HALL Structured Finance Partner Spotlight Series: Adam Plous

The Journey to Real Estate Development

Adam Plous’ commercial real estate development journey began with a background in hospitality during his time at Kansas State University. After graduation, he spent nearly 15 years managing hotels for major hotel brands like Marriott and Hilton, however, a professional opportunity to dive into hotel development and asset management sparked an interest in exploring a new side of the industry. This decision marked the beginning of his career in real estate development.

Today, Plous is the chief operating officer at Contender Development, a real estate development company based in Greenville, South Carolina that specializes in residential lot development for national home builders as well as hotels projects. In his role, he manages all operations of the development team while spearheading the company’s hotel division. Additionally, he provides support to the “Land Director Team”, currently overseeing more than 40 residential infrastructure projects in various stages of development. These projects span across residential infrastructure, hotels, and restaurants primarily within the Carolinas, with a few projects in Florida and Georgia.

A Partnership with HALL Structured Finance

Amidst the many layers of real estate development, partnerships play a necessary role in navigating commercial real estate. During a time when many traditional institutions pulled back, HSF has funded two construction loans to Contender, each met with “professionalism, honesty, and effective communication,” said Plous. “Simply put, HALL Structured Finance was there for us when traditional banks were not interested in a great project.” Contender’s relationship with HALL Structured Finance (HSF) was facilitated through the shared partnership with Ryan Bosch at Arriba Capital, who served as the broker for both loans.

HSF’s most recent loan to Contender was for a Residence Inn by Marriott, a 137-key hotel situated directly on Ormond Beach in Florida. In an area that hasn’t seen new hotel developments for over two decades, the community’s anticipation mirrors Plous and his team’s excitement for the project. Its prime location along A1A will allow both visitors and residents to enjoy ocean views and direct beach access, ensuring its long-term viability. HSF originated a $35.75 million construction loan for the project.

Looking Towards the Future

HSF’s first loan to Contender in 2023 was for an Element by Westin in Charleston, South Carolina, a longtime hotspot for tourism. Construction is progressing steadily, with an anticipated opening in the first quarter of 2025. HSF provided a $20 million construction loan for this project.


Amidst changing market dynamics, trends in real estate development are undergoing a transformation. The aftermath of the pandemic brought on many uncertainties, particularly in construction costs and available capital. “These are the challenges that our team loves to tackle and overcome, which is why it is so important to have trusted partners such as HALL Structured Finance.”

As Contender continues to develop quality projects that enhance communities, the team remains committed to embracing change and leveraging opportunities for growth. They currently have two hotels open and six more in development throughout the southeast, with a real estate development portfolio valued at more than $1.2 billion.

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