Thursday, September 4, 2008

EastGroup Properties Announces 115th Consecutive Quarterly Dividend

JACKSON, MS, Sept. 4, 2008– EastGroup Properties (NYSE-EGP) announced today that its Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $.52 per share payable on September 30, 2008 to shareholders of record of Common Stock on September 19, 2008.

This dividend is the 115th consecutive quarterly distribution to EastGroup's shareholders and represents an annualized dividend rate of $2.08 per share.

EastGroup Properties, Inc. is a self-administered equity real estate investment trust focused on the development, acquisition and operation of industrial properties in major Sunbelt markets throughout the United States with an emphasis in the states of Arizona, California, Florida and Texas.

Its strategy for growth is based on its property portfolio orientation toward premier business distribution facilities clustered near major transportation features. EastGroup's portfolio currently includes 25.3 million square feet with an additional 1.9 million square feet of properties under development.

David H. Hoster II, President and Chief Executive Officer (top right photo)
N. Keith McKey, Chief Financial Officer (601) 354-3555

Premier Capital Arranges $22.5M Financing for Four Hotels in Separate Transactions

Lending Pace Up 20 Percent over 2007

BELLEVUE, WA, Sept. 4, 2008—Premier Capital Associates, LLC, a national, full-service real estate investment company specializing in obtaining debt for hospitality real estate, announced today that it had arranged and successfully closed on four loans in separate transactions totaling $22.5 million in the last 60 days.

The total, added to transactions consummated earlier in the year, represents a 20 percent increase in the company’s loan volume over the same period for 2007 for the two-year old mortgage brokerage firm.
The hotels include the Hampton Inn & Suites, Jackson Miss.(top left photo); Homewood Suites, (middle right photo) Overland Park, Kan.; the LaQuinta Inn & Suites, (bottom left photo) Portland, Ore.; and Fairfield Inn, (bottom right photo) Kennewick, Wash.

The transactions ranged from $4 million to nearly $10 million per asset and are typical of the kinds of properties with which lenders are still comfortable, according to Greg Morris, (top right photo) managing director at Premier Capital.
Six-Month Financing Outlook

“Midmarket properties without food and beverage with proven cash flows can find lenders in today’s credit markets,” Morris added. “Larger transactions, for the most part, have stepped to the sidelines and will likely stay there for at least several more quarters, when lenders will have a clearer picture of the political and economic future.”

“The abundance of negative media coverage about the debt markets does not reflect current lending conditions,” said Jeff McKee,(top left photo) managing director at Premier Capital.

“There are a substantial number of loans being made. We are a boutique mortgage brokerage company entering our third year and are 20 percent ahead of last year’s activity at the same time. We have a very active pipeline and have a network of willing lenders.”

He noted that traditional lenders, especially local banks, are still actively financing hotels, but market conditions are constantly shifting.

“Lenders want to work with companies who specialize in obtaining hospitality debt placement. They want the confidence of dealing with experienced companies that they know and that have a proven track record.

"Hotel transactions today generally require 30 to 35 percent equity, up from 25 percent earlier this year and approximately 15 percent in early 2007,” he said.

“Current requirements are closer to historic norms, and deals still pencil out because interest rates remain quite attractive.”

Morris pointed out that the stronger brands in major markets are the preferred property type, both acquisitions and refinancing.

“Ironically, the lower transaction volume resulting from the current economic climate means that lenders are able to respond much more quickly than a year ago,” he said. “However, they have less interest in higher risk loans, such as new construction, conversions and older assets that have a high PIP requirement.”

Premier Capital Premier Capital Associates, LLC, located in Bellevue, Washington, is a national, full-service real estate investment company specializing in debt for hospitality and other income-producing commercial real estate, with relationships across the United States.

The company arranges debt for construction loans, acquisition, refinancing, reposition and mezzanine financing.

For additional information, please contact either Greg Morris at 425-957-0700 or Jeff McKee at 425-957-0600. Or, visit the company’s Web site:

Contact: Jerry Daly or Chris Daly, (703) 435-6293,

Jacksonville, FL is 'Market to Watch'

(Above, the 28-story, Riverplace Tower, formerly known as Gulf Life Tower)

­By Dan Allen, Vice Chairman, Multi-Housing Group, CB Richard Ellis, Jacksonville, FL

JACKSONVILLE, FL--According to more than 660 real estate experts nationally, Jacksonville is a “market to watch.”
In a recent annual report produced by the Urban Land Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers titled “Emerging Trends in Real Estate,” these 600-plus professionals cited the city’s path to international markets, major international airport and shipping port, educated workforce and vital downtown as reasons why Jacksonville has potential to continue peaking investors’ interest.

