Monday, February 8, 2010

$10.9M HUD Loan Funds Purchase of Manor Court of Peoria in Illinois

Cambridge Realty Capital Companies has closed a $10.9 million FHA-insured HUD Lean mortgage loan to fund the purchase of Manor Court of Peoria, (top left photo) a 118-bed combination skilled nursing and assisted living property located in Peoria, IL.

Cambridge Chairman Jeffrey A. Davis (bottom right photo) said the property offers residents 50 skilled care and 68 assisted living beds. The fully-amortized, 35-year term loan was arranged for the property’s owner, an Illinois not-for-profit corporation, using HUD‘s Section 232 pursuant to Section 223(f) -Lean funding program.

The loan was underwritten by Cambridge Realty Capital Ltd. of Illinois, the Cambridge subsidiary responsible for underwriting FHA-insured HUD loans.

HUD’s new Lean program has introduced sweeping changes in the way HUD loans are processed and approved. Responsibility for processing HUD loans has been shifted from HUD field offices to FHA’s Office of Insured Health Care Facilities (OIHCF) in Washington, D.C., which provides a single source for program and policy development and a more consistent and user-friendly platform for borrowers and lenders.

HUD’s goal is to process loans on a timetable that more closely resembles the timing for conventional loans, Davis said.

The firm also has embraced social media and networking via Twitter at , via Facebook at, and via Linkedin at , where information on the firm and its employees can be found.

Contact:: Evan Washington, Phone: (312) 521-7603, Fax: (312) 357-1611

Cousins Properties Reports Results for Quarter and Year Ended Dec. 31, 2009

 ATLANTA--Cousins Properties Incorporated (NYSE:CUZ) today reported its results of operations for the three months and year ended December 31, 2009.

 All per share amounts are reported on a diluted basis; basic per share data is included in the Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income accompanying this release.

Funds from Operations Available to Common Stockholders (“FFO”) for the fourth quarter of 2009 was $11.5 million, or $0.11 per share, before separation and non-cash impairment and valuation charges discussed below, compared with FFO of $10.2 million, or $0.20 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2008.

FFO was $50.1 million, or $0.77 per share, before such charges for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared with $61.0 million, or $1.18 per share, for the same period in 2008.

Net Income (Loss) Available to Common Stockholders (“Net Income (Loss) Available”) was $(3.6) million, or $(0.04) per share, before such separation and non-cash impairment and valuation charges for the fourth quarter of 2009 compared with $(4.1) million, or $(0.08) per share, for the fourth quarter of 2008.

Net Income Available was $156.4 million, or $2.39 per share, before such charges for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared with $7.6 million, or $0.15 per share, for the same period in 2008.

The Company recorded $137.9 million of separation and non-cash impairment and valuation charges during the second and third quarters of 2009 and $4.2 million of such charges during the fourth quarter of 2009.

Including the separation and non-cash impairment and valuation charges, FFO was $7.3 million, or $0.07 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2009 and a loss of $(92.0) million, or $(1.40) per share, for the year ended December 31, 2009.

Net Loss Available, after such separation and non-cash charges, was $(7.8) million, or $(0.08) per share, for the fourth quarter of 2009 and Net Income Available was $14.4 million, or $0.22 per share, for the year ended December 31, 2009.

For a complete copy of the company's news release and financials, please contact:
Cousins Properties Incorporated, James A. Fleming, (top right photo) Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, 404-407-1150,, or
Cameron Golden, Director of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications, 404-407-1984, Web site address:

North Fulton CID Selects Contractor for Landscaping “Gateway” in the Ga. 400 Interchange at Haynes Bridge Road

 ATLANTA, GA, Feb. 8, 2010 – The entrance to North Fulton at Georgia 400 and Haynes Bridge Road will change drastically for the better this year.

The North Fulton Community Improvement District (CID) is spending an estimated $400,000 to landscape the interchange, creating a “gateway” to North Fulton and the CID. The CID is made up of commercial properties along Ga. 400, from Mansell Road north to McGinnis Ferry Road.

Piedmont Landscape Contractors, LLC was awarded the estimated $400,000 project, following a competitive bid process that began in late December 2009.

