Friday, October 31, 2008

Economy and Election are Hot Topics as Realtors(R) Meet in Orlando

2008 Realtors(R) Conference & Expo Set for Nov. 7-10 at Orange County Convention Center

25,000 Attendees Expected to Register

ORLANDO, FL--The National Association of Realtors says the theme for this year's Realtors(r) Conference & Expo is "Destination Success - Full Speed Ahead" --- a slogan that is expected to draw 25,000 Realtors(R) and guests at the four-day event, Nov. 7--10 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

Sessions and meetings will address how the changing political and economic landscapes are likely to affect the real estate industry. Realtors(R) will be joined by industry experts, lawmakers, federal agency officials and other guests for a program that addresses the varied issues facing today's residential and commercial real estate markets.

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director James B. Lockhardt III (top right photo) and Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan (middle left photo) are among the public policy and industry leaders who will speak during the conference.

Also scheduled to speak are NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun (bottom left photo); Dr. Paul C. Light, (top left photo) New York University Wagner's Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service and founding principal investigator of the Organizational Performance Initiative; and Dr. Mark Dotzour, (bottom right photo) Chief Economist, Real Estate Center, Texas A&M University.

As part of the regular conference program, Lance Armstrong, (middle right photo) seven-time Tour de France winner and cancer survivor, will be a featured speaker on Saturday, Nov. 8. His message, "Choose to Be a Champion in Life," will set the tone for the week, inspiring and motivating attendees to new heights.

More than 500 exhibitors are expected to participate in the Realtors(R) Expo, which showcases the latest real estate products and innovations across various fields, including technology, data communications and financial programs and services.

Expo hours are Friday, Nov. 7, 4 p.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 8, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 9, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Monday, Nov. 10, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

During the Expo, take some time to come by booth 3741 to learn about NAR's four-point plan to help boost the economy and help calm jittery home buyers.

Realtors(R) visiting the booth will participate in a Call to Action, urging members of Congress to take further action to help families and invigorate the real estate market, and demonstrate their support by signing the walls of a miniature house designed to feature the four-point plan.


Stephanie Singer of NAR, +1-202-383-1050,

Wyndham Worldwide Outlook Revised To Negative

'BBB-' Corporate Credit Rating Affirmed

New York, Oct. 31, 2008--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has revised its outlook on Parsippany, NJ-based Wyndham Worldwide Corp. to negative from stable. At the same time, we affirmed the 'BBB-' corporate credit rating on the company.
(Wyndham's Chateau Bourbon Hotel, New Orleans, top left photo)

The negative outlook revision reflects:

Lower-than-expected EBITDA generation in 2008 and 2009.

We previously expected revenue and EBITDA would increase in the high-single-digit percentage area in 2008 and in the low-single-digit percentage area in 2009, and we now expect growth of flat-to-low-single digits in 2008 and flat-to-low-single digit declines in 2009.

This is primarily due to a reduction in expected timeshare segment EBITDA to flat in 2008 compared to up nearly 10%, and for an expected decline in that business in 2009 compared to modest growth previously.

We expect Wyndham's lodging franchise business will exhibit a low-single-digit decline in EBITDA driven by a modest decline in revenue in 2009 as revenue per available room declines of 5% or more (our current expectation for the U.S. lodging industry) offset low-single-digit room growth.
(Wyndham's Baolian Hotel, Shanghai, top right photo)

We also have a moderately lower view of expected EBITDA at the RCI timeshare exchange and vacation rental businesses, although we expect that business to maintain relatively stable cash flow characteristics; and

A meaningful increase in total lease-and-captive-finance adjusted debt balances over the intermediate term due to a decrease in the expected advance rate Wyndham would receive for selling its timeshare receivables.
(Wyndham brand, Ramada Plaza Zhangjiaje, China, middle left photo)
Wyndham stated it expects the advance rate to decline to about 60% from near-80% under its 364-day bank timeshare receivables conduit facility, which the company expects to refinance on or about Nov. 10, 2008, with capacity of at least $800 million (down from $1.2 billion in capacity at September 2008).

While we are pleased that investor appetite likely remains for lending against timeshare paper, it will be at a price that is adjusted for intermediate-term risk assessments.

As a result, lower current and expected advance rates over the intermediate term have led us to revisit the appropriate level of debt to be removed from the balance sheet in our captive finance adjustment, and to lower this amount to the equivalent of 60% of net securitized receivables from 80%.

The net effect is to raise adjusted debt balances in our credit measure calculations.
(Wyndham's Cap Cana Resort, Dominican Republic, bottom right photo)

"The rating on Wyndham reflects the company's leading market positions in each of its business units and the stable cash flow characteristics of the lodging and RCI vacation network businesses," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Emile Courtney.

We view Wyndham's business profile as investment grade, incorporating Standard & Poor's positive view of management as prudent business operators and a good level of business diversity.

High levels of capital intensity in the timeshare development industry and the company's participation in highly competitive markets offset these positive factors somewhat.

(Wyndham brand, Ramada Beirut Hotel, Lebanon, bottom left photo)

Another key rating factor is our expectation that the company will maintain investment-grade financial metrics, with lease-and-captive-finance-adjusted leverage at around 3.5x or less on average over the economic cycle.

We also expect the company to maintain access to the securitization markets as a source of funding during the long term, even if the cost of financing is likely to increase materially over the intermediate term.

Media Contact: Mimi Barker, New York (1) 212-438-5054,

Analyst Contacts:
Emile Courtney, CFA, New York (1) 212-438-7824
Liz Fairbanks, New York (1) 212-438-7459

Thomas D. Wood & Co. Brokers $7.5M on Three Loans

Midtown Professional Center, Tampa, Gets $2.3M Loan

MIAMI, FL— Thomas D. Wood and Company, a Strategic Alliance Mortgage LLC member, secured financing in the amount of $2,300,000 for the Midtown Professional Center (top right photo) in Tampa, Florida.

