Saturday, January 31, 2009

GVA Shows 2008 Office Market Results in Richmond, VA

RICHMOND, VA--Perry H. Moss, (top right photo) regional director of research, GVA Advantis, Richmond, offers this analysis of the Richmond office market in 2008:


We would all love to forget about 2008, put it behind us and move on. As 2008 fades into 2009, we will continue to see bumps in the road. Conditions will improve, however, the market has a cleansing period that it will have to endure before the stability of fundamentals is realistic.


Let’s get two things said and out of the way: the last 2/3’s of 2008 was extremely challenging, and 2009 will most likely be a continuation. Vacancies, particularly subleases are up and will rise. Development, leasing velocity, sales activity, rental rates, and absorption are all likely headed down. Major layoffs have been announced at MeadWestvaco, Genworth, LandAmerica, and Circuit City to name a few.

Yet, in this sea of despair, there are pockets of tremendous opportunity. Well positioned tenants will have great leverage in procuring or re-negotiating their leases. Landlord concessions will not be petty.

Well capitalized investors will be able to acquire properties are bargain basement prices. Cap rates will continue to climb as owners will be hungry for cash infusions.

The development cycle will stall and allow for equilibrium to return to the asset market. And owner-occupants with on-going business concerns will line up for the inevitable rush of sale leaseback offers as capital will be the ultimate motivator for businesses and landlords.


While the quantity of leases was on par historically in 2008, the square footage volume dropped significantly. A clear indication of tenants opting for smaller leases leaving little probability for potential sublease space. Expansions are decreasing while renewals are increasing. Landlords do not have the luxury of turning down small lease offers as the larger ones are extremely sparse.


It is difficult to find the silver lining in these graphs, however, they do exist.

Well capitalized investors or those positioned well enough to procure financing will have their choice of assets at multi-year low prices with elevated cap rates.

An interesting debt note is that even though the fed has dropped interest rates to record lows, commercial lenders have actually raised their rates due to the scarcity of funds.

Contact: Perry H. Moss, Regional Director, Research, 804 644 4066,

Liberty Property Trust Leased More Than 435,000 SF in 2008

JACKSONVILLE, FL--Liberty Property Trust (NYSE:LRY), the real estate investment trust that owns and manages nearly 2.5 million square feet of office and industrial properties in Jacksonville, completed more than 44 leases and renewal transactions in Jacksonville in 2008. The agreements total more than 435,000 square feet of office, flex and warehouse space.

“Liberty has been able to attract new tenants to our buildings due in part to our great customer service and the excellent condition of our properties,” said Mike Heise, vice president and city manager, Liberty Property Trust. “Our customers depend on our property management staff and technicians, who are available 24-hours a day/7-days a week/365-days a year.”

Liberty gained 27 new tenants in 2008, with leases totaling nearly 267,000 square feet. In addition, more than 168,000 square feet of office, flex and warehouse space was renewed this year.
Contact: Mike Heise, Liberty Property Trust, 904/296-1776

Media: Margo Hunt Winans, a.s.a.p.r., 757/404-8653

Michael Mele Named Top Marcus & Millichap Storage Agent for 2008

TAMPA, FL-- Marcus & Millichap has announced Michael Mele, (top right photo) Vice President/ Investments, as the firm’s number one self storage agent.

The Top 30 list is comprised of Marcus & Millichap’s self storage investments specialists who are ranked by 2008 performance, with Mele showing up as top performer.

Michael’s ability to gain the top self storage spot is derived from his ability to achieve results.

In 2008 alone, while others were waiting on the market, Mele was making a market. He and his team closed 24 separate transactions, comprised 36 properties, between 16 different buyers.

For Mike Mele and his team, with over $95 million in closed deals, 2008 proved to be another banner year.
Furthermore, Mele’s closings were almost one third of the firm’s National Self Storage Group, which closed on over 100 self storage facilities in ‘08, totaling more than $275 million.

“Through utilizing the Marcus & Millichap’s nationwide platform we had the ability to work extensively with brokers from the firm allowing us a greater reach to potential investors.
"We were able to spot the changing market and revive the private investor pool” says Mele. “Our 24 separate transactions took place between 16 different buyers; this truly is a testament to the Marcus & Millichap system”

Mike joined Marcus & Millichap in 1999 to specialize in the sale of self storage facilities. He gained entrance into the firm’s prestigious Seven-Figure Club in 2004, was inducted as a Senior Investment Associate in 2005, and earned the firm’s National Achievement Award six consecutive times.

