Hodges Ward Elliott to open Miami office with former HFF brokers

10 HFF brokers recently joined HWE in Miami, Dallas, Chicago, D.C. and New York

Sep.September 06, 2019 09:45 AM
Alexandra Lalos and Max Comess

Alexandra Lalos and Max Comess

Two former HFF hotel brokers found a new home in Miami, after being courted by competing firms.

Max Comess and Alexandra Lalos joined Hodges Ward Elliott to launch the real estate firm’s Miami office. Atlanta-based HWE has offices in New York, Los Angeles and London, and is opening in Chicago, Dallas, Miami and Washington, D.C., according to a press release.

In addition to brokering hotel mergers and acquisitions, HWE arranges debt and equity raises, creative capital structuring, cross-border investments and in New York, commercial and multifamily sales.

JLL closed on the $2 billion acquisition of HFF in July. Jaret Turkell, a former HFF managing director in Miami, is now senior managing director of investment sales at Berkadia, working out of the brokerage’s Miami and Boca Raton offices, according to a release. He was with HFF for 12 years.

The hotel brokerage and investment-banking firm HWE tapped former HFF senior managing director Daniel Peek as president of its hotel group in June.

Comess said that once the JLL-HFF merger was announced in March, “all of our phones rang.”

“All of us individually were approached by two to five of our competitors,” Comess said. Ultimately, a number of brokers decided individually to follow Peek to HWE. In Florida, HWE already had brokers Rudy Reudelhuber in Orlando and Samantha Fisher in Palm Beach, but no physical office.

HWE will open a brick-and-mortar location in downtown Miami or Brickell and plans to hire brokers focused on the hotel, general commercial real estate and financing parts of the business, Comess said.

In Chicago, Ryan Lindgren, joined HWE as a director and Kate Peabody as an associate.

In Dallas, John Bourret and Pete Fehlman joined as managing directors and Austin Brooks as a director. In Washington, D.C., Cyrus Vazifdar joined as a managing director. Carolina Bernal joined as a vice president in New York.

In South Florida, HWE’s deals include the $610 million sale of 1 Hotel South Beach to Host Hotels earlier this year.

HFF’s recent deals include the $49 million sale of the Pullman Miami Airport hotel to London + Regional Properties.

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