Friday, May 30, 2008

London Remains World's Most Expensive Office Market

Rapidly-Rising Moscow Jumps to Second Place.
Ho Chi Minh City Sets Pace For Fastest Occupancy Cost Growth

LOS ANGELES, CA- London's West End (photo at middle left) is once again the world's most expensive office market, while rapidly-rising Moscow climbed to second place, according to CB Richard Ellis Group, Inc. (CBRE) Research's semi-annual Global Market Rents survey.

The report tracks world markets with the highest as well as fastest-growing occupancy costs for the 12 months ended March 31, 2008. Tokyo's Inner Central Five Wards, Mumbai's Nariman Point and Tokyo's Outer Central Five Wards rounded out the top five most expensive markets.

"Office occupancy costs are continuing to defy sluggish economic conditions and the credit crunch, as they rise faster than global inflation," said Dr. Raymond Torto, (top right photo) CBRE's Global Chief Economist. "These cost increases are dominated by emerging markets, caused by both supply and demand imbalance and the depreciation of the dollar relative to local currencies. In some of these emerging markets, Class A office space is seriously lacking."

Ho Chi Minh City (photo at right, showing Downtown and Saigon River) had the fastest-growing occupancy costs during this period, up 94%. Moscow was not far behind at 93%, followed by Singapore at 86%.

Overall, EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) dominated the list of markets with the fastest growing occupancy costs, accounting for five of the top 10 and 19 of the top 50 markets. Worldwide, 88% of the 173 office markets monitored posted higher occupancy costs.

Among the most expensive markets, Singapore and Dubai were newcomers to the top 10.

Singapore ranked ninth with an occupancy cost of $139.31 (occupancy cost in US$/sq. ft./annum used throughout this release), while Dubai debuted at number 10 with an occupancy cost of $128.49. With a near-doubling of occupancy costs, Moscow rose four places to second at $232.37.

(Moscow Kremlin and Moskva River photo at left, below London skyline)

Midtown Manhattan was still the priciest market in North America, at $103.43, and ranked number 13 worldwide.

(For a complete copy of CBRE's news release, showing other top office markets, please contact

Robert McGrath, CBRE, 212 984 8267,, or Jessica Wilhoite,

Gemstone Hotels & Resorts to Manage Whiteface Lodge Resort in Lake Placid

PARK CITY, UT—Officials of Gemstone Hotels & Resorts, a full-service hotel management and asset management company that specializes in luxury and upscale urban hotels and complex resorts, has signed a management agreement to operate The Whiteface Lodge Resort, (above photo) a AAA four diamond resort in Lake Placid, N.Y.

“The demand for hotels and resorts that deliver a one-of-a-kind experience continues to rise,” said Thomas Prins, (top right photo) Gemstone principal. “This new addition to our portfolio matches up well with our core strength or implementing a new strategy for an existing resort that has either lost its focus in the market or has not performed up to its full potential.”

Opened in 2005, the luxury Whiteface Lodge Resort is a member of Leading Hotels of the World. The resort offers 94, one- to four-bedroom suites with a Private Residence Club.

The property features a 5,800-square-foot treatment spa, which was just named by Conde Nast as one of the top three hotel or resort spas in North America.
The spa has six treatment rooms and a fully equipped fitness center. Other amenities include an indoor/outdoor swimming pool, an ice-skating rink, 54-seat movie theater, bowling lanes, tennis courts, snowshoe/cross-country trails and a private beach and canoe club on the lake.

“We have extensive experience in operating ski resorts as four-season destinations,” said Prins. “We work closely with our home communities to create special events and activities to attract guests year-round.

“Gemstone also has a proven track record in fractional resort projects and homeowner associations,” Prins noted. “This is the most significant development in Lake Placid since the 1980 Olympics, and we look forward to taking full advantage of all that the region offers.

“We have perhaps the most active pipeline in our history for both existing and planned hotels,” he noted. “As we enter more difficult economic times, hotel developers and owners seek operators with the expertise to create a unique environment for the hotel’s guests, while optimizing the bottom line.”

Headquartered in Park City, Utah, with an office in Stamford, Conn., Gemstone Hotels & Resorts is a full-service management and asset management company that specializes in luxury and upscale urban hotels and complex resorts.

The company is engaged in resort and unique hotel marketing and management and asset management for a variety of major hotel real estate investors and owners. Gemstone currently manages or asset manages more than 20 projects.
Additional information about the company may be found at


Jerry Daly or Chris Daly, media, (703) 435-6293
Julie Tullbane, Daly Gray Public Relations, T 703-435-6293, F 703-435-6297

EastGroup Properties Announces 114th Quarterly Dividend

JACKSON, MS– EastGroup Properties' (NYSE-EGP) Board of Directors has declared a quarterly dividend of $.52 per share payable on June 30, 2008 to shareholders of record of Common Stock on June 20, 2008.

This dividend is the 114th consecutive quarterly distribution to EastGroup's shareholders and represents an annualized dividend rate of $2.08 per share.

EastGroup also announced that its Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $.4969 per share payable on July 15, 2008 to shareholders of record of Series D Preferred Stock on June 30, 2008.
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 Arizona, California, Florida and Texas.

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 25.0 million square feet with an additional 1.9 million square feet of properties under development.

EastGroup Properties, Inc. press releases are available at
P.O. Box 22728, Jackson, MS 39225-2728
Telephone: 601/354-3555 Fax: 601/352-1441

For more information, please contact:
David H. Hoster II, President and Chief Executive Officer (top right photo)

N. Keith McKey, Chief Financial Officer (bottom left photo)
(601) 354-3555