He currently serves as a Senior Director in the National Self Storage Group and was most recently promoted to Vice President/ Investments in early 2008. In addition to these accolades Mele has received sales recognition awards annually since joining the firm and has closed over $450 million in self storage properties.
Contact: Michael A. Mele, Marcus & Millichap, 813 387 4700.

Construct Two Group completes Developmental Research School six-building campus at Florida A & M University

ORLANDO, FL — Construct Two Group has completed its $24 million construction management contract to build the new home for Florida A & M University’s Development Research School (FAMU-DRS), a K - 12 school located on the university’s campus in Tallahassee, Fla.

(FAMU Administration Building, top right photo)

The construction management company provided pre-construction , value engineering, site work, vertical construction and commissioning services for the six-building campus that totals 132,116-square-feet of programmable space.

Construct Two Group saved the owner more than $1.5 million through value engineering. The project was completed in 19 months. (FAMU gymnasium, middle left photo)

Subcontractors under contract with Construct Two Group include: site grading by Genesis Engineering & Constructors Corp, Tallahassee, Fla., tilt-up concrete by Bolognese Construction Services Inc., Bonita Springs, Fla., electrical by Joyner Electric Inc., Tallahassee, Fla., mechanical by Lang Mechanical, Thomasville, Ga., plumbing by Dowdy Plumbing Corp., Tallahassee, Fla., and fire protection by Fire Sprinkler & Systems, Inc., Ellerslie, Ga.

This month nearly 500 K - 12 students entered the FAMU-DRS campus for the first time. They were welcomed into a new 132,116-square-foot educational complex of six buildings: elementary, middle and high school classroom buildings, an administration building, a cafeteria/auditorium with full commercial kitchen, and a gymnasium.

The complex includes energy efficient indirect lighting, life safety technology and smart boards in each classroom. (FAMU campus, middle right aerial photo)

A wireless network system, installed campuswide, also connects to the FAMU campus police.

And, the school now boasts a TV production studio.

Thirty-five percent of Construct Two Group’s staff, including the company’s president/CEO and chairman, are FAMU alumni.

“This project has brought us full circle,” said Derrick Wallace, (bottom right photo) chairman, Construct Two Group. “The time we invested in our FAMU education gave us the tools we needed to build our business into the strong firm it is today. We are proud to have successfully completed an education project for a new generation.”

According to Construct Two’s president/CEO, Keith Williams, (middle left photo) “We were challenged with an aggressive schedule, phased site and vertical construction packages, and began work with 75% completed documents.”

About Construct Two Group

Construct Two Group provides construction management, design-build and program management services to public and private sector clients. Having completed more than $500 million in projects since its founding in 1990, Construct Two Group is the largest African-American-owned construction management company in Florida. The Company employs a professional and support staff of 31 from offices in Orlando, Tampa and Tallahassee, Fla. Please visit for additional information.

About FAMU Developmental Research School

Established in 1887, FAMU DRS was designated by the Florida legislature in 1991 “to operate as a designated public school for research, demonstration and evaluation regarding management teaching, and learning.”
FAMU DRS currently offers enrollment in law and public policy, architectural design and graphic communication, health, and business.

Contact: Elaine Ingra, PR WORKS!, PH: 407 384-1344,,

CBRE's Jorge Rodriguez Brokers 13 Leases in 4th Quarter 2008

ORLANDO, FL– The Orlando office of CB Richard Ellis is pleased to announce the following nine new leases and four lease renewals ending fourth quarter 2008 at six shopping centers by their exclusive leasing agent Jorge Rodriguez, CCIM. (top right photo)

Oak Grove shopping center in Altamonte Springs, FL, managed by CB Richard Ellis and owned by Kitson & Partners, produced four lease transactions.

The dealings included a new ten-year lease on 5,792 sq. ft. to R.G. Brewsky's which opened on January 22; a five-year lease to Teen Spot on 1,309 sq. ft.; a five-year lease renewal on 1,215 sq. ft. to Molly Maids; and a five-year renewal for Silver Nails on 988 sq. ft.

