Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Home Prices Show Sustained Improvement through the Third Quarter of 2009, According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices

NEW YORK, NY – Data through September 2009, released  by Standard & Poor’s
for its S&P/Case-Shiller1 Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, show that the U.S. National Home Price Index improved in the third quarter of 2009, posting its second consecutive quarterly increase and further improvement in its annual rate of return.

 The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, recorded an 8.9% decline in the third quarter of 2009 versus the third quarter of 2008. This is a marked improvement over the 14.7% decline in the annual rate of return reported in the second quarter of 2009, and the 19.0% drop in the first quarter.

The 10-City and 20-City Composites recorded annual declines of 8.5% and 9.4%, respectively. These two indices, which are reported at a monthly frequency, have generally seen improvements in their annual rates of return every month since the beginning of the year.

“We have seen broad improvement in home prices for most of the past six months,” says David M. Blitzer, (top right photo)  Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s.

“However, the gains in the most recent month are more modest than during the seasonally strong summer months. Fewer cities saw month to month improvements in September than in August in both seasonally adjusted and unadjusted figures.

Nationally, the U.S. National Composite rose by 3.1% in both the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2009. Both the
10-City and 20-City Composites posted their fifth consecutive monthly increase with September’s report.

Earlier some analysts voiced concern that the end of the first-time home buyer program would result in a drop in activity. While housing starts did slip in October, the federal government recently extended and expanded the first-time homebuyer tax credit.”

 As of the 3rd quarter of 2009, average home prices across the United States are at similar levels to what they were in autumn 2003. The 3rd quarter values show improvement over the previous two quarters of 2009 and have risen well off their recent bottom.

The 10-City and 20-City Composites continue to show monthly improvement in their annual return figures. Both composites emerged from double-digit annual declines with September’s report, the first time in 21 months.

 In addition, 19 of the 20 metro areas saw improvement in their annual returns compared to the previous month, Cleveland being the only exception.

San Francisco and Washington DC have reported six consecutive months of positive returns. Chicago, Minneapolis, San Diego and the two Composites were close behind with five consecutive months of positive returns. In addition to the two Composites, nine of the MSAs reported positive monthly returns for September and four of those -- Chicago, Detroit Minneapolis and San Francisco -- were greater than +1.0%.

Las Vegas remains the most depressed market. Prices have declined for 37 consecutive months, with a peak-to-trough reading of -55.4%. While Detroit has seen some positive movement in recent months, the market is still at only 73% of its 2000 value.

 This compares to regions such as Los Angeles, New York and Washington, which have maintained values of 70-80% above their 2000 averages, in spite of the market downturn.

For more information, please contact:
David Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee, Standard & Poor’s, 212 438 3907,

David Guarino, Communications, Standard & Poor’s, 1 212 438 1471,

Tax Credit Group of Marcus & Millichap Reaches $1.5B Milestone

ENCINO, Calif., Nov. 18, 2009 – Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, announces that the firm’s Tax Credit Group (TCG) has been involved in the sale of more than $1.5 billion of Section 42 LIHTC (Low-Income Housing Tax Credit) product, according to John Kerin,  (top right photo) senior vice president and managing director of the firm.

“Since its formation in 2001, the Tax Credit Group has been involved in 239 tax credit multifamily transactions in 34 states totaling $1.5 billion in real estate. Operating within Marcus & Millichap’s National Multi Housing Group, TCG provides disposition and advisory services to clients in every region of the United States,” says Kerin.

“The Tax Credit Group has transformed the affordable housing brokerage market by creating opportunity and maximizing value for its clients,” says Robert Sheppard, (middle  left photo)  senior director of the Seattle-based Tax Credit Group. “The principals possess more than 32 combined years of real estate brokerage, advisory, research and low-income housing tax credit property experience to assist investors in property dispositions and acquisitions.”

Some of the Tax Credit Group’s most significant transactions in 2009 include:

· The $26.12 million sale of the Fields at Landmark , a 290-unit Section 42 LIHTC property at 318 S. Whiting St. in Alexandria, Va., in conjunction with the firm’s Southeast Virginia office;

· The $14.7 million sale of Woodland Greens, a 240-unit Section 42 LIHTC project located at 19801 50th Ave. W in Lynnwood, Wash.; and

· The $10.9 million sale of the 300-unit Waterford at Valley Ranch, a 249,600-square foot Section 42 apartment complex in Irving, Texas, in conjunction with the firm’s Dallas office.

