Archive for Garfield Traub News

Utah Performing Arts Center Begins the Design Process With Help of Community

Utah Performing Arts Center MapThe Utah Performing Arts Center with developer Garfield Traub Swisher and designer Pelli Clark Pelli Architects is ready to begin the design process with the help of the Salt Lake City community. The Performing Arts Center concluded their public outreach program that included two 8-foot tall chalkboards located on Regent Street and an open house for the community at Gallivan Center.

The 8-foot tall chalkboards allowed the community to give their input on what they believed the new Utah Performing Arts Center should include in its new design. The open house followed this phase of the design process with the purpose of letting community members see the collected feedback and how it is going to be incorporated into the beginning stages of the design process.

“We are excited to be a part of the Utah Performing Arts Center development process and look forward to seeing the positive effects it will have on Salt Lake City,” said Garfield Traub Swisher principal Steve Swisher. “The new performing arts theater will really revamp the City and attract retailers, restaurants, and other entertainment.”

The 2,500-seat theater located on Salt Lake City’s Main Street will include improvements to Regent Street directly behind the theater, in between 100 and 200 South. “The parking garage on Regent Street has approximately 20,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor,” according to Robert Farrington, economic development director for Salt Lake City Corporation. “With some cosmetic changes to that structure, a little bit of extra retail that will be in the back of the theater itself and changes with signage and programming, maybe tables and chairs in the street when it’s not being used for loading the theater, you can really transform that street into a more intimate, pedestrian feel.”

“The City really wanted to include the community in as much of the design process of the Utah Performing Arts Center as possible so the community can take pride in their new Performing Arts Center and give them insight on things they may not of been aware of,” said Steve.  “We feel the outreach program served its purpose and was a huge success.”

The Utah Performing Arts Center design is projected to be finalized during the Summer of 2013. For more information, visit: http://www.utahperformingartscenter.org/

DPAC Impresses Yet Again With $1.8 Million Annual Net Profit

Durham Performing Arts Center Stage

Durham Performing Arts Center Stage

The Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC), a public/private development led by Garfield Traub Development of Dallas in partnership with Szostak Design of Chapel Hill, reported recently a net income of more than $4.5 million in fiscal 2011-12, with $1.8 million of these funds going to the City of Durham. Under its operating contract with PFM/Nederlander, the City receives 40% of the annual net income from the theater to use for amortizing debt and maintaining and paying other costs related to the City-owned Theater.

DPAC director Bob Klaus reported attendance to be over 417,000, with 25% of attendees being first-time patrons.  Over one-third of the performances were sold out, and the SunTrust Broadway series has already counted almost 11,000 subscribers for the 2012-13 season.

DPAC’s largest attendance for the past season was the return performance of “Wicked”.  82,000 people attended 32 performances, just two years after a successful first run at the DPAC.

Projections for surplus cash flow after operations were originally conservatively estimated at  $400,000 per year, with approximately $160,000 (40%) going to the City.  Fortunately for the DPAC and the City of Durham, the actual results have exceeded the original, purposefully conservative projections by a factor of ten!

Bob Klaus, General Manager of the DPAC, commenting on the performance of the theater, said “the expectations were high, but we beat all expectations”.

Just last month, Pollstar ranked DPAC as #2 among the top 100 best-selling theaters in the world, second only to the Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City, and the #1 top-selling theater in the US, beating out widely-known theater markets like Los Angeles and New York City.

The reputation and performance of the DPAC continues to validate the vision and leadership of the City and its development team which worked so collaboratively throughout the development process.  Public/private partnerships are now being aggressively promoted across the nation, and the Durham Performing Arts Center stands as a paradigm of success of public/private collaboration.

Contact Garfield Traub Development if you would like to see how they can help create your City a successful performing arts center like the DPAC.

Garfield Traub Development DPAC Rated #1 Top-Selling Theater in U.S.

