Archive for Garfield Traub References

Sheraton at the Overland Park Convention Center – References

Sheraton at the Overland Park Convention Center

Sheraton at the Overland Park Convention Center, Overland Park, KS

City of Overland Park, Kansas Director of Public Works Robert D. Lowry

March 14, 2006

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

During the period June 1999 through December 2002 I had the distinct privilege of serving as the Owner’s Representative for the City of Overland Park, Kansas for the design and construction of a new Convention Center and adjacent headquarters hotel. This was a very unique and complex project because the City Council made a commitment to fund the hotel without expending any public funds.

To make this happen, a request for proposals (RFP) was issued by the City for a development team to design, construct, finance, operate and maintain the hotel. The team selected for this project was led by Garfield Traub Development LLC. To say that the performance of this team exceeded all expectations of City staff and the City Council would be a gross understatement.

Given a very tight hotel market and a major down turn in the economy, the odds were against this project happening. But because of the leadership and expertise that Ray Garfield, Tony Traub and their team provided, the hotel was completed well ahead of schedule, under budget and the City Council made good on its commitment that no public funds would be used for the project. The end product was adopted by the Sheraton Hotel chain as its new standard, and the project was nationally recognized as the Public Sector Project of the Year by the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA).

I have been involved in construction and construction management for almost forty years and have never seen a project executed as flawlessly as the Overland Park Sheraton Hotel at The Convention Center. The Garfield Traub team never lost sight of the desired outcome, was totally focused on exceeding the expectations of their client, and was comprised of the most professionally competent group of design, construction and management professionals I have ever had the pleasure of working with. I would actively seek an opportunity to work with the Garfield Traub organization on any type of development project in the future. They truly “under promise and over deliver.”

Please feel free to contact me at any time if you have any questions about this world-class organization.

Sincerely,

Robert D. Lowry
Director of Public Works

City Manager of Overland Park, Kansas (retired) Mr. Donald E. Pipes

February 2003

To Whom It May Concern:

In November 2002, the City of Overland Park, Kansas opened its new Sheraton Hotel and adjacent Convention Center. The dual project was a challenging goal of the City for fifteen years. The financing and development of a project of this magnitude is the most daunting and crucial phase of a project such as ours. Financing of the hotel component was key to the ultimate success of the complex and necessary for the City to move forward with the financing and development of the convention center.

Serving as City Manager of Overland Park from 1977 – 2002, I was deeply involved with all aspects of this project. Most important of all was the financial impact of the undertaking. Overland Park is a city of approximately 165,000 residents and enjoys a AAA general obligation bond rating from Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s. It was imperative that the City hire a strong, knowledgeable group to work on the financing and construction of the hotel.

Development proposals were gathered and carefully analyzed. Garfield Traub was selected as the most qualified and able to successfully negotiate all project documents and to structure and place the financing for the hotel. During the negotiations and structuring of the financing, Garfield Traub also provided vital leadership over the design, value-engineering and pre-construction process. The group exhibited extremely competent leadership and creative financing skills allowing us to break ground on the convention center and hotel for a 2002 grand opening.

The group also provided oversight of construction and pre-opening activities for the hotel and the facility was completed ahead of schedule and approximately $1.5 million under budget. Garfield Traub is also the Asset Manager for the city’s Hotel Corporation.

I highly recommend Garfield Traub Development. Their expertise proved to be invaluable to the City of Overland Park. Anyone considering site visits during the selection process is urged to include Overland Park on your visitation agenda.

Sincerely,

Mr. Donald E. Pipes
City Manager (retired)

DoubleTree Hotel and Conference Center – References

Doubletree Hotel and Conference Center

Doubletree Hotel and Conference Center Bay City, MI

Gastonia City Manager James M. (Jim) Palenicki

May 3, 2011

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

It is my distinct pleasure to offer this letter of reference and recommendation on behalf of Garfield Traub Development, LLC, and in particular its two principals, Ray Garfield and Tony Traub.

