Helpern Architects


Occupancy and room rates are up – but so are construction costs and the price of sites. “The pressure is on to maximize value while renovating existing properties and repurposing other buildings for hotel use,” says David Paul Helpern, FAIA. He led a panel for the Hotel Engineers Association of New York that examined the challenges and opportunities today’s conditions pose for the hospitality industry.

The presentations, now distilled, are available on the HEANY website as “Emerging Trends and Opportunities: Renovating and Retrofitting Hotel Properties in New York.”

The trends report addresses issues of concern to hotel designers, developers and operators including:

Neighborhoods where hotel growth is likely to focus.
Priorities and pitfalls in repurposing existing buildings.
Strategies and technologies for designing for resiliency not just energy efficiency.
Tax credits and incentives available for redevelopment and sustainability efforts.
Managing renovation while remaining open for business.
Helpern Architects has designed hotels and clubs in this region for 25 years. In addition to David four other experts in hotel engineering, financing, and management shared their assessments and recommendations. The speakers were: Scott Geraghty, Area VP/GM of the Ritz-Carlton Hotels of New York & Boston, a 30-year industry veteran; Sean Holmes, founder of H2 Hospitality Group and former COO of the Fitzpatrick Hotel Group for 16 years; Kevin J. Lorenz, president of Allied/CMS Inc., who worked as an architect and now is an owner’s representative responsible for 20 hotels; and John Rice, partner in charge of mechanical engineering at AKF Group, where he designs high-performance buildings and also leads AKF’s sustainable design initiative.

According to John E. Osborn, the attorney who is HEANY’s general counsel, “Investors are eager to rebuild, rebrand, and recycle existing buildings. HEANY’S goal is to help you participate in and profit from the coming period of exceptional growth and vitality.”