Thursday, November 12, 2009

Luxury Apartment Homes Completed Near Downtown Atlanta

ATLANTA, GA, Nov. 12, 2009 – A narrow, 5.7-acre parcel of land running parallel to a major east-west urban freeway and characterized by severe topography, existing wetlands and significant contextual challenges has been successfully turned into a $37.5 million luxury apartment development two miles east of downtown Atlanta.

Known as Glenwood East, (above centered photo and all photos on page by Creative Sources Photography © 2009 Photographer: Rion Rizzo),  the 236-unit development, completed late this summer, was designed by architecture firm Lord, Aeck & Sargent for builder/developer Alliance Residential Co. It is located just east of Glenwood Park, the renowned New Urbanist mixed-use community, and slightly west of the Village of East Atlanta, a revitalized historic neighborhood.

“The Glenwood East site, along with its proximity to Interstate 20, its 50-foot vertical fall and its wetlands and stream presented us with a variety of challenges and constraints,” said Eric Brock, Lord, Aeck & Sargent project principal and leader of the firm’s Housing & Mixed-Use Studio. “In addition, Alliance tasked us with specific design, density and parking ratio objectives. We responded with a holistic solution that addressed the enormous physical challenges of the site and met all of Alliance’s objectives.”

Lord, Aeck & Sargent’s solution was based around a strategy of placing a tree-lined street running through the site parallel to the Interstate. According to staff architect Ngugi Mathu, this allowed the design team to place the mass of the four-level parking deck as well as surface parking, between the street and the Interstate.

“The parking deck acts as a buffer to the freeway by mitigating noise and lights, and the street provides on-grade pedestrian access to each level of the parking deck from the apartment buildings on the other side of the street.

"This is more efficient, and it lowered costs by eliminating the need for internal parking deck ramps,” Mathu said. “The street also functions as a drive-through for emergency and service vehicles, eliminating the need for an awkward truck turnaround.”

To address the site’s 50-foot vertical fall, the design team divided the development into three buildings, each responding to the existing site topography. Each of the three residential buildings fronts the street with an identical façade but extends back to engage the topography differently.

Finally, to address the site’s technical problem of stormwater runoff from the wetlands and stream, the design team created an aesthetic feature – a small park, approximately an acre, with a detention pond.

“In addition to dealing with stormwater runoff, our ‘park and pond’ solution create an attractive gateway to the development,” Brock said. “Residents and visitors gain a sense of arrival as they drive, walk or bike through the park, over a bridge that spans the pond and down the street we created.

“Also very important is that the new street, bridge and paths connect Glenwood East to Glenwood Park, as it was one of Alliance’s goals to create an apartment community that would seamlessly tie in to the character of the New Urbanist community.”

While Alliance wanted Glenwood East to relate to its neighbor to the west, it also wanted the development to be different architecturally from the mixed-use, early 20th century Craftsman-style community, which has no rental properties.

Brock said that Lord, Aeck & Sargent created a more contemporary look with an exterior envelope of red brick, stucco and glass along with wood balconies with aluminum railings. “Although the three apartment buildings are contemporary, we tied the development in with Glenwood Park with respect to scale, proportionality and materials such as brick, granite site walls and lush landscaping,” he said.

Each of the wood frame constructed Glenwood East buildings is four stories plus an above-grade basement level with brick and stucco front facades. To mitigate sound and provide privacy, balconies are partially recessed into their respective units. The front corner apartment homes of each building feature floor-to-ceiling glass meant to give the buildings an urban mixed-use quality. The back façades of the three buildings form three courtyards, one of which houses the development’s outdoor swimming pool, sundeck and cabana with barbeque grills.

Each building also has a tower and spire that give the community a presence along the east-west urban freeway, since traditional signage is not allowed. The towers house amenities, and the westernmost tower houses the Glenwood East clubhouse and cyber café, with views of downtown Atlanta.

Other amenities include a fitness center with cardio theater, weight machines and a yoga room, laundry, a business center, WiFi access in the common areas, high-speed Internet access in the apartment homes, gated access into the courtyards and an on-site leasing center. The apartment homes are available in studio and one- and two-bedroom configurations.