Beginning in Summer, 1996, and extending through the Autumn of 2002, I served as City Manager for the City of Bay City, Michigan. It was impressed upon me early in that tenure that the principally-defined redevelopment goal of our community was to finance and construct a first-class, full-service, Downtown Hotel/Conference Center of true “destination” quality. In fact, for well over a decade previous to that time a series of roadblocks and outright failures had left the project as little more than an unfulfilled dream that many were dismissing as “impossible”. Then, however, I discovered Garfield Traub Development and its consummately-skilled leaders, Ray Garfield and Tony Traub.

With their combined expertise in complex, tax-exempt bond transactions and Hospitality-oriented real estate deals, we were ultimately able to make possible a financing and development package that truly would have remained impossible using any other developers or consultants, under any other scenarios.

Drawing upon the utmost in financial creativity and personal relationships within the national financial and hospitality communities, Ray and Tony allowed us to experience the on-tune, in-budget, ground­breaking on a $34 million, 150-room, Double Tree-branded hotel and conference center that, in many ways, serves as the national “model” for anchoring urban-core redevelopment and success in a small city.

The Garfield Traub Development team, along with their excellent supporting organization, not only made the difference in financing; they also assisted in the identification and selection of an operator and design team; acquired a top national franchise; assisted with the negotiation of all critical legal, operational, and financial documents; and, provided important management support for the public relations and communications efforts necessary to gain stakeholder support.

Even though I am now many years removed from my tenure in Bay City, I can state that I remain steadfast in my admiration for the ability and professionalism possessed by these two men and their supporting organization. I can state unequivocally, that in their collective absence, the City of Bay City would not have completed the successful, and otherwise-long-awaited fulfillment of its primary redevelopment objective.

If you should wish to speak to me further about my experiences with the Garfield Traub Development team, or about the financing and development of the Bay City Double Tree Hotel and Conference Center, please don’t hesitate to contact me at my home number (704) 854-4178; or e-mail palenicki@bellsouth.net at your convenience.

Sincerely,

James (Jim) M. Palenicki
Gastonia City Manager

 

Bay Area Convention and Visitors Bureau
Executive Director Shirley M. Roberts

July 12, 2004

Dear Ray:

There is an energy and excitement in Bay City today that didn’t exist a few years ago. People here are beginning to see the potential of this sleepy little town along the Saginaw River. They are finally beginning to believe we can make great things happen here. It’s really amazing how one new, significant development can change the course of an entire community.

The concept of building a hotel/conference center in Downtown Bay City had been on the drawing board for at least 15 years. One after another, local officials attempted to negotiate a deal with what seemed the “private developer du jour.” Several times, just when it seemed everything was coming together nicely, one or the other (local officials or private developer) backed out and our community’s dreams for a new landmark came to a screeching halt. Following this series of starts and stops, people here were largely skeptical a deal could ever materialize.

Garfield Traub Development entered the scene during a period when the community was soundly divided on the issue. Most who were knowledgeable about the many failed attempts to work with private developers on the project thought they had seen and heard it all. The non-profit model you suggested was an entirely new approach and seemed, at first glance, too good to be true. In fact, the model worked exceedingly well. Garfield Traub successfully leveraged approximately $12 million in grants, $3.4 million in loans, and a $4 million loan from the City’s economic development corporation to secure $15.4 million in tax-exempt hotel revenue bonds to finance the project.

Following more than a decade of debate, and after only 18 months of construction, Bay City celebrated the first guest at its new Doubletree hotel and conference center in early June 2004. The first-class, full-service facility offers magnificent views of the Saginaw River and the Wenonah Park amphitheater; 150 guest rooms including two suites; 15,000 square feet of meeting space and a 7,600 square foot ballroom.

The Doubletree has indeed become the new landmark we hoped it would be. Still in its infancy, the property has received rave reviews for its accoutrements, meeting facilities and service. These, too, can be attributed to Garfield Traub and the extensive network you brought to the table. From the layout of the meeting facilities to securing the Hilton Corporation Doubletree brand…from selecting the architects to choosing the right interior design firm…Garfield Traub’s influence permeates the facility and has made a permanent mark on Bay City’s downtown riverfront landscape.

I certainly enjoyed working with you on this project and thought you should know how much our new hotel and conference center has impacted our community. Please feel free to call on me if I can be of any help to you in the future.