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

Grubb & Ellis Facilitates 137,004-SF Lease Extension to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration

WASHINGTON, D.C.– Grubb & Ellis Company (NYSE: GBE), a leading real estate services and investment firm represented Auth Road Associates in the lease extension of 137,004 square feet of office space to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration at the World Weather Building (top right photo)  in Suitland, Md.

Kurt Stout, senior vice president, Charles Dilks, vice president, and Keith Lavey, vice president, all members of the company’s Government Services Group, facilitated the transaction.

The building, located at 5200 Auth Road, has been the long-time home of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction and the National Weather Service.

Grubb & Ellis’ Government Services Group provides advisory and transaction services to lessors, investors and government agencies throughout the United States. For more information, visit

Contact:  Erin Mays, Phone: 312.698.6735, Email:

CT Hsu + Associates Celebrates 25th Anniversary in Orlando, FL

ORLANDO, FL--In this November 2009  issue of Full Circle, we celebrate our 25th anniversary by taking a look at one of our signature projects for 2009 that exemplifies the firm’s history of success.

Highlights the Firm's 25th Anniversary

Grand Opening of University Center (below centered photo)

Florida Governor Charlie Crist (bottom left photo)  hails the project’s importance to the community

An October 29 ribbon-cutting ceremony officially celebrated the opening of University Center, a significant new educational facility on the West Campus of Valencia Community College (VCC) designed by C.T. Hsu + Associates.

 From the outset, CTH+A designed University Center using BIM technology to maximize energy efficiency and integrate sustainable design concepts into the project through the use of sun path studies and daylight modeling analysis methods.

Staff News

In 2009, Intern Architect Jenny Alvarez earned accreditation by the U.S. Green Building Council’s “Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design” (LEED) program.

Nathan Butler, AIA, LEED AP is serving as vice president of the statewide AIA Florida Association.

Miguel Botello, AIA, LEED AP, was promoted to associate with the firm.

J. Daniel Jenkins (middle right photo) joined the firm as a project manager.

Firm News

Construction has begun on a new state-of-the-art campus for Edgewater High School, replacing the aging facility that has served the College Park neighborhood since 1952.

CTH+A also is providing architectural services for the $45 million comprehensive construction project at Osceola High School in Kissimmee, Fla.

In Lake County, CTH+A is providing architectural services for the new 5,000-square-foot Yalaha Community Center located between Howey-in-the-Hills and Leesburg.

The firm recently completed fire station projects for two Central Florida cities: Port Orange and Winter Garden.

Lakemont Elementary School dedicated its new $15.3 million replacement campus designed by CTH+A.

CTH+A was instrumental in the development of the statewide Chinese American Technology and Culture Conference in September.


CampusWorks to Build a New Student Housing Development at University of North Carolina at Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, NC--CampusWorks, a Charlotte-based Student Housing Builder, was awarded the contract to build 131 apartment units consisting of 386 beds to serve the growing student population at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. (top right photo)

The Flats at Mallard Creek is located on the corner of Mallard Creek Church Road and Bonnie Cone running directly into the northern part of the UNCC campus and will be delivered for the 2010 academic school year.

CampusWorks has partnered with a Florida based developer that focuses on strategic locations in growth markets developing real estate ranging from luxury high-rise and student housing to affordable multifamily housing communities.

The Flats at Mallard Creek will be the third asset CampusWorks has provided construction services for within the UNCC market. CampusWorks built and is part owner of University Village (660 beds) and was a partner in the acquisition and renovation of University Club (520 beds).

CampusWorks Construction specializes in development and new construction of Student Housing communities. For over 12 years, CampusWorks has grown its portfolio developing, building and acquiring student housing at major universities throughout the Southeast.

Contact:  Steve Helfrich, CampusWorks Construction & Development, Business Development, (704) 821-5599 x222,,

Wyndham Hotel Group to Debut Wyndham and Ramada Encore in Middle East

DUBAI,  UAE – Wyndham Hotel Group, the world’s largest hotel company with more than 7,000 hotels under 11 brands, continues its expansion in the Middle East with the signing of agreements for the Wyndham Riyadh hotel  (middle right photo) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and the Ramada Encore Doha hotel (top left photo) in Doha, Qatar, both firsts in the Middle East for the company.