Alan R. Cohen, (top left photo) Company Vice President, financed the loan through a regional community bank at a rate of 5.95%. The loan term is three years, based on a 25-year amortization, and a loan-to-value of 63%.

The 21,382 square-foot medical office is home to major tenant Amsurg Tampa, and was built in 1967. Midtown Professional Center is located at 4809 N. Armenia Avenue, Tampa, Florida.

For further information, please contact:
Alan R. Cohen (305) 447-7820
Jessica Gurtowski (407) 937-0470

Tatiana's Apartments and Cypress Gardens RV Park Receive Separate Loans Totaling $1.66M

ORLANDO, FL— Thomas D. Wood and Company, a Strategic Alliance Mortgage LLC member, secured financing in the amount of $1,666,500 for Tatiana’s Apartments and Cypress Gardens RV Park. (middle right photo)

Jeff Schnupp (middle left photo), Company Vice President, financed Tatiana’s Apartments through a national lender at an interest rate of 6.57%.

The loan term is 10 years, based on a 30-year amortization, and a loan-to-value of 58%. The 16-unit multifamily complex was built in 1979 and renovated in 2007.

Tatiana’s Apartments are located at 6216 and 6224 Washington Street, Hollywood, Florida.

John Worrell, (middle right photo) Company Assistant Vice President, secured financing for the Cypress Gardens RV Park through a regional bank at an interest rate of Prime + 2.3%.

The loan term is five years, based on a 15-year amortization, and a loan-to-value of 75%. The 191-campsite RV park is located on 18.7 acres at 7400 Cypress Gardens Boulevard, Winter Haven, Florida.

For further information, please contact:
Jeff Schnupp (407) 937-0470
John Worrell (407) 937-0470
Jessica Gurtowski (407) 937-0470

Quail Park at El Dorado Hills, CA Wins $3.5M Loan

MIAMI, FL— Thomas D. Wood and Company, a Strategic Alliance Mortgage LLC member, secured financing in the amount of $3,500,000 for Quail Park at El Dorado Hills, (bottom right photo) an office complex in El Dorado Hills, California.

Steven Hayes Wood, (bottom left photo) Company Chief Operation Officer, financed the loan through StanCorp Mortgage Investors, one of Thomas D. Wood and Company’s correspondent life insurance lenders, at a rate of 6.50%.

The loan term is five years, and can be reset every five years, based on a 25-year amortization and a loan-to-value of 71.28%. The 16,800 square-foot office complex is comprised of two one-story multi-tenant buildings, and was built in 2005. Quail Park at El Dorado Hills is located at 1190 and 1192 Suncast Lane, El Dorado Hills, California.

For further information, please contact:
Steven Hayes Wood (305) 447-7820
Jessica Gurtowski (407) 937-0470

Cousins Properties Corrects Erroneous AP Wire Story

ATLANTA, GA (Oct. 31, 2008) - Cousins Properties Incorporated(NYSE:CUZ) offered the following comment on an October 29 news story from the Associated Press that incorrectly summarized a Goldman Sachs research report assessing credit concerns among REITs.

The wire story had erroneously assumed the Goldman report included Cousins Properties as a company with major refinancing concerns in the near term when Cousins was included in the report as a REIT with "development exposure."

Cousins Properties has only $8.6 million of debt maturing between now and December 31, 2009. Therefore, there are no near-term refinancing concerns.

In addition, the Company has enough cash on-hand, without accessing the $233 million of availability on its credit facility, to fund all anticipated development costs through 2009.

"Given the difficulties some real estate companies are having withrefinancing and liquidity, we felt it was important to correct therecord on this widely read story," said Jim Fleming, (top right photo) executive vice president and chief financial officer of Cousins.

Cousins will announce its third quarter 2008 earnings on next Wednesday, Nov. 5 and hold its quarterly conference call with analysts and investors at 10 a.m.ET on Thursday, Nov. 6.
Investment Community: Elli Kaplan Vice President, , Investor Relations & Research, (404) 407-1972,

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

Grubb & Ellis|Commercial Florida Executive Jeff Sweeney projects 2009 will mirror image of 2008 in Central Florida: Slow but broad recovery

ORLANDO --- Next year Florida’s commercial real estate market will look much like it did this year, only in reverse. That’s the word from longtime area commercial real estate analyst Jeff Sweeney, (top right photo) SIOR, principal and managing partner of Grubb & EllisCommercial Florida.

Sweeney, who presents his annual market overview for the Central Florida Council of Bankruptcy Attorneys in Orlando, said 2008 began slow and is ending stagnant.

“Central Florida’s commercial real estate market in 2009 will be just the reverse,” Sweeney explained. “We expect it to start out stagnant and end with a pulse.”

The good news is the recovery should span all sectors, Sweeney said.

We think we’re going to see a broad-based return of the office, industrial and retail markets in Florida. Currently we have a broad-based downturn in all of those markets,” Sweeney said.

Job growth---a leading indicator in the commercial real estate markets---is likely to be anemic for the first half of the year and improve in the second half, Sweeney added.

“In an aggregate comparison, job growth in 2009 will be similar to 2008,” Sweeney said.

“It was slow and getting worse this year, next year it will be slow and getting better. I expect to see a lot more optimism in 12 months,” he said.

Jeff Sweeney, SIOR, Independently Owned & Operated, Grubb & EllisCommercial Florida, 407-481-5387,

Larry Vershel Communications Inc., 407-644-4142,