Tuesday, July 22, 2008

MBA's Quinn: HUD Takes Bold Step to Modernize FHA with Housing Tax Credit Program

WASHINGTON, DC (July 22, 2008) -The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) today applauded issuance of HUD Mortgagee Letter 2008-19 which streamlines processing of FHA multifamily insurance applications with Low Income Housing Tax Credits.

The Mortgagee Letter contains important changes to FHA processing which will provide flexibility and cut costs, making FHA insurance a very competitive financing vehicle for affordable rental properties with low income housing tax credits.

"I want to thank FHA Commissioner Brian Montgomery (middle left photo) and John Garvin, his Senior Advisor and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily Housing Programs, for taking a leadership role on this issue.

"This will assist the tax credit market by removing some of the impediments to financing with FHA insurance as well as eliminating unnecessary costs in the program," said Kieran P. Quinn, (top right photo) CMB, Chairman of the MBA. "This is a major step forward in modernizing and enhancing FHA processes and will make it much easier to combine tax credits with FHA insurance, producing more affordable housing at a lower cost."

A key feature of the streamlined process permits the deferred submission of full plans and specifications, which will better align the FHA process with the tax credit process and will allow borrowers to lock rates earlier.

Another significant change is that 20 percent of the tax credit equity (reduced from 100 percent) must be funded at the time of HUD's initial endorsement, with the remainder allowed to be paid in over the development period-as is the case for most conventional financing.

"This provision alone will significantly increase the tax credit proceeds for these properties and will allow many more projects to be feasible," said Quinn. "Investors will pay more for the tax credits if they can phase in the purchase price over time. This is critical for the feasibility of many of these projects and will bring new entrants into the FHA-insured market."
Other changes introduced by the Mortgagee Letter permit firm commitments to be conditioned, under certain defined circumstances, upon HUD-2530 approval.

This approval must be received prior to initial endorsement, but the ability to condition firm commitments will provide timing flexibility to transactions and will improve borrowers' chances of obtaining favorable rate locks and equity pricing.

In addition, the Mortgagee Letter requires the designation of a LIHTC Coordinator in each Multifamily Hub and Program Center to work with credit allocation agencies and developers to better synchronize tax credit funding cycles with FHA's application process.

The Mortgagee Letter is effective July 22 and should immediately have an impact on properties being financed.

"There are, however, a number of legislative impediments to using FHA insurance with tax credits that need to be resolved," continued Quinn. "Most of those issues were addressed in the House version of the omnibus housing bill. We are hopeful that Congress will include those provisions in its final version of a housing bill this year."

With the changes in the Mortgagee Letter, along with the legislative changes being considered, a number of affordable rental properties that have not been able to find financing at terms that would allow the development to move forward will now be built.

"This is an extremely challenging time for the tax credit program," added Quinn. "At the same time that there are fewer sources of financing, investors are demanding higher returns and interest rates are higher.

" With these adverse market conditions, it has become more difficult to make these developments work. FHA should be commended for understanding the need for the FHA multifamily programs in this market and stepping in to improve their product."

(Federal Reserve Bank, Washington, DC photo at bottom right)

CONTACT: Jason Vasquez, (202) 557-2950, jvasquez@mortgagebankers.org

NAI Realvest Negotiates new long-term lease in Winter Garden

ORLANDO, Fla. NAI Realvest has negotiated a new long-term lease agreement for 5,600 square feet of retail space in Winter Garden Business Park (top right photo) at 1224 Winter Garden Vineland Rd., Suite 112 in Winter Garden.

Robert Blackwell, SIOR principal at the firm, associates Sean DuPree, CCIM and Jim Murr negotiated the transaction representing the landlord, Winter Garden Business Park, LLC c/o Leasco Management Co. of Winter Garden. The tenant, Winter Garden-based Rollins HT, Inc., was represented by Dick Rossiter of Staubach.

