President & CEO,Mr. Hunden and his firm offer extensive experience in the economics of all manner of unique real estate projects, including sports complexes, restaurants, retail, hotels, meeting/conference/convention facilities and entertainment districts. Over the past 20+ years, Mr. Hunden has provided economic development, finance and planning expertise and conducted more than 350 feasibility and economic impact studies, including for some of the most notable projects in the U.S. He has had a hand in the development of more than $3 billion in completed, transformative projects, including arenas, convention centers, major convention hotels, compelling boutique hotels, entertainment districts in several cities, theme parks and major tourist attractions.
What separates Mr. Hunden from most is his marriage of critical analytics with planning, programming and design…all toward smart, compelling development. Beyond simply completing studies for projects, Hunden uses deep analysis of “what works” to massage projects into a form and function that will thrive and move the project and surrounding community to the next level. This also includes telling the truth, always, to help clients avoid mistakes or unsustainable projects. All of these experiences help Hunden consider individual projects as well as entire districts and downtowns, like the Fort Worth Stockyards, all of downtown Indianapolis, the Chicago Riverwalk/Navy Pier district, Irvine/Orange County, California’s Great Park, Ottawa’s Lansdowne Park, major Indiana tribal mixed-use developments in Phoenix and major university sports and entertainment districts.
He has completed dozens of convention/expo center-related studies in markets from 20,000 to 20 million people, including in:
Hunden has worked on over 100 hotel studies and processes for:
Hunden has worked on numerous entertainment/restaurant districts in North America, including: Navy Pier, Chicago; Columbus Scioto Peninsula, OH; Kansas City Power & Light District; 4th Street Live! Louisville, KY; Lansdowne Live in Ottawa, ON; San Juan District, PR; Woodbine Live! in Toronto, ON; Bradenton, FL; Albuquerque/University of New Mexico; and the Fort Worth Stockyards.
Hunden has extensive market, financial impact and planning studies for sports complexes including:
In Chicago, he has worked on some of the biggest local projects, including the French Market, Union Station, Ogilvie Station, the $100 million Chicago Riverwalk, Navy Pier’s $200 million renovation and hotel addition, Presidential Towers, US Cellular Field, DuSable Museum and sports/recreation projects for the Chicago Park District.
Mr. Hunden has provided impact analysis to the Commonwealth of Kentucky on nearly 30 projects that have applied for incentives under the Kentucky Tourism Development Act (KTDA), which include and Ark Encounter Theme Park, multiple hotel and convention centers, the Newport Aquarium, Ketnucky Speedway, Hofbrauhaus and others. He has created dozens of other individual and comprehensive impact models for projects around the U.S. and Canada.
Prior to starting HSP in 2006, Hunden served as Vice President of Johnson Consulting in Chicago. There, he led specialized work on hotels, conference centers, urban entertainment-retail districts sports and convention centers. His work there included such projects as Fort Worth’s Omni Hotel, Erie’s Bayfront Convention Center and Sheraton, and multiple arenas. Previously, he conducted real estate finance transactions at Landauer Associates and Grubb & Ellis through their capital markets division.
Mr. Hunden’s public-private project and economic development career began at the Indianapolis Bond Bank and the Indianapolis Mayor’s Office from 1996 through 1998, where he managed more than a dozen projects, including the 1999 Indiana Convention Center expansion, the RCA Dome expansion, development of the 615-room Marriott and Conseco/Bankers Life Fieldhouse. He also worked on the repurposing and conversion of Glendale Mall, Union Station, and the development of the Emmis Headquarters. From 1994 to 1996, he worked in financial consulting in the Washington, DC area for clients including six presidential candidates.
Rob has written articles on downtown development and taught college-level Destination Development courses. He also sits on the advisory board for the Real Estate Club for Indiana’s Kelley School of Business, DePaul University’s School of Hospitality and for IAVM’s Allied Member committee. Mr. Hunden is a member of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC), ULI, IEDC, IDA and ICMA. He has conducted IEDC panel discussions and taught numerous professional development courses for IEDC over the past 12 years. He has also spoken at the Greek Conference on Tourism and the Bond Buyer’s “Tourism as Economic Development” conference, among many others. Mr. Hunden received a B.S. in Finance from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.