(Top left, the 43-story Bank of America Tower, 50 N. Laura St. Downtown)

Geographically covering 834 square miles, the Jacksonville MSA is one of the largest metropolitan areas in Florida in terms of physical size and its population has grown at a healthy pace of more than 2% per year, or twice the national average.

Strong economic performance is poised to continue with a steady 7.4% growth over the next five years resulting in a gross increase of over 96,000 residents.

Considered “the gateway to where Florida begins,” Jacksonville remains the transportation hub between Florida and the northern United States, as well as international markets.

(Middle right photo, the 37-story Modis Building, originally known as the Independent Life Building, Downtown)

With the addition of two major Asian shipping lines by 2011, Jacksonville will become the second largest port on the eastern seaboard, behind only The Port of New York/New Jersey.

The Mitsui and Hanjin contracts will triple Jaxport’s cargo volume and add approximately 75,000 jobs over the next several years. In 2007, more than 8 million tons of cargo came through Jacksonville's ports, including more than 700,000 containers and 600,000 vehicles.
Part of the port's future depends on dredging to make room for larger ships.

A plan is under way to deepen a portion of the shipping channel to 45 or possibly 50 feet to coincide with the expansion of the Panama Canal within the next decade.

The economic impact of the deepwater system has the potential to generate between $3 billion and $6 billion in revenue as new terminals come online.

(Middle left photo, shrimp boats docked along St. Johns River)

With over 4% increases in employment in each of the last three years and including the addition of over 22,000 jobs this year, Jacksonville continues to see tremendous growth in the local work force.

As Florida’s most desirable location for insurance and financial firms, data processing and other back office operation, it is the leading financial and insurance center in the state.

Leading the charge are companies like BlueCross BlueShield of Florida, CSX, Citibank, Bank of America, Wachovia and Merrill Lynch & Co, which combine for over 26,000 jobs. Due to these high paying jobs, Jacksonville boasts the highest average household income in Florida at $65,411 and according to Forbes magazine, ranks third in the nation for quality of jobs.

In addition to its healthy economic and population growth, the metro’s multi-housing absorption rate has improved by the removal of 11.9% of the market’s units during 2004-2006, creating a demand deficit for rental units.

Reis, Inc. 2008 second quarter reports show an average vacancy of only 5.9% for the Jacksonville apartment market. Despite an increase in new construction since 2006, demand remains high, but the new units have impacted submarkets with aging properties.

The Greater Arlington submarket has been hit the hardest, but still maintains average rents of $664 and a vacancy rate of 7.8%. The MSA’s strongest market continues to be the Southeast submarket with $805 rents and an overall occupancy at 95%. The Beaches sub­market still boasts the strongest rents at $1036, but has a slightly higher vacancy rate at 6%.

Not only has occupancy remained high, but rents continue to increase as well. According to RealFacts Inc., average rents in Jacksonville over the last year rose at a faster pace than the rest of the state and nation.

For the quarter ending in June 2008, the average rent in Duval County rose 2.9%, up to $845 from $821 in the second quarter of 2007.

(At left, rendering of new Duval County Courthouse complex.)

Over the next decade, Jacksonville will see growth in employment, population, income levels, and city infrastructure. Set in motion by significant increases in health, professional, leisure/hospitality, and wholesale trade job sectors, an estimated 92,000 new jobs will be incrementally added over the next five years.

This increase in job growth will nourish an already growing population. In order to support this expansion, the area will implement the “Better Jacksonville Plan,” is $2.25-billion comprehensive growth management program that will target economic development including new and improved public facilities, parks, amphitheaters, and arenas for the increasing population.

Jacksonville’s city government is one of the most efficient in Florida because it has been annexed to the county.

This combined with Jacksonville’s low cost of living, business-friendly environment, state-of-the-art healthcare facilities, and above-average income levels, give an extremely positive outlook for the city going forward.

$172.5M construction/mini-permanent loan arranged by HFF for three Maryland multifamily developments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington, D.C. and Dallas offices of HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) have arranged a $172.5 million construction/mini-permanent loan for three multifamily developments totaling 1,134 units in Maryland.

HFF director Cary Abod (Washington, D.C. office),(top right photo) and executive managing director Jody Thornton (top left photo) and associate director John Ahmed (Dallas office) exclusively represented the borrower, Archstone, in the transaction. TIAA-CREF provided the 60-month loan.

