Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Grubb & Ellis Expands Relationship with Grubb & Ellis Wilson Kibler to Enhance Presence in Greenville, SC

 SANTA ANA, CA-– Grubb & Ellis Company (NYSE: GBE), a leading real estate services and investment firm, announced that it has expanded its affiliation with Grubb & Ellis Wilson Kibler to include the Greenville, S.C., market, effective immediately.

“Our relationship with Wilson Kibler has been a valuable asset in serving the needs of our clients with a presence in South Carolina,” said Jim Jones, (bottom right photo) executive vice president, Operations and chief operating officer, Real Estate Services. “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to build on these successes by expanding this excellent relationship.”

Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., Grubb & Ellis Wilson Kibler is one of the largest commercial real estate brokerage firms in the state. The company was founded by the firm’s principals, Jeremy G. Wilson (top right photo)  and C. Marshall Kibler, (middle left photo)  in 1987, and has been affiliated with Grubb & Ellis since 2001. In addition to its Columbia office, the firm operates an office in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

“Grubb & Ellis’ affiliate program provides tremendous benefits for our business, including national relationships and an expanded platform of services that enables us to provide fully integrated real estate solutions to our clients throughout the country,” said Kibler. “This is a great relationship that offers the tools, research and national brand recognition necessary to support our goal of expanding into the Greenville market.”

The Grubb & Ellis Affiliate Program was created to better serve the multi-market needs of the company’s clients by forming long-term partnerships with top-ranked independent real estate services firms throughout the country. Each affiliate, selected on the basis of client track record, professional reputation and local market expertise, undergoes a rigorous orientation program to ensure the firm conforms to stringent reporting and referral standards and conducts business in the same manner as Grubb & Ellis offices.

Sharing resources that include technology, marketing support, research and national account management, the company's offices and affiliates together provide Grubb & Ellis clients with seamless service in virtually every major U.S. metropolitan area.

Contact: Erin Mays, Phone: 312.698.6735, Email: erin.mays@grubb-ellis.com

D & A hires new senior estimator at Central Florida headquarters

LONGWOOD, FL., Feb.  2, 2010 — D & A Building Services Inc., a leading facility maintenance provider, is pleased to announce that construction professional Luke Esler (top leftt photo)  has joined the Company as a senior estimator in the waterproofing division.

Esler brings 15 years of experience in construction to his new responsibilities for budgeting and estimating commercial waterproofing projects undertaken at the corporate headquarters in Longwood, Fla.

He has an Associate of Science in Computer Drafting and Blueprinting from Sarasota Community College, Sarasota, Fla. Previously, Esler was self-employed.

D & A Building Services Inc. provides facility maintenance services to property managers, building owners, and local, state and Federal governments.

 Founded in 1985, D & A performs full-service janitorial and specialized interior and exterior facility maintenance, landscape maintenance, full-service lawn and ornamental pest control, waterproofing, and construction clean up.

 The veteran-owned company is an Hispanic-Owned Business Enterprise, and a graduate of the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) program. The Company has offices in Longwood, Fla., Jacksonville, Fla., Tampa, Fla., Kansas City, Mo., Madison, Wis., Dallas, Texas, and Detroit, Mich. For additional information, please visit www.dabuildingservices.com.

PR Contact:  Elaine Ingra, (407) 384-1344 elainei@pr-works.com

RECI Finds Mezzanine Loans for Multi-Family Projects Gaining Favor in Real Estate Capital Markets

CHICAGO, IL--The Real Estate Capital Institute's February Scoreboard finds modest job growth combined with controlled government spending discussions directly affect the current economic recovery, which is slowly trickling into the real estate capital markets.

 Policymakers are also helping by holding interest rates low at levels favorable for real estate markets. Funding activity is scant, but signs of new hope are emerging.

During the month, some lenders slightly dropped mortgage spreads by at 10 to 25 basis points. Short-term loans remain relatively unchanged, while permanent loans now start at about 5.5% for multifamily assets and 6% for commercial properties. As lenders workout of their legacy problems, new funding goals surface which are moderately more ambitious than 2009.

As has been the case last year, high-quality projects in major markets backed by excellent sponsorship and cash flow characteristics are most desired -- especially based on low leverage of 65% of value. Since rates remain low and funds are scarce, lenders resort to more creative solutions to capture such limited opportunities, including offering mezz debt and applying net worth covenants.

A renewed interest is arising in mezzanine programs, particularly for multifamily fundings. On a selective basis, funding sources can dip below the standard 125%-debt-service-coverage threshold for loans already on the
lender's balance sheet. Payment formats based on self-liquidating amortization schedules of 5 to 10 years and a maximum leverage is 80%.

Net worth covenants are required on a selective basis to help protect lenders against problems associated with sponsorship vs. the actual asset.

For instance, the sponsorship should maintain a minimum net worth equal to the loan amount of which 10% or more is liquid. Noncompliance results in a loan default which is curable by principal paydown or additional credit support (e.g. letter of credit). This structure is more difficult to enforce for partnerships with different principals, as well as larger institutional-grade transactions.

The Real Estate Capital Institute's research director, Nat Zvislo, comments, "Funding sources and investors are reporting a pickup in capital activity including hiring staff and bidding on more transactions."

Adding, "While activity is extremely limited, mild optimism is in the air."

Contact: Nat Zvislo, Research Director, Toll Free 800-994-RECI (7324); mail to:  director@reci.comhttp://www.reci.com/

ICON Brickell Project Slashes Prices As Much As 51%

MIAMI, FL--Prices at the ICON Brickell (centered photo below) three-tower condominium project in Greater Downtown Miami have been slashed to as little as $261 per square foot, a 51 percent discount on the average closed sales price in the complex to date, according to a new report from CondoVultures.com.

Prices vary in each of the three towers (Tower One, Tower Two, and Tower Three) based on the floor and the view in the 1,793-unit complex comprised of a pair of 57-story skyscrapers and a 50-story tower with 10 floors of condo-hotel units, according to the Condo Vultures® Official Condo Buyers Guide To Miami™.

The ICON Brickell project represents eight percent of the nearly 22,250 new condo units constructed in Greater Downtown Miami since 2003, according to the Condo Vultures® White Paper™.

To date, there have been nearly 150 combined closed sales in the ICON Brickell complex at an average price of $538 per square foot, with the super majority of sales occurring in the 713-unit Tower One (North).

 There have been nearly a dozen closed sales in the 560-unit Tower Two ( South), and no closed sales in the Tower Three (West), where the Viceroy Hotel is located, according to the Condo Vultures® White Paper™.

"ICON Brickell is a one-of-a-kind project with above-average amenities that several buyers really like," said Peter Zalewski, (middle right photo)  a principal with the Bal Harbour, Fla.-based real estate consultancy Condo Vultures® LLC. "To date, the pricing, not the product, has been the biggest hurdle for buyers to overcome in completing a deal. The new pricing could go a long way toward bridging the gap between the bids and asks.

"Watch for the closed sales to spike at the ICON Brickell in the first half of this year."

This latest round of price cuts comes three months after the October 2009 announcement that original preconstruction contract buyers in Tower One (North) were being offered 30 percent discounts to close, according to a recent CondoVultures.com report.

A couple of months later in December 2009, the ICON Brickell's developer, the Related Group, surprised market pundits by beginning closings in the Tower Two (South) despite have more than 600 units still not closed in the Tower One (North), according to a recent CondoVultures.com report.

ICON Brickell appears to be adopting the same individual retail sales approach that proved successful in 2009 at a host of other new struggling condo projects in Greater Downtown Miami, including the Brickell on the River South Tower, the 1060 Brickell, and Ivy.

By reducing prices, developers were able to close on more than 2,350 units in Greater Downtown Miami - the epicenter of South Florida's housing crash - in 2009, according to the White Paper™.

The 2009 buying activity combined with the recent cancellation of the proposed 32-story Loft III project (bottom right rendering )  in Downtown Miami by the Related Group leaves less than 7,300 new condo units, or 34 percent of the product, still in the hands of developers and lenders.

The ICON Brickell project represents about 23 percent of the total remaining developer inventory.

At the end of 2008, developers controlled 43 percent of the new condo inventory in Greater Downtown Miami submarket, Condo Vultures® Official Condo Buyers Guide To Miami™.

Contact: Peter Zalewski,  800-750-0517 or by email at peter@condovultures.com

MBA Hires Douglas Moritz to be Associate Vice President of Multifamily

WASHINGTON, DC- - John A. Courson, (top left photo)  President and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), today announced the appointment of Douglas Moritz (bottom right photo)  as Associate Vice President of Multifamily.

"Doug is a seasoned real estate finance professional whose experience spans more than twenty years in the commercial/multifamily industry.

" His detailed knowledge of multifamily finance issues, both conventional and affordable, will prove invaluable to MBA as the leader in the multifamily sector and comes at a critical time when we advance FHA modernization and support a prudent government role in the secondary market for multifamily loans and a smooth transition to the new model," said Courson.

"I look forward to the many valuable contributions Doug will make on behalf of MBA, our members and this dynamic industry."

Contact: : Carolyn Kemp, (202) 557-2727, ckemp@mortgagebankers.org

Marcus & Millichap Sells $18.8M Grocery-Anchored Center in Reading, PA

READING, Pa., Feb. 1, 2010 – Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, has brokered the sale of Towne Square Plaza, (top left photo)  a 123,101-square foot shopping community in Reading.

The sales price of $18,854,000 represents $153 per square foot or an 8.02 percent cap rate.

Brad Nathanson, (middle left photo) a vice president investments and director of the firm’s National Retail Group in Philadelphia, represented the seller, Newman Development Group, and the buyer, a joint venture of Cedar Shopping Centers and RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust.

“Towne Square Plaza is a Class A community center anchored by a 73,000-square foot Giant Food supermarket and a 127,000-square foot Target store,” says Nathanson.

