Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Opar

John Opar

Partner, Real Estate Practice, Shearman & Sterling LLP

John Opar is a partner in the Real Estate practice. He has extensive experience in all areas of commercial real estate law, including foreign investment in U.S. real estate. He has worked frequently on Shari'ah compliant investments and has been involved in development projects in the U.S., the Middle East, China, England, Germany and the Philippines. Some of his most recent representation includes advising Qatar Investment Authority on its investment in Manhattan West, a development site valued upon completion at up to US$8.6 billion, advising Wafra Investment Advisory Group, Inc. in the acquisition of numerous multi-family and office properties including in New York; Washington, D.C.; Miami, Florida advising Public Institution for Social Security of Kuwait with respect to an investment in a joint venture to acquire a US$1 billion+ portfolio of regional shopping centers and advising a sovereign wealth fund in connection with investments with an operating partner in Manhattan office properties at 230 Park Avenue and 350 Madison Avenue. Mr. Opar received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and his B.A. from Swarthmore College. Mr. Opar is a member of the New York City Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, the Arab Bankers Association of North America and the Real Estate Board of New York . Mr. Opar has authored several publications and participated in a number of speaking engagements at seminars and conferences on various real estate subjects. He has also been recognized in Euromoney's Guide to the World's Leading Real Estate Lawyers, New York Super Lawyers and The International Who's Who of Real Estate Lawyers.

Please visit http://www.shearman.com for more information.

Mr. Opar can be contacted at 212-848-7697 or jopar@shearman.com

Coming up in November 2019...

Architecture & Design: Biophilic Design

The hospitality industry is constantly evolving to meet and exceed guest expectations. As a result, hotels are always on the lookout for new ways to improve the guest experience, and architecture and design is an essential part of this equation. Bold design is often the most effective way to make an exceptional first impression - an impression guests use to distinguish between brands. One design trend that is being embraced worldwide has become known as “Biophilic Design.” Biophilic design is based on the concept of biophilia, which is the theory that human beings have an innate tendency to seek out nature, natural elements, and natural forms. Biophilic design is more than hotels simply adding a surplus of plants; it involves incorporating specific design elements into a hotel in order to imbue it with a sense of wellness and well-being. Some of those elements include exposure to natural lighting; views of nature and rooms with a view; natural architectural patterns; salvaged or reclaimed woods of all types; reclaimed metals; sustainably sourced stone; living green walls and vertical gardens; and direct and indirect exposure to nature. Hotels that have incorporated biophilic design into their properties are reaping the benefits associated with this trend including reduced stress responses, better air quality, lower energy costs, and more positive guest reviews. Biophilic design has also been shown to improve guest moods and to satisfy consumer demand for environmental responsibility. Savvy hotel owners and managers are aware that nature-inspired elements enhance their guests' comfort and well-being, which is why this trend is becoming so prevalent. Biophilic design is just one topic in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.