101 LaSalle Ave., six blocks from HRI’s owned and managed Embassy Suites by Hilton Minneapolis Downtown set to open in September. HRI Lodging, LLC, a subsidiary of HRI, will manage the new property.

“DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Minneapolis is an excellent fit for our portfolio,“ said Gary Gutierrez, HRIL president and HRI COO. “We are poised for success in the downtown Minneapolis market holding a majority of the all-suite product in the area and continuing our relationship with the Hilton brand—this being the 11th Hilton flagged hotel in our portfolio.”

Located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, the all-suite hotel offers 229 suites with separate bedroom and living areas. HRI plans to invest $3.5 million in renovations starting in early 2017. The property features several amenities, including a Lot 57 Restaurant and Lounge, a full-service Starbucks, 24/7 fitness and business centers, an HHonors concierge level and a 24-hour complimentary text message concierge service. In addition, there is 1,162 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space for up to 70 guests and specializes in small meetings.

Aug 16

An inside look at the $56M redo of the Mayflower in downtown Dallas

Original Article – Dallas Business Journal

It’s been a half-century since a developer has redone the historic Mayflower Building in downtown Dallas, but that hasn’t held New Orleans-based HRI Properties back in re-imagining the former office building.

The upper nine floors of the Mayflower Building at 400 N. Akard St. is in the midst of a transformation taking the building once-designed for the Mayflower Insurance Co. to a modern-style 215-unit apartment building with ground floor retail space and parking for building goers.

Construction workers are working on the face of the former office building in downtown Dallas.


Construction workers are working on the face of the former office building in downtown… more

One of the standout features of the building is a massive 1-acre interior atrium designed in the former computer center space. It was once home to a 1960s-era computer used for insurance tabulating.

“This is a pretty dramatic space,” Richard Allen, HRI’s project manager on the Mayflower Building, told the Dallas Business Journal.”I don’t think you’d expect to see an atrium like this from the exterior of the building. This space held those giant punch card computers with executive offices on the perimeter.”

As part of the $56 million redevelopment of the upper portion of the building (the bottom six floors are owned by the group behind Ross Tower and is used for office tenant parking of the adjacent building), some of the beams are left within the atrium to help showcase the space left by the old computing system. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The 215 apartments will have high-end, condo-quality finishes with hardwood floors, stone countertops, stainless steel appliances and washers and dryers in each unit. Upon completion, the community will also have a rooftop pool, outdoor kitchen, fitness center and community room.

On the ninth floor, the building has 15 penthouse one- and two-bedroom units each with a private outdoor patio. The one-bedroom penthouse units will start at $1,700 to $1,800 and will go up from there.

The historic Mayflower building will also include 14,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor of the building. Dallas-based E. Smith Realty Partners is marketing the space to restaurants and retailers on behalf of HRI Properties, which also redeveloped the LTV Tower at 1600 Pacific into an apartment and hotel tower.

To finance the project, HRI used a $10 million tax increment financing grant from the city of Dallas and financing from Capital One, Aegon and Stonehenge Capital. The building also will receive state and federal tax credits.

A percentage of the apartments will be set aside for workforce housing as part of a $1 million grant given to HRI from the city as part of the overall tax increment financing grant. The one-bedroom rates for workforce housing is capped at roughly $900 per month.

And it took all that financing to get the project off the ground, said Allen, who added HRI had been looking at possibly redeveloping the Mayflower building for the past five years.

“In 2011, it didn’t make financial sense and it was too costly to redevelop,” he told me. “We put the project on the shelf and didn’t look at it again until the Texas legislature passed the historic tax credit program, which was the difference maker in having the project moved forward.”

Dallas-based Andres Construction is the general contractor on the project. Dallas-based Merriman Anderson Architects Inc. is the architect. Both companies also worked with HRI on the redo of the LTV Tower.

The Mayflower building is slated for completion by the end of the year, with a grand opening expected in early 2016. So, what’s next for HRI in Dallas-Fort Worth? Allen said it’s hard to say.

“If the right project comes along, we’ll take a hard look, but we don’t have anything in the pipeline right now,” he said.

Want to take a look at the redevelopment work? Check out the attached slideshow.

Mar 16

Downtown apartments sold, making way for boutique hotel

Nashville Business Journal

Another boutique hotel is planned for downtown Nashville, following the sale of an historic apartment building.
The Tennessean reports that New Orleans-based HRI Properties bought the James Robertson Apartments for $18.2 million. The seller was Nashville-based Covenant Capital Group, which paid $10.2 million for the 12-story building, located at 118 Seventh Ave. N., just over a year ago.
The James Robertson apartment building originally opened in 1929.
The James Robertson apartment building originally opened in 1929.


