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CHICAGO-Global Hyatt Corp., based here, has formed a new team to focus on the development of hotels in the Americas. Jim Abrahamson has been chosen to head the team as SVP for real estate and development for the Americas. Abrahamson has been with Hyatt since 2004 and was most recently SVP of acquisitions and development in North America, and had overseen the brand launches of Hyatt Place and Hyatt Summerfield Suites.

The team will handle acquisitions, management contracts and franchising for all Hyatt brand hotels in North America and Latin America, Abrahamson says. “Global Hyatt is embarking on a very aggressive growth strategy,” he says. “My responsibility is to expand our brand presence and footprint into North and South America.” There are eight people handling the development right now and the team will be expanded to 15 people, he says. Steve Haggerty was recently named global head for real estate and development. Abrahamson will report to Haggerty.

Global Hyatt has more than 735 hotels and resorts with more than 136,000 rooms in more than 44 countries. In North America, there are 118 full serve hotels and 150 select service hotels and about eight to 10 full-service hotels in Latin America, Abrahamson says. The team is still working on a goal of how many hotels will be developed, he says.

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