Friday, April 18, 2008

Morris, Manning & Martin Opens in Savannah; Leading Local Lawyer to Establish Practice

ATLANTA/SAVANNAH, GA – Joseph R. “Rusty” Ross (top right photo) of Savannah, a well known and highly regarded healthcare lawyer, has joined Atlanta-based law firm Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP.

In addition to focusing his practice on healthcare matters, Mr. Ross will also practice with the firm’s Real Estate group. He will remain based in Savannah.

Mr. Ross was previously Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah,(photo at bottom right) and was a partner at Hunter, Maclean, Exley & Dunn, P.C. for 14 years before that.

“Rusty has achieved a level of prominence in both the bar and the healthcare community that is extremely rare,” said Morris, Manning & Martin Managing Partner Bob Saudek. (photo at left) “He has practiced law in Savannah for more than 25 years, and has developed valuable contacts throughout the region and throughout the healthcare industry.”

Mr. Ross says he chose Morris, Manning & Martin because of its strong background in both healthcare and transactional law. He has maintained close relationships with a number of the firm’s partners, many of whom have numerous Savannah-regional clients in the healthcare, real estate and port sectors.

His extensive experience includes representing hospitals and physicians in liability and regulatory matters as well as litigation, acquisitions and joint ventures. He developed Memorial Health University Medical Center’s (photo at right) legal department and managed its Risk Management program as well as its Facilities Department. At various times he has also overseen its Corporate Compliance and Internal Audit Departments. He also has a strong background in commercial real estate and transactional law.

A member of the State Bar of Georgia, the South Carolina Bar and the Florida Bar, Mr. Ross is deeply involved with Savannah community activities. He is recent past chairman of Hospice Savannah, Inc.’s Board of Directors and also serves on the board of the First National Bank of Savannah, N.A. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Savannah Downtown, is a Vestryman at St. John’s Church and a Steward of the St. Andrew’s Society of Savannah.

He earned his MBA and JD from the University of Georgia, and his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University.

He is one of four new attorneys joining the Atlanta-based law firm just this week. In addition to Mr. Ross, the firm added two new intellectual property partners to its Washington, D.C. office, as well as adding a lawyer to its Commercial Real Estate Lending group in Atlanta.

About Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP

Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP, ( enjoys national prominence for its corporate finance, securities, mergers and acquisitions, litigation, technology, intellectual property, real estate and real estate capital markets, environmental, insurance and healthcare practices. The firm has offices in Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, Savannah and Washington, D.C.

Morris, Manning & Martin’s Healthcare Practice

The firm’s 14 healthcare attorneys practice exclusively in this area and, consequently, have in-depth knowledge of the sector. The team consistently helps clients properly structure their business relationships and transactions, comply with laws and regulations and achieve successful resolutions in civil, criminal and administrative proceedings.

Media Contact:

Terri Thornton,
Thornton Communications,
(404) 932-4347

Thomas D. Wood & Co. Brokers $1.9M Loan for Sherman's Plaza in Ocoee, FL

ORLANDO, FL—John Worrell, (top right photo) Assistant Vice President for Thomas D. Wood and Company, secured financing in the amount of $1,900,000 for Sherman’s Plaza, (top photo) a retail center in Ocoee, Florida.

Worrell financed the loan through a regional banking institution at a permanent fixed rate of 6.25%. The term is five years with a 20-year amortization, and a loan-to-value of 40%. The 16,500 square-foot retail center was built in 2006, and is home to Sherman’s Gifts and Home D├ęcor. Sherman’s Plaza is located at 1101 S. Clarke Road, Ocoee, Florida.
The website may be accessed through

For further information, please contact:
John Worrell (407) 937-0470
Jessica Gurtowski (407) 937-0470

Marcus & Millichap Sells Townview Apartments for $2.4M

TAMPA, FL--The sale of Townview Apartments (photo at left) was announced by Steven M. Ekovich,(top right photo) First Vice President and Regional Manager for the Tampa, Florida office of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services.

The property sold for $2,400,000 to an investor based out of Palm Harbor, Florida. The seller, Concire, Inc., developed the property dating back to 1986.
Robert Jinks of Marcus & Millichap’s Tampa office represented the seller and Darron Kattan and Francesco Carriera represented the buyer in this transaction.

Townview Apartments is a 46 unit apartment community located on Townview Avenue in Zephyrhills, Florida.


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

Sue Sampson
Brokerage Administrator/CAST
Marcus & Millichap
7650 Courtney Campbell Causeway
Suite 920
Tampa, FL. 33607
Phone: (813) 387-4700
Fax: (813) 387-4710

Premier Capital Arranges $9.2M Financing For Jacksonville, FL Hilton Garden Inn

Hotel Financing Remains Volatile but Available, Be Prepared to Move Quickly, Suggests Experts

BELLEVUE, WA/ORANGE PARK, FL – Premier Capital Associates, LLC, a national, full-service real estate investment company specializing in debt for hospitality real estate, has arranged and successfully closed a $9.2 million refinancing of a Hilton Garden Inn for Akhil Hospitality, LLC. The 99-unit Hilton Garden Inn is located in Orange Park, Fla., near Jacksonville Naval Air Station.

“Premier Capital worked diligently with us and the lender to ensure we met critical deadlines for this refinance,” said Samir Patel, president of Akhil Hospitality. “As a new owner and with the property being less than one-year old, we faced some unique issues in a difficult lending environment. Premier Capital helped us work through all the issues and completed the refinance as planned, with a very attractive structure.