For more information, contact

Robert Blackwell, SIOR or Sean Dupree, CCIM at NAI Realvest 407-875-9989;

rblackwell@realvest.com or


Janice Paiano, Director of Marketing, NAI Realvest 407-875-9989 jpaiano@realvest.com

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

ProLogis Leases 540,000 Square Feet to JVC America, Inc. in Atlanta

ATLANTA, July 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- ProLogis (NYSE:PLD), the world's largest owner, manager and developer of distribution facilities, announced today that it has leased 540,000 square feet in Atlanta, Georgia to JVC America, Inc., a leading manufacturer of home, mobile and automotive electronics equipment and accessories.

JVC will occupy the entire space at New Manchester Distribution Center,(top right photo) located two miles south of Interstate 20 on Camp Creek Parkway. The company will use the facility for creation and distribution of media products. This is JVC's first lease agreement with ProLogis.

"We are excited to enter into this new relationship with JVC in Atlanta," said Rodney Davidson, first vice president and market officer for ProLogis in Atlanta. "The company's brands are recognized worldwide, and we hope to leverage our global platform to serve their future distribution space needs. We believe this location will enhance JVC's distribution network in the region, especially with its close access to national highway systems."

New Manchester Distribution Center is a freestanding distribution facility with easy access to both Interstate 20 and Interstate 285. Building features include an energy-efficient, T-8 lighting system, which helps to greatly reduce operating costs and energy expenditure.

JVC America, Inc. is a division of JVC Americas Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of JVC Victor Company of Japan, Limited. JVC is a leading developer and manufacturer of sophisticated audio and video products that use superior technologies to deliver high quality sound and images.

media, Mo Sheahan of ProLogis, +1-303-567-5434,
msheahan@prologis.com; or

Suzanne Dawson of Linden Alschuler & Kaplan, Inc.,
+1-212-329-1420, sdawson@lakpr.com, for ProLogis; or

investors, Melissa
Marsden of ProLogis, +1-303-567-5622, mmarsden@prologis.com

Web site: http://www.prologis.com/

Grubb & Ellis Company Names James Jones Executive Vice President Operations

Jones is Company's Sixth Key Management Hire Since April

SANTA ANA, Calif., July 22, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Grubb & Ellis Company (NYSE:GBE), a leading real estate services and investment firm, today announced that James Jones will join the Company effective July 28 as Executive Vice President Operations.

He joins Grubb & Ellis from CB Richard Ellis where he held a similar role."I couldn't be more pleased that Jim will be joining Grubb & Ellis," said Jack Van Berkel, (top right photo) Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. "He brings a wealth of management and operations expertise to this new position, and I'm confident he will play a key role in our efforts to better structure Grubb & Ellis for operating efficiency and client service."

In his new role, Jones will be responsible for the Company's merger integration efforts, Operations, Research and the Grubb & Ellis Affiliate Program.

Over the past several months, Grubb & Ellis has significantly strengthened its management team. In addition to Jones, the Company recently hired:

-- Greg Coxon, a 25-year commercial real estate veteran who spent 20 years at CB Richard Ellis in a variety of management roles as President, Transaction Services - Western Region;

-- Glen Esnard, formerly President, Brokerage Services at Colliers International and a 30-year industry veteran with considerable brokerage and alternative real estate investment product experience, as President, Capital Markets;

-- Brett Hunsaker, one of the industry's most recognized business development professionals as Executive Vice President, Business Development;

-- Moody Younger as Executive Vice President, Managing Director, Texas; and-- Chuck Hunt as Executive Managing Director, responsible for the Company's Los Angeles County offices.

CONTACT: Janice McDill of Grubb & Ellis Company, +1-312-698-6707 ,janice.mcdill@grubb-ellis.com Web site: http://www.grubb-ellis.com/

HFF New York promotes Andrew Scandalios to Senior Managing Director

NEW YORK, NY – HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) announced today that it has promoted investment sales producer, Andrew Scandalios,(top right photo) to the position of senior managing director in the New York office. Mr. Scandalios will continue to be responsible for institutional-grade transactions nationally across all property types.

Mr. Scandalios has over 18 years of experience in the real estate investment banking business as a manager, advisor and transactional agent. He has been involved in real estate asset sales for major corporate, institutional and entrepreneurial owners totaling over $10 billion.
He has extensive experience transacting multifamily (high-rise and garden), office, retail, industrial and development land nationally.

