Monday, September 8, 2008

Liberty Property Trust to Break Ground on New Leed building in Maitland Summit Park, Florida

Metavante Corporation signs lease to take half of the building

ORLANDO, FL – September 8, 2008 - Liberty Property Trust (NYSE:LRY), the real estate investment trust that owns and manages more than seven million square feet of office and industrial space in Florida, today announced that it is breaking ground on a new office building in Maitland Summit Park.

The stimulus for the new construction is a freshly inked lease with Metavante Corporation, a leading provider of banking and payments technology and the principal subsidiary of Metavante Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:MV).

“When we learned that Metavante was looking to relocate its Orlando Banking Solutions office, we were very pleased to be in a position to help them relocate and to accommodate their needs,” said Stephen Whitley, (top right photo) senior vice president and city manager for Liberty Property Trust.
“Our existing properties in Maitland Summit Park have proven very successful and we have been eager to build-out the remainder of the park with a partner such as Metavante.”

Liberty will develop the Maitland Summit Park III building, a 220,000 square foot building which is designed to achieve LEED® Gold certification. Metavante will occupy 107,000 square feet for use by its banking solutions division.

Metavante is relocating its Orlando-area operations from Semoran Boulevard where it started as Kirchman Corporation.

Maitland Summit Park currently contains two buildings that are occupied by a blue chip list of tenants including EA Sports, Charles Schwab and ZOM. It is located directly across from the RDV Sportsplex and it boasts walking trails around lakes with fountain displays.

“We are very excited to occupy a brand new, first-class facility that can accommodate all our Orlando employees in one location with room to expand,” said Rachel Landrum, (top left photo) president Metavante Banking Solutions − Bankway.
“Metavante is committed to the care and preservation of our environment and this new facility is being constructed under the highest standards of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) guidelines for developing high performance, green buildings which benefit not only the environment but our employees as well.”

Liberty is scheduled to officially break ground on the project later this month and completion is planned for November 2009. The seven story building is designed to meet LEED Gold standards that will provide several cutting edge benefits, including high performance glass, increased daylight through larger vision glass and taller floors and a heat wheel, all of which will reduce energy usage.


Stephen Whitley, Liberty Property Trust, 407/447-1776
Media: Margo Hunt Winans, a.s.a.p.r., 757/404-8653

S&P: Sovereign Bancorp Rating Unaffected By U.S. Government Control Of Fannie And Freddie

NEW YORK, Sept. 8, 2008--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today there are no ratings implications for Sovereign Bancorp (BBB/Stable/--) as a result of the U.S. Treasury's announcement that it will take control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

(Jospeh P. Campanelli, president and CEO of Sovereign Bancorp and Sovereign Bank, Wyomissing, PA, top right photo)

At the end of the second quarter, Sovereign held approximately $639 million of these companies' preferred securities. Under the Treasury's plan, the dividends associated with these securities will cease, resulting in a decline in the stock's value, presumably to nominal levels.

In a worst-case scenario, a decline in Sovereign's $639 million investments would represent a setback in the company's efforts to strengthen capital levels, but would not reduce levels outside the range of similarly rated institutions.

In addition, the May 20, 2008, capital raise of $1.9 billion, which included $1.4 billion of common equity, bolstered Sovereign's current capital position. Future capital will be enhanced by the Jan. 23, 2008, elimination of common stock dividends.

Media Contact: Jeff Sexton, New York, (1) 212-438-3448,

Analyst Contacts:
John K Bartko, C.P.A., New York (1) 212-438-7368
Barbara Duberstein, New York (1) 212-438-5656

Apartment Realty Advisors (ARA) of Florida Announces Private Client Group Sale

Transaction Closed in Just 35 Days

SUNRISE, FL (September 8, 2008) — Atlanta-headquartered Apartment Realty Advisors (ARA), the largest privately held, full-service investment advisory brokerage firm in the nation focusing exclusively on the multihousing industry, represented a local seller in the sale of 2109, 2113, 2117 NW 64th Avenue apartments, located in Sunrise, Florida.

The seller was represented by vice president, Brandon J. Rex (top right photo) of ARA Florida’s active Private Client Group. According to Rex, “this property, which sold for $1,825,000, closed in only 35 days, with the buyer securing favorable financing.”

