Friday, July 25, 2008

HFF closes sale of suburban Atlanta and Pittsburgh hotels on behalf of GE Real Estate

MIAMI, FL – HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) has closed the sale of the DoubleTree Hotel Roswell (above centered photo) in Roswell, Georgia and the Embassy Suites Hotel Pittsburgh International Airport (bottom left photo) in suburban Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. HFF exclusively represented the seller, GE Real Estate in the transaction.

The HFF investment sales team was comprised of senior managing director Dan Carlo (top right photo) and managing directors Patrick Poggi (middle right photo) and Mark Popovich (top left photo), Associate director Jaret Turkell and real estate analyst Ann Marie Milan assisted on the transaction.
National Hospitality Holdings purchased the hotels for an undisclosed price free and clear of debt. The properties were part of a larger five-property portfolio being marketed for sale by HFF’s hotel group.

Renovated in 2004, The DoubleTree Hotel Roswell has 172 guest rooms and 12,000 square feet of meeting space in a “Southern mansion-style” hotel design.

“The property is located in Roswell, midway between the Perimeter and Windward business parks, which are among Atlanta’s most prominent and fastest-growing business nodes,” said Poggi.

Embassy Suites Hotel Pittsburgh International Airport is located Route 60, proximate to Pittsburgh’s International Airport. The property has 223 guest rooms, 13,650 square feet of meeting space and was extensively renovated in 2004.

“Both the DoubleTree Roswell and the Embassy Suites Pittsburgh offer excellent opportunities for increased performance because of the planned capital expenditures,” added Poggi.

GE Real Estate ( is one of the world’s premier commercial real estate companies with more than $79 billion in assets and a presence in 32 countries throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia/New Zealand.
GE Real Estate offers a comprehensive range of capital and investment solutions including equity capital for acquisition or development, as well as fixed- and floating-rate mortgages for new acquisitions or recapitalizations of commercial real estate.

National Hospitality Holdings LLC is an investor, asset manager and advisory firm specializing in the hospitality industry. With an emphasis on hotels, and most recently casinos, NHH provides institutional-grade operational and financial experience at the senior level.
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.


Patrick Poggi, HFF Managing Director, 305 448 1333,

Laurie Fish McDowell, HFF Associate Director, Marketing, 617 338 0990,

Tri-City Electrical Contractors Marks 50th Year in Business

Tri-City Electrical’s Executive Management Team (above) includes, from left: Jack A. Olmstead, President, Michael L. Cornelius, District Vice President, F. Rance Borderick, District Vice President, and Charles W. ‘Chuck’ McFarland, Senior Vice President/CFO

ORLANDO, FL – Orlando-based Tri-City Electrical Contractors, Inc. is marking its 50th year in business.

Florida’s leader in electrical contracting, communications and service, Tri-City is prominently ranked as the nation’s 25th largest electrical contractor according to Engineering News-Record’s Top 600 Specialty Contractors survey published October 2007.

Tri-City was founded in 1958 by H.L. ‘Buddy’ Eidel, (top right photo) Chairman, who says the company “has built its strong heritage on a business model philosophy to do more than is expected for client, project and community.” The company has nearly 1,200 employees statewide.

“At Tri-City, we’re keeping the vision clear since 1958,” Eidel added. “I am immensely proud of our five decades of accomplishment and our standing as one of the nation’s largest electrical contractors.”
With 2007 revenues exceeding $160 million, the company’s many landmark projects include the Orange County Convention Center, (bottom right photo), the Orange County Courthouse, (bottom left photo) the Gaylord Palms Resort (middle left photo) and Convention Center, the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes Resort, the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort (middle right photo) and Golf Club and the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, the Ritz-Carlton Naples, the Sarasota-Bradenton Airport and countless others.

The company recently received the coveted National ABC Eagle Award of Excellence for the Ritz-Carlton in Orlando, and is regularly named among Orlando Business Journal’s Best Places to Work in Central Florida (Giant category).

Evidencing the family-oriented culture within the company, a great number of Tri-City employees generously donate their time and energy to local charitable organizations. Included are Children’s Home Society of Central Florida, Give Kids the World, Habitat for Humanity, Locks of Love, Orange Intensive Halfway House, Safe Harbor Animal Shelter, Second Harvest Food Bank and others.

For example, says Jack A. Olmstead, (middle left photo) President, its employees annually donate to Children’s Home Society’s school supply drives in the summers and toy drives during the holiday seasons.
Employees and their families also volunteer at the Children’s Home Society’s crisis shelters. In addition, a sizable number of employees participate in missionary work in foreign countries, coach youth athletic teams, volunteer at schools and churches and donate food, toys or school supplies.

