Saturday, May 31, 2008

Randy Anderson Heads New Real Estate Chair at UCF

ORLANDO, FL -- Randy I. Anderson, (top right photo) Ph.D., has been named the inaugural Howard Phillips Eminent Scholar Chair in Real Estate.

In this role, he will direct the research and education institute in the Dr. P. Phillips School of Real Estate, which is located in the College of Business Administration at the University of Central Florida.

“I look forward to being a part of this program and intend to build it into a top 10 School of Real Estate within the next five years,” Anderson said.

“Central Florida has a dynamic real estate market and UCF has already received tremendous support from the industry as evidenced by the generous gift from Dr. Phillips Inc. and the Central Florida Chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP),” he added.

Anderson has been active in the real estate business since 1991 as a researcher, owner, investor and strategist. He is the owner of 1776 Financial Services, a boutique investment banking firm in Winter Park, FL, that provides debt, mezzanine, and equity financing for real estate projects throughout the United States.

The company also participates in developing and acquiring multi-family properties in the southeast. (The university's Reflecting Pond is at left.)

Prior to forming 1776 Financial Services, he served as president of CNL Real Estate Advisors in Orlando where he was responsible for overseeing CNL’s non-REIT real estate transactions including research, origination, acquisition, finance and management. Under his leadership, CNL Real Estate Advisors was one of the most successful start-ups in CNL’s history and managed nearly $700 million of real estate deals in its first year of operation.

For additional information on the new Chair and background on Anderson, please contact:

Kenneth H. Cristol, President, Cristol Marketing Company, 237 Hunt Club Blvd., Suite 102, Longwood, FL 32779 USA. PH 407-774-2515. FX 407-774-6647. Strategic Marketing, Brand Management, Publicity and Advertising, and Corporate Communications

Interstate Hotels & Resorts to Manage Crowne Plaza New Orleans International Airport

(The Pontchartrain Convention Center, above, in Kenner, LA is one mile from the planned Crowne Plaza New Orleans International Airport Hotel.)

Former Holiday Inn Select Kenner to be Reflagged Following $26 Million Renovation

ARLINGTON, VA—Interstate Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: IHR), a leading hotel real estate investor and the nation’s largest independent operator of full- and select-service hotels, has signed an agreement to manage the 292-room Crowne Plaza New Orleans Airport in Kenner, La.

The former Holiday Inn Select Kenner, (middle left photo) which has been closed since Hurricane Katrina, has been undergoing a major, $26 million renovation, and is scheduled to reopen this October as the Crowne Plaza New Orleans Airport.

“The addition of this management contract to our portfolio continues the upward trend in new contracts we’ve seen for the past few quarters,” said Thomas F. Hewitt, (top right photo) chief executive officer.

“It is also our fourth New Orleans property with MCC Real Estate and Development, LLC, a major New Orleans-based hotel investor. This demonstrates their confidence in Interstate’s ability as their hotel operator of choice.

“New Orleans continues to show encouraging signs of recovery, and we are optimistic about the area’s continued economic renaissance,” Hewitt added. “The hotel’s exceptional location less than a mile from the New Orleans International Airport, (photo at right) coupled with the complete renovation of its guest rooms and public space, will enable the property to quickly assume a prominent position among its peers in the marketplace.”

Located at 2829 Williams Boulevard, Kenner, La. the hotel is a half-mile from the airport and within a mile of the Ponchartrain Convention Center, a flexible, multi-purpose event venue with more than 61,000 square feet of meeting space.

The multi-million renovation will touch virtually every area of the hotel, including all guestrooms and all public areas. Approximately 7,000 square feet of new ballroom space will be created, bringing the total meeting space to 12,000 square feet.

The restaurant space is being totally revamped with a new full-service restaurant that will serve local cuisine made with fresh, indigenous products. Other upgrades include a new outdoor pool area and a state-of-the-art fitness center.

“One of our most reliable sources of new management contracts is current owners, and our ability to deliver results has been instrumental in helping us build a successful relationship with this ownership group,” said Leslie Ng, chief investment officer.

“As an operator, Interstate offers so many advantages, including their size and experience with the complete spectrum of hotel types,” said Joe Jaeger, a partner in the hotel’s ownership group. “They have produced excellent results for us under challenging circumstances, and we look forward to further expanding our relationship.”

As of today, Interstate Hotels & Resorts has ownership interests in 54 hotels and resorts, including seven wholly owned assets.

Together with these properties, the company and its affiliates manage a total of 217 hospitality properties with over 45,000 rooms in 36 states, the District of Columbia, Russia, Mexico, Belgium, Canada, and Ireland.

Interstate Hotels & Resorts also has contracts to manage 17 to be built hospitality properties with approximately 4,000 rooms.

For more information about Interstate Hotels & Resorts, visit the company’s Web site:

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

Carrie McIntyre, SVP, Treasurer, (703) 387-3320

ChampionsGate Resort to Start Construction of New Downtown District

CHAMPIONSGATE, FL --- ChampionsGate Resort will start construction of its new resort-style downtown district (rendering above) this summer, says Marc Reicher, senior vice president of operations.