DPAC also rated #2 top-selling theater in the world

DPAC

Durham Performing Arts Center - Durham, NC

The Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC), developed by Garfield Traub in partnership with Chapel Hill architect Szostak Design in Durham, North Carolina, has proven itself yet again against the best of the best and is now rated #1 by trade publication Pollstar as the top-selling theater in the U.S. for the first half of 2012.

If that were not impressive enough, DPAC scored the #2 position in the top 100 selling theaters in the world, second only to Mexico City’s Auditorio Nacional.  And since the rationale for the development of the DPAC was doubted by many prior to its opening in 2008, this is a very special achievement for all those involved in the DPAC from development to delivery.

“It all starts with great shows, and for us to have two big multi-week blockbusters in the same season really tipped the attendance scales”, said Bob Klaus, DPAC’s General Manager in the Durham News Service. “It’s a credit to Nederlander and PFM and the great shows they bring us, this will truly be a season to remember.”

Today the attendance statistics have been released for DPAC’s 2011-2012 season, which includes 200 performances bringing in a total of 417,180 guests and 67 total sellouts. The highest attended shows were Radio City Christmas Spectacular with 38 performances and Wicked with 32 performances.

“We at Garfield Traub are extremely proud of what the DPAC has accomplished,” said Garfield Traub Principal Greg Garfield. “It is an honor to be able to say we participated in the development of the project, and we could not be happier for all those involved.”

Since the opening of the DPAC in 2008, the theater has consistently ranked on the top of Pollstar’s top-selling theater rankings, but has also won other awards such as:

  • Numerous local Reader’s Choice Awards
  • The Independent Weekly’s “Best of” winner for Best Theater Venue – 4th Consecutive Year
  • The Herald Sun’s Reader’s Choice Award for Best Live Entertainment – 4th Consecutive Year
  • Raleigh’s Metro Magazine’s Standing Ovation for Best Theater – 3rd Consecutive Year
  • Durham Magazine – Best Place for Live Music and Best Place for Live Theater – 2nd Consecutive Year
  • And #3 in gross ticket sales among venues with a capacity of 5,000 or under in the soon to be published July 28th mid-year charts for Billboard Magazine.

Since the DPAC’s opening in 2008, 520 ticketed events have been presented drawing in more than one million attendees.  For more information about the DPAC and how it was successfully developed, visit the Garfield Traub website.

In Memory of Jerry Robert Thoele

4th June 1943 – 14th July 2012

Jerry Robert Theole

Jerry Robert Theole

This memorial article was created in the memory of Jerry Robert Thoele, a former member of Garfield Traub Development, who passed away at 69 years of age.

On Saturday, July 14, at 11:51 a.m., Jerry Thoele, a loved and respected former member of the Garfield Traub Development family, passed away at Baylor Medical Center. We send our condolences and deepest sympathies to his family, business associates and friends, and acknowledge what a special individual he was, and leader and mentor to so many of us in the real estate and hospitality industry.

In the time Jerry spent as President of Garfield Traub Development’s Hospitality Division, he built bridges to the most important hotel corporations in America and forged alliances that were so important to him and to our firm. Notably, Jerry introduced Garfield Traub to the Interlink Group in Puerto Rico, where he and the leadership of Interlink developed the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino, which serves as the headquarters hotel for the Commonwealth’s convention center in San Juan.

The Garfield Traub team remembers him to be one of the most knowledgeable, caring, honest and decent persons we’ve had the honor to know and to be associated with.

Jerry was born in Seymour, Texas. He graduated from Midwestern State University, and earned his MBA from the University of North Texas. Jerry served proudly as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Jerry began his business career in 1968, as a CPA for Arthur Andersen LLP. After leaving public accounting, he began a career in the hospitality industry with the Registry Hotel Corporation where he led developments in Scottsdale, Arizona, Naples, Florida, and Dallas including the hotel now known as the InterContinental on the Dallas North Tollway. In the past decade, Jerry served as President of the Hospitality division for Garfield Traub Development, Managing Director for Hotels & Resorts with the Interlink Group in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and was responsible for developing many prominent hotel establishments including the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino, and San Juan Marriott. During his distinguished career, Jerry was President of several luxury hospitality organizations. He was an active industry leader and prominent speaker at numerous hospitality conferences in the US, including a visiting lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Jerry will truly be missed, not only by his family, but by so many of us that he mentored and influenced in our careers. His family has requested that memorial donations may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes & Research Foundation. This Memorial Donation offers you a thoughtful, caring way to remember a loved one while contributing to an important cause of finding a cure for diabetes. Once completed, you will receive an acknowledgement letter, and the person of your choosing will also receive a letter notifying them that you have made a gift in the honoree’s name (Juvenile Diabetes & Research Foundation does not disclose the amount of the gift).