The asset is a well-located 24-unit apartment building, consisting of 12 one-bedroom/one-bathroom and 12 two-bedroom/one-bathroom units in addition to three laundry rooms with three washers and dryers. The property has undergone numerous renovations and many of the units have new kitchens and bathrooms.

95% occupied at the time of the sale, 2109, 2113, 2117 NW 64th Avenue is situated in the heart of South Florida's tri-county cluster of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach and is a short distance from Florida’s Turnpike, Sunrise Boulevard and Interstate 95.

To schedule an interview with an ARA executive regarding this transaction or for more information about Apartment Realty Advisors, please contact Ken Krasnow, or 561.988.8800; or Amy Holland at
or 678.553.9366.

Bernard M. Murphy Joins Davidson Hotel Company as SVP-Business Development

MEMPHIS, TN, Sept. 8, 2008--Davidson Hotel Company, one of the nation’s largest hotel management companies, today announced that Bernard M. Murphy (top right photo) will join the company as senior vice president-business development.

Murphy will be based in Encinitas (San Diego), Calif., and will be responsible for spearheading the company’s efforts in securing third- party management contracts, a key element of Davidson’s multi-faceted growth strategy. He will report to Steve Margol, (middle right photo) Davidson’s executive vice president.

“Davidson has reached the size and distribution that requires building our bench strength based on our vision of planned future growth in the ownership and management of upscale, full-service hotels and resorts,” said John A. Belden, (middle left photo) Davidson’s president and chief executive officer.

“Bernie Murphy brings 27 years of hands-on experience in all facets of the lodging industry to this new position, including finance, operations, marketing, real estate and corporate leadership. He is well known and respected in the industry and a perfect fit into our culture, which is committed to the highest professional standards.”

“With his skillset and proven record of success, Bernie is eminently qualified for this position,” Margol said. “In addition, he has lived and worked on both coasts and has built a significant network of owners, lenders and investment professionals.”

An accomplished industry veteran, Murphy joins Davidson from Pinnacle Hotels USA, a San Diego-based lodging ownership and management entity, where he was chief investment officer since 2007. Prior to that, he served as senior vice president at The Plasencia Group (TPG), a premier hospitality brokerage and consulting firm.

Additional information on Davidson may be found at the company’s Web site,


Julie Tullbane, Daly Gray Public Relations, T 703-435-6293, F 703-435-6297,
Cyndi Norwood, Davidson Hotel Co., 901 821 4155,
Jerry Daly, Chris Daly, Daly Gray Public Relations, 703 435 6293,

SchenkelShultz Designs Two Schools With Construction Costs Totaling $50M

SchenkelShultz Architecture, Orlando, designs Lake County Schools' new $41.6M, 169,942-SF East Ridge Middle School in Clermont, FL

ORLANDO, FL – SchenkelShultz Architecture, Orlando, designed Lake County Schools’ new $41.6 million, 169,942-square-foot East Ridge Middle School in Clermont, FL. (top right photo)

Included in the 1,414-student facility are a 3-story classroom building; a 3-story media center and science building; a 3-story bridge spanning the courtyard connecting the classroom and media/science buildings; 39 classrooms and six resource rooms; a music suite with four practice rooms, band, vocal and ensemble rooms; a 25,500-square-foot dining/multi-purpose space with an open stage; a gymnasium; four vocational labs and administration offices.

In 2007, the design won an “Award of Merit” from the American Institute of Architecture, Orlando Chapter. PPI Construction Management, Inc., Orlando, served as construction manager for the project which was completed in July 2008.

SchenkelShultz designs School District of Osceola County's $8.7M , 73,330-SF New Beginnings Education Center conversion project under construction in Kissimmee, FL

ORLANDO, FL – SchenkelShultz Architecture, Orlando, one of Florida’s leading green design firms, designed the School District of Osceola County’s $8.7 million, 73,330-square-foot New Beginnings Education Center, (rendering at left) a conversion project now under construction at 2599 W. Vine Street, Kissimmee, FL.

A former Sports Authority store, the project involves transforming the “big box” into an atmosphere conducive to learning while adding a second story to the existing facility to allow for future growth.

