Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Watergate Hotel Auction Strikes Out – No Bidders

WASHINGTON, DC—Ten corporate entrepreneurs from around the globe each wrote a check for $1.1 million to bid on a non-operating hotel in the Capital.

But none showed up at the auction this morning. Each lost the million-dollar deposit.

It marked another bizarre twist in the 42-year-old saga of the shuttered 251-room Watergate Hotel in northwest Washington, DC.

The property’s owner of record, New York City-based PB Capital Corp., had scheduled the auction instead of going through with a conventional foreclosure action against the borrower, Monument Realty of Washington, DC.

PB Capital is owed $40 million, its stake in a $70 million acquisition loan to Monument Realty in 2004. Monument has defaulted on the loan and has been served with a foreclosure notice.
PB had gambled that it might have recouped its $40 million from strong auction bidding, since it had been told there was intense interest from global investors in the property.

However, when the auction drew a blank response today, PB Capital took back the property, as independent realty and investment sources had previously predicted would happen.

Now most of those 10 bidders and possibly others will make private offers for the hotel directly to PB Capital, say sources in a position to know. At least one offer is expected to come from a prominent Saudi Arabian investment house.

The intriguing guesswork in DC commercial realty circles after today’s no-show at the auction, is how much will PB Capital ultimately accept for the property, sources say.

“Say it receives a $40 million offer that would recoup its loan amount, would it still be cost-effective for the buyer to place another $100 million into the property to bring it into the 21st Century?” the source wonders.

“At a total $140 million, that would equate to about $558,000 per room – twice the replacement cost, even at today’s sky-high construction costs.”

CBRE Jacksonville Releases Q2 2009 MarketView Reports

JACKSONVILLE, FL--CB Richard Ellis Jacksonville has released its second-quarter MarketView reports on the office, industrial and retail markets. For a complete copy of each report, please contact Brian Cornett at brian.cornett@cbre.com

Office Market

Oliver Barakat, (top right photo) First Vice President, CBRE, states, "We are now seeing the effects of rising unemployment as a significant amount of second generation and sublease space has become available. On the demand side, there has been an uptick in activity, yet decision makers continue to be very deliberate."

Industrial Market

Against the odds, Jacksonville's Industrial Market has shown positive absorption for the first two quarters of 2009, with positive absorption of 921,000 square feet in the first quarter and positive absorption of 962,000 in the second. Last year, was a record year with 3.7 million square feet being absorbed.

Retail Market

The Jacksonville Retail Market direct vacancy rate experienced an increase of 1.2 percentage points, bringing it to 10.1 percent versus the prior quarter's 8.9 percent. The vacancy rate is showing the concern of consumers, fluctuating to our current rate resulting in an increase of 3.3 percentage points since the second quarter of 2008.

IDI Leases 171,779 SF to Sensormatic Electronics Corp. in Lithia Springs, GA

ATLANTA, GA July 21, 2009 – IDI, a full-service industrial real estate company, has executed a 171,779-square-foot, five year lease in Lithia Springs, Ga., with Sensormatic Electronics Corp., a division of Tyco International (NYSE: TYC) and leading provider of security and fire safety products and services for the commercial and residential sectors.

The Boca Raton, Fla.-based company will relocate office, warehouse and distribution functions from a nearby facility to WestPoint at Riverside, Building B (top right photo) at 2600 West Point Drive in October 2009.

Building B is within the 150-acre, 1.25 million-square-foot WestPoint at Riverside Business Park, which consists of five buildings. WestPoint at Riverside offers convenient access to Interstate-20, Interstate-285 and Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Sensormatic joins Alston & Bird, LLC in Building B, leaving 34,425 square feet available for lease.

“Sensormatic and Tyco are innovators and industry leaders, and we are pleased to work with them as they continue to serve the Southeast from this new facility in metro Atlanta,” said Lisa Ward, CCIM, vice president of leasing for IDI.

Henry Johnson of CB Richard Ellis, El Segundo, Calif., and Tony Kepano and Peter Seward of CB Richard Ellis, Atlanta, represented Sensormatic in the lease negotiations.


Kim Hardcastle, Jackson Spalding for IDI 404-214-0693, khardcastle@jacksonspalding.com
Charlotte Marie DuPre, Jackson Spalding for IDI, 404-214-3555, cdupre@jacksonspalding.com

Additional Office Investment Opportunities Expected to Arise in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA, PA— A significant reduction in development activity within Center City will lead to more stable operations in the near term, while some outlying areas will register moderating fundamentals due to weak employment in the professional and business services sector, according to a second-quarter Office Research Report by Marcus & Millichap, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm.