Public Private Partnerships in the Travel Industry

What makes a city great? What sets a city apart from others in attracting new industry, new growth, civic pride, and robust economic development? We have found over and over that the magnet that draws business and tourism is most often found in the heart of the city, its convention center. Although the travel industry, like so many other facets of an economy, is vulnerable to the economic cycles that periodically impact the nation, it is vital for a city to be able to constantly attract conventions, association meetings, exhibitions, leaders of industry, and tourism in general.

Top Factors in Choosing an Event Location

Source: 2006 Meetings Market Report, Meetings and Conventions Magazine

Certainly, being located in an inviting climate and an accessible part of a region and the nation is important to a city’s success. So, too, is having modern infrastructure and attractions, such as museums, performing arts centers, sports, and entertainment activities to enhance the allure for business associations, as well as the casual traveler. Keep in mind also that the first introduction to a city for prospective business leaders who might decide to relocate headquarters or establish regional offices in your city may be their experience when they attend a conference or convention at your convention center.

When reviewing the top reasons for choosing a particular event location, group planning experts determined some years ago that second only to a city having a modern convention center with the available meeting space needed by its group,
is the number of quality hotel rooms attached or adjacent to the convention center. If your city has no modern and attached or adjacent headquarters hotel with “room blocks” available for a majority of convention delegates, planners are likely to select another city that offers that critical combination. This is supported by numerous exit interviews of groups that cite the lack of a dedicated onsite hotel as the reason they selected one convention destination over another.

Approximately 50 cities have successfully built, expanded, or modernized their convention centers and developed connected headquarters hotels over the past decade, and about half of them have used public private partnerships to accomplish those developments. Surprisingly, about another 50 cities have tried
and failed to develop the headquarters hotels so essential to ensuring the success of their convention centers. Those cities that succeeded in completing their developments have several characteristics in common, just as those that have failed have very similar stories about why they are still on the outside looking in. What separates success from failure in funding this vital economic engine for a city?

First, this undertaking can be highly politicized and controversial. The public must be informed as to the benefits to the city of the development, and all-too-common disinformation campaigns by narrow interests opposing such a development should be addressed head-on. There is room for debate about the right approach for a city to take in funding, developing, operating, and maintaining the facilities given political, legal, and economic factors, but there is no denying the benefits of having competitive, modern public assembly facilities and related headquarters hotels. Those cities that have recognized this and value their ability to “sell” their city as a convention destination, know they must build and maintain their public assembly facilities, which must include a headquarters hotel, to be successful.

Tangible benefits of such a development include tens of thousands of new annual visitors, who stay two or three days in the city and spend money on hotels, transportation, dining, entertainment, and shopping. Millions of dollars in annual visitor spending creates jobs, generates substantial tax revenue, and stimulates development of related, private mixed-use development. The incremental travel-related tax revenue is more “profitable” than property taxes, due to the limited burden of visitors on city infrastructure—like police and fire departments, schools, and hospitals—when compared to community residents. Increased tourism-related tax revenue bolsters other revenue to operate the entire city and reduces reliance on resident property taxes.