“Andrew has shown continued growth and success in the investment sales business since joining HFF in 2001 and we are more than happy to recognize his accomplishments,” said HFF executive managing director John Fowler.(bottom left photo)

HFF (NYSE: HF) operates out of 18 offices nationwide and is a leading provider of commercial real estate and capital markets services to the U.S. commercial real estate industry. HFF offers clients a fully integrated national capital markets platform including debt placement, investment sales, structured finance, private equity, note sales and note sale advisory services and commercial loan servicing.

John P. Fowler, HFF Executive Managing Director, 212 245 2425, jfowler@hfflp.com
Laurie F. McDowell, HFF Associate Director, Marketing, 617 338 0990, lmcdowell@hfflp.com

GVA Advantis Negotiates Several New Leases in Metro Orlando

ORLANDO, FL -– GVA Advantis is pleased to announce the completion of several new lease deals in Metro Orlando.

· Universal Executive Search Group, LLC, has signed a two-year lease on 1,246 SF in Atrium Tower, 7680 Universal Boulevard, Orlando. Lisa Bailey, Senior Director, Office/Industrial Services of GVA Advantis’ Orlando office represented the landlord, Atrium Tower Place, LLC.

· Stanley Stuart Yoffee & Hendrix, Inc. has signed a five-year lease on 5,356 SF in the Paragon Building, 1060 Maitland Center Commons, Maitland. Lisa Bailey and Robert Kellogg, CCIM, Associate Director of GVA Advantis’ Orlando office represented the landlord, Orlando Bramingham. The deal was co-brokered by Assistance Realty
· The Nemours Foundation expanded their space in Millenia One, 4901 Vineland Road, Orlando, by 1,455 SF for over three years. Lisa Bailey represented the tenant.

A tenant in Mayflower Center, 220 S. Westmonte Drive, in Altamonte Springs, signed a seven-year deal to renew their 14,133 SF lease. Robert Kellogg and Lisa Bailey represented the landlord, Mayflower Office Investors.

· United States of America (GSA – Census Bureau) has signed a 23-month lease on 6,049 SF in Lake Point Business Park, 6220 Hazeltine National Drive, Orlando. Lisa Bailey, Senior Director, Office/Industrial Services of GVA Advantis’ Orlando office, represented the landlord, Lake Point Business Park.

· Zotec Partners, LLC, has signed a three-year-plus lease on 3,513 SF in Lucien Green, 2250 Lucien Way, Maitland. Lisa Bailey and Robert Kellogg, CCIM, Associate Director of GVA Advantis’ Orlando office, represented the landlord, Lucien Green.

· Reliable Reports, Inc. has signed a one-year lease on 450 SF in Mayflower Center, 220 S. Westmonte Drive, in Altamonte Springs. Robert Kellogg represented the landlord, Mayflower Office Investors.

· Sand Lake Hospitalists (top right photo) has renewed its 1,648 SF space in Atrium Tower, 7680 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, for three years. Lisa Bailey represented the landlord, Atrium Tower Place, LLC.

· LandAmerica Tax and Flood Services renewed its 3,008 SF space in Mayflower Center, for two years. Robert Kellogg represented the landlord, Mayflower Office Investors.

MVB & Associates renewed their 1,800 SF space in Lake Point Business Park, 6250 Hazeltine National Drive, Orlando, for four months. Lisa Bailey represented the landlord, Lake Point Business Park.

Media Contact: Shelli Browning, 407.999.4775 255 South Orange Avenue Suite 750, Orlando, FL 32801 sbrowning@gvaadvantis.com

GE Real Estate's Bowman, Kelly Join REIAC Board

ATLANTA, GA-– Linda Bowman (top right) and Brian Kelly(top left) of GE Real Estate have joined the board of directors of The Southeast Chapter of the Real Estate Investment Advisory Council (REIAC).

Bowman, a Regional Director at GE Real Estate, is responsible for managing the Southeast Region (Atlanta and Boca Raton offices) for the North America Lending Division.

