James FriendJames H. Friend PDF Icon
Of Counsel

T: 212 576 2670 | F: 212 686 4023
7 Penn Plaza, Suite 914
New York, NY 10001

James H. Friend, Counsel, founder, president and CEO of Friend Development Group, LLC, headquartered in New York City, has more than 25 years of deep and broad experience in the hospitality and real estate industries as a developer, investor, operator, financier, asset manager and advisor.  In addition, Jim currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Condor Hospitality Trust, Inc., which has more than 60 hotels in 20 states throughout the U. S. Jim has worked in several foreign jurisdictions and speaks fluent Spanish.  He has extensive experience in the drafting and negotiation of land acquisition agreements, management agreements, franchise agreements, construction agreements, architectural agreements and partnerships agreements.

Jim has specialized for several decades in hotel and real estate development and acquisition both in the U. S. and overseas, working in dozens of urban and suburban markets and in numerous property types.  He has many years of active, hands-on development experience and has developed many significant ground-up and adaptive re-use properties as well as significant renovations of existing properties.  Friend Development has purchased, repositioned and re-branded numerous hotels and worked on dozens of other hotel and other real estate projects.  The firm has partnered with and advised NYSE companies, major institutions, REIT’s, high net worth family offices, banks and privately held companies.

Representative Experience

  • Has secured tens of millions of dollars of tax abatements, industrial development bond financing and other types of government development incentives for many real estate projects
  • Has arranged financing for more than $700 million of hotel and real estate transactions, including hotels, assisted living, retail and mixed-use projects and has drawn on his investment banking, legal and development background to bring to fruition complicated real estate projects which include:
    • the adaptive re-use of a 50-year old hospital into a Hyatt Place Hotel;
    • the environmental remediation of a former gas station to develop a Hampton Inn & Suites;
    • the conversion of a former office building in Texas to a 300-room hotel;
    • the lengthy and highly complex negotiation of a 99-year leasehold within a million sf shopping center;
    • transfer of air rights between two New York City land parcels to develop a major Hilton-branded hotel;
    • negotiations with the Department of Transportation to permit a guest drop-off in the heart of downtown Brooklyn;
    • negotiation of numerous complex land purchase agreements; and much more.


Professor | New York University | Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management


The Rocky Road Toward the Rule of Law in China:  1979-2000, Forward to Symposium:  China Revisited:  Examining the Rule of Law After Twenty Years, Northwestern Journal of International Law & Business, 1999:  Vol. 20, No. 3. | PDF Icon

Suing a Foreign Government Under the United States Antitrust Laws:  The Need for Clarification of the Commercial Activity Exception to the Foreign Immunities Act of 1976.  Northwestern Journal of International Law & Business, 1979:  Vol. 1, No. 1. | PDF Icon