Returns to the public from a development of this nature are real and substantial—but public investment is required to realize the benefits. Too many cities, however, have failed to recognize or have tried to deny the obvious—the substantial cost of designing and constructing a full-service, first-class headquarters hotel including all the extra meeting space required, versus the limitations on adequate revenue to pay the mortgage and provide an appropriate return to the owner. Those cities too often succumb to the “best sounding” solution—the promise of little to no public financial support asked by developers,
who hope to be selected and to amend their low-budget targets by asking the
city for more money once plans and pricing show the real costs. The loss of time associated with a failed procurement alone hurts the city immeasurably when conventions are lost for three, five, or ten years. But the loss of confidence in civic leadership can be even more devastating through dashed community hopes and aspirations and broken promises to develop those facilities.

Overton Hotel and Conference Center

Overton Hotel and Conference Center, Lubbock, TX

Two recent examples of public private partnerships that have been boons to their cities are the Overton Hotel and Conference Center in Lubbock, Texas, and the Durham Performing Arts Center in downtown Durham, North Carolina. The Overton in Lubbock is that city’s first full-service, first-class conference hotel, situated across University Boulevard from Texas Tech University. It not only serves as Lubbock’s modern conference center, but is also the teaching facility for one of Texas Tech’s restaurant hotel investment management classes. The project financing included grants funded by foundations supporting Texas Tech, a Lubbock city bond issue, plus equity and debt raised by the private development team.

Since the Overton Hotel and Conference Center opened in August 2009, Lubbock has been able to attract associations that have either never hosted an event in Lubbock, or have not done so in many years. Examples of these groups are the Texas Apartment Association, the Texas Payroll Conference, and the Texas Hospital Association. In Fiscal Year 2010-2011, 17 of the top 20 room night-producing events hosted in Lubbock used the Overton Hotel and Conference Center as their headquarters facility. The Overton Hotel and Conference Center has allowed the Visit Lubbock staff to provide decision-makers with more options in facility space and facility features. Lubbock is also seeing an increase in repeat business from groups that experienced the first-class service provided
by the Overton staff.

Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC)

Durham Performing Arts Center - Durham, NC

Similarly, the Durham Performing Arts Center, or DPAC, is a public private partnership in which the capital necessary to finance the facility included Durham city bonds amortized by revenue from a portion of citywide hotel occupancy taxes, a grant from Duke University, and naming rights Theater operations and promotion of events and talent are handled by a private sector theater operator. Profits are shared between the operator and the city, with the operator guaranteeing a minimum number of annual events and no operating loss risk for the city. This award-winning touring Broadway Theater was ranked number 9 in attendance among U.S. theaters by Pollstar in 2010, and number 4 in 2011, and generates $28 million in annual economic impact to the City of Durham.

Financing public assembly facilities and related hotels is an activity that mayors and city councils, even city managers, may undertake only once in their public lives. The costs of designing and building these facilities are significant, and the economics of operating and paying for these facilities is complex to grasp. Hence the need for public private partnerships and the selection of well-qualified developers, consultants, and other specialists to help lead the city in understanding these facilities and their financial structures and to help ensure their successful completion. We are aware of a number of Texas cities that are wisely taking these steps in considering or planning public assembly facilities and headquarters hotels, following the example of cities like Lubbock and Durham.
Ray Garfield is a principal of Garfield Traub, a development services firm focused exclusively on essential public facilities. For more information, please visit www.garfieldtraub.com or e-mail rgarfield@garfieldtraub.com.

Click here for the original print out as seen in the April Edition of Texas Town and City Magazine: Private-Public Partnerships in the Travel Industry

Happy Holidays From Garfield Traub!

Happy Holidays from Garfield Traub

Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) Proves Big City Benefits Once Again

Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC)

Durham Performing Arts Center - Durham, NC

If you were reading the Garfield Traub Public Private Partnerships blog recently you would have seen our last article titled, “Dallas Convention Center Hotel Development Brings Big Benefits to City.” There we explained how convention center hotel developments are boosting city revenue and bringing in new visitors and business in large numbers. Additionally, you may have read towards the end of the article about performing arts centers allowing cities to reap similar benefits. A press release from the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) was released yesterday titled, “DPAC Gets Ready to Celebrate 3 Monumental Years,” reinforcing our point even more.