With six offices statewide, Tri-City offers unrivaled experience, vast bonding capacity and skilled professionals for projects of all sizes. The electrical contractor and service provider also operates divisional offices in Fort Myers, Ocala/Gainesville and Tampa, as well as satellite offices in Santa Rosa Beach and Sarasota.

Tri-City’s executive management team consists of Jack A. Olmstead, President, Charles W. ‘Chuck’ McFarland, Senior Vice President of Administration/CFO, and District Vice Presidents Michael L. Cornelius and F. Rance Borderick.

“Since 1958,” added Jack A. Olmstead, President, “Tri-City has provided an unmatched level of personal attention, professional experience, on-time performance and genuine value that have become Florida’s construction industry standard for excellence. I, too, am exceedingly proud of our outstanding team of statewide employees who strive daily to do more than is expected.”

Senior Vice President/CFO McFarland has over 35 years of experience in providing construction-related financial and administrative management.
Cornelius, who joined the company in 1980, is a fourth-generation Florida electrician with over 28 years of electrical contracting experience on major commercial and institutional projects.
Borderick, who joined Tri-City in l972, has over 35 years of experience in residential and multi-family projects and in fact, built the company’s successful multi-family division.

Tri-City provides electrical installations for projects of all sizes, provides electrical maintenance, systems and service repairs and has the experience, strength and staff to deliver superior performance around the clock.
Its major markets include office buildings, government, hospitality, healthcare, industrial, education, special projects, multi-family, new residential, communications, and service.

Tri-City’s Service and Communications Division provides voice, data, video, fiber optics and LAN design, installation and maintenance, and delivers certified structured cabling services with leading products including AMP, Avaya, Krone, Leviton, and Ortronics.

Tri-City’s headquarters is located at 430 West Drive, Altamonte Springs, FL, phone 407-788-3500. For more information, visit

Tri-City Electrical Starts $1.4M Job in Daytona Beach, FL
DAYTONA BEACH, FL – The Multi-Family and Residential division of Tri-City Electrical Contractors, Inc. is under way on $1.4 million of work at the new 288-unit Integra Shores at Daytona Beach Apartments in Daytona Beach, FL, under its contract with LandSouth Construction, Jacksonville, FL. Completion is slated for June 2009.

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

S&P: Freddie Mac And Fannie Mae Ratings Placed On CreditWatch Negative; Senior Debt Rating Affirmed

NEW YORK July 25, 2008--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that it affirmed its 'AAA/A-1+' senior unsecured debt ratings on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

At the same time, we placed our 'AA-' risk-to-the-government, subordinated debt, and preferred stock ratings on Freddie Mac, and our 'AA-' subordinated debt and preferred stock ratings, and 'A+' risk-to-the-government rating on Fannie Mae on CreditWatch Negative.

"The affirmation of the senior unsecured debt ratings reflects the strong explicit and implicit support these government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) securities hold in the marketplace," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Victoria Wagner.

The most recent public demonstrations of government support by the U.S. Treasury underscore the key public policy role and the key liquidity role the congressional chartered GSEs have in the U.S. mortgage markets. This is reflected in the current stable outlook on the senior unsecured debt.

For a comlete copy of S&P's news release, please contact Jeff Sexton, New York, (1) 212-438-3448,
Analyst Contacts:

Victoria Wagner, New York (1) 212-438-7406
Daniel E Teclaw, New York (1) 212-438-8716
Xavier Chavee, New York (1) 212-438-6834

Noble Investment Group Announces Leadership Team for the New aloft Charlotte Uptown

Hotel Unveils Pre-Opening Website and Hotel Blog

ATLANTA, GA, July 25, 2008- Privately held Noble Investment Group (“Noble”), a leading sponsor of private equity real estate funds and an integrated lodging and hospitality operating and development organization, today announced the appointment of the team of hospitality professionals that have been selected to oversee the day-to-day leadership of the New aloft Charlotte Uptown at the Epicenter, (middle left and above centered photo) Charlotte, North Carolina.

Opening November 1st, 2008, the aloft hotel is located in the heart of uptown Charlotte and is vertically integrated above retail and office into the new, $275-million mixed-use Epicenter complex.

“Uptown Charlotte is a dynamic and fast growing area in the southeastern United States, and our location amongst first class dining, office, sports and retail is both convenient and attractive to business and leisure travelers,” said Mit Shah,(top right photo) Noble’s senior managing principal and chief executive officer.

“We have selected a dedicated team of service-focused Noble professionals to lead the hotel and drive our mission of becoming an intricate part of the Charlotte Uptown community.”

