Solid Rock Advisors has developed a reputation in the Hotel Industry for its effectiveness in helping clients accomplish their transactional goals. Twenty five years of experience, strong business relationships, hard work and our institutional knowledge make us uniquely qualified to provide a full array of Hotel & Resort services in areas such as:
- Acquisitions & Dispositions Advisory
- Asset Management Services and Consulting
- Debt Placement
- Strategic Planning
- Portfolio Development
- Tracking ownership positions
- Accumulating sophisticated information regarding hotels
- Maintaining strong relationships across industry disciplines
- Properly evaluating financial results and market data
- Providing expert negotiation capabilities and guidance through the closing process
Greg Rice, is a Principal and Founder of Solid Rock Group and is a real estate professional with 40 years of diversified experience in real estate development, leasing, brokerage sales, acquisitions, property management, and asset management. For the last 25 years, Mr. Rice has focused almost exclusively on hotel and resort real estate.
Since founding Solid Rock Advisors in 1991, Mr. Rice has the led the firm’s involvement in transactions totaling $8 billion in volume and involving 190 different properties. These properties have included some of the world’s finest hotels, such as the Four Seasons New York, Las Ventanas in Los Cabos, and the Santa Barbara Four Seasons Biltmore. Mr. Rice has also been involved in significant financial restructuring and loan placements, and has supervised several hundred million dollars of renovations for TY Warner Resorts and Hotels, whom he has represented in all their transactions since 1990. He also acts as an investment advisor to a number of other firms and individual investors.
Mr. Rice’s depth of experience in leasing, sales, acquisitions, financing, syndication management, and construction make him highly qualified within the real estate industry. He maintains contact with an extensive number of buyers and network brokers to ensure his clients the best possible exposure to the marketplace. Greg has a thorough knowledge of leases, contracts, and the required due diligence process in a closing.
Salim Damji is a Principal of Solid Rock Group and leads Solid Rock Advisors East in New York City. Mr. Damji has over 20 years of diverse hospitality-focused experience, including in operations, asset management, acquisitions and development. As a hotel owner/operator, Mr. Damji has a unique perspective on hotel development and asset management and regularly advises owners, developers and investors on acquisitions and dispositions of hotels. With experience as an Advisor with Andersen Consulting and JP Morgan, in Capital Markets at CBRE and in Acquisitions and Development at Starwood Hotels, Mr. Damji brings a comprehensive understanding of hotel investment strategy to the Group’s practice. His experience includes extensive underwriting, having worked on valuations of single assets to full portfolios (of upwards of 200 hotels) and expertise in rebranding, repositioning and strategic planning. His asset management experience includes a 5-star hotel in San Antonio, Texas, from pre-development through its eventual sale, which he assisted in negotiating and which resulted in a 50% profit to shareholders over one year. In May 2016, Mr. Damji represented Cindat, backed by investors including China Cinda Asset Management Co. and Taikang Life Insurance and its affiliate on $571M joint venture of seven premium limited service hotels in Manhattan.
Mr. Damji graduated from Cornell Hotel School with a Master’s in Hospitality Management. He also holds a Master’s of Science in Business from Erasmus University in Rotterdam, The Netherlands and an undergraduate degree in Commerce from the University of British Columbia.
James McCrimmon is a Principal of Solid Rock Group who offices in Colorado. He has been with Solid Rock Advisors since its inception in the early 1990s and brings over 27 years of varied real estate experience to the group. Mr. McCrimmon has completed assignments involving leasing and sales of virtually all property types including office and industrial properties, retail centers, net lease properties, hotels, single and multi-family residential, development land, zero cash flow and even self-storage. He also has extensive experience in financing and refinancing activities, with several billion dollars’ of completed assignments with lenders such as Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, Fortress, and Bank of America. Mr. McCrimmon recently managed an exchange of national credit tenant retail centers, along with the origination of a new CMBS loan on one asset and defeasance of another CMBS loan – all occurring simultaneously and involving $70 million in value. Another recent transaction involved representing a Non-Profit in its purchase of an industrial building using a HUD Community Development Block Grant. This process took almost a year and involved negotiation of various agreements with the City and County as well as securing additional grants to ensure the success of the transaction. Mr. McCrimmon’s current focus is on asset management of NNN retail and office properties, brokerage and financing. He currently oversees the Asset Management of non-hotel assets for Solid Rock Group and works on various top-line reporting and special projects for clients.