The parking deck is pre-cast concrete with brick and steel accents and incorporates mail kiosks for each residential building.

The project team for Glenwood East included:

· Lord, Aeck & Sargent (Atlanta office), architect
· Alliance Residential Co. (Atlanta office), owner, builder, developer, property manager
· Kimley-Horn and Associates (Atlanta), landscape architect and civil engineer
· Focus Design Interiors (Atlanta), interior design
· Covalent Consulting (Atlanta), MEP/FP engineer
· Davis & Church (Atlanta), structural engineer

Lord, Aeck & Sargent is an award-winning architectural firm serving clients in scientific, academic, historic preservation, arts and cultural, and multi-family housing and mixed-use markets. The firm’s core values are responsive design, technological expertise and exceptional service. Lord, Aeck & Sargent has offices in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Atlanta, Georgia; and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. For more information, visit the firm at


Anne Taylor, Lord, Aeck & Sargent, 404-253-6710,,  or
Ann Kohut, Kohut Communications Consulting, 770-913-9747,

Marcus & Millichap Sells 5,336-SF, Class “A” Office Building In Clearwater, FL

CLEARWATER, FL, Nov.  12, 2009 – Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, has announced the sale of 2040 NE Coachman Road, (top left photo)  a 5,336-square foot office building located in Clearwater FL, according to Bryn D. Merrey, Regional Manager of the firm’s Tampa office.

 The asset commanded a sales price of $750,000.

Dominique R. Boulette, an investment specialist in Marcus & Millichap’s Tampa office, had the exclusive listing to market the property on behalf of the seller, a limited liability company.

The property is located at 2040 NE Coachman Road in Clearwater, Florida and was purchased by Trinity Medical Investments, LLC.

Press Contact:  Bryn D. Merrey, Regional Manager, Tampa, (813) 387-4700

Palmer Electric Co. residential division expands

WINTER PARK, FL, Nov.  12, 2009 — Palmer Electric Co. is pleased to announce the expansion of its residential North Florida office, the opening of its new residential office in Central Florida and the signing of a new homebuilder client, Lennar Homes.

In early 2008, the Company established a 1,500-square-foot office in Jacksonville, Fla. Palmer Electric recently relocated its North Florida residential division operation to a 2,700-square-foot office/warehouse on U.S. Highway 1 North in Ponte Vedra, Fla. In Central Florida, Palmer Electric opened a 1550-square-foot residential division office on Murcott Drive in St. Cloud, Fla.

“Both the North Florida office expansion and the St. Cloud opening allow us to better serve our homebuilder customers,” said Don Stebbins, (top right photo)  vice president residential division, Palmer Electric Co.

Palmer Electric Company is a provider of electrical contracting for commercial, institutional and residential customers. Additionally, the Company provides service to utilities, businesses and consumers. Founded in 1951, the Company is headquartered in Winter Park, Fla., and has residential division offices in Lakeland and Jacksonville, Fla. The Company employs a staff of 350. For additional information, visit

Contact: Elaine Ingra, PR WORKS!, PH: 407 384-1344, elainei@pr-works.com

Arbor Closes 2 Fannie Mae Loans Totaling Almost $12M in Kansas City, MO and Acton, MA

Spring Hill Commons in Acton, MA Receives $7M

Uniondale, NY (Nov.12, 2009) - Arbor Commercial Funding, LLC (“Arbor”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Arbor Commercial Mortgage, LLC, announced the recent funding of a $7,096,000 loan under the Fannie Mae DUS® Loan product line for the 105-unit complex known as Spring Hill Commons in Acton, MA.

The 10-year loan amortizes on a 30-year schedule and carries a note rate of 5.71 percent.

The loan was originated by John Kelly, (top left photo) Vice President, in Arbor’s full-service Boston, MA lending office. “Arbor was pleased to provide this acquisition financing,” said Kelly. “In a difficult debt market, we were able to provide over 80% financing on the purchase price and also include additional funds for the new ownership to increase the asset’s quality via their capital improvement strategy.