This month, Wyndham Hotel Group also signed an agreement for the development of the five –star, 700-room Ramada Plaza Makkah hotel,(bottom left photo)  the brand’s third property in the Holy City, and it opened the Ramada Downtown Burj Dubai hotel  (top right photo) which overlooks the Burj Boulevard within the Burj Residences neighborhood.

“The Middle East plays a significant role in Wyndham Hotel Group’s global growth strategy,” said Eric Danziger, Wyndham Hotel Group president and chief executive officer. “The signing of these three agreements as well as the opening of the Ramada Downtown Burj Dubai hotel are a testament to the strength, value and relevance of our brands both in the Middle East and around the world.”

The 210-room, 15-story upscale Wyndham hotel will be developed by Rayada Investment Company in Riyadh and will be part of the prestigious King Abdullah Financial District. It is expected to open during the third quarter of 2011.

The Wyndham Riyadh-King Abdullah Financial District property will feature the first Blue HarmonyTM Spa and Fitness Experience in the Middle East as well as 11 meeting rooms, four restaurants, four lounges, an outdoor pool, beauty salon and business center.

The project will be constructed to energy-saving and environmental standards specified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System™, more commonly known as LEED.

The 110-room Doha hotel, which will be Wyndham Hotel Group’s first Ramada Encore hotel in the region, is expected to open in the second quarter of 2010. The contemporary, value-conscious property will be located on Ahmad Bin Mohamad Bin Thani Road in the Al-Asmakh area in Doha and is the company’s first managed Ramada Encore hotel.

Ramada Encore properties are stylish, midscale hotels located throughout Europe and Asia, and now, in the Middle East with the addition of the Ramada Encore Doha hotel.

Wyndham Hotel Group, part of the Wyndham Worldwide family of companies (NYSE: WYN), encompasses more than 7,000 hotels and 590,000 rooms under its 11 brands in 65 countries.

All hotels are independently owned and operated excluding certain Wyndham and international Ramada hotels which are managed by our affiliate or through a joint venture partner. Wyndham Hotel Group is based in Parsippany, N.J. Additional information is available at

CONTACT:  Christine Da Silva, 973-753-6590,

Arbor Helps Long Island Cares Provide Hundreds with Hot Dinners this Thanksgiving Day

 (UNIONDALE,  NY) - Arbor employees collected over 100 pounds of Thanksgiving favorites, along with $550 in monetary donations for Long Island Cares Food Bank’s Calling All Turkeys campaign.

This special drive was designed to aid Long Island Cares with their goal of distributing 3,000 turkey dinners by Thanksgiving.

 (Pictured left to right): Ingrid Principe, Marketing Specialist, Arbor; Robin Amato Lanci, CFRE, Director of Development and Communications, Long Island Cares.

CONTACT:   Ingrid Principe, Marketing, Arbor Commercial Mortgage, 333 Earle Ovington Blvd., Suite 900, Uniondale, NY 11553, P: 516.506.4298, F: 516.542.2555,, Follow us on Twitter @ arbor1


Meridian Capital Group Arranges Over $7M in Financing in North Carolina and Florida

Plaza Terrace Apartments in Laurinburg, NC Receives $2.5M

LAURINBURG,  NC - Meridian Capital Group recently arranged a loan in the amount of $2,500,000 for the refinancing of the Plaza Terrace Apartments.( top left photo)

 This 154-unit property is garden style with brick veneer and pitched shingle roofs. Mike Brown and Noam Kaminetzky of Meridian’s Florida office successfully negotiated with Alliant Capital on behalf of the borrower to secure a fixed rate of 5.53% for a 10-year term.

Meridian Arranges Over $2.5M in Financing for Assisted Living Facility in North Miami, FL 

NORTH MIAMI,  FL - Meridian Capital Group recently arranged a loan in the amount of $2,500,000 for the refinancing of a 118 bed, 30,836 square foot assisted living facility in North Miami.