Since the opening of the Comcast Center last summer, there have been only a handful of notable completions in the CBD, and few are expected during the next 12 to 18 months.

(The historic Liberty Bell, top left photo)

“Activity within Philadelphia’s office investment market will remain modest in the near term, although velocity may pick up toward the end of 2009 as distressed assets reach the market,” says Spencer Yablon, (middle right photo) regional manager of the Philadelphia office of Marcus & Millichap.

Following are some of the most significant aspects of the Philadelphia Office Research Report:

· Continued weakness in the professional and business services and financial activities sectors will contribute to the loss of 58,000 jobs this year, a 2.1 percent decrease. In 2008, 46,100 positions were trimmed. Office-using employers will cut 23,000 workers in 2009, after 24,400 jobs were shed last year.

· Approximately 400,000 square feet of new office space is expected to come online in the Philadelphia market this year, compared with almost 1.7 million square feet in 2008. Completions have averaged 1.7 million square feet annually over the past five years.

· Declining office employment and reduced leasing activity will cause overall metro vacancy to trend higher through year end. In 2009, vacancy is forecast to rise 230 basis points to 14.4 percent. Last year, vacancy increased 80 basis points.

· This year, asking rents are forecast to drop 4 percent to $23.07 per square foot, while effective rents will fall 4.5 percent to $19.23 per square foot. In 2008, asking rents increased 3.8 percent, and effective rents pushed up 1.1 percent.

For a copy of the complete Philadelphia Office Research Report, as well as reports on other markets nationwide, visit our website at http://www.marcusmillichap.com/.

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

Northern California Luxury Residential Titans Merge in Multi-Million-Dollar Deal

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—The luxury residential market in Northern California apparently is alive and well.
Two titans of the industry are merging in a multi-million-dollar deal expected to close in August. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Pacific Union GMAC Real Estate, a 34-year-old firm, is being acquired by the principals of Morgan Lane Marin, Inc., a three-year-old fast-growing boutique real estate firm in Marin county.

The two companies will continue to operate under their existing names, as independently owned and operated franchised companies within Brookfield Residential Property Services’ U.S. real estate network.

Pacific Union will continue to be managed locally by its existing team of executives. Its 13 offices are located in Berkeley, San Francisco (Opera Plaza), San Francisco (Presidio), Danville, Larkspur, Mill Valley (downtown), Mill Valley (Strawberry), Montclair, Napa Valley (Napa), Napa Valley (St. Helena), Orinda, Sonoma and Sonoma Plaza.

Bucking the odds in a highly volatile, recession-stymied real estate market, Morgan Lane Marin has grown meteorically, from just $52 million in sales in 2006 to $315 million in 2008.

Combined, the two entities will have 17 offices, more than 430 real estate professionals and 2009 sales volume projected to be $2.2 billion, according to Mark A. McLaughlin, (top right photo) CEO of Morgan Lane.

McLaughlin says the goal of the combined operations is to become the Bay Area’s leading luxury real estate brand – an objective, he says, that will be achieved by retaining and recruiting the industry’s top-producing professionals and leveraging resources and international marketing programs of Christie’s Great Estates.

For Pacific Union, the acquisition brings the company full circle back to its roots three decades ago, restoring it to a locally owned and operated, high-end boutique brokerage.

“This is great news for Pacific Union, as it will now return to local ownership,” says Avram Goldman, (top left photo) CEO of Pacific Union. “These are two highly regarded companies with similar cultures.”

Adds Goldman, “Pacific Union is already well positioned as a leading Bay Area real estate company. By joining forces with Morgan Lane, we have a tremendous opportunity to expand both companies’ presence and further dominate in the regions we serve.”

Florida First Capital Announces SBA Real Estate Loans Nearly Double

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In one of the first signs of economic recovery for small businesses in Florida, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans for real estate and equipment statewide nearly doubled from April through June over the first quarter of 2009.

According to the most recent figures from the SBA, 113 small businesses in Florida took advantage of the agency’s “504” loan program for real estate and equipment financing from April through June, representing more than $126 million in total projects.

During the first quarter, 65 loans totaling approximately $84 million were issued.

“While overall SBA lending for 2009 remains below 2008, the recent uptick in Florida’s 504 loans is a good indication that small businesses are starting to see opportunities for growth and expansion,” said Todd Kocourek, (top right photo) president & CEO of Florida First Capital Finance Corporation, Florida’s statewide certified development company.

“Commercial real estate and some business equipment have become more affordable during the economic downturn, and smart business owners are taking advantage of this SBA loan program to buy and expand their facilities.”