Sterling Court Apartments in Kansas City, MO Gets $4.9M

Uniondale, NY - Arbor Commercial Funding, LLC (“Arbor”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Arbor Commercial Mortgage, LLC, announced the recent funding of a $4,900,000 loan under the Fannie Mae DUS® Loan product line for the 217-unit complex known as Sterling Court Apartments in Kansas City, MO.

The 10-year loan amortizes on a 26-year schedule and carries a note rate of 5.90 percent.

The loan was originated by Ronen Abergel, (bottom right photo) Director, in Arbor’s full-service New York, NY lending office. “This deal consisted of a refinance for a CMBS loan that was replaced with a 10-year fixed-rate Fannie Mae loan,” said Abergel. “The borrower was very pleased with the terms of the deal.”

Contact:  Ingrid Principe, P: 516.506.4298, F: 516.542.2555,, Follow us on Twitter @ arbor1

Urgo Hotels Acquires Two-Year Old, Luxury Singer Island Resort in South Florida

SINGER ISLAND, FL, Nov.12, 2009—Urgo Hotels, a major developer, owner and operator of upscale hotels, today announced the acquisition of the luxury Resort at Singer Island (top right photo) from WCI Communities for $7.1 million.

Urgo immediately rebranded and repositioned the 239-suite condo-hotel, converting it to the Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa.

 The acquisition included four, three-bedroom residential condo apartments, 14 condo-hotel units, all of the hotel’s facilities and amenities including the common areas, restaurants, lounges, conference and function rooms, spa, fitness center, recreational areas, and operating agreements.

“The acquisition and repositioning of the Resort at Singer Island is consistent with our proven track record on selective growth, and signals our intent to step up our acquisition and third-party management programs,” said Kevin Urgo, senior vice president of Urgo Hotels.

“We have the financial power to acquire and/or joint-venture with others. And, we have expertise and the infrastructure in place to comfortably add more third-party management contracts. We have an active pipeline in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. Florida is particularly attractive to us.”

Urgo noted that the company has a 25-year proven track record developing upscale hotels that exceed brand standards, and the acquisition, re-positioning, re-branding, and conversion of underperforming properties. The company’s strategy had resulted in a portfolio of award-winning properties that consistently out perform their market competitors.

“We purchased this luxury resort, which opened in 2007, out of bankruptcy at an attractive price,” he said. “By rebranding and repositioning the property and installing our proprietary management systems, we believe we can make an immediate impact on the property. The economy and the hotel industry remain mired in difficulty over the short term, but we believe the outlook for this resort offers great promise.”

The hotel is located on six acres of prime beachfront (center photo above) with 300-foot frontage on the Atlantic Ocean in Palm Beach County, Fla. It is 15 minutes from Palm Beach International Airport and is near the heart of Palm Beach shopping, restaurants, and night life, as well as a multitude of options in nearby Palm Beach Gardens.

Property amenities include an 8,500-square-foot-spa with eight treatment suites and an 1170 square-foot, state-of-the-art fitness center. A lagoon-style, outdoor, infinity swimming pool, highlighted by a two-story waterfall and slide, is surrounded by cabanas and a whirlpool.

Solu, the property’s signature restaurant and bar, will feature American grill cuisine and stunning oceanfront views. The Lagoon provides poolside dining, while the Reef provides guests with the opportunity to literally dine on the beach. The Café offers coffee, pastries and sundries.

The resort is ideal for business meetings, weddings and social events.

The hotel’s 239, luxurious one- and two-bedroom suites feature fully equipped kitchens, with imported granite counter tops, European wood cabinetry, washer and dryer, and stainless steel appliances. All suites offer spacious luxury bathroom, and balconies with views of the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal waterways.

Contact: Jerry Daly or Chris Daly, (703) 435-6293

Regency Centers Exercises Option to Increase Interest in MCW II Partnership

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Regency Centers Corporation (NYSE:REG) announced today it has notified Macquarie CountryWide (MCW) that the Company will exercise its options to increase its interest in Macquarie CountryWide-Regency II, LLC (MCW II), an existing co-investment partnership between Global Retail Investors LLC (GRI), Regency and MCW that currently owns 86 retail shopping centers across the country.

(Hap Stein, top right photo, is chairman of Regency Centers Corp.)

