Wednesday, April 1, 2009

C&W Takes Top Honors at CFCAR Hallmark Awards

Richard Solik Top Producer of 2008

ORLANDO, FL – Richard Solik (top right photo) of the Orlando office of Cushman & Wakefield (C&W) was honored at the recent Central Florida Commercial Association of Realtors (CFCAR) Hallmark Awards, as #1 Overall Top Producer of 2008.

Other C&W brokers included in the Top Overall Producer category were #3 Jay Ballard (bottom right photo) and #8 Margery Johnson.
In addition to taking the highest honor, eight brokers from the C&W Orlando office were recognized as Top Producers in Investment Sales, Office, Retail, Land, and Industrial categories. Several C&W brokers were recognized in multiple categories.
Office brokerage Senior Director Richard Solik ranked #1 Top Office Producer in addition to #1 Top Overall.

Apartment Investment Sales Senior Director Jay Ballard was recognized as #1 Top Investment Producer, as well as #5 Top Land Producer.

Senior Director Margery Johnson was honored as #3 Top Investment Producer in addition to her #8 Top Overall ranking.

Other C&W brokers taking honors:

Retail Investment Sales Director, Martin Forster, #2 Retail Producer
Apartment Investment Sales Associate Director, Ken Delvillar, #4 Top Investment Producer
Industrial Brokerage Associate Director, Lee Morris, #4 Top Industrial Producer
Office Brokerage Senior Director, Matthew McKeever, (middle left photo) #6 Top Office Producer
Office Brokerage Associate Douglas Eber, Circle of Achievement.
Office Brokerage Associate Betsy Owens, Circle of Achievement.

Contact: Brook Hines, 407 541 4401,

Dikman Co. Closes Two Leases in Tampa, FL

TAMPA, FL, April 1, 2009-- The Dikman Company, Inc announced today that Hillsborough
County Code Enforcement exercised the option to renew their lease at the Pinebrooke
Commerce Center II, located at 10119 Windhorst Road, Tampa, Florida.

The Dikman Company represented the Lessor.

The Dikman Company, Inc also announced that Sunera LLC signed a lease for 2,114 SF located at 1208 E Kennedy Boulevard in Tampa. The Dikman Company represented the Lessee.

Contact: Bob Dikman, ALC,CRB,CCIM,SIOR, 813/251-5288

Mercantile Capital Corp. claims commercial property mortgage lending activity now approaching historic levels for leading Orlando-area firms

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. --- Commercial property mortgage lending activity is now approaching historic highs for Mercantile Capital Corporation, which specializes in U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 loans for small business owners who want to acquire or develop their own facilities.

Christopher Hurn, (top right photo) chief executive officer of Mercantile Capital Corporation, said the six-year old company is seeing as many loan proposals as it did during its peak in mid-2007.

“We attribute the increase in deal flow to stimulus plan anticipation,” Hurn explained.

“I think the small business community is shaking off the doom and gloom attitude and starting to take a more practical approach to severely discounted commercial property assets that represent enormous opportunities for business owners,” he said.

“The Obama administration is doing some things to help the small business community, and we think leading small business owners are starting to act on the situation,” Hurn said.

“Lower commercial property values and near historic lows in financing rates won’t last much more than the next eighteen months. Innovative entrepreneurs within the small business community have a tendency to be leading indicators in my opinion, so we’re starting to see a shift,” Hurn said.

Hurn said Mercantile Capital Corporation’s increase in lending activity is also attributed to the fact that few lenders are actually lending these days.

“The financial crisis has never been one of cost of capital, it’s been an issue of access to capital,” Hurn said.

“We think the universe of owner-user commercial property deals has shrunk, but we’re getting a much larger share of the fewer deals that are out there.
"The creditworthiness of our deals is increasing -- only the strongest and healthiest transactions are getting done these days -- and deals that would have ordinarily gone to a large regional bank are now coming to us,” Hurn said.

For more information, please contact:

Geof Longstaff, Chairman, Mercantile Capital Corporation, 407-786-5040
Chris Hurn, CEO, Mercantile Capital Corporation, 407-786-5040
Shannon D. Marks, COO, Mercantile Capital Corporation, 407-786-5040
Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142

Orlando Chapter of American Institute of Architects Honors Rhodes+Brito for Design of Renovations at Shenandoah Elementary School in South Orlando

ORLANDO, FL. - The Orlando Chapter of American Institute of Architects recently honored Rhodes+Brito Architects of Orlando with an Award of Merit for its design of renovations and additions at Shenandoah Elementary School, 4827 South Conway Rd. in southeast Orlando.

