Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Office Vacancy Remains Low in Manhattan, But More Wall Street Job Cuts Expected

NEW YORK, N.Y., Aug. 6, 2008 — Following an extended period of strengthening property fundamentals, the Manhattan office market is now faced with some near-term uncertainty, according to a second-quarter Office Research Report by Marcus & Millichap, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm.

(New York Stock Exchange building at top right)

Employment, the key determinant space demand, remains positive when viewed during the past 12 months.

Recent reductions by Wall Street firms, however, have yet to be fully accounted for in current statistics.

“Despite low initial yields, investors will remain active in Manhattan,” says Edward Jordan, regional manager of the Manhattan office of Marcus & Millichap. “Favorable current valuations will continue to encourage foreign buyers, who will target top-tier properties.”

Following are some of the most significant aspects of the Manhattan Office Research Report:

· Builders will bring 2.3 million square feet of office space online this year.
· Vacancy is forecast to end the year at 6.2 percent.
· Asking rents are projected to climb 6.2 percent this year to $67.52 per square foot.
· Effective rents will add 6.4 percent to $59.94 per square foot.
· The median price of properties sold during the past year is $648 per square foot, 27 percent more than the median price one year earlier.

For a copy of the complete Manhattan Office Research Report, as well as reports on other markets nationwide, visit our website at

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

Marcus & Millichaps Names Three VPs of Investments

SAN FRANCISCO, CA— The board of directors of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, has named Brad Lagomarsino (top right photo) and Sanford Skeie (top left photo) to the position of vice president investments.

The achievement of vice president investment status is one of the highest levels of recognition the firm awards its sales agents. It represents excellence in client relationships, investment real estate expertise and sales volume, according to Jeffrey Mishkin, regional manager in the firm’s San Francisco office.

Lagomarsino and Skeie joined Marcus & Millichap in 2002 and specialize in multi-family investment sales.


TAMPA, FL — The board of directors of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, has named Ken Carriero (photo at left ) to the position of vice president investments.

The achievement of vice president investment status is one of the highest levels of recognition the firm awards its sales agents. It represents excellence in client relationships, investment real estate expertise and sales volume, according to Steven Ekovich, regional manager in the firm’s Tampa office.

Carriero joined Marcus & Millichap in 2003 and specializes in seniors housing investment sales.
Press Contact: Stacey Corso
Communications Department
(925) 953-1716

Interstate Hotels & Resorts Adds Four Hyatt Place Hotels to Managed Portfolio

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 agreements to manage four Hyatt Place hotels in Texas.

The former AmeriSuites hotels were converted to Hyatt Place hotels in December 2007 by the ownership group, FFC Capital Corporation, with whom Interstate has a long-standing relationship.

The hotels, aggregating 513 rooms, are the first Hyatt Place hotels Interstate will manage.

They include the Hyatt Place Hotel Austin Arboretum, Texas (bottom left photo) (127 rooms); Hyatt Place Hotel Grand Prairie, Texas (top left photo) (134 rooms); Hyatt Place Hotel Houston/Greenspoint, Texas (middle right photo) (126 rooms); and Hyatt Place San Antonio Airport-South, Texas (middle left photo) (126 rooms).

“With these four contracts, we continue to expand our relationship with FFC Capital, for whom we now manage 29 properties,” said Thomas F. Hewitt, Interstate’s chief executive officer.

“The addition of the Hyatt Place brand to our portfolio allows us to establish a new relationship with another major hotel franchisor, a relationship we look forward to building on.

"The properties are located in four major Texas markets that have held up well in these challenging economic times—Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio. Together with the 22 properties we already manage in the state, we expect to take advantage of operating synergies and purchasing economies of scale.”

“We value our relationship with Interstate and have the utmost confidence in their ability to maximize results at these newly rebranded hotels,” said Fred Branovan, (top right photo) president of FFC Capital Corporation. “Hyatt Place is a leading lifestyle hotel brand and plays to Interstate’s proven strength in the upscale select service segment.”

With more than 100 properties expected to open by the end of the year, Hyatt Place was inspired by the changing landscape of contemporary, multi-tasking business travelers and offers an atmosphere of casual hospitality with a balanced mix of comfortable and functional amenities.

In addition to free wireless connectivity throughout the hotel, guestrooms feature 42-inch flat panel televisions, an oversized desk and ergonomic chair, the signature Hyatt Grand Bed™, and the facilities to allow guests to integrate laptops, DVD players, and MP3 players with the high-definition TVs.

A complimentary hot/cold breakfast buffet is available. Hyatt Place offers Starbucks Coffee and has fresh food available made to order, 24 hours a day.

