Monday, March 3, 2008

Swire Properties Announces Launch of Swire Hotels

HONG KONG, Mar. 3, 2008--Swire Properties today announces the formation of Swire Hotels, and the launch of its first of four hotels in Greater China. Opening this summer, The Opposite House, Beijing, (photo top right) will be the first property to be managed by the new company.

Swire Properties has extensive experience of developing properties for world class hoteliers, both in Hong Kong and overseas. It has a 75% interest in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Miami, Florida, and in Hong Kong it has a 20% interest in each of the JW Marriott, Conrad Hong Kong and Island Shangri-la hotels at Pacific Place, and in Novotel Citygate.

“The development of Swire Hotels enables us to build on our strengths in mixed-use development, while our own quality hotel projects will add value and synergy to our investment property portfolio,” said Keith Kerr, Chairman of Swire Properties.

Swire Hotels has been formed to create and manage small luxury hotels in Hong Kong, Mainland China and the United Kingdom, providing an exceptional experience for travellers who seek individuality, style and personalised service.

In Hong Kong and Mainland China, the hotels will be an integral part of Swire Properties’ retail and office developments. The first of these will be The Opposite House in Beijing, whose 99 rooms will open in the summer of 2008. This will offer an exciting new dimension to The Village at Sanlitun, the Company's first retail development in Mainland China and one which is set to become Beijing’s cosmopolitan centerpiece.

The Opposite House will be followed by the opening of a 117-room luxury hotel in Pacific Place, Hong Kong, in the summer of 2009 and a 100-room hotel at Taikoo Hui in Guangzhou in 2010.

Swire Hotels also plans to manage a 343-room lifestyle business hotel called East, to be open in Island East, Hong Kong, in 2009.

In the United Kingdom, Swire Hotels is developing a collection of luxury boutique hotels to be launched in 2009. Properties have been acquired to date in Bristol, Cheltenham, Exeter and Brighton.

The Managing Director of Swire Hotels is Brian Williams, an experienced hotelier who spent 17 years with the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and, immediately prior to joining Swire Properties in January 2006, was Chief Executive of the Scotsman Hotel Group.

“This new initiative will take Swire Properties’ involvement in the hotel arena to a new level,” said Mr. Williams. “The hotels we are developing will appeal to a distinct group of travellers who seek out individuality and a unique luxury experience. We very much look forward to the opening of our first hotel, The Opposite House, in Beijing this summer.”

Miranda Szeto
Phone: +1 (852) 2844 3888
Fax: +1 (852) 2918 9960
ORGANIZATION: Swire Properties

Concord Hospitality Enterprises To Break Ground On Nine Properties In Next 60 Days; On Pace To Double In Size By 2010

Has Additional Nine Hotels and More than $500 Million in 2008 Pipeline

RALEIGH-DURHAM, N.C., March 3, 2008—Concord Hospitality Enterprises, one of the nation’s top-ranked hotel developer/owner/operators, today announced plans to break ground on nine properties in the next 60 days and says it expects to open an additional six hotels and pick up a half-dozen management contracts by the end of 2008.

The company has another nine hotels in its development pipeline for 2008, in addition to $500 million it intends to reinvest. Total growth for the year is expected to be more than 3,400 rooms, keeping the company on pace to meet its goal of doubling its current size to 100 hotels by 2010.

“In 2007, we made some strategic sales and increased our equity to more than $500 million,” said Mark Laport, (photo top left) CEO of Concord. “The sale of a 19-hotel portfolio to Moody National Cos. yielded more than $440 million, in addition to transitioning our portfolio from 80 percent owned and operated properties and 20 percent management contracts, to a 50/50 split between owned and operated properties and management contracts. Our investors indicated they wanted to reinvest those proceeds and parlay our expertise in all three areas into a larger portfolio with a wider geographical reach.

“We expect to continue on this accelerated growth path in the coming years,” he added. “Because we have sufficient funding to achieve our objectives, we don’t anticipate that the current uncertainty in the credit markets will impact our plans. We will continue to focus on areas where we are already established, such at Pittsburgh, New Jersey and Toronto, and new areas, such as Arizona, Texas and North Carolina. We will continue to seek a competitive advantage as well by focusing on Renaissance and Westin properties in markets where there currently is not a luxury boutique hotel.”

Concord’s portfolio predominantly consists of Marriott properties; however, they are approved for Element, Hyatt, Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton as well.

About Concord Hospitality

Concord Hospitality Enterprises Company, an award-winning hotel management and development company based in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., manages 51 hotels and with over 6,000 guest rooms in 11 states and two Canadian providences under such well-known brands as Renaissance, Marriott, Courtyard by Marriott, Residence Inn by Marriott, Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott, SpringHill Suites by Marriott, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn and Suites, and an independent boutique hotel.

Formed in 1985, the company was recently listed as one of the top management companies in the nation. Concord properties are some of the most awarded hotels in the country, having won nearly 30 honors in the past two years alone. For more information, visit
Jerry Daly or
Melanie Boyer
Account Executive
Daly Gray Public Relations
(703) 435-6293

Marcus & Millichap Sells Beachway Center for $1.9M

TAMPA, FL, March 3, 2008--The sale of Beachway Center was announced today by Steven M. Ekovich, First Vice President and Regional Manager for the Jacksonville, Florida office of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services.

The property sold for $1,900,000 to Mr. Trangdai Nguyen of Daikim Beachway Center, LLC, an investor based out of Orlando, Florida. Mr. Roger Harris, the seller, has owned the property since 1996. Brett Chetek and Jonathan Brackman of Marcus & Millichap’s Jacksonville office represented both parties in this transaction.