Located within 15 miles of Washington, D.C., the properties include 451-unit Westchester at Contee Crossing (middle left photo) in Laurel, 192-unit Westchester Rockville Station (bottom right photo) in Rockville and 491-unit Westchester at the Pavilion in Waldorf. (bottom left photo)

“It was a real pleasure working with the TIAA team on this transaction. Despite an extremely challenging capital markets environment, they never waivered in their focus or in their commitment to this deal,” said Ahmed.

“This transaction exemplifies Archstone’s investment and development goal of bringing superior residential communities to high-demand markets throughout the country,” added Abod.

Archstone is a recognized leader in apartment investment and operations. The company’s portfolio is concentrated in the most desirable protected coastal markets including the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, Los Angeles area, San Diego, San Francisco Bay area, New York metropolitan area, Seattle and Boston.
Archstone owns or operates over 92,000 units in the U.S. and Germany, including its development pipeline.

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.


Cary Abod, HFF Director, 202 533 2500,

John Ahmed, HFF Associate Director, 214 265 0880,

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

Marcus & Millichap Aranges $25.5M Sale-Leaseback in Sandusky, OH

SANDUSKY, OH – Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, has arranged the sale of a 1.32 million-square foot industrial facility leased to Kyklos Bearning International Inc., (bottom left photo) in Sandusky. The sales price is $25.5 million.

Glen Kunofsky, (top right photo) a senior vice president investments in the Manhattan office of Marcus & Millichap, represented the seller. Michael Glass, regional manager of the firm’s Cleveland office, assisted Kunofsky in the transaction.

“The new owner has acquired a high-yielding, quality net-leased asset,” says Kunofsky. “This sale proves that it is possible to execute large sale-leaseback transactions in today’s challenging market,” says Kunofsky.

Located at 2509 Hayes Ave., the industrial manufacturing facility has seven loading bays, 997,910 square feet of manufacturing space and 324,037 square feet of office space situated on a 128.5-acre lot.

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

Forest City Breaks Ground at Colorado Science + Technology Park at Fitzsimons

AURORA, CO/PRNewswire/ -- Developer Forest City Science + Technology Group has broken ground at the Colorado Science + Technology Park at Fitzsimons, (top right photo) a 184-acre business park dedicated to life science focused companies, by demolishing the old Fitzsimons smokestack to make way for new, state-of-the-art scientific facilities.

Plans call for Forest City's first life science building that will accommodate the growth of the region's existing life science industry as well as existing incubator tenants on site.

In addition, a Hyatt Place hotel and conference facility and an approximately 175,000 square-foot office building for University Physicians, Inc. will be developed.

The Fitzsimons Federal Credit Union will also break ground soon on a new facility.

In addition, Aurora Mayor Ed Tauer (top left photo) unveiled an updated economic study predicting $3.5 billion in annual economic output in 2008 and up to $4.5 billion in annual economic impact by 2013 from the former Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, which now includes the Park, the Anschutz Medical Campus, The Children's Hospital and Research Center, and the future Veterans Affairs Hospital.

"The build-out of the Colorado Science + Technology Park at Fitzsimons is an important part of a grand vision to bring science and business together in one square mile that is fast becoming one of the most advanced life science communities in the world," said Tauer.

"According to our latest economic study, developments at Fitzsimons and the Anschutz Medical Campus will yield 20,000 on-site jobs by 2013 and more than 43,000 on-site jobs when fully developed."

At full development, the 578-acre land parcel is projected to generate statewide totals of $11.5 billion in economic production, $4.3 billion in annual personal income, and nearly 100,000 jobs, according to the study prepared for the Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority by Sammons/Dutton LLC.

The statewide figures include multipliers that account for ancillary commerce, employment and tourism that will be created throughout Colorado as a result of work originating from this life science campus.

The area is expected to reach full development between 2033 and 2038.

"We're inspired by the incredible concentration of brainpower and the important partnerships that will be possible between academia and private industry as companies locate to the Colorado Science + Technology Park at Fitzsimons," said University of Colorado President Bruce Benson (middle right photo) , who also spoke at the groundbreaking event.

"Forest City is proud to be part of a project that will so thoroughly transform the community through jobs and the economic and quality-of-life benefits that the park promises," said Forest City's Jim Chrisman. (bottom left photo)


Claire Fisher, Forest City 303-382-1800 or Jill Farnham, Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority 720-859-4105