“After reviewing all the bid documents, we were fortunate to have several good choices to complete this project under budget,” said Brandon Beach, (top right photo) Executive Director of the North Fulton CID. “Piedmont was selected because they demonstrated exceptional value and vast experience with projects of this scale and magnitude.”

Over a dozen varieties of trees and shrubs will be planted in the interchange, along with 30,000 square yards of sod. The landscape plan is modeled after the CID’s successful Mansell Road interchange landscaping.

“Our goal is to create gateway entrances to North Fulton,” Beach continued. “These beautification projects help brand our District, making it more attractive for business and for the people who live, work and play in North Fulton.” All CID contractors are required to choose materials from a pre-approved list that meets the sustainability and branding requirements outlined in Blueprint North Fulton, the CID’s master plan.

The CID worked closely with both the City of Alpharetta and the Georgia Department of Transportation on permitting, allowing them to fast-track the project.

With planting season ending on March 15, timing is critical. Landscape installation will begin in February and will be completed this fall.

Patrick Hill, Jackson Spalding, (404) 724-2506

Lawrence Gellerstedt, Jackson Spalding, (404) 214-3556

Strategic Management Partners Joins with GFI to Rescue Underperforming and Distressed Multifamily Assets Nationwide

ATLANTA, GA--(Feb.  8, 2010) – Strategic Management Partners (SMP) is partnering with GFI Capital Resources Group, a full-service provider of real estate and insurance services for over 26 years, to offer multifamily property management services to owners of underperforming and distressed apartment communities across the country.

The affiliation essentially gives GFI the capability to offer third-party management services separately from its own portfolio. Potential clients may include equity owners as well as special servicers such as banks and other financial institutions.

SMP is an Atlanta-based, third-party management firm providing innovative, cost-effective solutions to increase occupancy, net operating income (NOI) and property values for clients nationwide. It offers property management and turnaround services including third party partnerships, receiverships, foreclosures, lease-up, asset repositioning, renovation and due diligence services.

Cynthia Batey (top right photo)  and Angela Smith, (top left photo)  SMP’s senior executives, have 30 years of combined executive leadership experience with two leading fee management companies, where they managed more than 50,000 rental units in 20 states.

“According to recent statistics, there are over $17 billion in distressed assets in the multifamily sector,” said Cynthia Batey.

“We launched SMP to utilize our vast industry experience and best practices to customize a unique strategy for each asset to achieve our clients’ goals and objectives.”

Angela Smith added, "It is critical for lenders and special servicers to have a knowledgeable, seasoned team they can depend on to manage the distressed assets in their portfolio – stabilizing the asset, recommending improvements for repositioning these assets, and improving NOI. Cindy and I have a breadth of experience in maximizing distressed assets, most notably in the two recent challenging years."

GFI has a national portfolio of 100 multifamily properties consisting of approximately 21,000 units. The new partnership gives SMP a wealth of support and infrastructure, allowing it to greatly leverage GFI’s buying power and access a multitude of specialized resources and professionals. SMP will, however, operate independently of GFI’s portfolio, offering its services exclusively to third-party clients.

GFI has six divisions including insurance services, commercial real estate sales/finance, mortgage banking, development, hotels, and retail leasing in which SMP clients will be offered priority pricing and service.

“We are excited for this new venture,” said Allen Gross, Founder and President of GFI Capital Resources Group, Inc. “As a full-service real estate firm, we have always prided ourselves on providing clients with the most timely real estate services that the market demands.

"Today’s economic challenges certainly necessitate a superior third party management company to help recover the countless distressed assets in the marketplace. I am confident that SMP’s services will deliver tremendous value to property owners nationwide and look forward to this vision becoming a reality.”

Media Contact: Terri Thornton, Thornton Communications 404-932-4347

Wyndham Brand Expands in Mexico with Monterrey Hotel

 PARSIPPANY, N.J. (Feb. 8, 2010) – Continuing its expansion in Mexico, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts today announced the opening of the 198-room Wyndham® Casa Grande Monterrey. (centered photo below)

Owned and operated by Operadora Casa Grande and located at Av. Lazaro Cardenas 2305 in San Pedro Garza Garcia, the former Radisson hotel is minutes from fine dining and shopping in downtown Monterrey. Nearby attractions include the Museum of Mexican History, Alfa Planetarium, Contemporary Art Museum, Monterrey Arena and area convention centers such as CONVEX and CINTERMEX.