Beachway Center is a shopping center anchored by Dollar General and World Food Mart. The property was purchased for $50 per foot, which is well below replacement cost.

Center is located on Beach Blvd., a major road in Jacksonville, Florida.


Steven M. Ekovich
Marcus & Millichap
(813) 387-4700

Brokerage Administrator/CAST
Marcus & Millichap
7650 Courtney Campbell Causeway
, FL. 33607
Phone: (813) 387-4700
Fax: (813) 387-4710

EastGroup Properties Announces Presentation at Citigroup 2008 Global Property CEO Conference

JACKSON, MS, March 3, 2008– EastGroup Properties (NYSE-EGP) announced today that it is scheduled to present at the Citigroup 2008 Global Property CEO Conference. EastGroup's presentation is scheduled for Tuesday, March 4, 2008 at 1:55 p.m., EST. The presentation will be broadcast live and is accessible by dialing 1-719-234-7878 (passcode 567994). (David H. Hoster II, president and CEO, EastGroup Properties Inc., top left photo)

EastGroup Properties, Inc. is a self-administered equity real estate investment trust focused on the development, acquisition and operation of industrial properties in major Sunbelt markets throughout the United States with an emphasis in the states of Florida, Texas, Arizona and California.

Its strategy for growth is based on its property portfolio orientation toward premier business distribution facilities clustered near major transportation features. EastGroup's portfolio currently includes 24.5 million square feet with an additional 2.2 million square feet of properties under development.

David H. Hoster II,
President and Chief Executive Officer
N. Keith McKey, Chief Financial Officer
(601) 354-3555
Fax: 601/352-1441

Eastgroup Properties Inc.
P.O. Box 22728,
Jackson, MS 39225-2728

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, PA's $500M Revenue Bonds Assigned 'AA-' Rating

NEW YORK --Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned its 'AA-' standard long-term rating to Allegheny County Hospital Development, Pa.'s $500 million series 2008A revenue bonds, issued for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). At the same time, Standard & Poor's affirmed its 'AA-' standard long-term rating and underlying rating (SPUR) on the various bonds, issued for UPMC, and affirmed its dual ratings of 'AA-/A-1+' on various UPMC bonds.

"The rating is based on UPMC's solid financial profile, highlighted by historically solid operating performance and debt service coverage, as well as its improved balance
sheet through fiscal 2007, highlighted by sustained improvements in liquidity, moderate leverage and recent increases in net property, plant, and equipment," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Martin Arrick. "UPMC's business and market share within its large Western Pennsylvania service area continues to grow and is supported by ongoing capital investments, a strong reputation, brand-name recognition, several highly visible subsidiary facilities, and comprehensive service offerings."

Proceeds of the series 2008A bonds are being used to help redeem various series of outstanding auction rate bonds.

Complete ratings information is available to subscribers of RatingsDirect, the real-time Web-based source for Standard & Poor's credit ratings, research, and risk analysis, at
All ratings affected by this rating action can be found on Standard & Poor's public Web site at; select your preferred country or region, then Ratings in the left navigation bar, followed by Credit Ratings Search.

Media Contact:
Christopher Mortell , New York, (1) 212-438-3446

Analyst Contacts:
Martin D Arrick, New York (1) 212-438-7963
Liz Sweeney, New York (1) 212-438-2102

The Real Estate Capital Scoreboard tm - March 2008

CHICAGO, ILL, March 3, 2008 - Availability of funds and correspondingly
widening mortgage pricing dominate the real estate finance front. While
mortgage funds are available, many lenders retreat from direct originations,
instead preferring to purchase attractively-priced, CMBS securities.

As such, mortgage pricing highlights are outlined as follows:

* Overall Treasury Movement: Treasuries bounced 40 to 50 basis points
during the month, settling about 25 basis point lower and 10 basis points,
for 5- and 10-year terms respectively. Mortgage spreads widened
dramatically, by as much as 50 basis points.

* Fixed-Rate Pricing: Loans are increasingly being priced based on
floors rather than spreads or swaps. Most floors are in the 6%-or-higher
range for 10-year permanent funds. Nevertheless, pricings reflect wide
yield curve expectations, depending mostly on the funding source. For
instance, life company spreads vary dramatically, starting about 230 basis
points over comparable-term treasuries. A substantial gap exists thereafter
as Wall Street CMBS deals are priced on the high-end of the curve starting
at 500 basis points.

* Floating-Rate Pricing: 3% floor for Libor is surfacing as a variable
rates yield protection tool, otherwise 170 to 225 basis points available to
premium borrowers at banks. Real estate value-added floaters are priced 225
to 300+ bps over Libor. Recourse traded for lower leverage with banks.

* Forward Delivery Pricing: 60 to 90 days free, followed by two to
five basis points per month, extending to 24 months total.

* Large Loan Premiums: 30 bps +/- premium for "jumbo" loans in excess
of $100 million.

* Interest Rate Swaps: In light of expected lower rates, sophisticated
borrowers are exploring swaps. As result, interest rate hedging programs
are gaining popularly especially for shorter-term loans of seven years or

The Real Estate Capital Institute's advisory board member, Barry Moss, notes
"In many instances, current CMBS pricing reflects a discount for any
security that is in a 'structure' and is not reflective of the underlying
real estate." He adds, "The key is to do due diligence and understand the
collateral, since depending on the quality of the underwriting and the
specific vintage there can be issues."

Call the Real Estate Capital RateLine at 7RE-CAPITAL (773-227-4825) for hourly rate updates.

The Real Estate Capital Institute(r)
3517 West Arthington Street
Chicago, Illinois USA 60624

Nat Zvislo,
Research Director
Toll Free 800-994-RECI (7324)