She leads the Structured Debt and Capital Market origination efforts in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Bowman began her career at GE in 1997 and has served in her current position since 2003. She graduated with honors from Auburn University and received her MBA in Real Estate from Georgia State University.

Kelly is a Director at GE Real Estate, responsible for originating Structured Debt and Capital Markets transactions on behalf of the North America Lending Division. His originations efforts are concentrated on sourcing new transactions in the Southeast. He began his career at GE in 2005 and has served in his current position since 2006. Kelly graduated with honors from Georgia State University.

GE Real Estate's North America Lending division offers financing for retail, industrial, self-storage, multifamily, office, student housing, and hotels. North America Lending is also a provider of financing solutions for niche asset classes including affordable housing, golf, vacation ownership, manufactured home communities and RV resorts.

The Real Estate Investment Advisory Council (REIAC) is a national nonprofit trade association that provides an open forum for the exchange of ideas, concerns and experiences between professionals who conduct commercial real estate transactions.

The organization is comprised of real estate owners and senior executives of institutions and real estate investment firms who, acting as principals, are primarily engaged in the areas of equity transactions and debt origination.

REIAC also provides opportunities for improving the knowledge and professional standards within the industry; and acts as a vehicle for community service. For more information visit http://www.reiac.org/.

Media contact for REIAC:

Terri Thornton, 404-687-8760; 404-932-4347 (Cell) http://www.territhornton.com/

Sheraton North Houston Unveils First “Link @ Sheraton” in Texas

There’s a New Hotel Lobby in Town, and It’s Drawing Quite a Crowd

HOUSTON, Texas, July 22, 2008—There’s a new hotel lobby in town, and it’s drawing quite a crowd.

The new Sheraton Link lobby is the first of its kind in Texas and one of less than a handful in the U.S. It is the centerpiece of a multi-million renovation of the Sheraton North Houston (top right photo) at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

“Lobbies used to be a major social gathering place 50 years ago, but evolved into a sterile environment, primarily for check-in,” said Robert Kisker, hotel general manager. “Guests simply went to their rooms, and only returned to the lobby when they passed through it on their way somewhere else or to check out of the hotel.

"Today’s travelers want to have more interaction. The new design is a sea change and refashions the lobby into an appealing destination for guests, providing comfortable spaces that promote socialization and networking.

"We have gone from perhaps one or two people sitting in the lobby to 20 to 30, and it is pretty much continuous throughout the day, with several hundred people using the area each day.”

The Sheraton’s new lobby space (middle left photo) provides guests with a sense of belonging, warmth and community. At the heart of the lobby re-design is the “Link @ Sheraton,” a signature lobby-based communications hub that enables guests to stay connected and fully productive while traveling and away from their offices. The Link @ Sheraton is a unique environment that meets the needs of Sheraton’s core guests by enabling them to work, relax and remain connected to family and friends during their travels. The hotel also has completely made over all 420 guest rooms and 30,000 square feet of meeting space.

Located at 15700 John F. Kennedy Blvd., the property is adjacent to the airport. “Because we offer shuttle service to the airport every 20 minutes, we believe that we’ll also be an attractive gathering place for people who have extended waits for airplanes. The combination of free Internet, great food and a friendly, relaxed atmosphere presents a compelling alternative, compared to a jammed-packed airport.”

The Sheraton North Houston at George Bush Intercontinental Airport is operated by Seattle-based The Dow Hotel Company, which is a hotel owner/investor and operator of 10 first-class, full-service hotels throughout the United States.

The company’s portfolio of owned and managed properties consists of hotels, under such brands as Marriott, Hilton, Embassy Suites, Sheraton, Crowne Plaza, Doubletree and Radisson Hotels and Resorts.

The company aggressively seeks to acquire, co-invest with joint venture partners and/or manage mid- to large-size, first-class, full service hotels, especially those with extensive food and beverage capabilities.


Jerry Daly, Chris Daly, (703) 435-6293

Julie Tullbane, Daly Gray Public Relations, T 703-435-6293, F 703-435 6297 julie@dalygray.com