Monday, January 26, 2009

Orlando Multifamily Vacancy Creeps Higher but Long-Term Prospects Remain Healthy

ORLANDO, FL – Projected job losses in Orlando will contribute to an increase in vacancy and virtually flatten rent growth, but some positive trends will emerge throughout 2009, according to the 2009 National Apartment Report by Marcus & Millichap, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm.

“Investment activity is expected to remain slow in the early part of 2009,” says Bryn Merrey, regional manager of Marcus & Millichap’s Orlando office.

“Despite the effects of weakening economic growth, investors are optimistic about the area’s long-term prospects and more robust apartment fundamentals in the quarters ahead.”

Following are some of the most significant aspects of the Orlando Apartment Research Report:

· Led by reductions in the professional and business services and financial activities sectors, total employment in Orlando will fall by 10,600 workers this year, a 1 percent decrease. In 2008, employers cut 15,800 jobs.

· In 2009, developers are slated to complete 2,200 apartments, down from 2,700 units last year. Multi-family permit issuance is expected to decline from about 6,000 units in 2008 to 4,000 units this year as construction pipelines are adjusted.

· The average vacancy rate is projected to increase 120 basis points in 2009 to 10.7 percent. Last year, a rise in completions resulted in a 240 basis point vacancy spike.

· Asking rents are expected to advance 0.3 percent this year to $883 per month. Effective rents are forecast to drop 1.6 percent to $805 per month as owners offer greater concessions to attract renters.

· Due to the recent slowdown in transaction velocity, buyers may be able to negotiate favorable terms in the early part of 2009. This trend will be most evident in sales of fractured condo conversions across the metro area and in deals involving recently built properties with low occupancy, especially near major employers in southern Orange County.

Also included in the report is the firm’s annual National Apartment Index (NAI), a snapshot analysis that ranks 43 apartment markets based on a series of 12-month forward-looking supply and demand indicators.

Orlando moves down six places this year to No. 32. San Francisco retained the top position in this year’s NAI, supported by the strongest effective rent growth in the ranking.

San Diego climbed six places to No. 2, due to the lowest vacancy rate of the markets covered. Washington, D.C. moved up six places to No. 3. Los Angeles checked in at No. 4, and Seattle moved up three places to claim No. 5. Two Midwestern markets, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Milwaukee, posted the most significant upward moves in the index.

For a copy of Marcus & Millichap’s National Apartment Report and the complete NAI rankings, visit

Press Contact: Stacey CorsoCommunications Department(925) 953-1716

SchenkelShultz Designs $65M High School in Palm Bay, FL

PALM BAY, FL – SchenkelShultz Architecture, Orlando, designed Brevard Public Schools’ innovative new $64.7 million, 321,666-square-foot Heritage High School, an impressive facility now under way by W.G. Mills, Inc., Bradenton, at 2351 Malabar Road in Palm Bay, FL.

Slated for completion in August 2009, the ten-building campus features three two-story classroom buildings, a secure central courtyard, and also includes an 869-seat auditorium, a gymnasium and a cafeteria.

Designed for 2,242 students, the school’s administrative offices are located at the front of the school to allow clear lines of sight for security.

In addition to a media center with a closed-circuit television studio, the school’s classrooms will be equipped with digital projectors, laptop computers for teachers, DVD/VCR players and amplifiers to improve instruction.

In addition, the new state-of-the-art facility will include 14 science laboratories as well as art labs with kilns and classrooms for 2-D and 3-D art. The gymnasium and cafeteria can also serve as a hurricane shelter capable of withstanding Category 5 winds.

Contact: Kenneth H. Cristol, 407-774-2515.

Tri-City Electrical Completes Work at Estates at Rockledge in Rockledge, FL

ORLANDO, FL – The Multi-Family and Residential division of Tri-City Electrical Contractors, Inc. completed $1.3 million of work at the new 252-unit Estates at Rockledge apartments in Rockledge, in Brevard County, FL, under its contract with Bainbridge Construction, Rockledge, FL.

Florida’s leader in electrical contracting, communications and service, Tri-City reported 2007 revenues totaling $160 million. With over 1,200 employees statewide, the Altamonte Springs-based electrical contractor and service provider also operates divisional offices in Fort Myers, Ocala/Gainesville and Tampa, as well as satellite offices in Santa Rosa Beach and Sarasota.

