Monday, August 4, 2008

Marcus & Millichap Opens Jackson, MS Office, Expanding its Southeast Presence

Marcus & Millichap is the first specialized, national commercial real estate firm to enter Mississippi.

JACKSON, Miss., Aug. 4, 2008 – Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, has opened a new office in Jackson, Miss.

Matthew M. Fitzgerald (top right photo) has been appointed to supervise the Jackson office as its regional manager. The office is located at 617 Renaissance Way, Suite 200, Ridgeland, MS 39157. The phone number is (601) 856-4706. The fax number is (601) 856-4763.

“The opening of our new Jackson office marks the first time a national commercial real estate brokerage firm has entered the state of Mississippi,” explains Fitzgerald.

“Marcus & Millichap will serve a segment of the Southeast investment community that has been overlooked in the past. We opened this office to meet the growing demands of local and out-of-state real estate investors by targeting investment real estate in Mississippi’s dynamic growth areas, including DeSoto County, Downtown Jackson, Madison/Ridgeland and, particularly, along the Gulf Coast.”

Brent Yurtkuran (middle right photo) and Brad Barham,(middle left photo) multi-family investment specialists, will lead the new office as senior associates.

Yurtkuran and Barham join Marcus & Millichap from Jackson-based Real Estate Solutions, a real estate services firm founded by Yurtkuran in 2001. Harry Noble, most recently with Noble Development Properties Inc., has also joined the firm as a retail and single-tenant net-lease investment specialist.

Yurtkuran and Barham have been involved in the commercial real estate industry for nearly six years. As such, they have experience selling multi-family properties throughout Mississippi on behalf of local and out-of-state investors.
“Mississippi is long overdue for a national, specialized commercial real estate brokerage firm,” says Yurtkuran.

“Marcus & Millichap will fill a major void in Northern Mississippi and along the Gulf Coast. Investors will now have the opportunity to tap into Marcus & Millichap’s extensive pool of nationwide investment capital,” he adds.

“Our markets are stable and well positioned for future growth,” notes Barham. “The arrival of Marcus & Millichap is direct evidence of the strong opportunity in this relatively untapped market.”

With the opening of the Jackson office, Marcus & Millichap expands its already strong presence in the southeast region of the United States, including offices in Atlanta; Birmingham, Ala; Greenville, S.C.; Louisville, Ky.; Lafayette, La.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Williamsburg, Va. The firm also has offices in Charlotte and five offices in Florida.

Press Contact: Stacey Corso
Communications Department
(925) 953-1716

Interstate Hotels & Resorts JV to Acquire Ownership Interest in Lexington, KY Hotel

Hotel to Undergo $13 Million Renovation, Reflag as Hilton

ARLINGTON, VA, August 4, 2008—Interstate Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: IHR), a leading hotel real estate investor and the nation’s largest independent operator of full- and select-service hotels, today announced that it had formed a joint venture with an affiliate of Madison W Properties, LLC to recapitalize the existing ownership of the former Radisson Plaza Hotel Lexington (top left photo) in Kentucky and the adjacent 234,000 square foot, class-A office building.

Upon the transition, the hotel was renamed the Lexington Downtown Hotel & Conference Center.
The 367-room hotel will begin a comprehensive $13 million renovation encompassing guest rooms and public space, as well as the restaurant. Following completion of the renovation, the hotel will be reflagged as a Hilton. The hotel currently is managed by Interstate, who will operate the property as an independent until the hotel is reflagged.

“This is our forty-ninth property in which we hold a minority ownership interest and our first with Madison,” said Thomas F. Hewitt,(top right photo) Interstate chief executive officer.

“We know this property well and believe it has considerable long-term potential, given its excellent downtown location and proximity to the convention center. Those advantages, combined with the planned comprehensive renovation and rebranding as a Hilton, should position this hotel to become a leader in this market.”

“Interstate is a proven operator with a successful track record, and we look forward to establishing a long-term relationship with them,” said Peter C. Lewis, president of Madison W Properties.

“Their depth of experience in the meeting and conventions subsegment adds another dimension, making them a compelling partner in this particular venture. We look forward to exploring other opportunities with them.”

Located at 369 West Vine Street, the 15-story Lexington Downtown Hotel & Conference Center is situated just across from Rupp Arena and the Lexington Convention Center, (bottom left photo) and is convenient to Blue Grass Airport, Keeneland Race Track, University of Kentucky, and the Kentucky Horse Park.

The hotel is connected via skywalks to the Lexington Center and Rupp Arena, as well as the shops at Victorian Square.

The hotel’s amenities include a pool, fitness center, restaurant and lounge, and 14,000 square feet of meeting facilities, including a grand ballroom that accommodates up to 1,000 people. All guest rooms feature complimentary high-speed Internet access, Sleep Number® Beds and executive-size desks. The hotel’s Bigg Blue Martini is a favorite night hot spot in Lexington, and its CafĂ© on the Park on-site restaurant features local cuisine created by an award-winning chef.

