Written by John Phair, President & CEO
The Holladay Partners, representing all areas of our Holladay Properties, recently completed our 2nd Quarter meeting and annual retreat. This two day event included a couple hours of fishing one rainy, cool morning. But as the picture below shows, we had pretty good success, catching more than enough small and large mouth bass to provide a very 'fresh' lunch.
We had some fun, but the balance of our meeting was all business! Many of the individual projects and property management expansions we discussed have already been well documented in our various newsletters, but I'd like to share a few highlights:
- Our company current has more construction underway than ever before! This activity includes new developments and dozens of locations involving tenant finishes, additions, etc.
- Holladay Properties recently completed the company's largest - and longest - financing in history, insuring the long term ownership of 15 of our best industrial properties. These facilities will continue to be managed by all offices of Holladay Properties and the Property Management group is largely responsible for that success.
- In the last quarter, Holladay's hospitality division opened two new hotels (Fairfield Inn & Suites Richmond Ashland and Hampton Inn Westfield Indianapolis) and has our third WoodSprings Suites well under construction. We expect to break ground on at least two other hotels later this year, and this time next year will have 12 operating hotels.
- We have commenced the process of long term financing of the hotels like the industrial portfolio to insure our long term ownership in that sector.
- We welcomed one new partner, Tony Fitts - Treasurer, at this meeting and another, Jeff Arthur - SVP of Hospitality, at our first quarter meeting. We expect to add another partner to our numbers later this year, while a couple others inch towards retirement.
- We have debuted our new website. Under Amanda Watson's leadership, and over 100 internal reviews/suggestions, I believe we should all be proud of the new site. She will also be turning future attention to Facebook, Twitter, etc. to help insure our future use of all current communication vehicles.
- Our single largest addition to our development portfolio is doubling the size of our apartment portfolio with two projects under construction, (Burlington Station in Downers Grove, IL and The Promenade at Founders Square in Portage, IN) and two others being worked on for 2018 starts. This is a big change for Holladay and very positive enhancement, and it is happening because of our management success of the existing apartments - Maple Lane Apartments & Executive Suites in Elkhart and West Jefferson Apartments in Mishawaka.
- We are a team of about 240 people today, only a little higher than at the start of the year. We have experienced very low turnover - I wish it was zero - but have also had several great additions, and a successful transfer from one office to another. By year end, we will be looking at all of our benefit programs, salary levels, and all other HR issues - we know we must be competitive and fair
All in all, this last quarter has been very exciting, but also challenging. The new customers added to our Property Management portfolio, record construction levels, and large financings have pushed many of our employees to the maximum. I want thank everyone involved - very much - for your extraordinary efforts.
The real estate business is littered with high flyers and dramatic announcements of success - only to be followed by a failure. At Holladay, we have chosen to build our portfolio carefully and with a lot of thought. We are adding steadily to our management base. We aren't particularly flashy - we just get the job done and insure our continuation well into the future. We hope we provide a positive work environment and strong incentives to continue our success. And, our leadership is really strong and focused on the future.
To our employees, partners, customers, and friends - thank you all for your contributions!