Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hampton Hotels Opens 15 Properties in September

BEVERLY HILLS, CA, Oct. 14, 2008—Hampton Hotels (www.hampton.com), the international brand of nearly 1,600 mid-priced Hampton Inn® and Hampton Inn & Suites® hotels, opened 15 properties in September 2008, aggregating 1,548 new rooms.

The new openings consist of nine Hampton Inn hotels and six Hampton Inn & Suites properties. All openings are franchised, newly constructed hotels.

(The 81-room Hampton Inn & Suites, Dallas/DeSoto, top left photo, opened Sept. 19.)

“As the economy continues to soften, savvy travelers are going to greater and greater lengths to find hotels that offer value-added services and amenities,” said Phil Cordell, (middle right photo) senior vice president, Hampton Hotels. “With complimentary hot breakfast and high-speed internet access, Hampton meets those needs—an ideal combination for both developers and guests.”

Hampton Hotels is one of the fastest growing brands for value-oriented and quality-minded travelers. Finding a Hampton Hotel is easy—they’re in urban chic locations, near shopping malls, beaches, roadside attractions—they’re everywhere, offering friendly service and 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed.

Under the “Friend in Town” initiative, Hampton web sites feature a local flavor, with area photography highlighting each property’s local connections and original copy discussing nearby attractions, historical facts and fun things to see and do around town.


Sheryl Shelton, Hampton Brand Communications, 901 374 6383

Chris Daly, Daly Gray Public relations, 703 435 6293

Arbor Closes Three DUS® Loans Totaling $4,994,000

UNIONDALE, NY, Oct. 14, 2008-– Arbor Commercial Funding, LLC (“Arbor”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Arbor Commercial Mortgage, LLC, announced the recent funding of three (3) loans totaling $4,994,000 under the Fannie Mae DUS® product line. These loans include:

Palm Villas Apartments, (top right photo) Edinburg, TX - Acquisition of a 96-unit complex in the amount of $2,208,000 under the Fannie Mae DUS® Small Loans product line.
The 7-year loan amortizes on a 30-year schedule and carries a note rate of 6.24 percent.

Winchester-Smithfield Apartments, (bottom left photo) Winchester, VA - Acquisition of a 44-unit complex in the amount of $1,600,000 under the Fannie Mae DUS® Small Loan product line. The 10-year loan amortizes on a 30-year schedule and carries a note rate of 6.72 percent.

Back Acres, Johnson Creek, WI - Acquisition of a 45-unit complex in the amount of $1,186,000 under the Fannie Mae DUS® MHC product line. The 7-year loan amortizes on a 30-year schedule and carries a note rate of 6.59 percent.

The loans were originated by Peter Margolin, (top left photo) Director, in Arbor’s full-service Deerfield, IL lending office.
“All three loans helped the buyers meet the timelines of their transactions,” said Margolin “It provided them with the maximum leverage that was available in the market.”

Contact: Ingrid PrincipeTel: (516) 506-4298

CBRE Reports Few New Retail Tenants Signing Deals in Jacksonville, FL

JACKSONVILLE, FL-CB Richard Ellis' Jacksonville, FL office reports that while a slight second quarter economic uptick occurred, forecasters’ predictions for a rocky third quarter proved to be

Lea Court (top right photo), CBRE Director of Retail Leasing, Jacksonville, notes the third quarter ended with consumer confidence at record low levels as a “complete meltdown” of the financial markets was avoided only by unprecedented governmental intervention.
The state of the economy has affected consumer spending in a tangible way.

At the root of the problem is the mortgage crisis as borrowers took on loans they
could not afford, made by lenders acting irresponsibly.

This, coupled with rising fuel
costs, high unemployment and election uncertainties impacted third quarter results.

These conditions are not expected to improve in the near future, and total retail sales for the holiday forth quarter ’08 will be the weakest in 6 years, according to a forecast by CNN Money. Worst hit will be retailers selling non-essential items and those with product lines dependent on a strong housing market. This trend will be felt both nationally and locally.

As an example, Starbucks is closing 600 stores nationwide, six of which are located in the
Jacksonville MSA.

Conversely, on a local level, the retail vacancy rate stood at 6.7 percentage,
roughly unchanged from the second quarter but significantly better than the national average of 8.2 percentage.

Year to date absorption is positive 909,664 sq. ft., however third quarter absorption is negative 13,197 sq. ft.

The overall high absorption is a function of big box/mid box space that was largely pre-leased at three centers that have been completed so far this year:

OakLeaf Town Center (860,000 sq. ft.) (bottom right photo), OakLeaf Commons (73,717 sq. ft.) and Kendall Town Center (275,066 sq. ft.) totaling 1,208,783 sq. ft.

From the landlords’ perspective, with few new tenants signing deals, the main focus for the short term is tenant retention. During these challenging times, many national, regional and local tenants are scaling back as landlords are offering concessions as tenants’ renewals occur.

Other third-quarter highlights:
• Jacksonville retail vacancy rate is 1.5 percentage lower than the national average with 6.7 percentage.

• Unemployment rates are up across the board. While Jacksonville is lower in the overall Florida market, and Jacksonville surpasses the National unemployment rate.

• University of Central Florida Institute for Economic Competitiveness is reporting that the Jacksonville MSA is expected to show moderate growth in the economic indicators.

• The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration has approved for St. Vincent’s HealthCare to build a 98-bed hospital in Clay County.

Sotheby’s Global Commercial Group to Host Worldwide Auction of More Than 30 Florida Commercial Properties Dec. 11

ORLANDO, FL -- Stirling Sotheby’s Global Commercial Group in conjunction with Stirling Sotheby’s Auction Services will host a worldwide auction of more than 30 Florida commercial properties on Dec. 11 in Orlando.

Roger Soderstrom, (top left photo) founder and owner of Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty said most of the commercial properties to be auctioned are located within 50 miles of Orlando but some properties may be located as far away as Miami, Naples and Jacksonville.

Auction properties will include office buildings, retail and industrial facilities, development sites and raw acreage, Soderstrom added, along with select builder and developer residential product inventories.

“This may be the largest single auction of Central Florida commercial properties ever,” said Soderstrom. “We expect strong buyer interest from throughout the U.S. as well as Canada, the U.K., Europe and Brazil,” he said.

Soderstrom said Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty will market the auction worldwide through a widespread marketing strategy that includes Sotheby’s International Realty’s network of more than 500 offices in 36 countries and territories worldwide.

In addition to bidding at the Orlando auction site, bidders worldwide will be able to bid live online over the Internet.

“From our affiliates worldwide, we know that Central Florida commercial properties are in high demand by affluent buyers,” Soderstrom said. “We assume interest will be strong, so we are expecting to set records at this event,” he said.

Bidders can register and participate in person, via telephone (407-588-1260) or live, online at (www.AuctionsByStirling.com).

For more information about this press release, contact:
Roger Soderstrom, Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty Founder/Owner 407-588-1260
Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications 407-644-4142