It’s a fact of life in corporate relocations, company headquarters are based on one critical element—where does the ceo want to live? Oh, sure companies will hire consultants to analyze costs of doing business, tax incentives, etc. etc. But at the end of the day…
Hilton Hotels announced it’s relocating from Los Angeles to the Washington, D.C. area. This is a company that’s founding family—Conrad, Barron, Paris—is practically synonymous with the Beverly Hills lifestyle.
But the Hiltons sold their stake in a 2007 leveraged buyout. New CEO Chris Nassetta told the Washington Post that the company was making the move to take advantage of the lower costs, proximity to key markets such as London and the huge pool of talent around Washington.
I’m not buying it. Nassetta is a veteran of Marriott, based in suburban Maryland. The D.C. area is hardly a low cost real estate market. And Nassetta himself has said much of the company’s future growth will have to come from Asia, which is more accessible from the West Coast. Hilton had major layoffs after the buyout. Is Nassetta really now having trouble luring talent to that hell hole Beverly Hills?
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.