Rob Cote (middle left photo) has been regional director of operations for a portfolio of Noble hotels for the past five years and has assumed the general manager leadership role for the aloft Charlotte Uptown.

Rob’s career spans 32 years in the hospitality industry, including a distinguished career with Marriott International for 15 years with the brands Courtyard, Residence Inn, and Fairfield Inn, where he earned multiple performance awards. He began his career in Washington, D.C. at the JW Marriott and Crystal City Marriott and opened the Fairview Park Marriott as director of room operations. Rob has been in the Carolinas for 12 years and calls Mooresville, N.C. home.

Carolyn Cudd (bottom right photo) has been named director of sales and marketing for the aloft. For the past five years, Carolyn has excelled as an area director of sales for a portfolio of Noble hotels affiliated with Marriott. During her career, Carolyn has received 9 accolades in recognition of her superior sales and marketing leadership and execution. She is actively involved with Meeting Planners International, Charlotte’s Hotel Tourism Authority and was previously president of the Forsyth County Tourism Alliance in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Gloria O’Hal has assumed the position of sales manager for the aloft. Gloria began her career with Noble in 2002 as a sales manager. Gloria has over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry and is currently a member of Meeting Planner’s International, HSMAI and PWA.

“Today’s traveler is becoming increasingly web savvy, and the Charlotte aloft Uptown has developed a hotel specific pre-opening website and hotel blog to engage guests in the unique, aloft experience,” said Rob Cote. “Our hotel website will provide guests the ability to view 360 degree photo tours of the hotel, as well as submit a request for proposal for meeting and event bookings. Our hotel blog will enable guests to received additional information about the team, the hotel and the area, in a social network format.”

This urban-influenced, modern and vibrantly designed aloft hotel features loft-like guest rooms, a buzzing bar scene at w xyz bar in the open lobby, an urban-inspired 24/7 pantry re:fuel, and industrial elements throughout the hotel speak to the needs of today’s highly social, self-sufficient traveler.

Guestrooms feature the ultra comfortable signature bed; an oversize spa shower; custom amenities by bliss© spa, and more. The plug ‘n play connectivity center charges all guest electronics and links to the 42” plasma TV to maximize work and play.

Guests stay connected with complimentary, hotel-wide wireless internet access. The hotel is within easy access of the Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte Arena, Wachovia Financial, Ernst & Young, Deloitte & Touche, Pricewaterhouse Coopers as well as retail outlets and restaurants.

Connect with the Charlotte Aloft online – – Pre-opening Website - Hotel Blog - Brand Website

Media Contacts:
Chris Daly Daly Gray Public Relations, 703 435 6293,

Bonnie Herring Noble Investment Group404-262-9660

$167.5M Construction Financing and Joint Venture equity secured by HFF for student housing project at USC in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, CA – The Los Angeles office of HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) has arranged a construction loan and joint venture equity totaling $167.5 million for University Gateway, (above centered photo) a luxury student housing and ground-floor retail project adjacent to the University of Southern California (bottom right photo) in Los Angeles.

HFF senior managing director Paul Brindley (top right photo) and associate director John Crump worked exclusively on behalf of Urban Partners, LLC, Real Estate Capital Partners and Blackstone Real Estate Advisors (BREA), an affiliate of The Blackstone Group LP, to secure the fully-underwritten construction loan through Wells Fargo’s Merchant Banking Group.

RCG Longview Equity Fund, L.P. provided the equity.

Due for completion in summer of 2010, University Gateway will have 421 one- and two-bedroom units, more than 78,000 square feet of ground-floor neighborhood and community serving retail space including restaurants, and a nine-level, 770-space parking garage.

The eight-story property is located at the northwest corner of Figueroa Street and Jefferson Boulevard adjacent to USC and the new Galen Events Center.

“University Gateway is one of the most highly anticipated projects to be underway in the USC area in years, in part due to the nearly 7,000 bed shortage the University is facing for student housing,” said Brindley. “It is anticipated that 1,600-bed University Gateway will become the preeminent place for students to live, shop and dine.”
Urban Partners LLC is a downtown Los Angeles-based real estate planning, investment, development and management firm whose principals include Paul Keller, Dan Rosenfeld and Matt Burton. Urban Partners also operates an affiliate project delivery and construction management firm, Keller CMS.

Real Estate Capital Partners, L.P., is a leading real estate investment advisor. Since its inception, the firm has invested approximately $8 billion in U.S. real estate on behalf of high net worth families and European institutions. RECP has a staff of 64 acquisition, development, management and financial control specialists with offices in New York, Dallas, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Frankfurt, Germany.

