Monday, April 14, 2008

Becker & Poliakoff Attorneys Say Rising Tide of Condo Lawsuits May Swamp Florida Real Estate

(The Capitol, where the U.S. Congress meets, in Washington, DC photo above)

South Florida Sun-Sentinel Opinion Article By Alan Becker & Allen M. Levine Urges U.S. Congress, HUD Action to Resolve Problem

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fl, April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Individuals who purchased Florida condo units in good faith in recent years face yet another threat to their property's value from a rising tide of lawsuits by speculative investors seeking to exploit loopholes in a 40-year old law known as the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act, say two prominent South Florida attorneys.

In an Opinion piece published Saturday (April 12, 2008) in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, attorneys Alan Becker (top left photo) and Allen Levine (top right photo) of the law firm Becker & Poliakoff ( write that the mushrooming litigation, based on perceived loopholes in the federal legislation, known as ILSA, and governing regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), represents a serious problem for the residential real estate market, particularly in Florida and potentially nationwide.

The full text of the Opinion piece can be found online at the at: or http://www.sun-/,0,2260792.story .

Becker, who is a co-founder and Managing Shareholder of the firm, and Levine, who leads Becker & Poliakoff's statewide real estate litigation practice, have called on the U.S. Congress and HUD to immediately address the problems with the ILSA legislation and governing regulations, which threaten to exacerbate the already troubled Florida residential condominium market.

"ILSA was originally intended to protect unknowing home buyers from unscrupulous developers who were selling property on swampland or wasteland unsuitable for development," Becker & Levine said in their article.

While the legislation made sense 40 years ago when parts of Florida were truly undeveloped, they added, "now that the condo market is in a slump, some purchasers are taking advantage of the ambiguously worded regulations" to get out of contracts in highly developed areas.

"The majority of buyers behind these lawsuits are speculative short-term investors, commonly referred to as 'flippers,' who purchased units in highly developed areas of Florida but are now worried they won't be able to resell the units or make as much of a profit as they had hoped," the attorneys continued.

"If these lawsuits are successful, it will set a dangerous precedent for large numbers of buyers skipping out on their contracts every time the market takes a downward turn, despite being provided with the completed unit they originally purchased."


Michael Tangeman, Pen Group Communications,
for Becker & Poliakoff, P.A.

CBRE Orlando Releases 1Q 2008 MarketView Reports on Office and Industrial Markets in Central Florida

(Orlando night skyline photo above)

ORLANDO, FL--CBRE Orlando has released its first quarter 2008 MarketView Reports on the office and industrial markets in Central Florida. Highlights of those reports are below. For a detailed copy of the reports, please contact Jessica Wilhoite at

Office Market

Sublease inventory doubled since 2007.
Investment Sales down in first quarter.
Average Asking Rents have risen from $20.52 to $22.24 in the last two years. A decrease is projected in the near future.
Demand for office condos has evaporated.
Capital for commercial real estate is still readily available but on a more conservative basis.

Industrial Market

AMB Property Corporation has plans to break ground late 2008 at Orlando Airport Park.
Interest rates are still attractive.
Central Florida remains an economically over performing metro area.
2.5 million square feet of industrial projects are under construction.
Overall vacancy rates at 8.8%.

Jupiter USA to Open Marina with 129 Boat Slips at Bridgeton Harbor near New Bern, N.C.

(Skyline above at Bridgeton Harbor, NC in northeast North Carolina)

900 Homes and Apartments Planned with Yacht Club, Town Center, Marketplace

ORLANDO, FL – Jupiter USA based in Orlando, will open a marina with 129 boat slips in June at Bridgeton Harbor, a 1,000 acre luxury community, town center and yacht club (top right photo) located in Bridgeton, near New Bern in northeast North Carolina off U.S. 17 at SR 55.

Dan Robison, vice president of marketing at Jupiter USA, with offices on Rio Grande in College Park, FL, said the multi-million marina facility will accommodate boats that range from 40 feet to more than 150 feet.

Construction of a 15,000 square foot yacht club (top right photo) and 18 condominiums adjacent to the marina (photo of planned boat slips at left below) is expected to start before the end of the year, Robison said. (Photo by Jo Lucey of Carolina Currents Magazine.)

Additional phases of the $750 million luxury development will include The Shoppes of Bridgeton Harbor retail center; town center at Bridgeton Harbor; The Marketplace at Bridgeton Harbor, with office and retail facilities; and the Lakes at Bridgeton Harbor, with 900 single family, town homes and condominiums priced from $250,000 to more than $1 million.

Robison said a boutique inn is also planned.

For More Information, Contact:

Daniel Robison, Vice President of Marketing Jupiter USA,
2404 N. Rio Grande Ave.
Orlando, Fla.

Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142

Arbor Closes $1.32M FHA 223(f) Loan for Riverbend Apartments in Jenison, MI

UNIONDALE, NY, April 14, 2008-- Arbor Commercial Funding, LLC (“Arbor”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Arbor Commercial Mortgage, LLC, announced the recent funding of a $1,320,000 loan under the FHA 223(f) product line to refinance the 46-unit, 100 percent Section 8 Seniors Housing complex known as Riverbend Apartments (photo above) in Jenison, MI.

The 35-year loan amortizes on a 35-year schedule and carries a note rate of 6.50 percent.

The loan was originated by Brian Herc, (top right photo) Director, in Arbor’s full-service Kirkland, WA lending office. “This repeat client was very satisfied with this long-term fixed loan, which will allow them to make necessary improvements to the property,” said Herc.

