George Pino, CBI managing partner

LOS ANGELES-Commercial Brokers International (CBI) has launched a new national hospitality division, embracing restaurants, nightclubs, motels, boutique/budget hotels and other properties. The new division will be headed by Dan Fagan, who will carry the title of VP and be based in Los Angeles. CBI is offering location services and acquisitions/dispositions for owners, landlords and tenants.

CBI managing partner George Pino says the firm is looking to capitalize on a mid-sized market niche, with foreign investors in particular lining up for mid-sized hotels and motels. “Travel is up a little more and people are feeling better about the economy,” Pino tells GlobeSt.com. “We’re seeing a lot (of investors) coming in, particularly with the Asian markets. There’s a really big push on hotels and motels.” 

The firm has previously worked with famed restaurateur Curtis Stone (seen regularly on the Food Network), and also has been involved with L.A. restaurants Hungry Cat, Citron and Drago, as well as working with hair care expert John Paul DiJoria in his commercial real estate ventures.

Most of the parties interested in the L.A. hospitality sector are looking at a ten-year investment horizon, Pino says. He cites particular new interest in restaurants, which is why “there’s a lot more failures and a lot more sales.”

Pino says L.A.’s west side is the hot area right now. “You have once again the occupancy rate and ADRs are almost 15 to 20 basis points higher than the national average, especially in the Santa Monica area,” he says. “Anything along the coastal side is being looked at carefully,” mentioning the Joi de Vivre chain as particularly interested in a coastal place.

In contrast, downtown L.A. “is not as hot as it was,” Pino says. “But Hollywood’s starting to come back as well.”

As previously reported in GlobeSt.comLauro Ferroni, VP, research for JLL, says, “The Los Angeles market also attracts significant interest from Asian-based investors. These buyers predominantly pursue assets unencumbered by brand and/or independent hotels.”