In July 2009, GRI, a joint venture between the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) and an affiliate of First Washington Realty, Inc., agreed to purchase the majority of MCW's interest in MCW II.

 At that time, the partnership was valued at $1.73 billion for the transaction. The first phase of the transaction which involved the sale of 45% of the partnership to GRI closed July 31, 2009.

The second phase in which an additional 15% of the partnership will be sold by MCW to GRI is scheduled to close upon receipt of lender consents required under certain of the partnership's property-level loans.

 As part of the agreement, Regency acquired two options to purchase the remainder of MCW's interest (up to 15% in total) at a 7.7% discount.

Expected closing of the increased interest is December 1, 2009. With the closing, Regency's ownership in MCW II will increase to 40%. Regency will remain the managing member of the partnership and retain management and leasing responsibilities.

Contact: Regency Centers Corporatio,  Lisa Palmer, 904-598-7636,

Marcus & Millichap Sells Condominiums in Van Nuys, CA for $6.15M

VAN NUYS, CA – Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, has brokered the sale of 99 condominiums within the 161-unit, 57,459-square foot Sonterra Homes, (top right photo) an REO complex in Van Nuys.

The sales price of $6.15 million represents $62,121 per unit.

Ron Harris, (bottom left photo) a senior vice president investments and senior director of the firm’s National Multi Housing Group in Los Angeles, represented the seller, a Chicago-based lender, and the buyer, Gidi Cohen of Cohen & Associates.

“This is one of the larger broken condo deals to close in the San Fernando Valley,” says Harris. “These units were selling for as much as $310,000 each in 2007.”

Located at 15425 Sherman Way, the property is situated between Sepulveda Boulevard and Interstate 405, within an easy commute to downtown Los Angeles, Beverly Hills /Century City, Warner Center and Burbank.

Property amenities include a swimming pool, spa, fitness center, ample controlled-access on-site parking, barbecue/picnic area and lushly landscaped mature-growth grounds with terra cotta fountains. The unit mix is 31 studios, 61 one-bedroom/one-bath units, six two-bedroom/one-bath units and one two-bedroom/two-bath apartment.

Van Nuys is in the heart of the San Fernando Valley.

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

Paulette Barrett Joins Benson Media in Ball Ground, GA

BALL GROUND,, GA -- Benson Media and welcome Paulette Barrett  (top right photo) to their team as New Media Director. Barrett now leads Benson Media’s Internet marketing initiatives.

 Her responsibilities include consulting with clients and training them in core product areas including Internet advertising and syndication, e-mail, social media and Internet marketing programs.

Barrett brings more than ten years multifamily real estate experience on both the owner/manager and associate/supplier sides. Prior to joining Benson, she was Regional Vice President with Property Solutions and National Account Executive with Resite Online, where she provided clients with Web-based technologies including Web sites, leasing and resident portals and online payments systems. She was previously Regional Account Executive and National Sales Training Manager for

“After two years of extensive research and work with apartment communities, we now have more direction supporting the importance of social media in multifamily,” said Brian Benson, (middle left photo) Chief Executive Officer of Benson Media. “It became clear that a multifamily professional like Paulette would be a valuable addition to our team, which already works with more than 6,000 apartment communities nationwide.”

Barrett is a certified instructor for the original Dale Carnegie Course in Effective Communication and Human Relations. She holds a Master of Science degree from North Carolina State University. She telecommutes from the Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida area, where she resides.

Follow Paulette Barrett on Twitter at Her LinkedIn profile can be found at

Benson Media ( is a privately-owned multifamily real estate marketing firm whose flexible, full-service platform helps clients improve quality, efficiency and brand identity while reducing costs. Benson fulfills orders quickly and cost-effectively by creating, printing, manufacturing, storing and distributing customizable products at one centralized location.

 In addition to commercial printing and creative design services, the firm also produces cutting-edge online and social media campaigns. In addition, its Apartment Marketing Store ( offers one-stop-shopping for high quality, competitively-priced apartment marketing kits and materials for property managers everywhere.

Founded in 1992, Benson Media offers exceptional personal service from start to finish.

Contact:  Terri Thornton. 404-687-8760, 404-932-4347 (Cell),