Ruffin Rhodes, AIA, (top right photo) co-founder and partner at Rhodes+Brito Architects, said work on the 1960s-era school facility included design of a new two-story addition to create a new public entry to the facility with administration facilities, new classrooms, a new media center, and an art classroom as well as renovation of the campus.

The $11 million project included site circulation improvements to ease traffic flow around the busy area and noise abatement windows to reduce disruptions caused by passenger airliners.

Shenandoah Elementary School is located in the flight path to Orlando International Airport.

AIA jury comments regarded the project as "A very sensitive design solution"and "The designer was careful to ensure existing building still had apresence within the renovation."

Rhodes+Brito Architects, which opened in Orlando in 1996, currently employs a staff of 17, including seven registered architects. The firm served as lead architect for the Florida A&M University College of Law facility in downtown Orlando.

For more information, contact: Ruffin Rhodes, Rhodes+Brito Architects, 407-648-7288

Maximiano Brito, Rhodes+Brito Architects, 407-648-7288

Larry Vershel, Larry Vershel Communications Inc. 407-644-4142 (fax: 4410)

Sheila GoodmanLarry Vershel Communications407-644-4142 P407-644-4410 F

Commercial/Residential Income Property Values and Mortgage Underwriting Readjusting to More Conservative Levels

CHICAGO, IL, April 1, 2009 - The Real Estate Capital Institute's Scoreboard reports today that commercial and residential income-property values and mortgage underwriting continue readjusting to more conservative levels not seen in more than a decade.

While most buyers and sellers are tangled in a pricing stalemate, funding sources define debt and equity metrics based on refinancing and renegotiating terms.

However,such metrics substantially vary from the sizing dynamics that many investors have grown accustomed to.

Current underwriting realities mainly include stringent resizing of existing cash flows, higher capitalization rates and lower new-construction costs --all summarized as follows:

Cash Flows Readjustments:

* Best case assumes annualized with a careful review of recent trailing three months occupancy and collections.

* "Re Forma" vs. Pro Forma - whereby funding sources expect outright lower income in anticipation of more challenging economic conditions. Numerous lenders expect income levels to drop from 3% to 6% during the year.

* Expense increases - Higher vacancies translate to carrying more common area expenses. Furthermore, few investors expect meaningful lower taxes and operating costs.

Higher Capitalization Rates:

* 8% is the now new valuation benchmark for most commercial properties; Single-tenant, credit deals secured by longer-term leases hover in the 7% range.

* Below 7% reserved for prime residential and trophy properties orproperties with substantial contractual upside.

* Full service lodging starts at 9% to low single-digit range asRevPAR and operating cash flow have been substantially reduced since 2008.

* Smaller projects based on 1031X trades may be priced as much as 50bps lower than typical capitalization rates, as demand remains brisk.

* Substantial widening for C-Properties by at least 150 basis pointsor more -- moving into the double-digit range. Price reductions of 30% ormore are common as compared to Credit and Class-A/B assets, as this segmentof the market remains very illiquid.

New Construction Realities:

* Despite public infrastructure spending, construction costs are loweras construction spending has decreased and competition has increased.Commercial building construction costs have fallen by more than 10% duringthe past year.

* Return-on-Cost yields are in the double-digit range. As investorsfocus on purchasing projects well below replacement costs andhigher-leveraged debt is scarce, development yields must be priced 200 basispoints or more above cost of debt.


According to Aaron Gruen (top right photo) of the Real Estate Capital Institute AdvisoryBoard, "While declining rents, rising capitalization rates, and challengingeconomic and financial conditions make for black moods for real estateinvestors and developers, this is a good time to prepare for the return ofprosperity."

He adds, "From a longer term perspective, prices are morelikely to be bargains, constructions costs are low, and loans are likely tobe prudently made and taken."

Contact: The Real Estate Capital Institute(r), 3517 West Arthington Street, Chicago, Illinois USA 60624.

Nat Zvislo, Research Director, Toll Free 800-994-RECI (7324).