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(Carl Cronan is editor of Real Estate Florida.)

TAMPA, FL-Commercial real estate firms throughout Florida are continuing to expand services to include distressed properties in response to the ongoing recession. Locally based Plasencia Group has reinstituted its distressed hotel advisory practice, while Wellington-based Bainbridge Cos. has launched its own distressed property services entity.

Plasencia Group, founded in 1993, has provided similar services during three past market downturns to owners and lenders of distressed hotels and resorts. Those services include valuation analysis, portfolio reviews, portfolio and property strategy, asset management, capital expense analysis, and intermediary and receivership services.

“Our advisors and consultants are once again responding to those lenders and private investors who are requesting our expert counsel as related to their troubled hotel loans and investments,” Lou Plasencia, the company’s chairman and CEO, stated in a release. “Lodging is a very management-intensive business that requires diligent oversight, especially during economic downturns.”

Bainbridge, also founded in 1993, will offer a broad range of services to owners and lenders facing significant challenges. It seeks multifamily, mixed-use and commercial acquisitions, as well as management assignments, along the East Coast and Mid-Atlantic region.

“It’s about more than minimizing losses; it’s about maximizing value,” says Rick Giles, managing director of acquisitions for Bainbridge. “We can offer objective advice and positive resolutions to lenders and owners facing challenging, even critical, situations.”

Several other commercial real estate firms have established distressed property divisions in recent months. In November, Miami-based Colliers Abood Wood-Fay launched its distressed properties services group, while Related Group, also headquartered in Miami, formed its own asset advisory.

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