SBA 504 loans offer low interest, long-term and fixed-rate financing with only 10 percent downpayment requirements for the purchase, construction or renovation of owner-occupied commercial real estate and/or the acquisition of industrial equipment or other fixed assets.

The program recently got a boost via federal Stimulus legislation which eliminated most program fees and allows for a limited amount of refinancing of existing debt if there is a business expansion.
To boot, the 20-year fixed interest rate for 504 loans now stands at 5.24 percent, the lowest in the program’s history.

Florida First Capital Finance Corporation is a statewide non-profit certified development company that promotes economic development and job creation by working with the SBA and private-sector lenders to provide available and affordable financing to small businesses.
Florida First Capital lends to small businesses under the SBA 504 loan program for real estate and equipment as well as via the Florida Recycling Loan Program and other small business assistance programs.
For information on the SBA or State of Florida loans, call Florida First Capital at 888-320-5504, email info@ffcfc.com

Contact: John P. David, 305-255-0035, john@davidgarciapr.com

San Diego Office Owners Dropping Rents to Survive Downturn

SAN DIEGO, CA— San Diego office market fundamentals are softening as ongoing job cuts and reduced business profitability erode space demand, forcing owners to become more flexible with rents, according to a second-quarter Office Research Report by Marcus & Millichap, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm.

Above-trend inventory expansion has come at a time when a greater number of local companies have downsized their footprint, causing metrowide vacancy to reach the highest rate in more than a decade.

“Sales activity in the San Diego office market has decelerated by 50 percent over the past year, as deal flow during the last six months has accounted for less than one-third of the year’s closings,” says Kent Williams, regional manager of the San Diego office of Marcus & Millichap.
Following are some of the most significant aspects of the San Diego Office Research Report:

· As the economic slump continues to weigh on corporate profitability, local employment is forecast to contract 2.6 percent in 2009, or by 34,000 workers, after 24,900 positions were eliminated last year. Office users are expected to cut 11,900 jobs, a decrease of 3.4 percent.

· Builders are scheduled to deliver 920,000 square feet of new office supply to the San Diego metro this year, expanding inventory by 1.5 percent. In 2008, more than 1.4 million square feet came online. Completions have averaged 1.3 million square feet annually during the past five years.

· By year end, vacancy is projected to increase 290 basis points to 18.1 percent, after the average rate rose 230 basis points last year.
· Asking rents are forecast to shrink 4.2 percent to $29.10 per square foot this year, while effective rents will slip 6.2 percent to $24.50 per square foot.

For a copy of the complete San Diego Office Research Report, as well as reports on other markets nationwide, visit our website at http://www.marcusmillichap.com/.

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

Marshall Hotels & Resorts, Inc. Adds Five Management Contracts in Last 120 Days

SALISBURY, MD, July 21, 2009–Officials of Marshall Hotels & Resorts, Inc., a leading, Maryland-based hotel management and services company, today announced the company has added five management contracts in the past 120 days, and expects to add as many as four more within the next 60 days.

The hotels range from upper upscale to focused-service brands and include three newly opened properties. The company now operates more than 50 hotels worldwide.

“We began preparing for this growth several years ago by adding bench strength and taking the right steps to optimize profitability at our existing hotels,” said Michael Marshall, (top right photo) president and CEO of Marshall Hotels & Resorts, Inc.

“The combination of superior results and planned, steady growth has resulted in our most active pipeline in at least five years. The difficult economy has surfaced the short-comings of less-experienced operators who have been unable to respond.

“The key is to understand how to optimize cash flow and guest satisfaction. Controlling margins in this environment is arguably the most difficult it has been in a generation,” he added. “Our size gives us significant economies of scale. For example, we expect to save one property $300,000 annually through better purchasing practices for such items as insurance.”

The properties include:

The George Washington Hotel-A Wyndham Historic Hotel,103 East Picadilly St., Winchester, Va; Country Inn & Suites by Carlson Orlando-Maingate at Calypso, 5001 Calypso Cay Way, Kissimmee, FL; Four Points by Sheraton Midtown-Times Square, 326 West 40th St., New York, NY; · Hampton Inn Virginia Beach-Oceanfront South, 1011 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, Va.; and Microtel Inn and Suites Bryson City, 82 Songbird Forest Rd., Bryson City, NC.

Additional information about Marshall Management may be found at the company's Web site: http://www.marshallhotels.com/.

