Wednesday, July 2, 2008

W Bangkok Hotel Breaks Ground on 400-Room Property

BANGKOK, THAILAND--Top executives of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT), Nakheel Hotels and Golden Land Property Development Plc, recently held the official ground-breaking for the new 400-room W Bangkok. (above photo)

When it opens at the end of 2010, the W Bangkok will be the first centre-city W Hotel in Southeast Asia, and will offer the innovative design and full range of branded amenities that guests have come to expect of W Hotels worldwide.

The property will form a major part of Golden Land’s “Sathorn Square” (top right photo) mixed-use development, which is centred on the historic landmark Russian Embassy complex, located in the prime business district of Sathorn Road. The development will also include a 70,000 square metre Grade A office tower with boutiques and shops.

Last October, Starwood entered into a management agreement with North Sathorn Hotel Company, a joint venture between Nakheel Hotels (previously named Istithmar Hotels FZE) and Golden Land Property Development Plc for this new hotel.

“Bangkok is a perfect fit for W Hotels, appealing to the W brand’s sophisticated travelers with a delectable mix of diverse cultures, world-class shopping and an unsurpassed cuisine experience," commented Neil Palmer, (bottom right photo) Senior Vice President for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Asia Pacific.

"Set against the magnificent backdrop of Thailand's thriving cosmopolitan metropolis, W Bangkok will reflect the excitement, energy and sophistication of its surroundings when it opens, and will be known as the influential and innovative lifestyle authority in Bangkok.

“We are confident that Bangkok, with its great location and allure for visitors, will be a great platform to showcase the W brand. Starwood is also proud to continue its contribution towards the growth of Bangkok and Thailand as a key hospitality destination,” added Palmer.

Joe Sita, (top left photo) Chief Executive Officer of Nakheel Hotels, said, “Nakheel Hotels looks for the best partners as we expand operations across the globe and Starwood and Golden Land Property are perfect partners in this venture. Southeast Asia is a strategically important region for Nakheel Hotels and Bangkok is one of our key target markets. The W Bangkok will surely be a star property in our growing global development portfolio.”

William Wilfong, (photo at middle left) CEO of Golden Land Property Development PLC, commented, “We are delighted to bring W to Bangkok, and to be working together with Nakheel and Starwood on this landmark hotel. The W Bangkok will add unique prestige and cachet to our Sathorn Square project, and this property is sure to become a leading choice for business and leisure visitors to Bangkok, with its prime location in the heart of the city’s main business district.”

In addition to the W brand’s signature sleek design and cosmopolitan ambience, the W Bangkok will offer a wide range of superior facilities including almost 30,000 square feet of meeting space, W Kitchen, W Living Room Bar, a specialty restaurant and destination bar, a Sweat Fitness Center, an outdoor pool and a signature spa.

Guests will luxuriate in the signature W bed, outfitted with feather-top mattresses, 350 thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets and goose-down comforters. The hotel will also offer the signature W Whatever/Whenever service, the hotel’s 24-hour concierge that can provide whatever guests want - from a pair of running shoes to private jet service - whenever they want it.

CONTACT: Hwee-Peng Yeo Director, Corporate Communications, Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels & Resorts Ltd., 9 Temasek Boulevard, Suntec City Tower 2, #24-02, Singapore 038989. Tel : +65 6335 4837; Cell : +65 9768 6087; +65 9248 0424. Fax : +65 6335 4820;

Jones Lang LaSalle Sees No Immediate Silver Lining in Construction Industry

Excerpts from Construction Pricing and Trends Article by Dave Dempsey, (top right photo) Managing Director, Jones Lang LaSalle

Article from Jones Lang LaSalle's Market Intelligence Monthly eReport.(Please click on this link for complete article) (,b5GBmtFn)


The current situation of the US economy and the subprime mortgage financial crisis has softened the commercial construction industry. Slower activity has resulted in weak demand, job losses and moderating prices for certain materials.
Commercial construction activity held up through 2006 and 2007 when the residential market was beginning to see a downturn, however, in the first quarter of 2008, business investment in structures was down 3.2 percent from the previous quarter, the first contraction since 2004.

New construction projects remained harder to finance due to tighter lending standards and the decreased availability of financing for commercial loans.

Additionally, the value of construction put in place, which is the money spent on any commercial construction project on a monthly basis, has decelerated drastically over the past six months, slowing to 1.3 percent in March compared to 15.5 percent growth a year earlier.


Domestically, material prices, excluding steel, should continue to stabilize as domestic demand for materials has been reduced severely from a slowdown in construction. However, increased oil and raw material prices have placed additional upward pressure on regional companies and overall pricing.

Weak demand in the US and falling material prices has essentially been eliminated by the energy cost increases companies have experienced.

The weak dollar has made exports more affordable to foreign buyers, but the high price of oil, which is needed to transport materials, has offset the benefits of a weak dollar.

Looking ahead, the US construction industry will likely continue to experience softening, seeing additional job losses and falling prices for certain products, which in turn could cause wages to fall.