Blackstone Real Estate Advisors, LP is an affiliate of The Blackstone Group, LP. Since 1992, its real estate business has been a diversified, global operation, with investments in a variety of sectors and geographic locations.

Blackstone has managed six general real estate opportunity funds and two internationally focused real estate opportunity funds; a third international fund is currently being raised. Its real estate opportunity funds have made significant investments in lodging, major urban office buildings, residential properties, distribution and warehousing centers and a variety of real estate operating companies.

RCG Longview Equity Fund L.P. is an investment platform formed to carry out the real estate investment activities of Ramius LLC and The Feil Organization.

Wells Fargo Real Estate Merchant Banking offers a broad range of flexible financing to experienced real estate owners, developers, and investors in all property types for the acquisition, refinancing or development of income-producing properties.


Paul C. Brindley, HFF Senior Managing Director, 310 407 2100,

Laurie Fish McDowell, HFF Associate Director, Marketing, 617 338 0990,

Central Florida chapter of NAIOP Appoints Shannon Miller of SLM Consulting as Executive Director

ORLANDO, FL – The Central Florida chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) appointed Shannon Miller, (top right photo) SLM Consulting, Orlando, as Executive Director.

A 10-year Orlando commercial real estate veteran, Miller previously held executive management positions with industry giants Panattoni Development Company and Carter Commercial Real Estate.

The National Association of Industrial and Office Properties is the nation’s leading trade association dedicated to representing the interests of developers, owners, investors and other professionals in industrial, office and mixed-use commercial real estate.
Founded in 1967, NAIOP has over 16,500 members in 54 North American chapters and provides networking and business opportunities, educational programs, research on the latest innovations and strong legislative representation.

With more than 350 members, Central Florida is one of the largest NAIOP chapters in the nation. 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

Foreclosure Activity Up 14% in Second Quarter, According to RealtyTrac(r) U.S. Foreclosure Market Report

Activity Increases 121 Percent From Q2 2007; 95 of 100 Largest Metro Areas Post Annual Increases

IRVINE, CA – July 25, 2008 – RealtyTrac® ( the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its Q2 2008 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™, which shows foreclosure filings were reported on 739,714 U.S. properties during the second quarter, a nearly 14 percent increase from the previous quarter and a 121 percent increase from the second quarter of 2007.

The report also shows that one in every 171 U.S. households received a foreclosure filing during the quarter.

RealtyTrac publishes the largest and most comprehensive national database of foreclosure and bank-owned properties, with over 1.5 million properties from over 2,200 counties across the country, and is the foreclosure data provider to MSN Real Estate, Yahoo! Real Estate and The Wall Street Journal’s Real Estate Journal.

“Although much of the fallout from foreclosures is being driven by rampant activity in a few states, such as Nevada, California, Florida, Ohio, Arizona and Michigan, most areas of the country are seeing at least some increase in foreclosure activity,” said James J. Saccacio,(top right photo) chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “Forty-eight of 50 states and 95 out of the nation’s 100 largest metro areas experienced year-over-year increases in foreclosure activity in the second quarter.

“Bank repossessions, or REOs, accounted for 30 percent of total foreclosure activity in the second quarter, up from 24 percent of the total in the first quarter,” Saccacio continued. “This shift in the distribution of activity indicates that there is a progression toward purging the problem loans out of the system — at which point the housing market can regain some sense of normalcy.

"Of course if another surge in defaults occurs, which could well happen later this year, it would refill the foreclosure pipeline and prolong the recovery.”

For a complete copy of RealtyTrac's news release, showing state-by-state statistics, please contactd Tammy Chan, Atomic PR, 415-402-0230,

Florida's Existing Housing Market Shows Improving Conditions in June

ORLANDO, FL /PRNewswire/ -- Many Florida Realtors(R) statewide noted positive movement in their local housing markets in June, with an upswing in the statewide median price reported for both existing home sales and condominium sales over May 2008, according to the latest housing statistics released by the Florida Association of Realtors(R) (FAR).

The statewide existing-home median price in June was $205,500, up 1 percent from May's median price of $203,300.

The median price of an existing condo last month was $183,700, also up 1 percent from May's figure of $181,800.Nationally, existing home sales are expected to show some modest gains in the coming months, with a recovery predicted during the latter part of the year, according to the latest housing outlook from the National Association of Realtors(R) (NAR).

"Some markets have seen a doubling in home sales from a year ago, while others are seeing contract signings cut in half," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun (top right photo). "Price conditions vary tremendously, even within a locality."

For a complete copy of FAR's release, please contact Marla Martin, Communications Manager, or Jeff Zipper, VicePresident of Communications, +1-407-438-1400, ext. 2326 or 2314, both of Florida Association of Realtors(R)