Site plans have been approved and building permits are ready to be issued, Reicher said.

Reicher said he has firm letters of intent from retailers who want to lease approximately 40 percent of the 63,000 square feet of retail space planned, including a sushi restaurant, an English pub, a wine bar, a steak and seafood restaurant, a jewelry store, a gift shop, and a smoke shop, Reicher said.

“The Four Corners area does not currently have enough retail facilities to support all of the residential here,” said Reicher.

“Currently, ChampionsGate Village (top right photo) retail venues post an average of $60 million in annual sales. Our new downtown district is focused squarely on the resort retail lifestyle,” he said.

For more information, please contact:
Marc S. Reicher, Senior Vice President Development ChampionsGate, 407-397-2500;

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

Orlando-based Tilt-Con Corp. Starts Miami-Dade County Public Schools' New High School

MIAMI, FL – Orlando-based Tilt-Con Corporation is under way on Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ new 6-building 157,735-square-foot High School YYY-1 at 11035 SW 84th Street, Miami, FL, under its contract with Betancourt Castellon Associates, Inc. (BCA), FL.

Selected for its unrivaled performance and speed of execution, Tilt-Con utilizes its economical system for tilt-up concrete walls. Mark. W. Theisen Sr. (top right photo) is president of Tilt-Con Corp.

Ranked as Florida’s largest tilt-up concrete constructor by Engineering News-Record magazine, Tilt-Con’s scope of work includes foundations, slab-on-grade and tilt-up concrete wall panels. Slated for completion in September 2008, the project was designed by Silva Architects, Miami, FL.

Tilt-Con’s South Florida office is located at 10601 State Street, Suite 10, Tamarac, FL 33321, phone 1-800-446-8458.

With approximately 500 employees, Tilt-Con Corporation’s headquarters is located at 1003 Orienta Avenue, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701. For more information, visit


Kenneth H. Cristol, President, Cristol Marketing Company, 237 Hunt Club Blvd., Suite 102, Longwood, FL 32779 USA. PH 407-774-2515, FX 407-774-6647. Strategic Marketing, Brand Management, Publicity and Advertising, and Corporate Communications

Thomas D. Wood & Co. Brokers $4.74M in Two Loans for Vegas and Miami Properties

MIAMI, FL—Thomas D. Wood and Company secured financing in the amount of $4,740,000 for Quail Park V and Johany Interiors.

Steve Wood, (top right photo) Chief Operating Officer for Thomas D. Wood and Company, secured financing in the amount of $4,100,000 for Quail Park V Office Building in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Wood financed the loan through Advantus Capital Management, one of Thomas D. Wood and Company’s correspondent lenders, at a permanent fixed rate of 5.98%.

The loan term is 10 years with a 25-year amortization, and a loan-to-value of 39.05%. The 47,336 square-foot office building was built in 1988. Quail Park V is located at 500 S. Rancho Drive, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ben Jimenez, (top left photo) Assistant Vice President for Thomas D. Wood and Company, secured financing in the amount of $640,000 for Johany Interiors in Miami, Florida.
Jimenez financed the loan through StanCorp Mortgage Investors, one of Thomas D. Wood and Company’s correspondent lenders, at an interest rate of 5.87%, fixed for five years.
The loan term is 20 years with a 20-year amortization, and a loan-to-value of 75%. The 5,641 square-foot retail building is located at 859-863 NE 79th Street, Miami, Florida.

For further information, please contact:

Steve Wood (305) 447-7820

Ben Jimenez (305) 447-7820

Jessica Gurtowski (407) 937-0470

Tampa, FL Office Space Demand Weakens but Rents Rise

TAMPA, FL--The increasing economic turmoil during the first quarter of 2008 proved to be detrimental to Tampa’s office market activity as tenants, investors and lenders largely remained on the sidelines, according to the First Quarter 2008 Tampa Office Market Report announced by Randy Smith (top right photo), Director of Research in the Tampa office of GVA Advantis.

Unoccupied space, including sublet, jumped almost 600,000 square feet in the first period pushing the overall vacancy rate to 15.3 percent.

Demand for office space weakened, but overall rental rate growth continued to move forward. The average asking rate for Tampa’s office space reached $22.61 per square foot, up 4.4 percent over this time last year.

The bumpy economic road of 2008 will persist until at least to the mid-year point and the lagging effects on commercial real estate will likely dampen activity for most of this year. The weakness in Tampa’s employment market will inhibit demand for office space, although certain sectors such as medical businesses and educational institutions will continue to have needs in the market.

Tampa’s sales activity in the first quarter was an improvement over last year’s weak start, but there is little chance that 2008 investment activity will match the $567 million in transaction volume posted in 2007. Office sales for the first three months of this year totaled $51.5 million and were lacking in any class A transactions or portfolio sales.

Additional reports will be forthcoming as we monitor significant real estate activity and trends in the market.

For a complete copy of the report, please contact Randy Smith at the address below.

Randy Smith, Director of Research, Advantis Real Estate Services Company,
3000 Bayport Drive, Suite 100, Tampa, FL 33607. Tel 813.342.4725 Fax 813.372.4004 E-mail