Stricter lending standards for commercial loans, coupled with slowing demand, will further determine how severely commercial construction will be affected over the short term.

Growth is expected to be weak for the next two to four quarters, although the duration of most commercial projects can span several years, making the industry more resilient to short term downturns in the national economy.

CONTACT: John Sikaitis, Vice President, Communications, Jones Lang LaSalle,

GVA Advantis Represents 901 King Street Associates in Sale of Historic Firehouse Square

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (July 2, 2008) - GVA Advantis is pleased to announce a recent investment sales transaction in Old Town Alexandria, Va. in the amount of $7,950,000.

Brian Ball, CCIM, SIOR, executive director, George Labarraque, executive director, and Brian Ball Jr., associate, of the Washington, D.C. office of GVA Advantis represented the Buyer.
Brandywine Construction and Management, Inc. (company's corporate office building at left) was the management and leasing company involved in the transaction.

901 King Street Associates, a Pennsylvania General Partnership, sold Firehouse Square, for $7,950,000, or $250/SF, to Firehouse Square, LLC, which consists of several prominent, local investors. (Firehouse Square Museum area on King Street photo at top right)

The Property is a 31,870 SF office/retail building located at 902-910 King Street, just blocks from the King Street Metro station and the Potomac waterfront. Renovated in 1989, the asset is a historic, four-story class B office/retail building. Firehouse Square is 100% leased to ten separate tenants with no rollover through 2011.

GVA Advantis is a full-service real estate firm that leases, manages and sells office, industrial, retail and other commercial real estate properties and sites. The company also provides tenant representation, corporate real estate, construction and project management services.

GVA Advantis employs approximately 400 people, leases and manages more than 30 million square feet of commercial facilities, and had an annual transaction volume of approximately $1.5 billion in 2007. Including its headquarters in Atlanta, the company has 15 regional offices throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic.

(Photo at left shows King Street district near the waterfront)

GVA Worldwide is an international organization of real estate industry leaders serving key markets in 20 countries.

The organization comprises more than 3,500 real estate professionals in 90 markets worldwide. In 2006, GVA Worldwide partners collectively completed $26.5 billion in transactions and managed more than 150 million square feet of office, industrial, retail and specialized property.

For more information, visit

Media Contact: Tonya Ginter, GVA Advantis, 703.790.2127. 1747 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20006.

Cannon Design Opens Office in Phoenix

New expansion to cover broad architectural range in Arizona market

PHOENIX, AZ-- Cannon Design, an international architectural, engineering and planning firm has opened offices in Phoenix, Ariz. Making the announcement on behalf of the firm’s Board of Directors was Scott F. Reed,(top right photo) AIA, principal, regional market and practice leader for the firm’s Western region.

“The establishment of our office in Phoenix is a direct response to the growing demand for our design services in this market,” noted Reed. “We have always believed that this region had great potential and this location will enable us to better deliver the superior service our clients have come to expect.”

In collaboration with the firm’s Western Region leadership, E. Michael Stanley, AIA, LEED® AP will play a major role in establishing Cannon Design’s newest office in Phoenix, AZ, with responsibility for client management, business development and operations. Jeffrey H. Nudi, PE, LEED® AP, who served as manager of engineering for the firm’s Midwest region for ten years, will join Stanley in the Phoenix office, with responsibility for expanding MEP services for the Western region.

“Expanding our presence throughout the Western region is consistent with Cannon Design’s vision for the future and with our objectives to be a prominent, well-respected force in every geography and market we serve,” said Gary Miller, Chief Executive Officer, Cannon Design.

The Phoenix office, located at 80 E. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, Arizona, is expected to build a staff of 30 by 2009.

Cannon Design is ranked among the leading international firms in planning and design for healthcare, science & technology, education, sports & recreation and government projects. At present, the firm employs a staff of over 800, delivering services in 17 offices throughout North America, as well as abroad in Shanghai, China, and Mumbai, India.

For more information, please call 480.557.9520 or visit

Media Contacts:
Chase Communications, Darcy Brown , 415.433.0100,
Cannon Design, Alisa Greene, 415.373.5812

Arbor Closes $3,159,200 Fannie Mae DUS® Loan Palm Terrace- Harlingen, TX

UNIONDALE, NY--Arbor Commercial Funding, LLC (“Arbor”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Arbor Commercial Mortgage, LLC, announced the recent funding of a $3,159,200 loan under the Fannie Mae DUS® product line to refinance the 124-unit complex known as Palm Terrace (middle left photo) in Harlingen, TX.

The 10-year loan amortizes on a 30-year schedule and carries a note rate of 5.93 percent.

The loan was originated by Ronen Abergel, (top right photo) Director, in Arbor’s full-service New York City lending office.

"The Sponsor initially purchased Palm Terrace as an under-performing asset with low occupancy levels and significant deferred maintenance. After successfully repositioning the property in only seven months, we cashed him out so that he could pursue another transaction,” said Abergel. “While many lenders shy away from cash outs in such a short time period, we recognized the value-added play, which provided a good comfort level for us.”

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.

DUS and 3MaxExpress are registered marks of Fannie Mae

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