Thursday, October 8, 2009

Grubb & Ellis Represents University of Phoenix in Downtown Expansion

CHICAGO, IL– Grubb & Ellis Company (NYSE: GBE), a leading real estate services and investment firm,  announced that it represented the University of Phoenix in a lease renewal and expansion at 203 N. LaSalle St., bringing the institution’s total occupancy to approximately 44,000 square feet.

“The University of Phoenix has experienced a significant increase in enrollment, driving the need for additional classroom space,” said Craig Cassell, vice president in the Office Group at Grubb & Ellis and tenant representative in the transaction.

 “The available space on the floor directly above the school’s currently occupied space proved to be an excellent solution.”

The university’s existing lease of 27,000 square feet was originally scheduled to expire within the next several years. The renewal and lease expansion, which provides an additional 17,000 square feet of space, has been signed on a long-term basis.

The landlord, M&J Wilkow, was represented directly by Jack O'Brien.

Contact: Erin Mays, Phone: 312.698.6735, Email:

Grubb & Ellis AGA Realty Income Fund Announces Dividend

SAN MATEO, CA– Grubb & Ellis Alesco Global Advisors  announced that Grubb & Ellis AGA Realty Income Fund (NSDQ: GBEIX) paid a dividend of $0.132 per share on Sept. 30 to shareholders of record as of Sept. 29. The fund intends to make regular quarterly distributions.

Grubb & Ellis AGA Realty Income Fund is managed by an experienced portfolio team with public and private market real estate experience, as well as long-standing industry relationships. The fund is distributed by Quasar Distributors, LLC.

Grubb & Ellis Alesco Global Advisors is a subsidiary of Grubb & Ellis Company (NYSE: GBE), one of the largest commercial real estate services and investment management firms. This relationship affords them access to a nationwide network of real estate brokers and researchers, providing market insights and understanding on virtually every real estate market and product type in the country.

For more information regarding Grubb & Ellis AGA Realty Income Fund, please visit the fund’s Web site at

Contact: Damon Elder, Phone: 714.975.2659, Email:

Gary Bechtel is New  Senior Vice President in Newport Beach Office

NEWPORT BEACH, CA– Grubb & Ellis Company (NYSE: GBE), a leading real estate services and investment firm, announced that commercial real estate veteran Gary Bechtel (bottom right photo) has joined the company’s Newport Beach office as senior vice president, effective immediately. He will be responsible for serving the debt financing and equity needs of clients, expanding the office’s service offerings to include mortgage brokerage.

During his 22-year career, Bechtel has been involved in roughly $7.5 billion in commercial debt transactions involving multiple property types, including office, retail, industrial, multifamily, hospitality, self storage and manufactured housing.

Contact: Julia McCartney, Phone: 714.975.2230, Email:

Thomas D. Wood Brokers $4.6M Loan in South Florida

MIAMI, FL— Thomas D. Wood and Company, a Strategic Alliance Mortgage LLC member, secured financing on October 1, 2009, in the amount of $4,600,000 for Lincoln-Lauderhill Industrial in Lauderdale Lakes and Lauderhill, Florida.

Marshall Smith, (top right photo)  Company Executive Vice President, financed Lincoln-Lauderhill through Thomas D. Wood and Company’s relationship with a local bank.

The loan term is ten years, and the rate can be reset after five years, based on a 25-year amortization and a loan-to-value of 49.4%. The interest rate is 6.50%.

The two properties total 328,400 square feet of industrial space, and were built between 1974 and 1978. Lincoln-Lauderhill Industrial is located at 3435-3699 NW 19th Street, Lauderdale Lakes, and 1840-1898 NW 38th Avenue, Lauderhill, Florida.

For further information, please contact:
Marshall Smith (305) 447-7820
Jessica Gurtowski (407) 937-0470

260-Acre IDI Meridian 75 Business Park Receives Foreign Trade Zone Designation

“Deal of the Year” is First Zone in Middle Georgia

ATLANTA, GA– IDI’s Meridian 75 Logistics Center, (bottom left aerial photo) a planned 2.9 million square-foot business park 15 miles north of Macon, Ga. was recently granted Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) status by the Federal FTZ Board.

The park is included in a now expanded Atlanta zone, Zone 26, and is the first in Middle Georgia. FTZ status allows those operating in the park to benefit from duty deferral, inverted tariffs and merchandise processing fee savings.

The FTZ program was created by the Foreign-Trade Zones Act of 1934 as an attempt to alleviate the effects of the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Tariffs, which raised tariffs on more than 20,000 imported goods to record levels, and cut American imports and exports by more than half. The Foreign-Trade Zones Act was created in response, to facilitate and encourage foreign commerce in the U.S.

Merchandise may be admitted into an FTZ without going through formal Customs entry procedures or paying import duties. Customs duties and excise taxes are due only at the time of transfer from the FTZ for U.S. consumption. If the merchandise never enters the U.S. commerce, then no duties or taxes are paid on those items. Georgia has fewer than 25 zones and there are 230 zones nationwide.