Springs Plaza shopping center in Longwood, FL, also managed by CB Richard Ellis and owned by Kitson & Partners, produced three lease transactions. A new seven-year lease on 1,200 sq. ft. for Abacos Salon & Spa, Inc.; a new five-year lease to Aloha Nails on 579 sq. ft; and a new five-year lease for Advantage Tennis, represented by Don Seligman (middle left photo) of Quest Company and encompassing 1,180 sq. ft.; rounded out the dealings.

This center also featured the opening of Harmoni Market on 4,867 sq. ft. during the last week of December.

Oakley Seaver shopping center in Clermont, FL, developed by Pointe Developments, secured two lease transactions. The deals encompass a new 10-year lease on 3,500 sq. ft. to The Vitamin Shoppe; and a new five-year lease for 1,491 sq. ft. to Firehouse Subs, represented by Janet Galvin of Liberty Universal Management.

Posner Commons (bottom right photo) at Posner Park in Davenport, FL, managed by CB Richard Ellis and developed by Trammell Crow Company, produced two lease transactions. They include a five-year lease on 1,400 sq. ft. to GNC, represented by Pam Prite of Retail One, and a five-year lease on 1,400 sq. ft. to Envy, a Paul Mitchell Salon.

Heath Brook Commons in Ocala, FL, managed by CB Richard Ellis and owned by INVESCO, had a five-year renewal on 1,050 sq. ft. to PostNet.
Casselberry Exchange shopping center in Casselberry, FL, also managed by CB Richard Ellis and owned by Kitson & Partners had a five-year renewal on 1,015 sq. ft. to Perfect Cut.

Contact: Angelique Greven, 407.839.3158,

The Bainbridge Companies to Expand Property Management Service

WELLINGTON, FL– The Bainbridge Companies, which specialize in both residential and commercial real estate, are ramping up their multifamily property management services.

“Our ultimate goal is to expand our full-service management portfolio across the East Coast,” said Bainbridge Management President Kevin Sheehan. (top right photo)

“Owners and investors need an excellent management team to preserve and increase the value of their assets especially in today’s economy; we’re positioned to help them do that.”

The firm, which currently has more than 9,500 units under management, recently added Fort Lauderdale’s luxurious Alexan Solmar Apartments, (middle left photo) built by Trammell Crow Residential, to its management portfolio.

It is also seeking new management assignments for multifamily communities with more than 100 units.

The firm has extensive experience in properties ranging from double A, value-add, renovations, condo reversions and distressed high-rises, mid-rises, and garden-style rental homes in both urban and suburban locations.

Partners include owners and developers as well as financial institutions and pension fund managers.

“We're finding considerable interest from property owners who want to reposition or renovate multifamily assets to help them compete more effectively in the market or revert full or partial condominium buildings back to rentals,” Sheehan said.

“Repositioning is something that Bainbridge has done very successfully in a wide variety of situations. Likewise, reprogrammed condo buildings and new developments need to be quickly leased up in order to drive positive cash flow as fast as possible, and we've created a very effective program for each of these scenarios.”

Contact: Terri Thornton, Thornton Communications (404) 932-4347

Marcus & Millichap Sells 181-Unit Apartment Community in Elgin, IL for $16.1M

ELGIN, IL – Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, has arranged the sale of Squire Village, (top right photo) a 181-unit multi-family community in Elgin.

The sales price of $16.1 million represents $88,950 per unit.

Scott Harris, senior vice president investments in the Oak Brook office of Marcus & Millichap represented the seller, Illinois Elgin LP.

The buyer was represented by Harris and L. Matthew Hare, a senior associate in Marcus & Millichap’s Indianapolis office.

The city of Elgin and Cook County assisted in the transaction by providing a portion of the financing for the property.

“Squire Village is a well-positioned asset in a stable market,” says Harris. “There is a significant demand for affordable market-rate rental housing in the Elgin area and this property should continue to profit from this demand.”

Located at 1146 Yew Court, the 271,810-square foot apartment community is situated on a 15.06-acre parcel with easy access to Interstate 90, two miles east of Elgin Metra Station, and within close proximity to shopping, employment and new development.

The unit mix at the property consists of 22 one-bedroom/one-bath units averaging 1,190-square feet; 69 two-bedroom/1.5-bath units averaging 1,575-square feet, 77 three-bedroom/1.5-bath units averaging 1,495-square feet; and 13 four-bedroom/1.5-bath units averaging 1,680-square feet.

Approximately 50 percent of Squire Village’s tenants use Section 8 vouchers.

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