Monday, December 22, 2008

The Lighthouse Leases 2,000 SF of Office Space in Downtown Avalon Park

ORLANDO, Fla. --- The Lighthouse, a non-profit organization that assists sight-impaired individuals, has leased 2,333 square feet of store front space at 3873 Avalon Park East Blvd. in Downtown Avalon Park off Alafaya Trail in east Orlando.

(Beat Kahli, top right photo, with wife Jill, is founder and owner of Avalon Park Group.)

Brendon Dedekind, (bottom left photo) director of leasing and business development for APG Management, said Downtown Avalon Park now accommodates some 300,000 square feet of commercial space and approximately 300 town homes and rental apartments

A new 45,000 square foot, three-story Class A medical office building will open during the first quarter of 2009 in Downtown Avalon Park with anchor tenants Florida Hospital and the Mentor Group, a medical rehabilitation practice. Dedekind said 20,000 square feet in the medical building is now being pre-leased.

For more information about this release, contact:

Brendon Dedekind, Director of Leasing/Business Development, Avalon Park Group Management Inc., 407-658-6565;

Beat Kahli, Founder/Owner Avalon Park Group, 407-658-6565;

Stephanie Hodson, Marketing Coordinator, Avalon Park, 407-658-6565;

Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. Outlook Revised To Negative

NEW YORK, NY--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has revised its outlook on Lebanon, Tenn.–based Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. (CBRL) to negative from stable.

We have also affirmed the company's ratings, including its 'BB-' corporate credit rating.

"The outlook revision is due to CBRL's weakening operating performance," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Jackie E. Oberoi.

Credit metrics are weak for the rating and the company's EBITDA cushion over financial covenants narrowed to about 5% for the first quarter.

"While we expect the company to reduce debt from seasonal peak levels over the next quarter such that the EBITDA cushion widens to about 9%," added Ms. Oberoi, "we remain concerned that without additional debt pay-down, CBRL may have difficulty meeting financial covenants when they step down in the fourth quarter next July."

Media Contact: David Wargin, New York (1) 212.438.1579,

Analyst Contact:
Jackie E Oberoi, New York (1) 212.438.2895

Hotel Brokers International’s Transactions Activity Outpaces Industry Through 3Q

Industry-wide Transactions Down by $11 Billion Through September

KANSAS CITY, MO, Dec. 22, 2008—Hotel Brokers International (HBI), the nation’s largest hotel brokerage organization with more than 30 offices from coast to coast, today reported that hotel real estate transaction activity nationwide declined by more than 67 percent during the first three quarters of 2008.

The organization said that transaction activity among its member brokers also declined during the period, but at a lesser rate than the industry average.

Part of the difference is attributable to the availability of financing for mid-market hotels, which account for the majority of properties sold by HBI.

“The lack of financing has had its most dramatic impact on hotels that sold for more than $20 million,” said H. Brandt Niehaus, (top right photo) CHB, president of HBI and Louisville-based Huff, Niehaus & Associates, Inc.

“Hotel transactions under $15 million, which makes up the bulk of the hotel industry inventory and HBI’s sales, continue to get done because financing, primarily from local banks, continues to be available.

"The key is to have a proven track record as an operator and a long-term relationship with the lender. Major brands also are preferred product types.”

For the 2008 first three quarters, HBI tracked 216 public transactions across the industry, compared to 582 in the same period a year earlier.

Average transaction size declined from 199 rooms to 167 rooms and the average price per room fell to $108,000, compared to $120,000. Total dollar volume for the 2008 first three quarters was $6.4 billion, compared to $17.4 billion.

(Sheraton Safari Lake, Buena Vista, FL top left photo, not in financial trouble.)
HBI reported 57 transactions for the 2008 first three quarters, compared to 118 for the like 2007 period.

Capitalization rate for HBI transactions fell to 8.67 percent, compared to 9.17 percent, which was not statistically significant.

First mortgage loan to value was 71.0 percent with a 7.2 percent average first year interest rate, compared to a 74.5 percent first mortgage loan to value with an average first year interest rate of 8.0 percent.

(Cosmopolitan Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, NV, middle right photo, not in financial trouble.)

“We expect to see a mini-surge of activity at the end of year for owners who want to sell in this tax year,” he noted. “We expect 2009 to start off a little slowly and then begin to pick up as the year progresses.

"Our members have been in contact with more than 100 financial institutions in the past few months. They find that a lot of loans will be coming due in 2009 and the properties now are assessed lower than the loan value, and banks will likely take many of those properties back and place them on the market.

"With the hotel economy expecting to have a tough year, the gap between buyers and sellers will likely narrow.”

(Grant Hyatt Cairo, Egypt, bottom left photo, not in financial trouble.)

Niehaus noted that closing of transactions continues to take one to two months longer to wrap up than in 2007.

“Lenders are being more cautious and require more equity, usually 30 percent or more. We see that trend continuing through 2009. The key exception is SBA loans under $10 million which require as little as 20 percent equity. Fortunately, interest rates are declining and are at historically attractive rates. As in past cycles, cash is king.”

