Driftwood Capital has appointed Jay Cooper managing director of development and construction. In this role, he oversees all of the company’s new, ground-up hospitality developments and value-add hotel renovations—a portfolio currently valued at more than $1 billion—along with providing commercial construction and development services to other hospitality-driven real estate sponsors.
“Jay is an award-winning development professional with an impressive track record overseeing the delivery of more than $2 billion in high-profile hospitality projects in the U.S. and Europe, from luxury golf resorts to mixed-use high-rise urban properties,” said Carlos Rodriguez Sr., chairman/CEO, Driftwood Capital. “He will be a valuable asset to Driftwood, as well as other groups in need of an innovative, hospitality-focused development team that can help secure financing and meet budgets in an inflationary environment.”
Cooper, who has held senior leadership roles at firms including Kolter Hospitality and Turner & Townsend, brings more than 20 years of experience working across site management, design team consultancy, project management, owners’ representation and development. He also holds expertise in sustainable construction practices, infrastructure work and historic building restoration. Past projects include the Hyatt Centric Ft. Lauderdale, Westin Sarasota, One St. Petersburg Hyatt Place and AC Marriott Downtown Orlando.
Cooper is presently overseeing the predevelopment of large Driftwood projects including the $388-million Westin Cocoa Beach Resort and Conference Center in Florida and the $185-million Riverside Wharf Dream Miami hotel complex. He is also overseeing the renovation of The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch, a hacienda-style resort with 326 guestrooms located in Arizona, as well as the Sheraton Old San Juan, a 240-room hotel in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.