Thursday, January 8, 2009

C. Michael Kojaian Appointed Chairman of Grubb & Ellis

SANTA ANA, CA – Grubb & Ellis Company (NYSE: GBE), a leading real estate services and investment firm, has announced its board of directors has unanimously appointed C. Michael Kojaian non-executive chairman of the board, effective immediately.

Kojaian replaces Glenn L. Carpenter, who is stepping down as chairman, but remains on the board as an independent director.

“We couldn’t be more appreciative of Glenn’s guidance and contributions over the past 12 months. As chairman, his leadership and insight were invaluable during a period in which both our company and the industry saw considerable change,” said Gary H. Hunt, interim chief executive officer of Grubb & Ellis. “We are extremely fortunate to continue to have Glenn as a member of our board.”

Hunt called Kojaian’s appointment as chairman “extremely positive” for the company.

“Michael is one of the most astute real estate executives in our industry today, and he has been one of the company’s biggest supporters for more than a decade,” he said.

“No one is more qualified than Michael Kojaian to serve as chairman of Grubb & Ellis. As the company’s largest stockholder, his interests are clearly aligned with our long-term success, which should be extremely beneficial to our clients, our employees and our stockholders.”

Kojaian has been a member of the Grubb & Ellis board of directors since 1996. He served as chairman from June 2002 through the completion of the company’s merger with NNN Realty Advisors, LLC in December 2007. He is president of Kojaian Ventures, LLC and executive vice president of Kojaian Management Corporation, both of which are investment firms. He is also a director of Arbor Realty Trust, Inc.

Carpenter joined the NNN Realty Advisors board in 2006, and became a member of the Grubb & Ellis board of directors following the completion of the merger. He was named chairman in February 2008.

Contact: Janice McDill, 312.698.6707,

Grubb & Ellis|Commercial Florida negotiates long-term Leases in Maitland and Heathrow, FL

ORLANDO, FL. – Grubb & EllisCommercial Florida has negotiated two long-term leases that total more than 12,370 square feet of Class A office space in Maitland and Heathrow.

Anne Deason, (top right photo) associate vice president and Andrew E. McCaw, (top left photo) FMA, senior vice president, Office Services Group at Grubb & EllisCommercial Florida, negotiated a new lease agreement for 8,768 square feet in the 400 Heathrow building at 400 International Parkway representing the tenant Maxim Healthcare Services, Inc.
The landlord of the 109,608 square foot building is Colonial Properties Trust of Lake Mary.

At Maitland Center, Deason and McCaw represented the tenant, Employment Guide, in negotiating the lease of 3,604 square feet in the 901 Maitland Center building located at 901 N. Lake Destiny Drive. DRA/CLP 901 Maitland Orlando LLC is the landlord for the 155,730 square foot building.

Mike Caridi of Colonial Properties represented the landlords in the transactions.

Anne Deason, 407.481.5411,
Andy McCaw, 407 481, 5301,
Larry Vershel Communications, 407 644 4142,

Alabama Senior Housing Property Sells for $4.4M

TAMPA, FL --CLW Health Care Services Group is pleased to have represented a national health care REIT in the sale of Ridge View at Meadow Brook, (top right photo) an 84-unit Assisted Living Facility located in Birmingham, Alabama.

Built in 1999, the single-story building contains 48,058 square feet and is situated on 6.5 acres. A wing of the building containing 17,967 square feet was closed at the time of sale.

The purchase price was $4,400,000 ($52,381 per unit).

Contact: Allen McMurtry, 813.349.8349,

Ardent Hotel Advisors Partners with Steven Surgent to Form Ardent Hotel Investors

SCOTTSDALE, AZ—Ardent Hotel Advisors, one of the nation’s premier hotel management and asset management companies, has partnered with Steven Surgent to form Ardent Hotel Investors (AHI), a real estate private equity firm that will focus on the acquisition of value-added hospitality opportunities throughout the U.S.

As principal of AHI, Surgent will be responsible for launching the company’s hospitality investment platform in addition to providing support to Ardent Hotel Advisors in sourcing third-party management contracts.

“In 2008, we continued to focus on growth, and the addition of Steve to our senior management team gives us the bench strength and expertise we will need to accelerate that growth,” said Jim Evans, Ardent principal and CEO.

“We have entered the most turbulent times since at least the hotel real estate collapse in the early 1990s. Steve’s extensive background in hospitality real estate and finance will be critical over the next 12 to 36 months, as the industry responds to and finds ways to deal with the current global credit crisis.”

