Monday, April 27, 2009

Sheraton Hotel North Houston Converts Amphitheater to 3,600 SF Ballroom

Final Step in $8 Million Renovation After Damages from Hurricane Ike

HOUSTON, TX—Officials at the Sheraton Hotel North Houston (top right photo) at George Bush Intercontinental Airport announced they have converted the property’s former amphitheater to the Stephen F. Austin Ballroom, a 3,600-square-foot space, capable of accommodating groups of up to 250 people.

The new ballroom, the hotel’s second largest, will become the new centerpiece for the hotel’s mid-sized meeting activities. The hotel offers a total of more than 30,000 square feet of meeting space and can comfortably handle groups of 10 to 1,000 people. The hotel has 24 meeting spaces, ranging from executive boardrooms to the 8,750-square-foot Grand Ballroom.

The conversion was part of a multi million renovation to repair damages related to Hurricane Ike. Other renovations included replacing all carpeting, walls and furniture, fixtures and equipment on the main floor.

The hotel, which now is in like-new condition, is operated by The Dow Hotel Company, a leading third-party hotel management and ownership group.

“The new, multi-function Stephen F. Austin Ballroom offers more flexibility for today’s meeting planners than our previous amphitheater,” said Robert Kisker, general manager. “The new configuration will allow us to better host business meetings, training sessions, award celebrations, weddings, and other social events.

Contact: Jerry Daly, Patrick Daly, (703) 435-6293 (office), (703) 624-7187 (cell)

HFF closes $31M loan sale for Nationwide Life Insurance Company

CHICAGO, IL –The Loan Sales group of HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) announced today it consummated the sale of four performing first mortgage commercial loans on behalf of Nationwide Life Insurance Company.

HFF senior managing director Stuart Salins and associate director Thomas Gerfin represented the seller in the transaction.
The four loans range in size from approximately $3.95 million to $10 million, with an aggregate face amount of approximately $31 million.
The loans were sold to two institutional investors and pricing ranged between a modest discount to a slight premium. The loans are secured by retail centers and multifamily properties located in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Utah.

“The loans are well-performing and the sale was motivated by a desire of the seller to slightly rebalance its portfolio,” said Salins.
HFF (NYSE: HF) operates out of 17 offices nationwide and is a leading provider of commercial real estate and capital markets services to the U.S. commercial real estate industry.
HFF offers clients a fully integrated national capital markets platform including debt placement, investment sales, structured finance, private equity, loan sales and commercial loan servicing.

Stuart M. Salins, HFF Senior Managing Director , 312 528 3678,
Kristen M. Murphy, HFF Associate Director, Marketing, (713) 852-3500,

Daniel Byrnes of Thomas D. Wood & Co. Wins U. of F. Honors

ORLANDO, FL— Daniel Byrnes, (top right photo) CCIM, MSRE, was recently recognized by the University of Florida’s Alumni Association as a 2009 Outstanding Young Alumnus.

The University of Florida Alumni Association established this award to recognize Gators who have distinguished themselves in business, community or service, and are age 40 and younger.

UF’s Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies nominated Dan to represent the Warrington College of Business Administration for his efforts in leading and expanding the UF Friends & Alumni of Real Estate network (UF-FARE).

Dan is a mortgage banker with Thomas D. Wood & Co. in Orlando, FL and specializes in financing commercial real estate. He is a 2004 graduate of UF’s Master of Science in Real Estate program and currently serves as the Chairman of this 1300 member organization; overseeing the growth of its 10 regions nationally. Go Gators!

For further information, please contact:
Daniel Byrnes, CCIM, MSRE (407) 937-0470,
Jessica Gurtowski, (407) 937-0470,

Charles R. Lewis III of Construct Two, Orlando, attains LEED AP accreditation

ORLANDO, FL— Charles R. Lewis III (top right photo) has earned his LEED AP designation as an Accredited Professional in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program from the United States Green Building Council.

Lewis, the director of operations for Orlando-based Construct Two Group, has 15 years of experience in the construction industry. He has a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering Technology from Eastern Michigan University, and a Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering Technology from Florida A & M University.

Lewis is a Certified Professional Constructor by the American Institute of Constructors, and is certified by the American Society for Healthcare Engineers.

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.

