Saturday, August 23, 2008

Credit Isues Expected to Slow Retail Deal Flow in Columbus, OH

COLUMBUS, OH--Ongoing economic woes are forecast to soften retail fundamentals in Columbus this year, but the metro remains the strongest in the state and is positioned for long-term health, according to a second-quarter Retail Research Report by Marcus & Millichap, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm.

While many Midwestern market are suffering through employment losses and out-migration, the Columbus metro continues to add positions and record steady population growth.

“Out-of-state buyers remain active in Columbus, lured by higher cap rates than those in coastal markets and a healthy long-term economic outlook,” says John Reehil, a retail investment specialist in the Columbus office of Marcus & Millichap.

Following are some of the most significant aspects of the Columbus Retail Research Report:

· Employers are projected to add 1,000 jobs for a payroll expansion of 0.1 percent.
· Builders are on pace to add approximately 1.2 million square feet on new space by year end.
· Vacancy is forecast to end the year at 11.8 percent.
· Asking rents are expected to gain 0.6 percent to $12.71 per square foot by year end.
· Effective rents are anticipated to finish the year at $10.98 per square foot.

For a copy of the complete Columbus Retail Research Report, as well as reports on other markets nationwide, visit our website at
Press Contact: Stacey Corso
Communications Department
(925) 953-1716

Thomas D. Wood & Co. Brokers $5M Loan for Condos in Valrico, FL

Miami, FL— Susan Traino and Christian Johannsen of Thomas D. Wood and Company secured financing in the amount of $5,000,000 for Bloomingdale Woods Condominiums (top right photo) in Valrico, Florida.

The loan was financed through Thomas D. Wood and Company’s relationship with a regional banking institution at a permanent fixed rate of 6.75%. The loan term is five years with a 25-year amortization, and a loan-to-value of 70%.

The borrower refinanced the loan for Bloomingdale Woods in order to purchase the remaining 105 condominium units. The 224-unit condominium conversion was built in 1988, and is located at 3431 Eagle Ridge Road, Valrico, Florida.

For further information, please contact:
Susan Traino, CPA (305) 476-7120

Christian Johannsen, CCIM (305) 476-7123

Jessica Gurtowski (407) 937-0470

NAI Realvest Negotiates New Long-Term Industrial Lease in Oviedo, FL

ORLANDO, FL – NAI Realvest has negotiated a new long-term lease agreement for 9,520 square feet of industrial space at 640 Kane Court in Oviedo.

Michael Heidrich, (top right photo) principal at NAI Realvest, negotiated the lease agreement representing the landlord, Longwood-based Sandbagger Properties, LLC.

The new tenant, Oviedo-based Upstream at Bitstream, LLC, was represented by Jim Stevenson (bottom left photo) of Realty Executives of Orlando.

For more information, please contact:

Janice Paiano, Director of Marketing, NAI Realvest 407-875-9989
Beth Payan or Larry Vershel, Larry Vershel Communications, Inc. 407-644-4142

HFF secures $84M loan for Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort in Fort Lauderdale, FL

MIAMI, FL – The Miami and Washington, D.C. offices of HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) has arranged an $84 million renovation loan for the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, (top right photo) a 433-room hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

HFF senior managing directors Bob Donhauser (middle left photo) (HFF Washington, D.C.) and Paul Stasaitis (middle right photo) (HFF Miami), as well as senior managing director William Asbill (bottom left photo) and director Cary Abod (bottom right photo) (also in Washington, D.C.), represented an affiliate of Starwood Capital Group Global, LLC, which owns the property, in securing the three-year financing.

Loan proceeds, structured as a floating rate renovation loan, are being used to convert the Sheraton branded hotel to the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort. The loan was funded by ING Real Estate Finance (USA) LLC.

The property, located at 321 North Fort Lauderdale Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, was originally completed in two phases in 1974 and 1980.
The renovation will result in dramatic exterior modifications, enhancing the views of the Atlantic Ocean, Intracoastal Waterway and the city of Fort Lauderdale. Plans to significantly refurbish the interior of the hotel will offer guests the new Heavenly Spa by Westin™ and Westin WORKOUT® fitness center.
The hotel will also refresh its signature restaurant, Shula’s on the Beach (the upscale steak house is expected to remain open for dinner service throughout the property-wide renewal).
Upon completion of the renovation, The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort will have significantly expanded flexible meeting and event space of more than 32,000 square feet including the 10,000-square foot Las Olas Ballroom, which will accommodate groups of up to 1,200 people.
Additionally, the resort will feature the 3,900-square-foot Sunrise Terrace with views of Fort Lauderdale Beach and the Atlantic Ocean.

“The success of the renovated hotel will be directly attributable to its irreplaceable location along State Road A1A. Starwood is tapping directly into the market’s need for additional meeting space in a resort setting, coupled with a perfectly suited flag for Fort Lauderdale Beach,” said Stasaitis.

“HFF implemented an extensive marketing effort on our behalf in order to obtain the best execution,” said Robert Geimer, senior vice president for Starwood Capital Group. “We are pleased with the options and creativity provided to us by HFF, which ultimately resulted in the ideal lender for our renovation.”

G. Paul Stasaitis, HFF Senior Managing Director, 305 448 1333,
Robert Donhauser, HFF Senior Managing Director, 202 533 2500,
Laurie Fish McDowell, HFF Associate Director, Marketing, 617 338 0990,

Marcus & Millichap Capital Corp. Arranges $8.8M Loan for Pomona, CA Office Building

POMONA, CA-– Marcus & Millichap Capital Corporation (MMCC) has arranged an $8.8 million fixed-rate loan to refinance a 242,000-square foot office building located at 2001 W. Mission Blvd. in Pomona.

Adam Petriella, (top right photo) a vice president capital markets for the firm’s West Los Angeles office, arranged the financing package for the Pomona office building.

“MMCC maintained a relationship with the buyer for more than two years,” says Petriella. “The buyer needed a loan that required funding in 30 days. We prepared the financial summaries, solicited financing from 12 different lenders and obtained term sheets within two days.”

Financing for this property was provided by a private lender with a European bank partner at a three-year, interest-only fixed-rate debt. Loan-to-value was at 50 percent.

“We’re seeing transactions with quick turnaround times becoming more prevalent in today’s marketplace,” says Petriella. “These are great opportunities for our borrowers and lenders.”

Press Contact: Kathy Molitor
Marcus & Millichap Capital Corporation
(925) 953-1704

CFA Inaugural Certification Event Shows Strong Future

MT. VERNON, IA-- The Concrete Foundation Association (CFA) – an organization dedicated to improving the quality and acceptance of cast-in-place concrete foundations – has completed its first qualification exam for the Foundation Contractor Company Certification Program.

Exams were administered on Wednesday, August 2, 2008 and Saturday, August 5, 2008. They were preceded by a review seminar.

Interested companies sent 21 persons to sit for the 2-hour exam.

“The response to this initial offering was staggering,” states Ed Sauter, (middle right photo) CFA Executive Director. “As we prepared for the Convention, we had just a handful registered to attend the certification component but that quickly swelled to twenty one examinees, several companies sending two representatives.”

According to Sauter, the exam is a two-hour, open book effort that challenges more than the knowledge base of the examinee.

“This exam was designed to demonstrate that companies have the ability to use the resources at their disposal,” states Sauter. “We did not feel that testing their specific ability to recall a fact or a process was as much of value as developing a solid understanding that they could use codes, standards and construction guides to answer the broader questions in the industry.

" Examinees found it was a much bigger challenge than some had estimated, but most felt it demonstrated the true value of knowing and understanding building code and safety standard publications.”

This exam was the first, or the pre-qualification step for companies to become certified by the CFA as a Certified Foundation Contractor Company.

The program seeks to establish a nationwide benchmark for contracting companies involved in the construction of residential concrete foundations.

Following the exam, companies must then submit business records dealing with safety, operations, training programs, etc. They must then adhere to a continuing education requirement and periodic audits.

The CFA sees this as the next big issue affecting construction across the country and is applying their expertise and status in the industry to create the most appropriate benchmark.

“The issue of certification is one that several of our members are currently trying to handle in their local jurisdictions,” states Dan Bromley, (top left photo) CFA’s current President and the initiator of the certification program for the Association. “This program grew from critical business components identified by the committee to a program that is intended to strengthen the industry and the Association’s impact to its members.”

The companies and individuals that demonstrated the baseline knowledge and familiarity with the primary industry references assembled for this certification exam include the following:

Dan Bromley, ABI Corporation, Blue Springs, Missouri

Jim Bartley, Bartley Coproration, Laurel, Maryland

Tom Brown, TJ Construction Unlimited, Inc., Ely, Iowa

Rick Eller, Eller Construction, Eldridge, Iowa

Jason Ells, Custom Concrete Company, Westfield, Indiana

Bill Esker, J.B. Esker & Sons, Inc., Teutopolis, Illinois

Randy Groome, Balmer Brothers Concrete Works, Inc., Akron, Pennyslvania

Aaron Long, ProCon, Inc., Rocky Mount, Virginia

Tim Parrish, Cornerstone Foundations, Inc., Harrisonburg, Virginia

Dustin Pelletier, Action Concrete Contractors, Inc., Charleston, South Carolina

Dennis Purinton, Purinton Builders, Inc., Granby, Connecticut

Brad Schrock, Custom Concrete Company, Westfield, Indiana

Arie Van Wyk, Van Wyks, Inc., Waldo, Wisconsin

Mike Hancock, Basement Systems, Inc., Edmond, Oklahoma

Ken Beran, Beran Concrete Work, Wichita, Kansas

“We’ve seen the interest the industry has in certification,” states Sauter, “and now we are publicizing why the industry will benefit from this certification. We will also expand certification opportunities. We anticipate holding a minimum of four certification events each year to broaden the opportunities for foundation contracting companies.”

Certification pre-qualification exams are scheduled for Columbus, Ohio (October 18, 2008) and Las Vegas, Nevada during the World of Concrete (February 2, 2009).

To learn more about the CFA Foundation Contractor Certification Program or to find out how your company can begin the steps towards becoming certified, visit the CFA website at or contact CFA’s headquarters at 113 First Street West, Mt. Vernon, Iowa 52314. 319-895-6940, voice -- 319-895-8830, fax.

Ed Sauter, 319-895-6940 or
Jim Baty, 319-895-6911 or