“I believe today’s historic economic and capital market difficulties will create the most compelling buying environment since 2001-2003, perhaps even the RTC days of the early 1990’s,” Surgent said.

“As economic and real estate market fundamentals continue to deteriorate through next year and property values continue to fall, we believe the next 12 to 36 months will represent an opportune time to put our capital and turn-around capabilities to work.

"Our collective investment and management expertise will provide complete control of the value-creation process from start to finish, a key component to our growth strategy. Focusing primarily on premium select- and full-service branded hotels, we will target both distressed opportunities and traditional value-added properties at what we believe will be significantly higher cap rates than the past four years.”

Contact: Jerry Daly, Patrick Daly, (703) 435-6293

Grubb & Ellis Issues Statement on Passing of Co-Founder Hal Ellis

SANTA ANA, CA– Grubb & Ellis Company (NYSE: GBE), a leading real estate services and investment firm, issued the following statement in response to the Jan. 6, 2009 death of company co-founder Harold A. “Hal” Ellis. (t0p right photo by Steve Ringman of San Francisco Chronicle)

“We were saddened to learn of Hal Ellis’ passing following his courageous and prolonged battle with metastatic melanoma cancer,” said Gary Hunt, (top left photo) interim chief executive officer. “We know he will be missed by many and share our deepest condolences with his family. For those of us here at Grubb & Ellis, there is a special appreciation for what Hal accomplished during his career.”
Ellis served as Grubb & Ellis’ chairman and chief executive officer until 1992. Under his leadership, Grubb & Ellis grew into one of the largest diversified real estate service companies in the United States.

In addition, he served as a director of Koll Real Estate Group and is a past director of two publicly traded real estate investment trusts and a large Canadian real estate development company.

Most recently, he was president of Ellis Partners LLC, a Northern California real estate development and investment company he co-founded with two partners in 1993. Ellis also served as chairman and chief executive officer of CataList Homes, Inc., a residential real estate brokerage company based in Southern California.

He held the distinguished Counselor of Real Estate designation and was active in number of industry and business organizations.

“We were thrilled to have Hal participate in Grubb & Ellis’ 50th anniversary celebration last year, where his warmth, humor and intelligence were on full display,” said Hunt. “We honor his accomplishments and mourn his passing. His memory will be an inspiration to us all.”

Damon Elder, 714.975.2659,
Janice McDill, 312.698.6707,

MBA Chairman Kittle Announces John A. Courson as President and Chief Executive Officer

WASHINGTON, D.C. - - David G. Kittle, (middle left photo) CMB, Chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) announces the appointment of John A. Courson, (top right photo) as MBA's President and Chief Executive Officer effective January 1.

Courson, currently serving as MBA's Chief Operating Officer, succeeds Jonathan L. Kempner who in July announced that he would leave MBA effective December 31, 2008.

"John brings to MBA a wealth of experience and industry knowledge, and I am confident in his leadership both in terms of business savvy, political and advocacy skills," said Kittle. "We are fortunate to have John as an integral part of MBA's leadership as we steer our association to represent the real estate finance industry and continue to build America's communities."

Courson has previously served MBA as Chairman in 2003 and as a member of MBA's Board of Directors, the Residential Board of Governors (RESBOG) and the Commercial Real Estate/Multifamily Finance Board of Governors (COMBOG).
He has previously served as Chairman of RESBOG, MBA's Legislative Steering Committee, MORPAC MBA's State and Local Liaison Committee and Mortgage Reform Task Force. He has also served as President of the California Mortgage Bankers Association and Michigan Mortgage Bankers Association, and as a Director of the Texas Mortgage Bankers Association.

"I look forward to leading MBA on behalf of its members to stabilize the mortgage market and restore faith in our industry by helping struggling homeowners get help to stay in their homes and making sure the recent mistakes and excesses that landed us in the current difficulty are never allowed to be repeated, all the while ensuring that Americans have the opportunity to have an affordable roof over their head," said Courson.

Courson began his career in mortgage banking working for Kassler & Co. in Denver, Colorado, while attending high school and college. He has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Central Pacific Mortgage Company, President and Chief Executive Officer of Westwood Mortgage Corporation and as President and Chief Operating Officer of Fundamental Mortgage.

In 2004, Courson was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to the Board of Directors of the California Housing Finance Agency. He was Chairman of the Board prior to coming to MBA.
CONTACT: John Mechem, (202) 557-2924,