Best personal regards,

Shirley M. Roberts
Executive Director

Los Angeles Unified School District – Reference

Carmen Lomas Garza Primary Center (Dena Primary Center)

Carmen Lomas Garza Primary Center (Dena Primary Center)

Deputy, Chief Facilities Executive Jim Cowell

September 5, 2007

To Whom It May Concern,

Garfield Traub recently acted as the developer of “8″ Primary Centers in South Central Los Angeles for LAUSD.

Garfield Traub did a superb job coordinating and managing the simultaneous development of these eight separate projects, interfacing with eight different LAUSD Representatives at eight different locations, coordinating delivery by the builder and its eight separate project staffs and more than 200 subcontractors in accordance with eight distinct sets of plans and specifications each prepared and administered by a different architect and engineer.

Garfield Traub’s role representing the best interests of LAUSD as a mediator, facilitator and negotiator with the builder allowed for issues to be resolved equitably, timely and efficiently. Garfield Traub acted as a buffer between the owner and builder, and was always candid in advising both parties of its recommendation for the resolution of issues. Garfield Traub finalized all issues and not one item was in dispute in the form of a claim.

Challenges inevitably arise on every construction project. The ultimate measure of performance is the timing and manner in which problems are identified and corrected. Demonstrating great professionalism and teamwork, the Garfield Traub team rose to the occasion and met this test.

Garfield Traub’s experience and expertise ensured ultimate success of this highly visible and important project in LAUSD’s building program.

Sincerely,

Jim Cowell
Deputy, Chief Facilities Executive

Durham Performing Arts Center – Reference

Durham Performing Arts Center

Durham Performing Arts Center, Durham, NC

Assistant City Manager of Economic and Workforce Development
Alan DeLisle

October 22, 2007

To Whom It May Concern:

I serve as Assistant City Manager for Economic and Workforce Development for the City of Durham, and in that capacity have been responsible for the planning of the City’s new 2,800-seat Durham Performing Arts Center. The theater will accommodate Broadway performances, music, family shows, and other events. The theater “tops out” on October 30th with a ceremony marking the midpoint of construction, which is proceeding within budget and schedule toward a November 2008 Grand Opening.

Garfield Traub, and particularly its principals Greg Garfield and Tony Traub, were instrumental in the planning for the project, including financial and ownership structuring, facility programming, design, value-engineering, pricing, scheduling, helping the City to select the theater operator and negotiate the terms of the operating agreement, and to negotiate various other agreements with City contractors.

The City of Durham has benefited greatly from Garfield Traub’s leadership and expertise in this process. I have no doubt that they will continue to provide this exceptional level of service throughout the completion of the theater and turnover thereof to the City and the operator.

I highly recommend Garfield Traub Development to you for the development of your essential facilities. Should you have any questions regarding the above, I would be pleased to discuss with you. I can be reached at 919-560-4965 or by email at Alan.DeLisle@durhamnc.gov.

Sincerely,

Alan DeLisle
Assistant City Manager
Economic and Workforce Development

Lenwood A. Jackson, Sr. Justice Center – References

City Court of Atlanta

Lenwood A. Jackson, Sr. Justice Center

Judge for the City of Atlanta Lenwood A. Jackson

To Whom It May Concern:

I serve as Judge of the City Court of Atlanta, Georgia and Coordinator of Facility Development. I recently had the pleasure of working with Garfield Traub Development on the development of the new City Court of Atlanta, which had been a goal of the City for over five years. I was deeply impressed with Garfield Traub’s dedication and display of expertise that they and their team showed in helping the City accomplish its goal.

As the leader of the City’s development team, Garfield Traub directed the development with skill and professionalism, including the assembly and acquisition of the development site, which was held by five different private owners. Garfield Traub’s knowledge and leadership of “friendly condemnation” facilitated the timely and efficient control of the site by the City.

Garfield Traub also coordinated the efforts of the investment bankers, bond counsel and legal counsel in structuring the project financing, ensuring the best execution and lowest cost of occupancy for the City. The Court was delivered within schedule and substantially under budget in November 2003.