According to The Tennessean, HRI plans to invest about $65 million converting the building into a 190-room boutique hotel. The Tennessean reports that HRI considers itself a national leader in the adaptive reuse of historic buildings.

Feb 16

HRI Properties names Tom Leonhard CEO; founder Pres Kabacoff becomes chairman

Pres Kabacoff, a high-profile New Orleans real estate developer and co-founder of HRI Properties, is stepping aside as CEO of his company and will be replaced by his president, Tom Leonhard, the company said Tuesday (Feb. 16).

Kabacoff will continue as chairman of the board and focus on identifying development opportunities in the 25 largest cities in the country, the company said.

Company officials said the change in titles is intended to clearly define HRI’s leadership roles as the company pushes to expand its national reach and attract investment. The company has set a goal of doubling the assets under its management to $2 billion by 2018.

Leonhard, a 48-year-old New Orleans native who has worked at HRI Properties since he was a student at University of New Orleans in 1988, will continue as president and also take on the CEO title. Leonhard worked his way into company leadership in development and financing and was named president in 2011.

“I look back at all the great things the company has done and really I think what I’m most proud of is the people I’ve been able to work with and continue to work with,” Leonhard said. “To be able to be a CEO of such a great company and one that I really helped grow, it’s a tremendous honor and opportunity. I’m very excited about it.”

In 2014, New York-based Almanac Realty Investors gave HRI Properties an $150 million injection of growth capital, when the company set a goal of growing to $1 billion in assets within five to seven years. Two years later, the company has already reached that mark and now intends to grow to $2 billion in the next two years, Leonhard said.

The company focuses on renovations of historic buildings in urban areas into large, mixed-use developments and manages hotels and apartments. Leonhard said the vision is to continue that work nationally and maintain a presence in New Orleans development. “That will always be a big part of who we are as a firm,” he said.

Kabacoff founded HRI Properties — then known as Historic Restoration Inc. — in 1982 with Edward Boettner, who died in 2000. Their first project was renovating the Federal Fiber Mills building in the Warehouse District into apartments, later converted to condominiums. In the three decades since, the company has grown to 2,000 employees with management of 23 hotels and 43 apartment buildings in 16 states. Kabacoff remains the largest individual shareholder in the company.

Locally, the company is a key player in the ongoing redevelopment of the former Iberville public housing complex into a mixed-income, mixed-use neighborhood on the edge of downtown.

“Today, HRI is poised to become a key player in the national real estate market,” Kabacoff said in a written statement. “Our growth and rapid expansion stresses the importance of clarifying roles so that our leadership team allocates duties and responsibilities that maximize our respective areas of strength.”

“Tom Leonhard has earned national respect for his executive ability in building a disciplined organization, attracting top managerial talent, providing financial acumen and inspiring a tremendous esprit within HRI,” he said.

The company said it has seven projects totaling $438 million in development across the country with 870 hotel rooms and 84 apartments, including projects in Nashville, Philadelphia, Minneapolis and Dallas.

HRI Properties recently made a pitch to transform vacant Charity Hospital, although the state has put selection of a developer for the property on hold. HRI bid on the city’s redevelopment of the vacant former World Trade Center tower on the riverfront. City leaders ultimately picked a Four Seasons hotel development team to lease the building.

Leonhard, a Jesuit High School graduate, earned a bachelor of science in finance and an MBA with a focus on real estate form the University of New Orleans, where he later taught as a professor from 2003 through 2005.

HRI Properties is headquartered in the Hibernia Bank tower downtown, which the company renovated into mixed-income apartments.

Feb 16

New Orleans firm to team with Realen on hotel conversion of 101 N. Broad landmark

Realen Properties of Berwyn is teaming up with a New Orleans developer that specializes in renovating historic structures to convert the Liberty Title & Trust building at 101 N. Broad St. into a hotel.

Realen president Dennis Maloomian presented plans with HRI Properties Wednesday to the Philadelphia Art Commission for a 179 room hotel under Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ Aloft flag at the 21-story 1920s building.

Plans include a contemporary-style addition of about three stories that will wrap around the building’s northern and eastern sides and provide direct access to the adjacent Pennsylvania Convention Center. Completion is expected in spring of 2017.

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