“In addition, Premier Capital had the knowledge and expertise to work through several deal points most borrowers wouldn’t have known to look for,” Patel added. “They clearly outlined the advantages of the brand and location, as well as our excellent start-up. They were able to balance the up-front fees against the interest rate to achieve the best overall rate. Without this expertise, the transaction would have been much more costly to us.”

“This property was just coming up on its first anniversary of very successful operations,” said Jeff McKee, (photo top right) managing director at Premier Capital. “Because of its early success, we were able to structure a transaction to meet the borrower’s expectations through this refinance despite a complete meltdown in the capital markets.” (Hilton Garden Inn lobby photo at left)

“The current financing markets remain quite volatile but deals are still getting done,” said Greg Morris, (top left photo) also managing director at Premier Capital Associates, LLC. “Hotel lenders have increased spreads, are more cautious in underwriting and are re-thinking their overall approach to hotel lending.

"It is more important than ever to partner with an experienced advisor who can navigate the constantly changing market conditions. If a hotelier is thinking about a financing or refinancing this year, we strongly recommend that they work closely with their advisors now to get their lending packages fully prepared so that they can move quickly when windows of opportunity arise, as we expect they will at various times during the year. Our pipeline of future financings continues to expand, and we remain confident about the availability of financing for viable transactions.”

“Although spreads have increased, interest rates remain largely unchanged,” McKee noted. “Terms and fees are in a constant state of flux, and different types of lenders are entering and exiting the market. In the past, this loan likely would have been placed in a CMBS structure.

"However, those sources have essentially stepped to the sidelines. Instead, we sourced a regional bank who we knew wanted to build a relationship with emerging hoteliers like Samir and would have confidence in the market and the property.” (Jacksonville Naval Air Station main gate photo at right)

Premier Capital Associates, LLC, located in Bellevue, Washington, is a national, full-service real estate investment company specializing in debt for hospitality and other income-producing commercial real estate, with relationships across the United States. The company arranges debt for construction loans, acquisition, refinancing, reposition and mezzanine financing.

For additional information, please contact either Greg Morris at 425-957-0700 or Jeff McKee at 425-957-0600.

Or, visit the company’s Web site:

Media Contacts:

Jerry Daly, Chris Daly
(703) 435-6293

Julie Tullbane
Daly Gray Public Relations
T 703-435-6293
F 703-435-6297

Grubb & Ellis|Commercial Florida Negotiates Long- Term Retail Lease in Tampa, FL

TAMPA, FL – Grubb & EllisCommercial Florida has negotiated the long-term lease of 4,500 square feet of retail space at Tampa Festival Centre.

Michelle Seifert,(top right photo) Associate Vice President, and Josh Tarkow,(top left photo) Associate, in the company’s Retail Group negotiated the long-term lease of 4,500 square feet at Tampa Festival Centre located at 2525 E. Hillsborough Ave., Tampa, FL. Seifert and Tarkow represented the landlord, Urban America, a New York-based firm. Tampa-based Suit World/Urban City is the tenant.

Tampa Festival Centre (top photo) is a 132,000-square-foot center anchored by Save Rite, Family Dollar, Citi Trends and Shoe Time. Grubb & EllisCommercial Florida will continue to represent the in-line and pad site sales.

For more information, contact:

Michelle Sefiert, Grubb & EllisCommercial Florida 813-830-7537,;
Josh Tarkow, Grubb & EllisCommercial Florida 813-830-7540,
Larry Lietzman, Grubb & EllisCommercial Florida, 813-639-1111

CMG Mortgage Insurance Co. 'AA-' Ratings Removed From CreditWatch, Affirmed; Outlook Negative

NEW YORK --Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today it has removed its 'AA-' counterparty credit and financial strength ratings on CMG Mortgage Insurance Co. (CMG MI) from CreditWatch with negative implications. At the same time, Standard & Poor's affirmed its ratings on CMG MI. The outlook is negative.

(Federal Reserve Bank, Washington, DC, photo top left)

"The affirmation reflects our view that the recent downgrade of PMI Mortgage Insurance Co. (PMI MIC), a co-owner of CMG MI, will not have a material impact on CMG MI's financial strength," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst James Brender. "When we lowered the financial strength rating on PMI MIC on April 8, 2008, we placed the ratings on CMG MI on CreditWatch negative to evaluate the impact of the downgrade on CMG MI."

The economic environment for mortgage insurers in 2008 is significantly more difficult than in prior years, but a prolonged downturn should continue to have less of an impact on CMG MI than other mortgage insurers.

The short-term prospects for the mortgage and housing markets are bleak, but CMG MI's portfolio of insured loans exhibits very strong credit quality, and mortgages to credit union customers have had a lower foreclosure rate than mortgages originated by other lending institutions.

CMG MI's operating performance is strong, as demonstrated by a combined ratio that is lower than those of all other private mortgage insurers. Capitalization is very strong. CMG MI's capital adequacy ratio (CAR) of 89% is above Standard & Poor's minimum threshold for a 'AA' financial strength rating.

The CAR reflects the buildup of retained earnings because of strong operating performance, partially offset by dividend payments to parents in 2006 and 2007.

"The negative outlook on CMG MI reflects Standard & Poor's assessment that the environment for mortgage insurers remains very challenging in the short term," said Mr. Brender. "We also have moderate concerns that further deterioration in PMI MIC's financial strength could affect CMG MI."

Media Contact:
Jeff Sexton, New York,
(1) 212-438-3448

Analyst Contacts:
James Brender, New York (1) 212-438-3128
Andrew Dral, New York (1) 212-438-5677