Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Retail Vacancy to Rise in Tampa as Spending Slows

TAMPA, FL — In the Tampa market, new space coming online amid a reduction in demand raised the vacancy rate to more than 8 percent in the first quarter, according to a second-quarter Retail Research Report by Marcus & Millichap, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm.

Further increases in vacancy are expected through the rest of 2009, as declining employment is forecast to reduce retail spending 11 percent, resulting in additional store closures.

“In the investment arena, only a few deals have been transacted this year,” says Bryn Merrey, (top right photo) regional manager of the Tampa office of Marcus & Millichap. “With investors looking for distressed properties at discounted prices, there appears to be little interest in stabilized assets with solid tenants, and little inclination to sell.”

Following are some of the most significant aspects of the Tampa Retail Research Report:

· An additional 50,000 jobs will be eliminated in 2009, following the loss of 46,400 positions last year. Job cuts this year will reduce total employment by 4.2 percent.

· Builders will deliver 1 million square feet of space in the market in 2009, including a 353,000-square foot IKEA in east Tampa. Last year, 3.6 million square feet was put into service.

· An expected reduction in retail spending will lead to more store closures and halt expansion by other merchants, increasing vacancy 250 basis points to 10.3 percent this year. Negative net absorption of 2.5 million square feet will be recorded. The vacancy rate rose 140 basis points in 2008.

· A decline in consumer spending will reduce space demand, resulting in a 6.3 percent drop in asking rents to $14.39 per square foot. Effective rents will post an 8.4 percent decrease to $12.52 per square foot in 2009.

For a copy of the complete Tampa Retail Research Report, as well as reports on other markets nationwide, visit our website at

Press Contact: Stacey Corso, Communications Department(925) 953-1716

Starwood Strengthens Presence in New Caledonia

SINGAPORE– Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc (NYSE: HOT) reinforces its leadership position in New Caledonia, announcing the signing of an agreement with a subsidiary of Societé des Hotels de Noumea to manage a new-build Sheraton resort.

At the same time, Starwood announces the extension of the management contracts of two existing Le Meridien resorts in New Caledonia.

Sheraton New Caledonia Bourail Resort & Spa will welcome guests in 2013 while the 2 Le Meridien resorts will continue to offer a European flair and sophisticated environment designed for the creative guests.

“We are excited to continue our partnership with Societé des Hotels de Noumea,” said Miguel Ko, (top left photo) Chairman and President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Asia Pacific.

“We would like to thank the owner for their continued confidence in Starwood and our brands. This extended partnership also means that Starwood is the only international premier operator in New Caledonia. We are proud to be able to continue to help further develop tourism here, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and untouched islands of the world.”

“Sheraton is a favorite hotel brand among travelers, whether it be for business or leisure. With its expansion into New Caledonia, we look forward to sharing one of the best resort experiences in the world with travelers in a warm and welcoming setting at Sheraton.”
Scheduled to open in 2013, Sheraton New Caledonia Bourail Resort & Spa, the first international upper upscale resort in Bourail, will be located on the Mainland within an exclusive site called Gouaro Deva, in the district of Bourail. Gouaro Deva has about 13 kilometers of white sand beach and a UNESCO listed lagoon and reef.

This new-build Sheraton resort will offer 180 rooms including 60 bungalows, extensive food & beverage facilities, a health club and spa with 6 treatment rooms, swimming pool, kids’ club, fitness center, business center and more than 300 square meter of meeting space.

Le Meridien Noumea and Le Meridien Ile des Pins

Le Meridien Noumea (middle left photo) and Le Meridien Iles des Pins (top right photo) will both undergo an extensive renovation throughout the hotel, including the rooms and public areas such as lobby, restaurants, swimming pools, fitness centers and spa. The design and style of the refurbishment will reflect Le Meridien’s positioning of chic and contemporary with a selective mix of local materials, furnishings and artefacts to showcase the local culture and heritage.

“New Caledonia is known to offer ‘a French way of life in the South Pacific’, and is a perfect fit with the Le Meridien brand,” remarked Sean Hunt, Regional Vice President for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Pacific region. “With the renovation in place, the resorts will be in line with the new Le Méridien brand positioning and provide a curated experience enhanced by an atmosphere of European refinement.”