Arbor Commercial Funding, LLC, Arbor Commercial Mortgage, LLC, and Arbor Realty Trust, Inc., have extensive experience in mortgage origination, servicing and securitization and have built a reputation for service, quality and flexibility.
Arbor’s seasoned management team specializes in debt and equity financing for multifamily, office, retail, hotel and various other commercial real estate properties.
The company offers a broad array of financing options including Fannie Mae DUS®, FHA, CMBS, Bridge and Mezzanine products. Currently, Arbor services approximately $3 billion in loans. Arbor is a rated Standard & Poor’s third-party commercial loan and special servicer.

Arbor also manages Arbor Realty Trust, Inc., a real estate investment trust, (REIT), formed to invest in real estate-related bridge and mezzanine loans, preferred equity investments and in limited cases, discounted mortgage notes and other real estate related assets. Arbor is headquartered in Uniondale, NY, and has full-service lending offices throughout the United States.


Arbor Commercial Mortgage, LLC,
Arbor Realty Trust, Inc.
333 Earle Ovington Blvd, Suite 900
Uniondale, NY 11553
Ingrid Principe
Tel: (516) 506-4298

Noble Investment Group Acquires AmeriSuites in Chicago/Schaumburg

Hotel will Undergo Major Transformation and Re-Open as Hyatt Place Chicago/Schaumburg

ATLANTA, GA – April 14, 2008 – Privately held Noble Investment Group (“Noble”), a leading sponsor of private equity real estate funds and an integrated lodging and hospitality operating and development organization, today announced the acquisition of the AmeriSuites (photo above) in Schaumburg, Illinois.

The investment marks the company’s eleventh acquisition in Noble Hospitality Fund, LLC, the organization’s current fully discretionary private equity real estate fund.

The 126-room hotel is located in Schaumburg, a major suburb in the northwest corridor of Chicago and the largest center for economic development outside of the city. The hotel will undergo a comprehensive $5 million dollar repositioning and re-open as Hyatt Place Chicago/Schaumburg later this year.

“Noble’s organizational competencies continue to allow us to source and execute investment opportunities throughout a wide range of lodging segments from resorts and full service hotels to those in the select service category,” said Rodney Williams, (top right photo) Noble’s managing principal and chief investment officer. “The common denominator continues to be our consistent investment strategy through our value-added approach.”

“This opportunistic investment allows us to acquire a well located, quality asset and quickly grow revenue market share and profit margins through a combination of our comprehensive conversion to the Hyatt Place brand and the execution of Noble’s property management team,” said Benjamin Brunt, a Noble principal.

In rebranding the hotel to a Hyatt Place, substantial property improvements will be made throughout all guestrooms, public areas and meeting space. The traditional guest lobby will be reconfigured into the Hyatt Place Gallery, a warm, inviting space where guests can work, relax or socialize. Here guests will find self- service kiosks, a coffee, beer and wine bar, an e-room with two public computers and a printer, and Guest Kitchen offering freshly prepared meals available around the clock.

Guestrooms will feature a state-of-the-art media and work center complete with 42”flat-panel HDTVs, contemporary decor, stylish furnishings, and the Hyatt Grand Bed™. Complimentary Wi-FI will be offered through the hotel. Hyatt Place Chicago/Schaumburg will join more than 110 Hyatt Place hotels that have already opened to rave reviews from guests.

About Noble

Noble Investment Group sponsors a series of private equity real estate funds and is an integrated operating and development organization that specializes in making value-added investments in hotels and resorts throughout North

An award winning operator of more than 8,000 hotel and resort guest rooms, convention and conference centers with approximately 1,000,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, as well as championship golf, day and resort spas, upscale restaurants, and branded retail coffee stores,

Noble and its predecessors have realized superior risk-adjusted returns while acquiring and developing over $2 billion in lodging and hospitality assets. Noble’s current discretionary private equity fund represents $310 million of equity commitments, and allows the organization the ability to invest more than $1 billion in lodging-related assets.


Chris Daly
Vice President
Daly Gray Public Relations
ph: 703-435-6293

Bonnie Herring
404 262 9660

CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. Named A BusinessWeek 50 Best Performer for Second Straight Year

Orlando, FL - CB Richard Ellis Group, Inc. has been named to the BusinessWeek 50-that publication's list of best performers across all industries-for the second straight year.

BusinessWeek selects 50 best-in-class companies that the magazine says represent the star performers in each of the ten sectors that make up the S&P 500. CBRE was ranked #11 on the 2008 BusinessWeek 50, up from 16th place last year.

"Being recognized once again as a BusinessWeek 50 company reflects our tireless focus on excellence in client service," said Bill Moss, (top right photo) Senior Managing Director for Florida. "Every day, across the state of Florida, CBRE professionals come to work with one overriding goal-using the industry's most powerful full-service platform to tailor the best solutions to satisfy our clients' needs."

CB Richard Ellis represents 88 of the FORTUNE 100 companies and offers an unrivaled suite of commercial real estate services on a global basis. The company was responsible for more than $264 billion of property sales and lease transactions in 2007, and managed more than 1.9 billion sq. ft. (including those managed by affiliates) of commercial properties and corporate facilities as of December 31, 2007.

Companies were chosen for inclusion in the BusinessWeek 50 list, published in the issue dated April 7, 2008, based on key financial metrics including return on investment and sales growth along with such attributes as "management vision" that BusinessWeek cites as essential for performance success.
Bill Moss
407 839 3140
Jessica Wilhoite
407 839 3158