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

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

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

Johnson-Laux Construction completes continuing contract projects totaling over $4M at Hilton Grand Vacations in Orlando, FL

ORLANDO, FL – Orlando-based Johnson-Laux Construction has completed Continuing Contract projects totaling over $4 million since 2001 at Hilton Grand Vacations (top left photo) in Orlando according to LEED-Accredited Professional Kevin Johnson, (top right photo) president, and Anthony Laux, (bottom right photo) vice president.

The company’s numerous exterior and interior projects include: a Hilton Executive Board Room/Conference Center and Club Millenia interior build-outs, a Call Center and Telemarketing Sales Office, Finance Department and many more projects during the last eight years. Anthony Laux serves as project manager and Craig Johnson is project superintendent.

“At Johnson-Laux,” said Johnson, “we focus on quality, schedule and cost control. This philosophy, in concert with our experience, versatility and commitment, has secured valuable long-term client relationships built on a strong reputation for meeting aggressive schedules and successfully completing time-sensitive projects.

Johnson-Laux is a full-service construction management and general contracting firm specializing in mission-critical healthcare, industrial, multi-family, office, resort, retail and other projects throughout Central Florida.

The company routinely offers pre-construction planning, design-build and general construction services for cardiovascular, imaging and surgery centers, hospital construction and renovations, medical office buildings, office buildings, restaurants, retail, theme parks, townhouse/condominium and industrial warehouse/distribution projects.

Johnson-Laux Construction is located at 4502 35th Street, Suite 500, Orlando, FL, phone 407-770-2180.

For more information, visit

Contact: Kenneth H. Cristol 407-774-2515

Cousins and The Related Group Complete Sale of Residential Units at 50 Biscayne in Miami

Bulk purchase of 120 residential units by Related/Lubert-Adler partnership closed in late July

ATLANTA--Aug. 4, 2008--Cousins Properties Incorporated (NYSE:CUZ) announced today it and partner The Related Group have closed on the sale of the remaining 120 residential units at 50 Biscayne, (top left photo) a 54-story, 528-unit luxury condominium tower in Miami, Florida.

The buyer is a partnership of The Related Group and private equity firm Lubert-Adler Partners. The units were sold for a total price of $30.3million.

The sales ends Cousins' involvement in the tower's residential units but the Cousins/Related partnership continues to own seven commercial condominium units in the building. Since delivering 50 Biscayne, the Cousins/Related partnership has closed the sale of 528 residential units and six commercial units.

Cousins share of the pre-tax profit on the project to date is estimated to be approximately $18 million before minority interest.

"Quality product tends to succeed even in difficult markets and 50 Biscayne is a prime example of that. The building has weathered a turbulent South Florida condominium market and produced better than expected results," said Tom Bell, (bottom right photo) chairman and CEO of Cousins. "We thank Jorge Perez, Thomas Daly and the Related team for being a top-flight partner."

Jorge Perez,(top right photo) chairman and CEO of The Related Group said, "50 Biscayne is an award-winning product in our portfolio and significant credit is due to our partnership with Cousins Properties. Their diverse development expertise instills confidence that we can anticipate success with future collaborations."


Investments-- Jim Fleming, Chief Financial Officer, 404-407-1150 or

Media--Matt Gove, Senior Vice President, 404-407-1490

First Team Real Estate Adds RealtyTrac Foreclosure Data to its Consumer Web Site

IRVINE, CA — RealtyTrac (, the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, and First Team Real Estate (, the #1 independent real estate brokerage in southern California, announceS a strategic alliance that will allow consumers using the First Team website to search for foreclosure properties.

The foreclosure search is seamlessly integrated into the First Team website’s “Find a Home” feature and allows users to browse real-time foreclosure data furnished by RealtyTrac.

First Team agents receive leads from consumers who fill out a free registration form for more detailed access to the foreclosure listings or fill out a contact request form to get help with a specific property.

“With foreclosure activity on the rise nationwide and in Southern California, it is a logical extension of First Team’s business model to include foreclosure information on its website along with the MLS information it already provides,” said Rick Sharga, (middle left photo) VP of Marketing for RealtyTrac.

“By adding foreclosures to its product line, First Team is providing consumers with valuable information while also giving its agents an opportunity to add a potential income stream to their businesses during today’s difficult real estate market.”

This new comprehensive property search feature allows the public access to properties in all three stages of the foreclosure process — pre-foreclosure, auction and bank-owned (known as REOs).

Conducting a property search in this manner is convenient for consumers who are seeking to find bargain properties.

At the same time it allows First Team real estate professionals a chance to offer these would-be home buyers assistance in navigating this complex area of real estate.

“Teaming up with RealtyTrac has provided us with an opportunity to grow the scope of our real estate web services on a grand scale, thus demonstrating our commitment to providing the public with the best information the industry has to offer,” said Cameron Merage,(top right photo) Founder, President and CEO of First Team Real Estate.

“The foreclosure search feature is just the latest of many consumer-friendly search tools we provide from our home page. We are particularly excited about the extra functionality this partnership brings to the table as we continue to seek opportunities to grow our business in the future.”

As the foreclosure trend continues to gain momentum, more and more First Team agents have added foreclosures, short sales and bank-owned (REO) properties to the arsenal of real estate services they offer to the public.

CONTACT: Tammy Chan, Atomic PR, 415-402-0230,