The design also provides for separation of grade levels to ensure safety and effective supervision of students. The project marks the second time that the School District has worked with SchenkelShultz on an innovative design by ‘re-tooling’ an existing, abandoned retail-warehouse into a state-of-the-art public school facility.

The 615-student school will contain 36 classrooms in addition to an administration suite, a dining/multi-purpose space with a full kitchen, a covered outdoor dining area, a media center as well as art, carpentry, computer and science labs.

Clancy & Theys Construction, Orlando, serves as general contractor for the project which is slated for completion in December 2008. The Orlando office of SchenkelShultz is located at 200 East Robinson Street, Suite 300, Orlando, FL, phone 407-872-3322.

The Orlando office of SchenkelShultz Architecture is located at 200 East Robinson Street, Suite 300, phone 407-872-3322.

Contact: Kenneth H. Cristol 407-774-2515

HFF secures $5.8M refinancing for Class A multifamily community in Alvin, TX

HOUSTON, TX – The Houston office of HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) announced today that it secured a $5.8 million refinancing for Morgan Oaks Apartments, (top left photo) a Class A multifamily community in Alvin, Texas.

Working exclusively on behalf of Minkoff Development, LLC, HFF managing director Tucker Knight (top right photo) and real estate analyst Steve Gautier placed the 10-year, fixed-rate loan with Freddie Mac under their Capital Markets Execution (CME) program.

The securitized loan will be serviced by HFF. Minkoff Development, LLC is involved in several business ventures primarily focusing on developing and managing apartment communities.

“We used Freddie’s CME program to access more dollars as well as better pricing on the loan. The entire process from day one to closing was first-rate,” said Gautier.

Morgan Oaks Apartments is located at 877 E. House Street near State Route 6 approximately 25 miles southeast of Houston. Completed in two phases in 2006 and 2007, the property has 98 units that are approximately 94% leased.

Morgan Oaks has three different floor plans with average unit size of 879 square feet. Community amenities include a swimming pool, clubhouse, fitness center, playground and security access gates.

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.


Tucker S. Knight, HFF Managing Director, 713 852 3500,

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

HFF closes $37.9M sale of Publix-anchored retail center in Palm Beach County, Florida

MIAMI, FL – The Miami office of HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) announced today that it closed the sale of the Courtyard Shops at Wellington, (middle left photo) a 127,000-square-foot, Publix-anchored retail center in Wellington, Florida.

The HFF investment sales team was led by managing director Danny Finkle, (top right photo) executive managing director Manny de Zárraga and associate director Luis Castillo who marketed the property exclusively on behalf of AEW Capital Management.

AEW sold the property on behalf of one of its institutional clients. Federal Realty Investment Trust of Rockville, Maryland purchased Courtyard Shops for $37.9 million and assumed an existing loan on the property.

“This was a rare opportunity to acquire a seasoned, grocery-anchored shopping center with significantly below-market small shops leases in a high barrier location,” said Finkle.

Located at 13880 Wellington Trace, Courtyard Shops at Wellington is situated in the heart of the Wellington community.

Completed in 1990, the property has in-line retail shops as well as five owned outparcel sites. Notable tenants include anchor tenant Publix, IHOP, Bank of America, McDonald’s, Washington Mutual, Wachovia and Shell Oil.

“Courtyard Shops’ desirable location at the geographic center of one of South Florida’s most affluent communities and its synergistic mix of prominent national and regional retailers make it one of the leading shopping centers in Palm Beach County,” added Castillo.

Founded in 1981, AEW Capital Management provides real estate investment management services to investors worldwide.

Currently, AEW and its affiliates manage over $50 billion of real estate assets and securities in North America, Europe and Asia (as of June 30, 2008) on behalf of many of the world’s leading institutional and private investors.


Daniel P. Finkle, HFF Managing Director, 305 448 1333.
Laurie Fish McDowell, HFF Associate Director, Marketing, 617 338 0990,

HFF named to market for sale Willow Festival Annex in Northbrook, IL

CHICAGO, IL – The Chicago office of HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) has been named to market for sale, Willow Festival Annex, (top right photo) a mixed-use retail and hotel development in Northbrook, Illinois.

