The Real Deal Chicago

Aries Capital, Four Corners Advisors teaming up on hospitality consulting

The two firms will advise hotel investors together on development and financing
By Alex Nitkin | October 15, 2018 01:00PM

Aries Capital CEO Neil Freeman and Four Corners Advisors’ Michael Shindler (Credit: iStock)

Real estate investment company Aries Capital will team up with Four Corners Advisors to consult investors in the hospitality space, two months after Aries broke off from star Chicago broker Sean Conlon’s investment firm.

The two companies will team up to advise investors who want to buy, build or refinance hotel properties. The “alliance” will lean on Aries founder Neil Freeman’s experience lining up capital and Four Corners’ familiarity with the nuts and bolts of hotel development, Four Corners CEO Michael Shindler said in a Monday announcement.

Since Freeman founded Aries in 1991, the firm has directed or advised more than $6 billion in real estate financing. Four Corners consults investors and landlords on acquisition, development and management of hotel properties around the country.

Shindler and Freeman met in the 1980s when their children played soccer together, according to the announcement.

In August, Aries Capital broke off from Aries Conlon Capital, whose CEO Rushi Shah rebranded it Mag Mile Capital. Conlon’s company, Conlon and Co., separated from both firms.

Four Corners Advisors has moved its offices to join Aries Capital’s offices at 216 West Ohio Street in River North. The firms will remain independent but are “already collaborating on several deals,” according to the announcement.

A Marcus & Millichap report painted a rosy picture for Chicago-area hotel operators this month, showing steady occupancy amid a gush of new rooms coming online.

Hotel developers have increasingly turned their attention to the West Loop, where Related Midwest will open a 165-key hotel as part of its 52-story tower at 725 West Randolph and Sterling Bay is building the 200-room Hyatt House hotel at 105 North May Street.

Massive Downtown developments like the 101-story Vista Tower, the soon-to-open South Loop Hilton Homewood Suites and Riverside Investment & Development’s proposed redevelopment of Union Station are all expected to add hotel capacity over the next several years.