This was a very complicated transaction fraught with difficulties, including political challenges, all of which Garfield Traub and its team worked through successfully. The City of Atlanta is very pleased with the outcome. I have no hesitation in recommending Garfield Traub Development to you for the development of your essential facilities.

Respectfully,
Judge Lenwood A. Jackson
City Court of Atlanta

 

President of Jackson Securities W. Bruce Gow

May 10, 2011

To Whom it May Concern:

I am President of Jackson Securities, a full service investment bank that provides a broad spectrum of investment banking and brokerage services to institutional and retail clients throughout the United States. I had the pleasure of working with Ray Garfield and his firm Garfield Corporation, now Garfield Traub Development LLC in its role as Development Manager for Atlanta and its City of Atlanta Municipal Court, now known as the Lenwood A. Jackson, Sr. Justice Center.

At the time of Garfield Traub’s introduction to the City, the Judges were housed in an old and unsafe facility with little hope of moving to a new and secure court because of City priorities placing a new facility on a bond referendum 5 years in the future. Garfield Traub engaged Jackson Securities to help craft a creative financial solution that significantly shortened the time it would take to enable the safety and security of our Judges and the citizens of Atlanta. Together, we identified an existing and reliable source of City revenue separate and apart from the traditional tax revenues entering the General Fund. The City’s historical $25 million in annual Fines and Forfeiture revenue were used to secure an Annual Appropriation Lease, and allowed the City to transact the business of paying for the design and construction of the new Courthouse; thereby avoiding the wait, or indeed the risk of a referendum to approve the sale of General Obligation Bonds. In 2001, when the City engaged Garfield Traub as its Developer, to my knowledge there were very few if any private sector firms thinking in these creative terms, much less actually transacting what is today known as Public Private Partnerships.

Continuing our collaboration, Jackson Securities and our underwriter’s counsel worked with the City and their Bond Counsel in structuring an Agreement with the Georgia Municipal Association, Inc. to issue over $55 million in Installment Sale Program Certificates of Participation, which were rated AAA.

Very importantly, the project was completed ahead of schedule and below budget.

In my opinion and in the opinion of our firm, the leadership, creativity and integrity of the Garfield Traub organization was critical to the success of this facility, a facility that helped greatly improve an older part of downtown and that sets a standard in both design and safety for our City.

I highly recommend Garfield Traub to any community in need of essential public facilities and would work with them again whenever the opportunity arises.

Respectfully,

W. Bruce Gow

Overton Hotel and Conference Center References – Lubbock, TX

City of Lubbock City Manager Lee Ann Dumbauld Reference Letter

City of Lubbock LogoMay 6, 2011

To Whom It May Concern:

As City Manager of the City of Lubbock, I am writing to say how impressed I am with the leadership, professionalism and attention to detail shown by Garfield Traub Development LLC as part of the development team for the Overton Hotel and Conference Center. This project includes a 304 room hotel and a 47,400 square foot conference center.

Garfield Traub delivered a high quality product that has become a landmark for the City of Lubbock. I would highly recommend them to your city should you consider a project of this scope.

Best regards,

Lee Ann Dumbauld, City Manager

Mayor of Lubbock Texas Tom Martin

May 6, 2011

To Whom It May Concern:

As Mayor of the City of Lubbock, I have had the pleasure of dealing directly with Garfield Traub Development LLC as the developer of the Overton Hotel and Conference Center. This project includes a 304 room hotel and a 47,400 square foot conference center.

Garfield Traub Development’s professionalism in completing this project was very impressive and the result is a first class, state-of-the-art facility. I would highly recommend them to complete a project of similar scope in your city.

Best regards,

Tom Martin, Mayor of Lubbock, Texas

Assistant City Manager Development Services Rob Allison

November 18, 2009

To Whom It May Concern:

As Assistant City Manager for Development Services for the City of Lubbock and being involved with the Overton Hotel and Conference Center, I am writing to say how pleased I. am with Garfield Traub Development LLC. The City of Lubbock contracted with Garfield Traub Development LLC to perform development management services for the hotel and conference center project including fund raising, operational solutions, design and construction. This project has been a dream of the City for many years and we are extremely satisfied with the services of Garfield Traub Development LLC and the final product. The project broke ground on September 26, 2007 and includes a 304 room hotel and 47,400 square foot conference center as part of a large redevelopment project called Overton Park adjacent to Texas Tech University.