Located on the Mainland and directly on the beach, the 245-room
Le Meridien Nouméa is just a few minutes away from the capital, while the exclusive 39-room Le Méridien Ile des Pins is located on the exclusive Island of Pines at the countries southern tip.

For more information, please visit
Hwee-Peng Yeo
Director, Corporate Communications
Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels & Resorts Ltd
9 Temasek Boulevard, Suntec City Tower 2
#24-02, Singapore 038989

Tel : +65 6335 4837; Cell : +65 9768 6087; +65 9248 0424
Fax : +65 6335 4820;

Palmer Electric's Robert Vaughn named to board of Electrical Council of Florida Central Chapter

WINTER PARK, FL— Robert K. Vaughn (top right photo) has been elected to the board of directors of the Electrical Council of Florida Central Chapter.

Vaughn is vice president of commercial production and a member of the board of directors at Winter Park, Fla.,-based Palmer Electric Company. He is a licensed electrical contractor in Florida and certified by Clemson University’s business management training program.

Vaughn has nearly three decades of experience in electrical contracting and management. He also serves as treasurer of the Academy of Construction Technologies.

The Electrical Council of Florida is a non-profit trade association dedicated to unifying and strengthening all segments of Florida's growing electrical industry.

Established in 1961, the association encourages and supports education and continuing educations, promotes safety and monitors legislative activity pertinent to the electrical industry.


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

$38M recap of The 1000 Broadway Building in Portland, OR arranged by HFF

PORTLAND, OR – The Portland office of HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) announced today that it has arranged a $38 million recapitalization of The 1000 Broadway Building, (above centered photo) a 268,655-square-foot, Class A office tower in Portland, Oregon.

Working exclusively on behalf of the borrower, HFF senior managing director Lloyd Minten (top left photo) and director Casey Davidson placed the fixed-rate amortized loan with an insurance company lender, which HFF will be servicing.

The 1000 Broadway Building is a 23-story downtown office building with 15 floors of office space situated above a seven-level, 312-space parking garage, ground-floor retail space and a sub-grade four-screen Regal Entertainment Cinema.
The property is 96 percent occupied to tenants such as Hoffman Hart & Wagner (law firm), Evraz Oregon Steel (headquarters), Sussman Shank (law firm) and West Coast Bank.

“Located at the corner of Southwest Broadway and Main Street in Portland’s central business district, 1000 Broadway is ideally located to take advantage of it’s immediate access to Light Rail and bus lines as well as numerous restaurants, shops and hotels,” said Davidson.
Lloyd P. Minten, HFF Senior Managing Director, (503) 224-0444,
Casey P. Davidson, HFF Director, (503) 224-5566,
Kristen M. Murphy, HFF Associate Director, Marketing, ((713) 852-3500,

$22.5M financing of two Class A San Diego office properties secured by HFF

SAN DIEGO, CA – The San Diego office of HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) announced today that it has secured $22.5 million in non-recourse financing for Torrey Reserve North Court I and II, (above centered and bottom right photos) two Class A office properties located in the Del Mar Heights submarket of San Diego, California.

HFF senior managing director Tim Wright, (top right photo) managing director Bill Rose and associate directors Zack Holderman (middle left photo) and Rob Hinckley worked on behalf of American Assets, Inc. in arranging the 10-year fixed-rate loan with John Hancock Real Estate Finance.

Financing proceeds will retire an existing CMBS loan.

“There is competitive financing available for top-tier sponsors and best-in-class real estate – Torrey Reserve meets both those tests,” said Rose.

Completed in 1998, Torrey Reserve North Court I and II total 130,430 square feet and are fully leased to a variety of tenants including law, banking and securities firms.

Located at 11622 and 11682 El Camino Real within the nine-building Torrey Reserve office park, the properties are situated at the Interstate 5/Route 56 interchange providing easy access to Highways 52, 56 and the Sorrento Valley commuter facility.

American Assets, Inc. is a 40-year old real estate company focused on developing and owning commercial real estate in highly desirable West Coast markets including San Diego, San Francisco, Monterey and Waikiki.

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.


Timothy D. Wright, HFF Senior Managing Director, (858) 552-7690,

Kristen M. Murphy, HFF Associate Director, Marketing, (713) 852-3500,