Jonathan Falik’s Mark on the
Hospitality Industry

HALL Structured Finance Partner Spotlight Series

The HALL Structured Finance (HSF) team spoke with the CEO of JF Capital Advisors Jonathan Falik to learn more about his impressive career path and where he sees the hospitality industry going in the future. With extensive experience as an agent, advisor, principal, owner, borrower, guarantor, franchisee, lender and asset manager, Jonathan continues to leave a big mark on the industry and offers valuable insider expertise.



Starting Out
After studying at a university in Israel, Jonathan returned to the U.S. for his junior year of college. He attended Rutgers College where he earned a degree in economics and later became a CPA. Coming from a family of public accountants, Jonathan’s parents encouraged him to take this career path because they believed it would help him understand the flow of business. After graduation, Jonathan worked as a CPA for Price Waterhouse Coopers for a few years. He then went on to receive his MBA with a concentration in real estate finance from Columbia Business School and upon graduating, went to work for Bear Stearns in their hotel and real estate investment banking business.

During his time at Price Waterhouse and Bear Stearns, Jonathan worked for clients such as Starwood Capital Group, Apollo, and boutique hotelier Ian Schrager and discovered his passion for the hotel industry. In 2004, Jonathan founded JF Capital Advisors, an investment advisory firm specializing in the hospitality industry. Along the way, he expanded his business in M&A transactions, advisory, complex financing, and sponsor equity investing where he would partner with large opportunity funds and hotel management companies to reposition hotels.

Going All in on Hospitality
Jonathan’s first deal as a sponsor in his advisory business was one of his most memorable. He saw an opportunity with two hotels, which led to the acquisition of a DoubleTree in Dallas, Texas and a DoubleTree in Aurora, Colorado. He put the deal together and brought in the owners of Aimbridge as his co-GP. Together, they converted the two hotels into franchises. As one of the property owners, this was a rewarding experience for Jonathan and led to him buying and developing 25 hotels, with over 5,500 keys around U.S., advancing his advisory business while simultaneously creating an asset management business.

Benson Building
The Benson Hotel | Portland, Oregon

Jonathan was first introduced to HSF a number of years ago at an industry conference. He had a ground-up construction deal in what is now New York City’s Hudson Yards development and decided to sign up the construction loan with HSF. Ultimately, the client decided to pursue the deal with cash instead of a loan, and despite the lost opportunity, Jonathan and HSF remained in touch.

A few years later, Jonathan received a call about recapitalizing the Benson Hotel in Portland, Oregon, and he immediately thought of HSF for the loan. “It was an excellent experience because it was obvious that the HSF team understood the business and repositioning plan,” explained Jonathan. “HSF provided a great solution with the necessary flexibility to retire existing debt and to sign up the deal as a Curio Collection by Hilton property. The due diligence process went smoothly, the HSF team quickly came to see the property and was very professional from start to finish.” In 2021, HSF closed a $51.1 million first lien bridge loan on the property.

What’s Next?
Jonathan’s advice to those looking to get their hotel projects financed is to get incredibly organized with all of your historical and operating data, legal documents, construction agreements and financials. He also advises clients to work with a highly experienced financial intermediary even if you haven’t worked with one before.

“There are a little over 60,000 hotels and motels across the U.S. with almost 5.5 million rooms. Some markets outperform others, but each time the industry experiences a severe downturn, there are efficiency improvements in technology and process management,” says Jonathan. “The work from home trend will continue to increase leisure travel, and technologies like autonomous vehicles will also impact the industry in the future. These self-driving cars will give clients the ability to go to dinner in a city, fall asleep in the car, and wake up in a hotel in a completely different state.”

And what’s next for Jonathan? He notes, “I am moving from New York City to southern Florida and intend to continue working with great clients and partners in the hotel industry and hope to take advantage of the beautiful year-round weather in Florida.”

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