In October 2008, Meridian 75 Logistics Center was named the “Deal of the Year’ by the Georgia Economic Developers Association (GEDA) for its economic impact and the innovative financing used to fund the project. Over time, it is projected that Meridian 75’s potential economic benefits will include an addition to the county’s job base of 1,250 employees and a net payroll of $39 million per year.

Meridian 75 Logistics Center located at Interstate 75 and Rumble Road in Monroe County, Ga. features space for five build-to-suit and inventory facilities totaling 2,928,255 square feet.

One-hour south of Atlanta, 2.5 hours from the Port of Savannah and nine hours from Miami, Meridian 75 is strategically located for local and regional distribution, as well as access to a quality labor force in North Central Georgia.

“For distributors of international goods, FTZ status is a key benefit when seeking a new facility. Along with our location, which offers exceptional access to both the Port of Savannah, and to a population base exceeding 70 million people within a one-day truck drive, providing FTZ is a major differentiator for Meridian 75, and a key benefit for our targeted tenant base,” said Lisa Ward,  (top right photo) vice president of leasing for IDI.


Kim Hardcastle, Jackson Spalding for IDI, 404-214-0693
Charlotte Marie DuPre, Jackson Spalding for IDI, 404-214-3555,

Net Lease Commercial Advisory Grows Tampa Office with New Hire David M. Williams

TAMPA, FLORIDA –Net Lease Commercial Advisory is pleased to announce that David M. Williams, (top right photo) former Business Director of Synergy Properties has joined the firm’s commercial real estate team as a Commercial Investment Advisor. He will be based in the firm’s downtown Tampa office.

“We are very eager to have David join our dynamic team,” said Eric W. Odum, (bottom left photo) President of Net Lease Commercial Advisory. “His real estate background, combined with his extensive leasing and sales experience, is a welcome addition to our firm. His addition shows our commitment to further develop talent for our commercial investment division.”

"I am very excited about joining this great company,” said Williams. “Net Lease Commercial Advisory has developed sophisticated and profitable investment strategies, and I am honored to be a part of the
company’s continued acceleration."
Before working with Synergy Properties, David M. Williams worked for two years as a sales associate for another prominent brokerage. David is a Tampa native and a resident of South Tampa. He is a graduate of Plant High School and The Universit of Florida.

Net Lease Commercial Advisory has experienced growth despite a challenging real estate market.
Contact: Kerrie E. Edington, 813-514-1070 or 813-248-8256 - alternate phone; 813-354-2338 fax,

Fast Work by North Fulton Community Improvement District Could Eliminate Slow Commute at Windward Parkway in Atlanta

CID Board approves $500,000 Ramp Improvement Project; Keeps Millage Rate Flat

ATLANTA, GA – The North Fulton Community Improvement District voted to fully fund an expansion of the Georgia Highway 400 off-ramp at Windward Parkway, allowing for an expedited construction schedule that will drastically reduce congestion. The $500,000 project will add a right-turn lane along Windward Parkway, from the exit ramp to North Point Parkway.

Congestion at the Windward Parkway and Georgia 400 interchange is notorious. More than 168,000 cars each day pass through the interchange causing major back-ups on both arteries.

“I’ve seen people on Georgia 400 northbound reading books and newspapers while waiting to get on Windward Parkway in the morning,” said CID Board Member Moses Brown, vice president of Reed Elsevier/LexisNexis. “That exit ramp is a significant bottleneck, and a serious safety concern for commuters trying to get to Windward Parkway.”

The CID selected PBS&J to manage the Windward project. Jordan, Jones & Goulding (JJ&G) is designing the new lane to relieve morning rush-hour congestion.

For more information on the North Fulton CID, contact Ann Miller Hanlon at (678) 397-0566, or visit

Media Contacts:

Hadley Hickman, Jackson Spalding, (404) 419-9346
Patrick Hill, Jackson Spalding, (404) 724-2506

Dr. Tom O’Neal, founder of UCF Business Incubation Program receives award from Florida Small Business Development Center Network

ORLANDO, Fla. --- Dr. Tom O’Neal, (top right photo) founder and executive director of the UCF Business Incubation Program, recently received the “Regional Outstanding Resource Partner Award” from the Florida Small Business Development Center Network at its annual meeting.

The award was in recognition of the unique partnership between Dr. O’Neal of the UCF Business Incubation Program and Eunice Choi, (middle left photo)  Director of the UCF Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the new UCF/Leesburg Business Incubator site.(bottom left photo) 

 The 4,000 square foot building at 600 Market St. that serves as the Incubator will also function as an office for the SBDC, who will share staff and facilities with the Incubator to maximize productivity and economic impact within the community.

“By offering the UCF Business Incubation Program along with the SBDC, we can more efficiently and effectively serve the needs of more small businesses in Lake and Sumter Counties,” said James Spencer, new site manager for the Leesburg Incubator, who joined the program in July.

Another example of one of the many partnerships between several organizations that Dr. O’Neal has been involved in creating is the new 3,800 square foot UCF/Sanford Business Incubator, which opened recently at 110 W. First St. in downtown Sanford.

