SOURCE: Blumberg Capital Partners

December 11, 2007 11:05 ET

Philip Blumberg and Blumberg Capital Partners Hire Luxury GM to Launch Five-Star Services in Office Buildings

Part of Plan to Offer Premium Services under Blumberg Office Properties Brand; Office Workers in Tampa Already Enjoy On-Site Swimming Pool

CORAL GABLES, FL--(Marketwire - December 11, 2007) - Philip Blumberg and Blumberg Office Properties, a U.S. commercial real estate investment manager, today said it has hired a luxury hotel executive to spearhead the rollout of five-star, premium services for its office properties. Ludovic Roche, the former general manager at private luxury hotelier Villazzo LLC, will assume a new role at Blumberg Office Properties as director of premium services. He will oversee the rollout of a comprehensive program to offer high-end amenities for tenants of the company's office properties nationally. Blumberg Office Properties is the real estate investment arm of Blumberg Capital Partners, a Florida-based investment manager.

"Ludovic's experience in catering to the discriminating clientele of Villazzo's world-class hotel properties will be instrumental in our formalizing an approach at Blumberg Office Properties to treat our tenants as valued guests," said Philip Blumberg, president and CEO of Blumberg Capital Partners. "We're entering a new era in commercial real estate, where premium services will set office building owners and operators apart. For years, the lodging industry has been marked by broad differentiation based on hotel guest experiences. Employers are increasingly interested in similar differentiation in quality work environments. To that end, we will make our office buildings much sought-after addresses through the implementation of the Blumberg Office Five-Star Services Program."

As GM at Villazzo, Roche was responsible for the delivery of luxury-based services to guests of Villazzo's VillaHotels, private boutique hotels catering to high-end travelers seeking privacy, space and luxury. His geographic responsibilities encompassed mansions and villas in the U.S. (Aspen, Col.; and Miami); France (St. Tropez, Courchevel and Paris) and Spain (Marbella). Prior to joining Villazzo in 2005, Roche was director of operations and purchasing at The Bentley Group, which specializes in hotel operations management.

Blumberg said his premium services program will encompass on-site concierge support, event tickets, health clubs, conference facilities, advanced technology and energy-efficient utilities. In addition, office building enhancements will include private "club-level" suites, offering unparalleled service to tenant members, akin to "club-level" suites commonly found in five-star hotels.

Under the first phase of the rollout, Blumberg recently announced plans to invest in its commercial properties in Houston, Tex., and Tampa, Fla. The initiative includes a $6 million project to offer new services and tenant amenities at Houston's Three Riverway Office property over the next year. The program will include upgrades to the building's fitness center, sauna facility and conference rooms, as well as the addition of wireless Internet access technology in building common areas and a complete overhaul of the lighting system to boost energy efficiency. In addition, common area corridors and property landscaping will be redesigned and upgraded. The work also will include the creation of the "club-level executive suite" for use by tenant executives.

The company also will invest in significant upgrades to its property at 550 REO in Tampa, Fla., over the next year. The program will include improvements to the fitness center and common areas, as well as an overhaul of the lighting system and replacement of the air chillers to an advanced energy-efficient system. The property already is one of the most unique office buildings in the Tampa area, featuring a swimming pool for tenants, as well as wireless Internet access in common areas and poolside.

Blumberg Office Properties last year consolidated its national real estate portfolio, selling its office tower in Coral Gables for about $60 million. Earlier in 2006, Blumberg Office sold its office building in Miami for more than $61 million. Blumberg Office Properties had owned the Coral Gables property in a joint venture with Investcorp. Blumberg Capital Partners recently announced its intentions to start a media and entertainment investment fund in 2008, to augment its commercial real estate ventures.

Founded in 1979 by Philip Blumberg, Blumberg Capital Partners (previously known as American Ventures Corp.) specializes in U.S. commercial real estate, including acquisitions and divestments, market research, due diligence, and the management and leasing of commercial properties. Its investment portfolios have comprised some $500 million in commercial real estate assets around the United States. Investors include high net worth individuals in the U.S., Asia, Europe and the Middle East, as well as foundations, pension funds and banks. Blumberg Office is a member of the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries. For more information, visit