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John Murphy and Gene Kornota Look Forward to 2016

Chicago Hotel

For two of our hotel development panelists, 2016 is shaping up to be a big year. Rebel Hospitality principal Gene Kornota (left, with Gettys Group director Emmanuel Shamoun) hopes Rebel's solid relationships with its institutional investors and the strong capital markets will reduce the stress of the group's future plans. (Gene's three most recent hotel projects were rough; two were delivered after 9/11 and the third was after Lehman's collapsed.) He says Rebel wants to do another project on land it owns west and north of the Dana Hotel and Spa, and is in talks to bring a well-established brand to the area. Gene says he's also been scouting in Cuba for possible development sites. He'd like to lay the groundwork while the cycle is still strong, as he believes there are a couple of years remaining to secure solid financing.


Murphy Capital Management chairman and MB Real Estate vice chairman John Murphy tells us he had no qualms switching his plans for the Oriental Theatre offices from multifamily to hotels. The tipping point, John says, was when SCB announced plans for the Block 37 residential tower, which will contain 700 units. He didn't want to add to the already packed downtown multifamily pipeline and adds that Cambria Hotel & Suites parent company Choice Hotels has 3.5 million reservation requests in the CBD it can't fulfill every year.

Expect the Cambria project to be delivered in Q1 2017.