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Thomas Arasi Appointed President of Portman Holdings,
the Real Estate Development Division
of the Portman Companies
Will Lead Development of Estimated $2 Billion in Domestic
and International Real Estate Projects by 2007 

ATLANTA, Ga., November 18, 2004 — Portman Holdings, the real estate development division of the Portman companies, today announced that Thomas Arasi has joined the firm as president.  In his new role, he will be responsible for the company’s existing real estate portfolio and for executing the division’s plans to develop up to $2 billion in domestic and international real estate projects over the next three years.  Projects will include office, urban retail, vertical residential, and a strong emphasis on hotels and mixed-use projects.

“Tom’s range of experience in real estate, hospitality and finance brings a broad perspective and in-depth expertise in multiple disciplines,” said John Portman, Jr., chairman of the Portman companies.  “We intend to be very aggressive in development under Tom’s leadership.” 

“The energy and insight which Tom brings to our organization will have a catalytic impact on all projects and all people here, “said Jack Portman, vice chairman of Portman Holdings.  “The match is excellent.  Tom’s global perspective aligns well with the direction of growth, which we anticipate for the future of the company.”

“Over the past six months, there has been a shift toward real estate as a preferred asset class,” Arasi said.  “In many cases, buyers are paying at or well above replacement cost for properties, which makes development a decidedly attractive investment in today’s market.  This is particularly true in the hotel sector.”

Arasi said Portman Holdings will provide turnkey or specific development components, including site acquisition, concept/design, development, financing, asset management and renovation.  “We believe the current timing is highly favorable to develop real estate in joint ventures, for our own account or on a third-party basis.  We plan to develop a mix of private and public/private projects, both domestically and overseas.” 

Portman has a proven track record of creating transformational, high-quality projects that fundamentally change their market’s real estate landscape, Arasi noted.  “Few companies today have the experience and expertise to provide an integrated, full-service turnkey development platform,” he said.

The firm will work with real estate investors, including private and public companies, such as pension funds, opportunity funds, high-net worth investors, and real estate investment trusts (REITs).  In addition, Portman will work closely with lenders, other real estate developers in mixed-use projects, contractors and hotel owner/operators and hotel brands to develop new projects.

Portman currently has $750 million in development projects underway and an active pipeline of potential projects.  “Based on our assessment of current market conditions, we see strong growth in North America and continued strength in Asia and the Middle East,” he said.  “We currently are seeing more activity in Eastern European countries than in Western Europe.”

Arasi is a former chief investment officer of CNL Hospitality Corp., where he was responsible for investment and acquisition activities for the $6.5 billion REIT.  He is a past CEO and president of Lodgian, Inc. (AMEX: LGN), an owner/operator of hotels.  At Bass Hotels & Resorts (now InterContinental Hotels Group, (NYSE: IHG [ADRs]), he was president of three major divisions, most recently president, The Americas.  He is a former president of Tishman Hotel Corporation and held senior positions with Salomon Brothers, HVS International, and Sheraton Hotels.  Arasi holds a B.A. degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from the School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration at Cornell University. 

Headquartered in Atlanta, Portman Holdings is the development division of the Portman companies, a real estate owner, developer and architectural firm, founded in 1953.  Its other divisions include AmericasMart, the largest wholesale market of its kind in the world with 4.2 million square feet of exhibit space; and John Portman and Associates, one of the world’s most prestigious architectural firms.  Various Portman entities own, in conjunction with partners, a diversified portfolio of high-quality real estate assets with an aggregate value in excess of $1.5 billion. 


Portman Holdings
Also See: Lodgian, Inc. Reports its President and Chief Executive Officer, Thomas Arasi, Has Resigned / Oct 2001
Thomas Arasi Appointed President of Lodgian, Inc.; Robert Cole Continues as a Director / Feb 2001 
John Sweetwood Replacing Thomas Arasi as President of Bass Hotels & Resorts Americas Division / Sept 2000 

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