The DPAC press release cited that the Durham Performing Arts Center is celebrating multiple achievements in the month of November, including being named once again in the top 10 theater venues in attendance in America, the New York Times Travel section recognizing the DPAC as “an integral part of the city of Durham’s continuing success,” and the celebration of the DPAC’s 3rd Anniversary on November 30, 2011.

In a previous article titled, “Garfield Traub Development DPAC Proves Skeptics Wrong” we noted that trade publication Pollstar named DPAC #2 in the U.S. for attendance, and #4 internationally in 2011 Pollstar’s Top 100 Theater Venues for ticket sales. The DPAC has stated that, “In the U.S., DPAC is on the heels of the Coliseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas- a theater often referred to as the home of the greatest entertainers of the world, and the legendary Fox Theatre in Atlanta. Trailing DPAC is #4) Nokia Theatre L.A. Live , LA, CA #5) Beacon Theatre, NY, NY #6) Broward Ctr. Au-Rene Theater, Fort Lauderdale, FL, #7) Radio City Music Hall NY, NY, #8) Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie, Grand Prairie, TX, #9) Orpheum Theater, Omaha, NE and #10) Dreyfoos Theater, West Palm Beach, FL.”

With a new theater development like the Durham Performing Arts Center being built in a down economy, like the Dallas Convention Center development, taxpayers and some city officials were skeptical. However, as time has proven again and again, it is these developments that, if planned well, can make the difference how a city weathers and how quickly a city recovers from a down economy.

Durham Performing Arts Center Representative Reginald James Johnson was recently asked by KCPW radio station, Utah’s first and only 24-hour commercial-free news and information radio station, if there was an economic benefit to building the DPAC. Mr. Johnson replied by saying, “The Durham Performing Arts Center opened in bad economy in 2008, and when the DPAC first opened they sold out and restaurants surrounding it were thriving despite others in most other cities plummeting in sales.” And Schuster Center Representative

Schuster Center

Schuster Center Dayton, OH

Ken Neufeld answered that same KCPW question by saying, “Dayton, Ohio was behind the scene and needed to be put in a favorable position to recruit businesses and people. Statistically, arts amenities are one of the top three things people are looking for when moving or coming there. Over half of ticket sales for the Lion King Broadway show were made up of those who had never been to theater before, thus bringing in new customers for all businesses located around the Center. Performing arts centers are an infrastructure that smart cities have to have, and it has paid off for Dayton a lot.”

If you would like to know how you might be able to get a Performing Arts Center like the DPAC developed in your city contact Garfield Traub.

Garfield Traub Public Private Development Group Growing Fast

The term Public Private Development is quickly rising in popularity due to the success of those using Public Private Partnerships to obtain much needed funds to renew government infrastructure, improve transportation, and construct new projects that state, local and Federal governments could not afford before due to budget constraints.

Due to the importance and rapid growth of using Public Private Partnerships in today’s developments, Garfield Traub Development decided to create a Public Private Development group within LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network. The group specializes in helping public/private sector decision makers involved in building developments to network with others in both the decision making and facilitation process of their developments.

“I am extremely happy with what our Public Private Development LinkedIn group has accomplished thus far. The quality of material that has been posted by members has exceeded my expectations,” said Mr. Garfield. “This has turned into such an impactful tool for those like me who are involved in the development process and for those looking for others to assist them in their developments.”

The group was started by Garfield Traub six months ago and already has more than 550 members comprised of public and private sector decision makers specializing in site identification and acquisition, zoning and entitlement, financing, investment, design and construction, leasing, management and asset management, as well as professionals such as general contractors, architects, engineers, specialty consultants, investment bankers, mortgage brokers, lenders and investors.

“Our goals are for professionals to get answers to their questions and for them to have the ability to give answers and suggest resources to help each other to succeed. This is especially important in this economic environment where constrained government budgets have made financing and development of essential facilities quite difficult,” said Mr. Garfield. “It is more important than ever for us to find ways to come together as we emerge from this recession and help each other and our clients succeed.