About HBI

Hotel Brokers International, with more than 100 hotel brokerage specialists, is the world’s leading hotel sales organization. The organization annually accounts for the greatest
market share of mid-market transactions in the United States.

In addition to the Hotel Investor’s Marketplace, HBI sponsors the Certified Hotel Broker program and publishes TransActions Recap, the leading source of hotel real estate sales data.

HBI currently has more than 150 properties listed for sale in its proprietary database and access to more than 15,000 hotel investors and owners. In addition to broker services, HBI offers affiliate membership to professionals in allied fields, including franchising, lending, appraisals and investment services.

For more information about HBI’s hotel listings or to become a broker or affiliate member, HBI may be reached at (816) 505-4315 or via the Internet at


Patrick Daly, Daly Gray Public Relations, 620 Herndon Parkway, Suite 115, Herndon, VA 20170 Tel (703) 435-6293. Fax (703) 435-6297

Glenda Webb, Hotel Brokers International, (816) 505-4315

Melanie Boyer, Daly Gray Public Relations, (703) 435-6293

Thomas D. Wood & Co. Brokers $9.7M Loan for Miami Industrial Center

MIAMI, FL—Dec. 22, 2008— Thomas D. Wood and Company, a Strategic Alliance Mortgage LLC member, secured financing in the amount of $9,625,500 for West Park Center in Miami, Florida.

Steve Wood, (top right photo) Company Chief Operating Officer, along with Adam Luysterborghs of Avant Capital Partners, financed the loan through Thomas D. Wood and Company’s relationship with a local banking institution at a permanent fixed-rate of 6.375%.

The loan has a 10-year term with a five-year rate review, with two years interest-only, based on a 25-year amortization and a loan-to-value of 65%.

The 81,828 square-foot office/warehouse is home to major tenants Miami Latin TV, Miami Dade Expressway Authority, and Geico, and is located at 2782-2898 NW 79th Avenue, Miami, Florida.

For further information, please contact:

Steve Wood, (305) 447-7820,
Jessica Gurtowski, (407) 937-0470,

Dollar General Corp. 'B' Corporate Credit Rating Affirmed; Outlook Revised To Positive

NEW YORK, NY--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has revised its outlook on Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based Dollar General Corp. to positive from stable.

We affirmed all ratings on the company, including its 'B' corporate credit rating.

"The outlook revision follows Dollar General's better-than-expected operating results for the third quarter ended Oct. 31, 2008," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Ana Lai, "and our expectations that this positive operating momentum will continue for the remainder of 2008 and into early 2009, resulting in improving cash flow and stronger credit protection measures."

Media Contact: David Wargin, New York (1) 212.438.1579,

Analyst Contact: Ana Lai, CFA, New York (1) 212.438.7895

Roundy's Supermarkets Inc. 'B' Corporate Credit Rating Affirmed With Negative Outlook

NEW YORK, NY--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today it removed its ratings, including the 'B' corporate credit rating, on Milwaukee-based Roundy's Supermarkets Inc. (Roundy's headquarters building, top right photo) from CreditWatch with negative implications, where they were placed on Sept. 25, 2008. The outlook is negative.

"This action reflects our current belief that Roundy's should remain covenant complaint in the near term," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Charles Pinson-Rose, "given our performance expectations and its ability to pay down debt with its current cash position and future cash flows."
Media Contact:
David Wargin, New York (1) 212.438.1579,

Analyst Contact:
Charles Pinson-Rose, New York (1) 212.438.4944

Grubb & Ellis Awarded Property Management of 500,000 SF Sharp HealthCare Portfolio in San Diego, CA

POWAY, CA – Grubb & Ellis Company (NYSE: GBE), a leading real estate services and investment firm, has been selected to provide property management services for two owned and three leased properties in and around San Diego totaling approximately 500,000 square feet on behalf of Sharp HealthCare, a not-for-profit integrated regional healthcare delivery system.

In addition, Grubb & Ellis will provide lease administration services for 80 Sharp HealthCare leaseholds throughout San Diego County.

Grubb & Ellis will provide comprehensive property management services at the 190,000-square-foot 8695 Spectrum Center Blvd. and the 95,000-square-foot 5525 Grossmont Center Drive in La Mesa; both properties are owned by Sharp HealthCare.

The company will also provide specialized management services for nearly 150,000 square feet of space located at 4000 Ruffin Road, 54,000 square feet of space at 3571 and 3572 Corporate Court, and 10,000 square feet of space at 3558 Ruffin Road.

“Grubb & Ellis is very pleased to establish this relationship with Sharp HealthCare,” said Hans Mumper, (top right photo) Grubb & Ellis’ senior vice president and director of Management Services for Southern California.

“Our goal as a company is to provide comprehensive service to our clients, and this multi-practice assignment demonstrates our ability to serve as a one-stop real estate services provider for our clients.”

The property management effort for the Sharp HealthCare portfolio is lead by Glenn Fibiger, portfolio manager, Western Region of Grubb & Ellis’ Poway office.

Contact: Damon Elder, Phone: 714.975.2659. Email: