Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Commercial Real Estate Vacancies Continue to Rise

SANTA ANA, CA--Bob Bach,  (top right photo) senior vice president and chief economist, Grubb & Ellis Co., notes the average U.S. vacancy rates for the four core property types – office, industrial, retail and apartment – continued to rise in the fourth quarter, but the rate of increase slowed for office and industrial.

Vacancy rates last quarter increased by 30 basis points for office and 20 basis points for industrial compared with third-quarter gains of 50 and 30 basis points, respectively.

This raises the possibility that the office and industrial leasing markets may bottom out as early as mid-year with modest, positive absorption possible in the second half of 2010.

In the office market, a prerequisite for this relatively early bottoming would be for employers to begin adding jobs in the first half of this year, which would also provide support for the apartment and retail markets.

For the industrial market, continued improvement in the drivers of demand for industrial space – production activity, freight shipments and global trade – would help the market bottom out around mid-year.

Contact: Janice McDill at 312.698.6707.

LandMark Retail Group Paves the Road to Success for 2010

WOODLAND HILLS, , CA (Jan. 19, 2010) – LandMark Retail Group (LRG), a subsidiary of NewMark Merrill Companies, beats the national recessionary trend with the development of additional stores for CVS CareMark Corporation (CVS) in California.

LRG enjoyed tremendous success in an otherwise down market for commercial real estate in 2009 with seven new CVS/pharmacy store openings plus an additional 20 sites approved in Southern and Central California.

LRG has been the CVS preferred developer since 2005 and in 2008 expanded their territory into the Greater Bay Area of Northern California with new stores slated to open throughout the State in 2010.

“After partnering with LandMark Retail Group, CVS gained significant traction with our new store growth strategy in California. As a result we are opening a number of stores in difficult markets throughout the state and have expanded LandMark’s territory into the Greater Bay Area of Northern California anticipating similar success. LandMark Retail Group was the right choice for CVS.” Mark Miller, Regional Vice President of Real Estate, CVS Realty Co.

Kicking off last year was the opening of the Huntington Beach location in March, 2009 across from the world famous Huntington Beach Pier. In May 2009, LRG opened a CVS in Whittier.

(CVS Pharmacy, Highland, CA, middle right photo)

The first of three Bakersfield openings was in July, 2009 at the high traffic intersection of Stockdale and California.

This marked the chain’s first new store development in the Bakersfield market and is the first freestanding prototype store with a drive thru for CVS in Bakersfield. (top left  photo)

Completing the summer expansion, LRG opened the CVS in La Quinta in August, 2009. The corner of Panama and Union was the site for another Bakersfield location which opened in October, 2009. LRG unseated a formidable national competitor to gain control of this site.

The final third quarter opening was Niles and Fairfax in Bakersfield which opened in September, 2009. This project involved significant topography challenges which LRG navigated to complete. A fourth LRG store to be opened in 2010 by CVS in Bakersfield is currently under construction at Rosedale and Calloway, another highly visible and well trafficked intersection in the Bakersfield market.

“We are aggressively looking to locate new development sites in strategic locations on behalf of CVS CareMark Corporation,” said Jeremy Just, (bottom left photo)  Principal, Chief Executive Officer, LandMark Retail Group, LLC. “We look forward to our continued partnership with CVS throughout California for years to come.”

The History of Store Openings in 2007-2008:
· Baldwin Park-April, 2007
· Newbury Park-July, 2007
· Venice-November, 2007
· Burbank- January, 2008
· Highland- August 2008.

For more details, visit: http://www.landmarkretailgroup.com/
Contact: David Ebeling, Ebeling Communications, 949.278.7851, david@ebelingcomm.com

$26M Home Sold at Hualalai Sets 2009 Hawaii Record

KONA, HAWAII--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hualalai Resort, an award-winning residential resort community on the North Kona Coast of the Big Island, today reported the record-breaking sale of a single-family residence for $26.25 million.

The sale was the largest in 2009 in the state of Hawaii for a single home and the largest residential real estate transaction in Hualalai’s 13-year history. Total real estate sales transactions for 2009 at Hualalai Resort exceeded $150 million.

The five-bedroom home sits on a one-of-a-kind oceanfront location and offers unsurpassed views of Hualalai Mountain, the Island of Maui, the 16th and 17th greens of the Hualalai Golf Course and the South-Kona coastline.

Natural lava rock walls surround the 49,136 square-foot perimeter, which includes 48 palm trees, botanical gardens, four lava rock outdoor shower gardens, two ocean-side hot tubs and one cold plunge pool.

 The approximately 8,630 square-foot home includes five and one-half bathrooms; great room with pocket glass, screen and operable louvered doors and open-air dining room and living room pavilion.

“We are thrilled to announce the largest single sale in Hualalai’s history and delighted with the continued interest we’ve seen recently,” said Patrick Fitzgerald, CEO of Hualalai Resort.

Fitzgerald did not disclose the name of the buyer or seller.

“With five transactions exceeding $10 million, including this record-breaking sale, Hualalai Realty did an outstanding job in 2009 despite a very difficult economic environment," Fitzgerald said.

"We believe that these sales reflect buyers’ confidence in the significant investments we have made at Hualalai, which include an extensive $40 million resort-wide enhancement. Our buyers recognize that the Hualalai lifestyle is rare and extremely special.”

Murphy O’Brien, Inc., Stacy Lewis or Lucy Zepp, 310-453-2539, slewis@murphyobrien.com