News release

JLL arranges $58.5M refinancing of 2-property hotel portfolio in Fort Walton Beach, Florida

The hotels are on a ground lease held with the U.S. Air Force

July 11, 2019

CHICAGO, July 11, 2019 – JLL announces that it has arranged a $58.5 million refinancing for the leasehold interest on a hotel portfolio comprising two adjacent beachfront hotels totaling 330 keys located in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. The hotels reside on a ground lease held with the United States Air Force with 45 years of remaining term.

JLL worked on behalf of the borrower, Innisfree Hotels and its partner, the Band of Poarch Creek Indians, to place the 10-year, fixed-rate acquisition loan with Ladder Capital Finance LLC. Proceeds were used to pay off the original construction financing and provided more than $8.4 million of cash back to the borrower.

The portfolio comprises the 178-room Hilton Garden Inn Fort Walton Beach and the 152-room Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach, which are two beachfront hotels on the Gulf Coast. The Hilton Garden Inn, located at 1297 Miracle Strip Parkway SE, was completed in 2017 and features 5,000 square feet of event space; an outdoor swimming pool, lazy river with rock waterfalls, Whirlpool spa, tiki bar and fire pits; indoor, heated pool; fitness center, 24-hour business center; and The Garden Grille and Bar restaurant. Situated at 1299 Miracle Strip Parkway SE, the Holiday Inn Resort opened in 2014 and features 2,498 square feet of even space; an outdoor pool, lazy river, Whirlpool spa and pool bar; indoor pool; fitness center, game room, sundry shop; business center; and Riptides Grille & Tiki Bar restaurant. The portfolio is on Santa Rose Island, a three-mile stretch of waterfront land bookended by protected national parks, which makes the area an extremely high-barriers-to-entry market. The five-story hotels are across the street from the 24,000-square-foot Emerald Coast Convention Center and within a five-mile radius of Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone, Escape Zone 60, Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier, Eglin Air Force Base, Fort Walton Beach Golf Club, Hurlburt Field and The City of Fort Walton Beach Heritage Park & Cultural Center.

The JLL Capital Markets team representing the borrower was led by managing director Jeff Bucaro, managing director Rebecca VanReken and director Nicole Aguiar. The two-property portfolio represents the ninth and tenth properties that members of this team have closed for Innisfree Hotels.

“We knew this would be a more difficult financing assignment given the limited operating history of one of the assets combined with the shorter-term ground lease,” said Brooks Moore, CFO of Innisfree Hotels. “As always, this team performed exceptionally well and closed the transaction during a very volatile time in the CMBS markets.” 

“It is typically challenging to secure permanent debt financing on hotels with limited operating history – especially when a return of equity is involved,” Bucaro added. “But Innisfree is an exceptional owner/operator with an amazing track record as evidenced by their new hotels consistently outperforming the market within a month or two of opening.”

JLL Capital Markets is a full-service global provider of capital solutions for real estate investors and occupiers. The firm’s in-depth local market and global investor knowledge delivers the best-in-class solutions for clients — whether a sale, financing, repositioning, advisory or recapitalization execution. The firm has more than 3,700 Capital Markets specialists worldwide with offices in nearly 50 countries.

Deal secured by Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP (“HFF”) prior to being acquired by JLL on July 1, 2019.

About JLL

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. Our vision is to reimagine the world of real estate, creating rewarding opportunities and amazing spaces where people can achieve their ambitions. In doing so, we will build a better tomorrow for our clients, our people and our communities. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $16.3 billion, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of over 91,000 as of March 31, 2019. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit

About Innisfree Hotels

Innisfree Hotels is a hotel company delivering exceptional service, guest satisfaction and return on investment since 1985. The company embraces its motto of ‘creating fun, memorable experiences,’ while cultivating innovation and excellence in everything the company does. Visit to learn more.

About Ladder Capital Finance LLC

Ladder Capital Corp (NYSE: LADR) is an internally managed real estate investment trust that is a leader in commercial real estate finance. With over $6 billion of assets on its balance sheet, Ladder originates and invest in a diverse portfolio of commercial real estate and real estate-related assets, focusing on senior secured assets. Ladder’s investment activities include: (i) direct origination of commercial real estate first mortgage loans; (ii) investments in investment grade securities secured by first mortgage loans on commercial real estate; and (iii) investments in net leased and other commercial real estate equity. Founded in 2008, Ladder is run by a highly experienced management team with extensive expertise in all aspects of the commercial real estate industry, including origination, credit, underwriting, structuring, capital markets and asset management. Led by Brian Harris, the Company’s chief executive officer, Ladder is headquartered in New York City with regional offices in California and Florida.