ATLANTA, Dec. 9, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- iStar Residential, a division of iStar Financial Inc. (NYSE:SFI), announced today it has hired an all-new sales team, led by the top-selling high-rise agent in Atlanta, for The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta. Karen Rodriguez of Dorsey Alston Realtors will lead the revamped sales efforts. She brings 11 years of experience in the Buckhead luxury high-rise market to the exclusive, world-class property.

The addition of Rodriguez is part of an extensive rebranding process that began in May 2012 with the reintroduction of the exclusive, five-star luxury Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta. The debt-free property, wholly owned by real estate company iStar Financial Inc., has been reshaped into one of the top-ranked hotels in the city. Now, iStar Financial Inc. has shifted focus to the 25-unit residential units on the top floors of the property.

Before joining The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta, Rodriguez led the sales and marketing strategy for the nearby $100 million Ritz-Carlton Residences high-rise project, selling out the property in a mere two-and-a-half years. The leading luxury high-rise condominium expert in Buckhead, Rodriguez has also represented many of Atlanta's top developers, including Post Properties and the Novare Group.

"Karen brings an intimate and unparalleled knowledge of the Buckhead high-rise market to this luxury property," said John Kubicko, Senior Vice President at iStar Financial Inc. "We are very pleased to have someone with such extensive experience lead our sales efforts."

The Residences currently are being built-out with contemporary, ultra high-end finishes and sleek, built-in fireplaces with marble surrounds. Each unit will also feature a 36-inch Viking gas grill as well as a fireplace on its balcony. The team is also revamping the common areas with modern color palettes and sleek marble floors. iStar has partnered with premier local architectural firm Harrison Design to craft unique layouts that showcase the spectacular views. Additionally, plans are underway to build out all the remaining unfinished shells.

Harrison Design Associates also designed a lavish three-bedroom model home that was staged on the 45th floor to demonstrate The Residences' new contemporary appearance. Decorated by Decatur, Ga.,-based firm GraysonHarris, the model was unveiled in September and was featured in the November edition of Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles.

The upgrades reflect Mandarin Oriental's mission to bring elegant, innovative and exciting design to Atlanta.

Managed exclusively by Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, The Residences provide owners with the luxuries of a five-star hotel while maintaining a level of privacy from hotel guests. Residents have a separate entrance to the property, a private garage as well as a special, resident-only concierge service. Residents also have access to the hotel's full-service spa, 60-foot swimming pool and outstanding exercise facilities.

Positioned in the center of Buckhead—one of the city's most vibrant communities— The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta, are located near the city's top restaurants and finest, high-end retail.

For more information on The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta, visit

About iStar Residential

iStar Residential is one of the largest investors in luxury condominium, multifamily and master-planned residential developments throughout the United States, having financed and invested in $10 billion of residential projects since 1993. iStar Residential's portfolio has included interests in over 18,000 condominium units in the nation's top markets and 65,000 acres in master planned communities having the potential for an estimated 50,000 single family and multifamily units. The Company's unique, fully-integrated platform extends from property entitlement and development to construction, bridge and long-term financing through asset servicing, property and portfolio management. iStar Residential is a division of iStar Financial, a $7 billion finance and investment company focused on the real estate industry and traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "SFI". For more information, visit

About iStar Financial Inc.

iStar Financial Inc. (NYSE:SFI) is a fully integrated finance and investment company focused on the state industry. The Company provides custom-tailored investment capital to high-end private and corporate owners of real estate and invests directly across a range of real estate sectors. The Company, which is taxed as a real estate investment trust ("REIT"), has invested more than $35 billion over the past two decades. Additional information on iStar Financial is available on the Company's website at

About The Residences at Mandarin Oriental

The Residences at Mandarin Oriental offer the best of both worlds: the comforts of a private home combined with the unsurpassed amenities and legendary services of Mandarin Oriental. Through the provision of bespoke benefits, discerning home owners enjoy privileged access to everything one expects as a hotel guest, plus exclusive resident-only privileges. The Group now operates, or has under development, 13 Residences, connected to the Group's global properties.

About Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is the award-winning owner and operator of some of the most luxurious hotels, resorts and residences. The Group has grown from a well-respected Asian hotel company into a global brand and now operates, or has under development, 45 hotels representing over 11,000 rooms in 26 countries, with 20 hotels in Asia, 11 in The Americas and 14 in Europe, Middle East and North Africa. In addition, the Group operates or has under development, 13 Residences at Mandarin Oriental connected to its properties.

Photography of Mandarin Oriental is available to download in the Photo Library of our Media section, at

Visit Destination MO (, the online version of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group's bespoke publication, MO. News about our award-winning hotels, the best dining experiences, spa treatments, travel retreats and interviews with the Group's celebrity fans is now just a click away. Further information is also available on our Social Media channels.
CONTACT: Media contacts:         Tony Wilbert, The Wilbert Group         Tel: 404-965-5022         E-mail:                  Hadley Creekmuir, The Wilbert Group         Tel: 404-343-4080         E-mail:

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