 “The strong performance of Target’s Broadcasting Square store prompted the company to open a second store on the east side of Reading. Giant wanted to capitalize on a dominant Wal-Mart Supercenter located a short distance north of the site,” he adds.

 “The investors recognized that the busy Fifth Street Highway retail area has had an extremely limited supply of new quality retail in the past 10 years.”

“Giant and Target provide the investment community with a low level of risk, given their market dominance.

:In the end, the shopping center was acquired by a joint venture of two institutions showing that core assets anchored by your dominant grocers will still be demanded and bought at premium pricing, whether by institutions or private investors, in the current marketplace,” adds Nathanson.

Towne Square Plaza is located at 4410 Fifth Street Highway in the Berks County submarket of Reading, which is 70 miles west of Philadelphia between Allentown and Lancaster. More than 100,000 people reside within five miles of the center.

Built in 2008, Towne Square Plaza’s junior box tenants include A.C. Moore and PetSmart.

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

Lane Management LLC Stays Strong Despite Recession

ATLANTA, GA – Despite the recession, multifamily real estate management firm Lane Management, LLC is holding a steady position in the marketplace and even picking up new clients.

“We’ve been a market leader for 35 years, through many ups and downs,” said Lane Management President Rob Couch (top right photo) . “Even in a down market, our business has historically experienced solid growth.”

The firm placed first in The Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2009 year-end rankings of apartment management companies, which means it’s the largest in the Metro Atlanta area. Overall, the firm added 30 properties from across the Southeast to its management portfolio last year. It currently operates in ten states, and pending deals in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions could mean more growth this year.

“From a management perspective, we’re very near where we were during the boom years,” Couch said. “Apartment owners know they can depend on our experienced, well-trained teams and exceptional reporting capabilities to help them get the most out of their assets.”

Lane Management is a subsidiary of Lane Company, an award-winning privately-owned multifamily real estate firm based in Atlanta.  George Lane (bottom left photo) is chairman, CEO and founder of Lane Co.

Lane Company (www.lanecompany.com) is a vertically-integrated, full-service multifamily real estate company. Its expertise extends to all areas of real estate including apartment and condominium acquisition, property management and investment management.

With over 35 years experience, Lane Company is recognized as one of the most innovative, efficient and technologically-advanced firms in the multifamily industry. Its goal is to champion excellence at every Lane community.

Contact: Terri Thornton, 404-687-8760, 404-932-4347 (Cell), http://www.territhornton.com/,

Lewis, Longman & Walker Relocating To 15,742 SF in Northbridge Centre, West Palm Beach, FL

WEST PALM BEACH, FL – The law firm of Lewis, Longman & Walker is planning a March 1 move-in to Northbridge Centre,(top left photo)  signing an 11-year lease for 15,742 sf of class A office space within walking distance of the Palm Beach County Judicial Center complex.

The four-city law firm's headquarters office will span the entire 15th floor and part of the 14th in the 21-story Northbridge Centre at 515 N. Flagler St.

 The lease pushes occupancy to 64% in the 288,131-sf office tower, which boasts ocean views from its central business district location along the Intracoastal Waterway.

Northbridge Centre's tenant roster is heavily weighted by law firms.

 "Our proximity to the courthouse has always been Northbridge Centre's drawing card," said Kirk Fetter, (middle right photo) vice president of leasing for the Dallas-based owner, Gaedeke Group LLC, who brokered the deal.

"We are honored that a prestigious law firm like Lewis, Longman & Walker has selected our building as its home."

Laureen Hunter  (middle eft photo) of Touchstone Webb Realty Co. in West Palm Beach, Fla., represented the tenant in the search for new class A office space. Lewis, Longman & Walker will relocate from 1700 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd., adding nearly 3,000 sf of expansion space with the move.

"Northbridge Centre is an iconic downtown structure that benefits from the high-quality property management provided by Gaedeke Group," said William G. Capko, (bottom right photo) managing shareholder of the West Palm Beach office. "We are thrilled to provide such a first-rate working environment and premier location for the Lewis, Longman & Walker family and our clients."

Northbridge Centre's amenities include on-site banking, convenience store/deli and a four-level, 800-space parking garage with valet service. The tower is a 10-minute drive from Palm Beach International Airport.

In addition to West Palm Beach, the 15-year-old law firm has offices in Bradenton, Jacksonville and Tallahassee. Lewis, Longman & Walker focuses its practice in the areas of environmental, governmental and administrative law.

Gaedeke Group, founded in 1995, is a full-service real estate firm that provides investment, acquisition, management, leasing construction management and portfolio management services.

Headquartered in Dallas, Gaedeke's current portfolio encompasses three million square feet of class A office properties in Arizona, Florida, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, D.C. and Germany.

Kirk Fetter, 561-515-7407, prcourier@att.net

GAEDEKE GROUP, LLC,CORPORATE:, 3710 RAWLINS STREET, SUITE 1000, LB 24, DALLAS, TX 75219, TEL 214.528.8883, FAX 214.528.8058, GAEDEKE.COM