1 have been impressed with Garfield Traub Development’s leadership, professionalism, and their attention to detail. Their staff, including Steve Moffett, has taken great pride in providing outstanding service and commitment to the project.

The selection of Garfield Traub Development- LLC as part of the team has delivered our community a high quality product, and I would give them. my highest recommendation to complete any first-class facility for you. If the City of Lubbock has a future project of similar scope, we would not hesitate to use Garfield Traub Development.

Best Regards,

Rob Allison, Assistant City Manager Development Services

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Developing Hotels Using Stimulus Dollars

Sheraton at the Overland Park Convention Center

Sheraton at the Overland Park Convention Center Overland Park, KS

Many cities are currently in the process of selecting a hotel development team to deliver their essential meeting facilities and hotels and are analyzing the appropriate methodology for development financing. Therefore, it is essential to understand all available federal, state and local financial programs and economic incentives available to provide the turn-key delivery program that is expected by public-sector clients.

First and foremost, municipalities should be aware of Build America Bonds (BABs), which have been available since February 2009. This program was created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, commonly known as the Stimulus Act.

The Stimulus Act provides an alternative method for municipalities to finance capital costs for essential new facilities.  Besides BABs, the Stimulus Act creates Recovery Zone Economic Development Bonds, Recovery Zone Facility Bonds and other initiatives, but only BABs are not subject to volume caps and allocations.

One of the best local stimulus approaches is to attract more tourism. The associated local spending and tax revenues generated by annual convention visitors can number from tens of thousands to millions depending on a city’s size. In recent years, cities with convention facilities not supported by modern, connected headquarters hotels have sought to renovate and enlarge or build new convention and meeting facilities, essential to drawing group business to their communities, and many have and are developing the essential, adjacent hotels to ensure success in recruiting groups and events.

BABs currently provide for a federal rebate equal to 35 percent of taxable bond interest payments to a municipal issuer, providing significantly less expensive borrowing than traditional tax-exempt municipal debt, resulting in a more financeable project.  Two municipalities have issued BABs for hotel development financing of their convention center headquarters hotel developments within the past year – Dallas, TX and Franklin County (Columbus), OH.

In order to make Dallas’s new 1,000–room Omni Hotel at the Dallas Convention Center more affordable, it was a goal of the City to achieve a financing rate below 5.5 percent.  Of their $479 million bond offering lead-managed by Citigroup, $388 million was BABs issued at a taxable interest rate of just over 7 percent. However, with the federal 35 percent interest rebate, the net effective interest cost to the City is approximately 4.5 percent.  The use of BABs saved the City of Dallas 150 basis points (1.5 percent) on its then current tax-exempt borrowing rate for comparable maturities, enabling the new headquarters hotel to provide much less taxpayer risk in future operations and debt service costs.

BABs can be utilized not only for public hotels, but for any public facility capital costs which could ordinarily be financed by tax-exempt municipal bonds. The Stimulus Act now provides a vital and meaningful tool allowing municipal governments to access a larger and more efficient bond market to make their own local economic stimulus projects a reality.

Ray Garfield is Principal of Garfield Traub, the nation’s leading development services firm focused exclusively on essential public facilities. Garfield Traub acts as the lead coordinator for all public and public/private project development needs, including financing, design, construction and asset management.  For more than 35 years, Garfield Traub and its principals have financed more than $11 billion in debt and equity and developed more than 30 million square feet of all property types, nationally and abroad.

***IMPORTANT UPDATE: Although the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act expired at the end of 2010, Garfield Traub is second to none in providing turnkey financial and development solutions for public/private partnerships (PPP or P3) and public developments using a variety of advantageous funding and financing programs.  For more information on how Garfield Traub can create a hotel development team that will help you quickly deliver your essential development within schedule and budget, call us at 972-991-5200 or e-mail us.

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