BD Hotels names head of acquisitions, development for Pod Hotels

The project is the first venture outside of New York City for the Pod Hotel hospitality brand.
The Pod Hotels brand plans on expanding from five to 50 properties in the next decade. Photo credit: The Pod Hotels
Rani Gharbie Photo credit: BD Hotels

BD Hotels appointed Rani Gharbie head of acquisitions and development for its micro-hotel brand The Pod Hotels. The company has tasked Gharbie with expanding the brand’s portfolio, currently at five hotels, to 50 properties over the next decade.

The original Pod Hotel, Pod 51, launched in New York City in 2007, with a second, Pod 39, following in June 2012. In the past two years the brand has launched Pod DC in Washington, D.C; and Pod Brooklyn and Pod Times Square in New York. Pod Philly will launch this fall in Philadelphia and Pod LA in Los Angeles will follow in 2020. Gharbie will work on expanding the company’s portfolio to other key markets, including Miami; San Francisco; Chicago; Austin, Texas; Boston; Nashville; Seattle; Montreal; Toronto; and Mexico City.

Gharbie will work closely with BD Hotels’ owners Richard Born and Ira Drukier and be responsible for identifying potential investment opportunities and gathering strategic partners and investors to fund future projects. He will help the brand expand across the country, and eventually globally.


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“Rani joins us at a pivotal time as we scale The Pod Hotels portfolio exponentially in North America” Born said in a statement. “He will undoubtedly be a tremendous asset as he brings over 20 years of experience in hotel acquisitions, development and operation.”

Most recently, Gharbie led development and acquisitions for North America at Virgin Hotels, working with capital partners and strategic investors on management agreements and equity positions. Before that, he spent more than five years at Cedar Funds, a New York City-based development and investment firm he founded. Further back, he served as director of development for IHG for more than five years.

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