Julie Chan, Vice President of Real Estate Advisory in New York, is a real estate professional with extensive experience in transaction underwriting, hotel brokerage, financing, advisory, accounting, and operations of deluxe hotel assets. Ms. Chan most recently served as a Vice President at Beacon Hospitality Partners in New York, assisting Institutional Investors with asset management and advisory services concerning their hospitality real estate holdings. This work included assisting Prudential Insurance with an asset management review of its joint partnership interest with Ashford Hospitality Trust’s Highland Portfolio, 28 full and select service hotels totaling 4,140 keys. This assignment was completed with the successful disposition of Prudential’s partnership interest to Ashford for $1.735 billion in 2015. Prior to this she was an Associate and Asset Manager for Trinity Hotel Investors, where she oversaw two portfolios of upscale branded hotels in central business district locations in the Midwest and Southeast. These portfolios totaled over 1,700 keys operated by third party management companies. For five years, Ms. Chan served as Director of National Marketing and Sales for Warwick International Hotels, reporting to Chairman and Vice President of Sales for the Americas. At Warwick she headed-up a new effort to increase brand awareness in the Americas for over 30 world-wide hotels and improved intra-hotel automation delivery systems. Ms. Chan has a M.S. with a Real Estate-Finance Concentration and a B.S. in Hotel and Restaurant Management from New York University, and earned both a Hotel Real Estate Investment and Asset Management Certificate and Hotel Revenue Management Certificate from Cornell University.
Helen Deng has more than ten years of diversified real estate experience. She is a Gold Circle of Excellence realtor in Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty, #1 Company Wide Agent for 2016, and Rookie of the Year for 2011. With her expertise in architecture and engineering, and her first-hand experiences, she has been able to sell multi-million dollar high end residential and commercial projects in different areas. The most impressive deal she achieved was selling a Penthouse in Manhattan for $28.5 million dollars and in Long Island at $11.5 million dollars. Currently, she is ranked the first place in production in Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty for 2016.
Helen also has a special focus on the negotiation, analysis and feasibility studies and sale transaction of offices, industrial plants and hotels. She is fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese and has been able to build a strong clients network in Long Island, and close ties in Queens and Manhattan for residential and commercial properties.
Julia Zhang is an Analyst at Solid Rock Group’s New York office. She joined SRG in June 2017 and brings to the company extensive experience in hospitality operations, asset management and development advisory. She is a recent graduate of SC Johnson College of Business’ School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, where she also received her minor in Real Estate and concentration in Investment Banking.
Originally from China, Julia is proficient in both Mandarin Chinese and English. Before graduation, Julia developed her career in Hospitality Consulting through internship at Horwath HTL. She assisted in hotel development feasibility and impact studies, asset management weekly portfolio conference calls, and redevelopment project investment analysis. During College, she is VP of Cornell China Club, which holds one of the largest China focused conferences among schools in North America. Julia also had several positions in different departments of hotel. She started her career in hospitality as a front desk agent at The Peninsula Spring International Hotel in Jiangsu, China. She then worked in the Rooms and F&B Department at the Statler Hotel, which is known for its partnership with the Cornell Hotel School and its student leadership program.
Working out of Los Angeles, Sunil Isaac is a Manager focusing on Domestic and International Hotel and Resort properties. Mr. Isaac began his real estate career in 2002 and has been involved in the sale and financing of a wide variety of real estate projects across the United States including multi-generational, one-of-a-kind trophy residential estates. He is licensed in California, Texas, New York and Idaho. Sunil has been associated with Solid Rock Advisors since 2009.
Judith “Judy” Kessler brings 30 years of real estate development experience to SRA development projects. Ms. Kessler and Mr. Rice have a long-standing collaboration, including the conceptualization and implementation of a $100 million renovation plan for the Four Seasons New York. This project included renowned architects I.M. Pei and Peter Marino in conceptualizing and developing the TY Warner Penthouse, a 4,200 square foot suite commanding $50,000 a night. In 2011, Ms. Kessler successfully secured the equity and hotel operator for a $250 million hotel and condo project on Bryant Park developed by her firm, Apple Residential Ventures, LLC (ARV). Prior to ARV, Ms. Kessler partnered with Zeckendorf Development (ZD) as Project Director for numerous projects, including 15 Central Park West, generally considered to be New York’s most luxurious residential development. Most recently, Ms. Kessler partnered with ZD as Executive Director for the 50 United Nations Plaza and 18 Gramercy Park projects. Over the course of her career, Ms. Kessler has also served as Development Manager for Tishman Urban Development, as a Partner in Atlantic Assets Group, and as Vice President at Citicorp Real Estate.
Mark Ostridge is a Senior Director and Chartered Surveyor in the United Kingdom with over twenty years’ experience in strategic property asset management within the hotel and leisure sectors. Mr. Ostridge has held senior positions at a number of major hotel groups, most recently as Chief Development Officer at glh Hotels where he was responsible for over-seeing capital investment of £120 million over three years, including the refurbishment of some of London’s most prestigious hotels. During this period, he worked through a lease restructure and development agreement for a 1,000-room flagship hotel in central London. He also completed Management and Technical Services agreements for 5 star hotels and residences in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. His specialties include lease restructures, M&A, Asset Utilization reviews, and Value-Engineered development and refurbishment. Prior to glh, he served as Property Director at Jarvis Hotels where he supervised the disposal of more than £70 million of underperforming assets in multiple transactions, established an Estate-wide franchise agreement with Accor, and developed an asset and surplus land review which achieved planning permission for 80 residential units on unused land in a joint venture with Sainsbury’s.