The UCF/Sanford Business Incubator (middle right photo)  is a partnership among City of Sanford, UCF Business Incubation Program and the Florida High Tech Corridor Council, the founding partners, who have formed an additional partnership with the local SBDC, SCORE (Service Core of Retired Executives) and volunteers in a joint effort to assist entrepreneurs in building successful companies that will create new jobs in Sanford and Seminole County.

“At the UCF Sanford Business Incubator everyone has stepped forward to help create a partnership that ranks as one of the most cost-effective strategies to stimulate local economies," Dr. O'Neal said.

The new incubator facility offers office space, along with coaching, training, and meeting space, and the daily point of contact from UCFBIP will be, Rafael Caamano, Dr. O'Neal said.

For more information about this release,  contact:

Gordon Hogan, Director of Operations, UCF Business Incubation Program 407-882-1577,

Dr. Tom O’Neal, Executive Director, UCF Business Incubation Program, 407 882-1120,

Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142 or

Avalonpark Texas L.P. to Develop 120-Acre Community in Dripping Springs near Austin, TX

AUSTIN, Tex. - Avalonpark Texas L.P., a Texas Joint Venture operation of Florida developer Avalon Park Group in Orlando, announced it plans to develop a 120-acre community on the Howard Ranch property in Dripping Springs near Austin.

Beat Kahli (top right photo) is CEO and founder of  Avalon Park Group.

Ross Halle, vice president of architecture and town planner at Avalon Park Group, said the development firm is currently negotiating with the City of Dripping Springs the establishment of a Planned Development District.

Halle said Avalonpark Texas L.P. plans to develop an assisted living and nursing facility, 100 multi-family units, including rental apartments, town homes and villas, 250 single-family homes and 55 estate home sites at Howard Ranch along with 50,000 square feet of commercial space and a church facility.

For more information contact:
Richard Kunz, Avalon Park Group, 512-695-3356;
Stephanie Hodson, Marketing Coordinator, Avalon Park Group 407-658-6565;
Ross Halle, VP Architecture/Town Planner Avalon Park Group 407-658-6565;
Beat Kahli, Founder /CEO Avalon Park Group 407-658-6565;
Larry Vershel, Larry Vershel Communications 407-644-4142,

HFF secures financing for Houston area shopping center

DALLAS, TX – The Dallas office of HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) announced today that it has secured financing for Autumn Creek Village,(top left photo)  a 19,562-square-foot shopping center in Friendswood, Texas.

Working exclusively on behalf of Cencor Realty Services, HFF managing director Mark West (middle right photo)  placed the five-year, fixed-rate permanent loan with ViewPoint Bank. Loan proceeds will refinance existing debt and accommodate for Kroger’s expansion in the center.

Cencor Realty Services was founded in 1989 as a full-service real estate company specializing in property management, construction, renovation and remodeling, development, finish-out and financial services.

Autumn Creek Village is located at 313 FM 538 close to Interstate 45 in Friendswood, approximately 20 miles southeast of Houston. Completed in 2000, the property is 100% leased to tenants including Starbucks, Quiznos Subs, Wells Fargo and Friendswood Eye Center. Autumn Creek Village is shadow-anchored by Kroger Grocery, which is under contract to expand their store by approximately 10,000 square feet.


Mark E. West,HFF Managing Director, (214) 265-0880,
Kristen M. Murphy, HFF Associate Director, Marketing, (713) 852-3500,

HFF closes sale of Merchant’s Exchange in Marietta, GA

ATLANTA, GA – The Atlanta office of HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) announced today that it closed the sale of Merchant’s Exchange,(top left photo)  a 130,013-square-foot retail shopping center in Marietta, Georgia.

The HFF investment sales team was led by senior managing director Whitney Knoll (middle right photo) and director Richard Reid (bottom left photo) who represented the seller, Centro Properties Group. Columbia Properties, Inc. purchased the property free and clear of debt.

Merchant’s Exchange is situated on 11.2 acres at 4400 Roswell Road close to the intersection of Johnson Ferry Road and Roswell Road in the northern Atlanta suburb of Marietta.

Originally completed in 1986 and renovated in 1997, the property is 98.9% leased to tenants including LA Fitness, The Picture Show Movie Theatre and Hancock Fabrics.

“Merchant’s Exchange has an irreplaceable location in the hub of retail activity for East Cobb County,” said Knoll.

Centro Properties Group (“Centro”) is a retail investment organization specializing in the ownership, management and development of retail shopping centers. Centro manages both listed and unlisted retail property and has an extensive portfolio of shopping centers across Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Centro has funds under management of $20.3 billion.

CPI manages, leases, and/or owns more than one million square feet of retail shopping centers ranging in size from 15,000 to over 100,000 square feet in the Atlanta metropolitan area and throughout Georgia.


C. Whitney Knoll, HFF Senior Managing Director, (404) 832-8460,
Richard M. Reid, HFF Director, (404) 832-8460,
Kristen M. Murphy, HFF Associate Director, Marketing, (713) 852-3500,