Contact: Kenneth H. Cristol, 407-774-2515.

The Georgian Terrace Hotel in Atlanta Begins $11 Million-Plus Renovation

ATLANTA, GA, Jan. 26, 2009—Officials of The Georgian Terrace Hotel, (top right photo) Atlanta’s iconic hotel, announced today that the midtown property has commenced an $11 million-plus renovation to upgrade guestrooms and carry out a significant makeover of much of the public and social spaces, including a complete transformation of its existing restaurant and bar.

The hotel expects that the renovated restaurant and bar will become one of Atlanta’s top dining attractions.

The luxury, all-suite hotel is owned by a real estate fund managed by San Francisco-based Fremont Realty Capital, with day-to-day management provided by Virginia-based Crescent Hotels & Resorts.

“Over the past few years, The Georgian Terrace Hotel has suffered an identity crisis of sorts, with various announced plans to convert it to other uses or to upgrade the hotel,” said Matthew Reidy, (bottom left photo) senior managing director of Fremont Realty Capital.

“It is a classic building with incredible hotel potential. We looked at every possible scenario and concluded that the property was built to be a grand hotel, so why try to change its heritage?

"The fact that we are investing some $11 million in the middle of a recession speaks to our commitment to this landmark hotel and our confidence in mid-town Atlanta.

"The Georgian Terrace Hotel has a rich history of celebrity, southern style and hospitality, and the planned refurbishment will be a renaissance for the hotel, preserving its charm and grand spaces while updating the restaurant and room experience to give our guests a contemporary and state-of-the-art experience.”


Julie Tullbane, Daly Gray Public Relations, T 703-435-6293, F 703-435-6297,

Chris Daly or Jerry Daly, (703) 435-6293

Interstate Hotels & Resorts to Manage Luxury Condo Hotel Resort in Costa Rica

ARLINGTON, VA., Jan. 26, 2009—Interstate Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: IHR), a leading hotel real estate investor and the nation’s largest independent management company, today announced that it has entered into a long-term contract to manage a to-be-developed, world-class luxury condo hotel resort and beach club in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. (top right photo)

The project by Space Source Inc., owner and developer, is called Jade Condo Hotel Residences and Beach Club and will consist of 190 condo hotel residences coupled with 50 villas for sale.

Construction is expected to begin this spring with a projected 2010 opening.

The project will be managed by Interstate’s Latin American affiliate, IHR de Mexico, and marks the company’s entrĂ©e into the vibrant Costa Rican market.

“The expansion of our international portfolio continues to be an important priority for us,” said Thomas F. Hewitt, (top left photo) Interstate’s chief executive officer.

“With the formation of our Mexico-based management platform, we established a solid foundation for expanding our presence in Mexico and Latin America, regions where we see significant opportunities for growth. Space Source is a dynamic and innovative owner/developer, and we look forward to building on our relationship with them.”

Bruce Riggins, Chief Financial Officer, (703) 387-3344
Julie Tullbane, Daly Gray Public Relations, T 703-435-6293, F 703-435-6297,

CB Richard Ellis Orlando Procures Two Lease Renewals and Expansion Totaling 15,272 SF at SunTech Commerce Center

ORLANDO, FL, Jan, 26, 2009 – The Orlando office of CB Richard Ellis is pleased to announce that Nan McCormick, (bottom left photo) Senior Vice President, completed three transactions as the exclusive leasing agent for Suntech Commerce Center (top right photo) in Lake Mary, Florida.
A lease renewal on 3,310 sq. ft. was completed with Central Florida Realty Investors who were represented by Fern Burr of Mortgage Professionals of Central Florida, Inc.

The second lease consisting of 3,774 sq. ft. was completed with The Perfect Wedding Guide. Both leases are located at 55 Skyline Drive.

An expansion of 8,188 sq. ft. was secured by XOS Technologies, Inc. at 59 Skyline Drive.
For further information, please contact

SunTech Commerce Center is a six-building office/flex, light industrial development on Skyline Drive with frontage on Interstate 4 in Lake Mary, Florida. The properties are owned and managed by Butters Real Estate Fund III.

Contact: Angelique Greven, 407.839.3158,