Woodland Hills, Calif. March 23, 2004 Younan Properties, Inc. (YPI), one of the nation's most successful commercial real estate investment firms, has launched the Younan Hospitality Division, which will be based in Woodland Hills, Calif. Under this newly created division, a strategic plan has already been implemented to target at least eight hotel properties by the end of 2004 and a total of 20 hotel properties by the end of 2005.
Currently in escrow is YPI's first hotel acquisition -- a 377-room, full-service Holiday Inn Select located at 2645 LBJ Freeway in Dallas, which is owned by Wyndham International (AMEX: WBR). In addition, the firm is in negotiations on four additional hotels located throughout the United States.
Zaya Younan, Chairman & CEO of Younan Properties, is already known for his aggressive track record and excellent returns in the commercial office market. Since the company's founding just two years ago, the firm has acquired more than 28 office buildings, totaling 3.5 million square feet, bringing investors returns as high as 300%.
We are economists by nature; we understand the world economy and pride ourselves in correlating its impact on different segments of the business and real estate market, said Mr. Younan. We've been monitoring the hospitality market for the past two years and all the factors in the economic cycle have fallen into place, making this the right time to move into hospitality. We strongly believe that the hospitality industry has bottomed and we intend to take advantage of this opportunity.
Younan Properties has built a reputation in just two years for the unique ability to select prime under market value assets, acquiring the properties, embarking on an aggressive repositioning campaign, then returning the assets to the market bringing high yields back to the investors.
While we intend to maintain our edge in the office market, our diversification into the hospitality industry is a natural outgrowth, said Mr. Younan. By selecting prime under-utilized hospitality properties, we intend to duplicate the success we've enjoyed in the office market, and the positive impact we had in surrounding communities throughout the country.
Younan noted that while the company will focus on the hospitality division in major metropolitan areas of the US and overseas, growth for the firm's office portfolio is targeted to double in size, expanding from its current three million square feet to six million square feet by the end of 2004.
YPI's acquisition plan targets hotels located in major metropolitan areas such as Texas, Northern California, Florida, Chicago and New York. According to Mr. Younan, many franchised hotels have properties that are no longer a part of their core asset or they have been negatively impacted by the recession. Yet economically, these properties have the potential to offer us an excellent rate of return when they are repositioned and managed properly in their perspective market.