This single story facility sprawled over 2.05 acre, offers meal programs, private and semi-private rooms, 24 Hour Supervision, Daily Housekeeping, Medication Supervision, Laundry Service, On Site Activities & Entertainment and a Barbershop and Beauty Salon.

Daniel Heumann and Noam Kaminetzky of Meridian’s Florida office successfully negotiated with a local lender a rate of 6.50% for a 25-year self-liquidating term. Additionally, Meridian secured the ability for the borrower to obtain supplemental funding of up to 100% of the loan amount.

Self-Storage Facility in Tampa, FL Obtains $2.2M Loan

TAMPA,  FL - Meridian Capital Group recently arranged a loan in the amount of $2,200,000 for the refinancing of a 466 unit, 43,357 square foot self storage facility in Tampa.

The property, situated 2.50 acres, includes 192 Climate-Controlled units and 274 Non Climate-Controlled units. The property includes a cell tower that is leased by Verizon.

Mike Brown and Noam Kaminetzky of Meridian’s Florida office successfully negotiated on behalf of the borrower to secure a rate of 6.50% for a 10-year term.

Founded in 1991, Meridian Capital Group LLC is one of the nation’s largest mortgage brokerages serving the multifamily and commercial real estate sectors. The company is based in New York City with additional offices in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Illinois, Florida and California.

 Working with a wide variety of lenders, Meridian finances transactions ranging from $500,000 to more than $500 million for multifamily, co-op, office, retail, hotel, healthcare, self-storage, industrial, and construction properties. Nationally, Meridian reported more than 2,250 transactions in 2008, totaling over $11.5 billion.

Contact: Dani Sabesan:  (212) 612-0109,  Cell: (516) 551-9109,  Fax: (212) 201-5154,

Cuhaci & Peterson Win New Contracts in Florida, Georgia, California, South Carolina

Cuhaci & Peterson Architects Awarded Contracts to design renovations for Sweetbay Supermarkets in Sarasota, St. Petersburg and S. Pasadena

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Cuhaci & Peterson Architects, LLC, based in Orlando’s Baldwin Park, which ranks as one of the largest commercial architectural firms in the southeast, was recently awarded contracts to design renovations for Sweetbay grocery store facilities in Sarasota, St. Petersburg and South Pasadena, CA.

Lonnie Peterson, (top right photo)  chairman of Cuhaci & Peterson Architects, said all three facilities measure 35,000 square feet of retail space.

Cuhaci & Peterson Architects Awarded Contract to Design Pizza Hut Restaurant facilities in Georgia, South Carolina

ORLANDO, FL. --- Cuhaci & Peterson Architects LLC, based in Orlando’s Baldwin Park, was recently awarded a contract to design two Pizza Hut restaurant facilities in Baxley, Georgia and Bluffton, South Carolina.

Jed Downs, president of Cuhaci & Peterson Architects, said Yum Brands, Inc., the Louisville, Ky. Company that owns the Pizza Hut, KFC, Taco Bell and Long John Silver’s brands and ranks as the largest restaurant company in the world, awarded the contracts.

Both restaurant facilities will total 1,200 square feet of space, Downs said.

For more information, contact:
Lonnie Peterson, Chairman Cuhaci & Peterson Architects, LLC, 407-661-9100
Jed Downs, President Cuhaci & Peterson Architects, LLC, 407-661-9100
Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142

Emerson International Negotiates Office Lease for 15,000 SF at CenterPointe I in Altamonte Springs, FL

  ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. --- Emerson International recently negotiated a new long-term lease agreement for 15,000 square feet of Class A office space at CenterPointe I, (below centered photo) located at 240 E. Central Parkway in Altamonte Springs.

Kenneth Koch, commercial portfolio manager at Emerson International, negotiated the lease agreement with the new tenant, Crump Insurance Services of Florida, on the landlord’s behalf.

Steve Andrews with Fischer & Company and Matthew Mckeever (bottom right  photo) with Cushman & Wakefield represented the tenant.

Crump Insurance Services of Florida is a property and casualty insurance wholesaler.

For more information, contact

Eric J. Emerson, Vice President and General Manager Emerson International, Inc. 407-834-9560;
Kenneth Koch, Commercial Portfolio Manager, Emerson International, Inc. 407-834-9560;
Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142