The USGBC is a nonprofit organization established in 1993 to promote sustainable building and construction through educational resources and committee forums. In 2000, the USGBC developed the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) accreditation system as an independent benchmark for rating high-performance green buildings. The organization also offers professional LEED certification to individuals who demonstrate expertise in green building practices and principles.

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

Construct Two Group wins library construction contract

ORLANDO, FL — Construct Two Group has secured a $1.88 million contract from Panama City Beach City Council for construction management services for a new library in the North Florida community.

The scope of services under Construct Two Group’s contract includes site work, building construction and landscaping for a new 10,632-square-foot facility (top left photo) with 209 parking spaces.

According to President Keith Williams, (middle right photo) work will be performed by Construct Two Group’s Tallahassee office. Construction is scheduled for completion in February 2010.

Features of the new library include a children’s program room, young adult reading area, and a literacy/meeting room. The new building more than doubles the space of the old 4,500-square-foot library, which the City plans to convert into needed office space.

Collins & Associates Inc. Architecture & Planning is the Architect of Record for the new library that features a tapered column entry, three-quarter stone fa├žade walls, clearstory windows for daylighting and a standing seam roof.

A state grant, projected library impact fees and private donations are funding the design and construction of the new library.

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.

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

Tampa's Mike Davis Named Cushman & Wakefield's Top Investment Sales Professional Nationally for 2008

TAMPA, FL – Mike Davis, (top right photo) a leading commercial property sales professional and veteran of Cushman & Wakefield, was recognized as the firm’s No.1 Investment Sales professional nationally for 2008.

Mr. Davis, a Cushman & Wakefield Executive Director, was involved in several of the largest and most prestigious property sales in Florida in 2008, including
the 400,000 square foot Laurel Gardens development, the 385,000 square foot Fowler Distribution Center and the 350,000 square foot Centrepointe & Corporate Oaks office complex.

Senior Managing Director of Cushman & Wakefield, Inc.’s Tampa office, Larry Richey (bottom left photo) is quoted as saying “in any environment, this is a very prestigious honor, however, in these uncertain economic times it demonstrates the skill and dedication required to stay ahead of the competition.

We are very proud that Mike has earned this recognition.” Mr. Davis specializes in the disposition of industrial and office real estate for major institutional clients including life insurance companies, REITs, pension fund advisors, developers and investors.

Contact: Debbie P’Simer, 813-204-5333, debbie.p’

Noble Investment Group Unveils Hyatt Regency Valencia in California

244-Room Hotel Offers Award Winning Service to the Los Angeles County/Santa Clarita Community
ATLANTA, GA–Privately held Noble Investment Group (“Noble”), a leading sponsor of private equity real estate funds and an integrated lodging and hospitality operating and development organization, has unveiled the ‘Regency’ designation for the Hyatt Regency Valencia and Santa Clarita Conference Center (top right photo) (“Hyatt Regency Valencia”).

Noble acquired the 244-room first class Hyatt Valencia in early 2008 and has since completed property upgrades and enhancements, completing the conversion to the ‘Regency’ designation.

The Hyatt Regency Valencia is integrated into the approximately one million square foot mixed-use development, Valencia Town Center.

The hotel is also home to the Santa Clarita Conference Center, the valley’s premier meetings and events venue, which features 16,000 square feet of exceptional meeting and event space including three outdoor garden areas overlooking the prestigious Valencia Country Club.

The Hyatt Regency Valencia is ranked among the top 20 properties in the Hyatt North American Region for Overall Guest Satisfaction and was recently recognized by the Santa Clarita Signal’s 2008 Reader’s Poll for being the Best Overall Hotel, having the Best Chef, and the Best Banquet and the Best Brunch experience.

“The Hyatt Regency Valencia has had longstanding success through their dedication of providing the very best hotel and event experiences for their guests and the community of Santa Clarita,” said Paul Burke, (bottom left photo) a Noble principal and executive vice president, operations.

“The recognition by the Santa Clarita Signal coupled with the Regency designation from Hyatt Hotels further solidifies the hotels outstanding reputation in the marketplace.”

Contacts: Chris Daly, Vice President, Daly Gray Public Relations, ph: 703-435-6293
Bonnie Herring, Noble Investment Group, 404-262-9660,