“The opening of the Wyndham Casa Grande Monterrey underscores our commitment to expanding the Wyndham portfolio in key markets throughout Mexico,” said Jeff Wagoner, (bottom right photo)  president of Wyndham Hotels and Resorts. “Its close proximity to key corporate complexes as well as numerous tourist attractions makes this a prime destination for business and leisure travelers alike.”

 Four other upscale all-inclusive resorts recently joined the Wyndham brand in Mexico: Beach Palace®, Wyndham Grande Resort in Cancun; Isla Mujeres Palace®, Wyndham Grand Resort in Isla Mujeres; Playacar Palace®, Wyndham Grand Resort in Riviera Maya and Xpu-Ha Palace®, Wyndham Resort, also in Riviera Maya.

According to General Director Gerardo Murray of Grupo Hotelero Casa Grande, the hotel’s management company, the “already elegant hotel underwent a half-million dollar renovation to further enhance the guest experience and meet brand standards before joining the upscale Wyndham system.”

Additional information and reservations for all Wyndham hotels are available by calling (800) WYNDHAM— (800) 996-3426—or visiting

Contact:  Evy Apostolatos, Director, Media Relations, Wyndham Hotel Group, 22 Sylvan Way, Parsippany, NJ 07054, +1 (973) 753-6590,

Obama Administration Should Expand Small Business Administration Lending to Spur Economic Recovery, Mercantile Capital Corp. CEO says

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, FL --- The Obama Administration’s proposal to funnel $30 billion in TARP receipts to community banks to spur lending to small businesses could do more to help the economy if it focused on the U.S. Small Business Administration lending programs themselves, says Christopher G. Hurn, (top right photo)  chief executive officer of Mercantile Capital Corporation in Altamonte Springs.

Hurn, whose company ranks as one of the leading providers of SBA 504 commercial loans to small business owners who want to acquire or develop their own facilities, said changes in SBA lending could go a long way toward growing the national economy.

“One of the things I’ve been saying for a few years is that the SBA 504 program should be used to refinance commercial real estate as well,” Hurn said. “You can’t do that with the program right now,” Hurn explained.

 “But as of Friday the 5th, the President  (middle left photo) seems to be on board with my proposal. We’ll see how quickly this solution can be put in place.”

Hurn gave the Obama administration high mark for its plan to eliminate capital gains tax on investments in small business.

“That’s phenomenal,” Hurn said. “We’ve finally seen a free market solution out of this President and this one actually would be good. That would be the kind of thing that will stimulate equity investments in the small business sector,” he said.

Hurn said many Obama administration proposals are problematic.

“The small business lending proposals are going to have mixed results,” Hurn explained. “Most community banks that have survived over the past 18 months have better capital ratios than large national banks, are relatively flush with capital and yet they’re lending less of their capital.

“Providing them up to five percent of their weighted assets to lend to small business customers at interest rates in the low fives to seven percent, doesn’t provide enough profit to cover the banks’ overhead.

The only community banks that will be interested in this program are the ones that aren’t doing as well,” Hurn said. “Healthy community banks probably aren’t going to participate,” he said.

The $5,000 jobs credit is also troublesome, Hurn said. “If you’re a smart business person you’re not going to hire somebody for a position for something that you don’t have a demand for in your products and services just in order to get the job credit,” Hurn said.

The plan may benefit companies that are already expanding, but too few companies are expanding in this economy, he said.

“Expense reductions for equipment purchases also falls flat,” Hurn said.

“If you are a company that’s buying equipment, it helps you, but it doesn’t really get to the underlying problem affecting most small businesses in America that are struggling right now,” he said.

Chris Hurn, CEO, Mercantile Capital Corporation, 407-786-5040 or
Geof Longstaff, Chairman, Mercantile Capital Corporation, 407-786-5040;
Larry Vershel, Larry Vershel Communications 407-644-4142