If you or anyone you know are involved in any part of the commercial real estate development process and would like to contribute or ask questions involving public private partnerships, you too can join Garfield Traub’s Public Private Development group on LinkedIn today for free. For more information on how you can get your public developments financed and completed, please visit the Garfield Traub website.

Garfield Traub Development DPAC Proves Skeptics Wrong

Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC)

Durham Performing Arts Center - Durham, NC

The Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC), developed by Garfield Traub, is getting a lot of media attention lately with its key role in the transformation of downtown Durham into a thriving destination with an array of restaurants, entertainment and shopping. Although some openly doubted the project in the past, many of those same people are now retracting their criticism and praising the development instead.

“We are proud of what DPAC has accomplished for the redevelopment of Durham,” said Garfield Traub Principal Greg Garfield. “Durham’s downtown dining and shopping experience has been greatly enhanced by the DPAC, and we at Garfield Traub are glad that we had the opportunity to lead the development.”

In a July article entitled “DPAC: Proof is in the profit,” one local correspondent admitted he wrongly thought in 2007 that the Durham City Council was “digging itself into yet another financial hole” with the project. Now that same reporter has gone on to say, “bully for all the people who gave life to DPAC. You have a big, brassy hit on your hands. It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving burg.”

Additionally, a recent article in The New York Times Travel section attributed a big part of Durham’s success to the development of the Durham Performing Arts Center.  And if that were not enough, trade publication Pollstar announced DPAC as ranking second nationally in theater attendance for the first quarter.  This is a huge honor for Durham, which is competing against other widely-known theater markets like Los Angeles and New York City.

The Durham Performing Arts Center operator confirms that the design of the DPAC ensures there isn’t a bad seat in the house. It is this design that keeps popular performances such as Broadway favorites Wicked, Billy Elliot and RENT, comedians and actors Bill Cosby and Al Pacino, and musical acts such as Leonard Cohen and B.B. King coming and attendance so high. And with a highly-attended theater comes many businesses that have flocked to the area to reap the benefits from the many concert-goers the theater brings.

“Garfield Traub was instrumental in the planning for the DPAC,” said Alan DeLisle, Assistant City Manager for Economic and Workforce Development (2002 – 2009). “The City of Durham has benefited greatly from their leadership and expertise in this process.”

Read more about the development details of the Durham Performing Arts Center. To learn how you can get your public infrastructure financed and developed contact Garfield Traub.

Study: Downtown Salt Lake City theater would attract 123K new visitors to Utah

Broadway Theater Rendering in Salt Lake

A cutaway view, looking north, of a plan for a Broadway-style theater along Main Street in downtown Salt Lake City.

By Jared Page, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — A theater capable of hosting first-run touring Broadway shows would attract more than 123,000 new visitors to Salt Lake City each year and serve as an economic catalyst on Main Street, according to a study released Tuesday.

The yearlong study commissioned by the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City identifies a bevy of cultural and economic benefits the proposed Utah Performing Arts Center would bring to the capital city.

The study was conducted by Garfield Traub Swisher, the Utah-based company selected by the RDA in October 2009 to develop the theater.

The developers say the Utah Performing Arts Center would meet the pent-up demand for first-run touring Broadway productions in Utah. Currently, space and scheduling limitations prevent Salt Lake City from attracting such shows until their seventh, eighth or ninth runs.

“The Lion King,” for example, came to Utah 13 years after it opened on Broadway, according to the study. The show was a huge hit, running for seven weeks and grossing $8 million in sales. It also generated more than $500,000 in sales-tax revenue, $500,000 in stagehand job wages, $200,000 in local musician job wages and another $500,000 in facility rental income.

Garfield Traub Swisher estimates a $200 million to $500 million one-time economic boost during construction of the 148,000-square foot performing arts center. The developers also estimate $9.4 million a year in ongoing economic output from the theater.

In October 2008, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker announced plans to build the Utah Performing Arts Center at approximately 135 S. Main. The project, which will feature a 2,500-seat theater, is estimated to cost between $88 million and $98 million.

The complete report can be downloaded at www.slcrda.com.

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