Rick Day Senior Vice President – Sales and Marketing, Marshall Hotels & Resorts, (410) 749-8464, rday@marshallhotels.com

Jerry Daly, media, Daly Gray Public Relations, (703) 435-6293, jerry@dalygray.com

C&W negotiates 4,800-SF lease for Cummings Corp. in Orlando

ORLANDO, FL– Cushman & Wakefield of Florida, Inc. (C&W) announced that construction consultancy, Cummins Corporation has leased office space in Millenia Park.

Senior Director of Office Brokerage Services, Matthew McKeever (top right photo) CCIM, SIOR, represented the tenant in the deal for approximately 4,800 square feet in Millenia Park One. The transaction relocates Cummings Corporation from their office on Orange Avenue downtown to the Class-A office park near Universal Studios.

Contact: Brook Hines, Tel: 407-541-4401, brook.hines@cushwake.com; www.cushwake.com

Arbor Closes $7.78M Fannie Mae DUS® MBS Loan for Bridgeport Portfolio in Bridgeport, CT

Uniondale, NY (July 21, 2009) - Arbor Commercial Funding, LLC (“Arbor”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Arbor Commercial Mortgage, LLC, announced the recent funding of a $7,780,000 loan under the Fannie Mae DUS® MBS Loan product line for the 128-unit property known as the Bridgeport Portfolio in Bridgeport, CT.

The 10-year loan amortizes on a 30-year schedule and carries a note rate of 5.90 percent.

The loan was originated by Stephen York, (top right photo) Director, in Arbor’s full-service New York, NY lending office.

“The goal for this client, a major multifamily owner in Connecticut, was to refinance and pull out trapped equity that could be used towards the purchase of additional multifamily properties,” said York. “We were pleased to assist the Sponsor in accomplishing his objective and we look forward to future opportunities together.”

Contact: Ingrid Principe, iprincipe@arbor.com

Days Inn Brand Present in All 50 States with Hawaii Opening

PARSIPPANY, NJ – Days Inns Worldwide, one of North America’s most well-known hotel companies, announced that with the opening of its first hotel in Maui, Hawaii, the brand has achieved a milestone that few are able to tout: a presence in all 50 United States.

Owned and operated by Packard Hospitality Group, the 88-room hotel makes the Days Inn brand, which has more than 1,850 hotels throughout the world, the first chain from Wyndham Hotel Group’s family of lodging brands to have a hotel in Hawaii.

“This is a great moment for Wyndham Hotel Group and the Days Inn brand,” said Keith Pierce, Wyndham Hotel Group president, The Americas. “With the addition of this hotel, price-savvy business and leisure travelers can rest assured that no matter where their travels take them, a Days Inn hotel will be there waiting for them.”

Located at 2980 S. Kihei Street, just steps from Maui’s Keawakapu Beach, the newly opened Days Inn Maui Oceanfront hotel (top right photo) offers a host of complimentary amenities including free in-room microwaves and mini-fridges and Tempur-pedic mattresses in all rooms.

Contact: Christine Da Silva, Director, Media Relations, Wyndham Hotel Group, 22 Sylvan WayParsippany, NJ 07054. PH 973-753-6590. christine.dasilva@wyndhamworldwide.com

Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty Named Exclusive Sales Representative for Luxury Home of NASCAR Great Mike Skinner

PORT ORANGE, FL --- Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty, which ranks as one of Central Florida’s largest and most active realty companies specializing in luxury homes, has been named exclusive sales representative for a luxury home and commercial airplane hangar located at Spruce Creek Fly-In, the unique Volusia County community developed for affluent airplane owners.

The property, located at 3118 Spruce Creek Blvd., Home (top right photo) is offered for sale by NASCAR driver Mike Skinner. (top left photo)

The luxurious estate is listed for $2.275 million and the commercial hangar is listed for $1.475 million.
Roger Soderstrom, founder and owner of Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty, said associates Rachel McGrath and Debbie Keilin serve as principal contacts and listing agents for the property.
The Tuscany themed Mediterranean Estate Home served as the personal residence of Mike and Angie Skinner, McGrath explained.

“With almost 10,000 square feet of total living space, situated on a premium golf course lot overlooking a lake in the prestigious “Bella Vista Estates” of the Fly-In, the custom residence features controlled gated access, a dramatic two-story entry with Cantera iron arched doors and a grand foyer that opens onto a graceful living room with soaring fireplace and columned music room,” McGrath said.

Keilin said the lavish formal dining room features an antique, glittering Swavorski chandelier from Italy.

The Skinners also own and are offering for sale an 11,000 square foot Commercial Aviation Hangar with two delivery doors, a 1,200 square foot workshop and three private offices all with hangar views, plus a meeting room and wet bar.

For more information, please contact:

Roger Soderstrom, Founder/Owner, Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty, 407-588-1260
Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142