About FFC Capital Corporation

FFC Capital Corporation is a privately held company affiliated with Milton Fine, specializing in investment management across various asset classes, including marketable securities, bonds, stocks, private equities, derivatives, hedge funds, venture capital funds and direct ownership of real estate investments.

For more information about FFC Capital Corporation, visit the company’s Web site,

About Interstate

Interstate Hotels & Resorts has ownership interests in 56 hotels and resorts, including seven wholly owned assets.

Together with these properties, the company and its affiliates manage a total of 223 hospitality properties with approximately 46,000 rooms in 36 states, the District of Columbia, Russia, Mexico, Belgium, Canada and Ireland. Interstate Hotels & Resorts also has contracts to manage 16 to be built hospitality properties with approximately 3,800 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

Cousins Signs Forestar at Palisades West in Austin, TX

Lease for 32,000 SF brings 375,000-SF project to 67 percent leased

ATLANTA--Aug. 6, 2008--Cousins Properties Incorporated (NYSE:CUZ) announced today it has signed Forestar Real Estate Group Inc.(NYSE: FOR) to a 32,000-square-foot lease in Building II at PalisadesWest, a two-building, 375,000-square-foot office project under construction in southwest Austin, Texas.

The lease, the first in the project's second building, brings Palisades West to 67 percent leased overall. The project's 220,000-square-foot first building is fully leased to Dimensional Fund Advisors. Both buildings are expected to deliver this fall.

"Palisades West is fulfilling its promise as a great corporate office site with this new commitment from Forestar. Southwest Austin continues to be one of the city's most attractive office market and we look forward to more interest as we get closer to delivering the buildings," said Tim Hendricks, (top left photo) senior vice president of Cousins.

"We are excited about the relocation of our corporate headquartersto Palisades West," said Jim DeCosmo, (top right photo) president and chief executive officer of Forestar Real Estate Group. "This new facility has a great location and provides our company with space that will support our growth needs for the foreseeable future.

" As a 25% owner in the Palisades West project, we believe this site will provide significant value to other corporate office customers in the Austin market."

Forestar Real Estate Group Inc. operates in three businesssegments: real estate, mineral resources and fiber resources. The real estate segment owns directly or through ventures about 372,000 acresof real estate located in 10 states and 13 markets in the U.S.

The real estate segment has 23 real estate projects representing over 31,000 acres currently in the entitlement process, and 75 entitled, developed and under development projects in eight states and twelve markets encompassing almost 17,000 acres, comprised of about 29,000 residential lots and approximately 2,000 commercial acres.

The mineral resources segment manages about 622,000 net acres of oil and gas mineral interests. The fiber resources segment sells wood fiber fromits land primarily located in Georgia, and leases land for recreational uses. Forestar's address on the World Wide Web is


Cousins Properties Incorporated Investment Community: Jim Fleming, Chief Financial Officer, 404-407-1150, or

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

Thomas D. Wood Brokers $13.16M in Two New Loans

Two Publix Stores in Stockbridge and McDonough, GA Get $12M Financing

MIAMI, FL— Steve Wood (top right photo) and Alan R. Cohen (top left photo) of Thomas D. Wood and Company secured financing in the amount of $12,000,000 for two Publix stores in Stockbridge and McDonough, Georgia.

Both properties were financed through Thomas D. Wood and Company’s relationship with a regional banking institution.

Wood and Cohen arranged financing in the amount of $6,100,000 for Publix at McDonough West, and $5,900,000 for Publix at Stockbridge Village Lakes, at a floating rate of LIBOR + 225 basis points. The 35-month, interest-only loan has a loan-to-value of 75%.

Publix at McDonough West is an 80,773 square-foot anchored shopping center, built in 2001 and located at 250 Jonesboro Road, McDonough, Georgia. Publix at Stockbridge Village Lakes is a 78,605 square-foot shopping center, built in 2002 and located at 250 East Atlanta Road, Stockbridge, Georgia.

For further information, please contact:

Steve Wood. (305) 447-7820,
Alan R. Cohen, (305) 447-7820,
Jessica Gurtowski , (407) 937-0470,

TD Wood and Bison Financial Group Complete $1.16M Acquisition Loan in Largo, FL

MIAMI, FL--Steve Wood of Thomas D. Wood and Company, along with Jared Repka of Bison Financial Group, secured financing in the amount of $1,160,000 for the acquisition of Family Dollar in Largo, Florida.

The loan was financed through a regional banking institution at a permanent fixed rate of 6.0%. The loan term is five years with a 25-year amortization, and a loan-to-value of 72.57%.

The 10,070 square-foot single-tenant retail building was refurnished for the tenant in 2007. Family Dollar is located at 2862 Roosevelt Boulevard, Largo, Florida.


Steve Wood, (305) 447-7820,
Jessica Gurtowski, (407) 937-0470,