The HFF investment sales team will be led by managing director Paul Barile and director Janice Sellis who are marketing the development on behalf of the seller, Four Columns, Ltd.

The property is listed for sale without a formal asking price and is free and clear of debt.

Completed in 2007/2008, Willow Festival Annex has a 6,024-square-foot retail building and three pad sites occupied by a Sheraton Hotel, Amcore Bank branch and Pinstripes, an entertainment center featuring fine dining, bowling and bocce ball.

The development is situated on a 12.19-acre site at the intersection of Willow Road and Waukegan Road in Northbrook, 20 miles north of downtown Chicago and close to numerous corporate headquarters including Kraft Foods, Crate and Barrel and Allstate Insurance.


Paul Barile, HFF Managing Director, 312 528 3650,
Janice Sellis, HFF Director, 312 528 3650,
Laurie Fish McDowell, HFF Associate Director, Marketing, 617 338 0990,

S&P: United States Of America Sovereign Ratings Unaffected By GSEs' Conservatorship

NEW YORK, NY --Standard & Poor's Ratings Services says neither its 'AAA/A-1+' sovereign credit rating on the United States of America, nor its stable outlook on these ratings is affected by the U.S. Treasury's decision, announced Sunday to put Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into conservatorship.

(See "Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac 'AAA/A-1+' Unsecured Ratings Affirmed; Preferred Stock Rating Cut," published Sept. 7, 2008). Treasury Building photo top right)

In our view, the U.S. government's credit quality continues to be upheld by its high-income, highly diversified, and exceptionally flexible economy, relative to those of other 'AAA' rated sovereigns, together with the U.S. public sector's fiscal flexibility and the unique advantages coming from the dollar's preeminent place among currencies.

For additional information on our 'AAA/A-1+' rating on the U.S. government, see "U.S. AAA/A-1+ Sovereign Ratings Affirmed Despite GSE Weakness; Outlook Stable," published Sept. 3, 2008, and "What Could Change Our AAA Credit Rating On The U.S. Government?," published Sept. 2, 2008, on RatingsDirect.

Media Contact: David Wargin, New York (1)

Analyst Contacts:
Nikola G Swann, CFA, FRM, Toronto (1) 416-507-2582
John Chambers, CFA, New York (1) 212-438-7344
David T Beers, London (44) 20-7176-7101
Elena Okorotchenko, Singapore (65) 6239-6375

CMA Closes $6.75M Loan for Shoppes of Sweetwater in Longwood, FL

ORLANDO, FL--Tom Byers of Commercial Mortgage Advisors (CMA) is pleased to announce the closing of a commercial loan for Shoppes of Sweetwater, (top right rendering) an existing 64,443 square foot shopping center, located at 3883 Wekiva Springs Road, Longwood, Florida 32779.

Tenants include Publix, CVS, Trustco Bank, Subway, Leslie’s Pool Supply, Wekiva Springs Animal Hospital and other local tenants.

Contact: Thomas A. Byers, Phone: 407.616.6841, Fax: 407.420.9589. E-mail:

Plaza Advisors Adds Jess Wirts to Retail Investment Sales Team

TAMPA, FL--Plaza Advisors welcomes Jess Wirts, (top right photo) Investment Sales Associate, to its retail investment sales team.
Jim Michalak, (top left photo) Managing Partner of Plaza Advisors, says Wirts brings several years of proven real estate transaction experience.

Prior to Plaza Advisors, Wirts worked as an investment sales broker for a retail and multi-family firm based out of Tampa.

Wirts graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Finance. Wirts holds a Florida Brokers and General Contractor Licenses, and is also a member of ICSC.

Plaza Advisors is a real estate advisory firm based in Tampa, Florida. The firm specializes in the disposition of anchored shopping center properties throughout the southeastern United States and exclusively represents institutional and private equity owners.

The firm’s principal has closed over 100 anchored shopping center transactions with a combined GLA exceeding more than 10 million square feet, and a sales volume exceeding $1 billion.


Jim Michalak, Managing Partner, Plaza Advisors, 3412 Bay to Bay Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33629
Lenard L. Williams, Senior Financial Analyst, (bottom right photo) PH 813.837.1300 Ext. 102. Fax: 831.2627