It takes a special kind of hotel company to develop a new brand’s first property, like the Home2 Suites by Hilton that opened yesterday in Fayetteville, N.C.
Alabama-based LBA Properties, a 35-year-old, vertically integrated developer and operator with 60-plus properties in eight states in the Southeast, developed the first Home2 on behalf of Apple REIT Cos.
Home2 Suites by Hilton are four-story buildings on about two acres of land with 108 suites.
“Whether it’s an existing brand’s prototype or the first property in a new brand, there are always challenges associated with this kind of project,” says Barry Kraselsky, president of LBA. “But we have a team with the experience to make them happen. We develop three or four hotels a year, and we have a general contractor that’s done 45 or 46 projects with us.”
And LBA is stocked with in-house expertise to handle project management, purchasing, pre-opening services and other functions. Flexibility, says Kraselsky, is a function of the company’s broad range of expertise. Project change orders, typically the bane of most real estate projects, are handled swiftly and efficiently because of the firm’s internal capabilities and its relationship with the contractor.