Monday, May 3, 2010

Rets Associates Names Cheryl Thornburg Director in San Francisco Office

NEWPORT BEACH, CALIF., April 26,2010 –RETS Associates (previously known as Real Estate Talent Solutions, Inc.), the premier commercial real estate recruitment and staffing firm on the West Coast, has named Cheryl Thornburg (top right photo)  as Director in its San Francisco office.

RETS Associates was founded in 2002 by Kent Elliott and Christopher Lee and later joined in 2008 by partner/principal Jana Turner, a former top executive at CB Richard Ellis.

Thornburg specializes in recruiting commercial real estate and financial services professionals in the Bay Area. She will be working in tandem with Diane Blake in RETS Associates’ Silicon Valley office to satisfy the needs of the firm’s growing client base in Northern California.

The addition of Thornburg comes only six months after the firm hired Brandi Newman as Managing Director for its Los Angeles office.

Contact: David Ebeling, Ebeling Communications, (949) 278-7851,

NewMark Merrill Companies ramps up with new Property Management Contracts totaling 385,712 SF

WOODLAND HILLS, CA – NewMark Merrill Companies, a retail development and full-service property management firm, is proud to announce the addition of five new Property Management contracts totaling 385,712 square feet, as an addition to its expanding list of clients.

The shopping center contracts include: Capistrano Collection, Del Amo Plaza, Santa Maria Commons, Park Plaza on Maine and Lemon Creek Village.

Del Amo Plaza (top left photo) is located at 11877 Del Amo Blvd. in Cerritos, Calif.. Del Amo Plaza is a 58,126 square foot shopping center anchored by Starbucks and Bally’s Total Fitness.

Lemon Creek Village is located at 352 N. Lemon Ave. in Walnut, Calif.. This 31,793 square foot shopping center features a Vons Supermarket, Blockbuster and Well Fargo Bank.

Park Plaza on Maine Shopping Center is located at 14483 Ramona Blvd. in Baldwin Park, Calif.. This 154,219 square foot shopping center is anchored by Subway, El Pollo Loco and Albertsons.

Santa Maria Commons (lower left  photo) is located at 2401 S. Broadway Blvd. in Santa Maria, Calif.. Kohl’s and Rite Aid are the anchors of this 117,363 square foot Center.

Capistrano Collection is a 24,211 square foot center located at 27184 Ortega Hwy. in San Juan Capistrano, Calif..

“For over 25 years, NewMark Merrill Companies has prospered in good and tough markets by know how to operating centers for long-term value,” said Sandy Sigal, President and CEO of NewMark Merrill Companies.

 “Now, more than ever, NewMark’s integrated management, leasing, marketing and accounting expertise is helping those centers it owns and manages to outperform the market and put them in position to thrive.

" It is worth noting that our overall occupancy still exceeds 94% even in the toughest real estate market in decades.”

With a portfolio of more than 44 shopping centers that the company owns or manages, NewMark Merrill Companies has the unique ability to draw from its over 25 years of experience to provide a higher level of property management, development and asset management services for its clients.

NewMark Merrill Companies has ranked among the top 25 Largest Property Management Firms and Top 10 Largest Commercial Real Estate Developers from 2007-2010 by the LA Business Journal.

In addition to Woodland Hills, regional offices are located in Orange County, Ventura County, San Francisco, San Diego County, Colorado and Illinois. The company currently owns and/or operates 44 shopping centers in three different states representing over 6-million square feet and almost $1 billion in value. The Company owns LandMark Retail Group, a preferred developer for CVS Pharmacy which are developing new stores throughout California.

Contact: David Ebeling, Ebeling Communications, 949.278.7851,

Condo Vultures Presents Sales Roundup in South Florida

W South Beach Sells 11 Condos At $1,649 Per Foot In Q1 2010

The W South Beach Residences condominium-hotel (top left photo) project is one of those project not experiencing a reduction in pricing from the downturn in the U.S. economy or even the dramatic crash of the South Florida housing market, according to a new report from

Developers of the 20-story, oceanfront W South Beach project in trendy Miami Beach were able to sell 11 units in the condo-hotel for $15 million, or an average of $1,649 per square foot, in the first quarter of 2010, according to the report based on the Condo Vultures® Official Condo Buyers Guide To South Beach™.

"The W South Beach is commanding top dollar despite the economic challenges of our time," said Peter Zalewski, a principal with the Bal Harbour, Fla.-based real estate consultancy Condo Vultures® LLC.

"Wealthy buyers whether they be successful business leaders, professional athletes, or celebrities are forging ahead to purchase new units in the W South Beach for nearly $2 million each. It is worth noting that several of these buyers had preconstruction contracts with 20 percent deposits dating back a few years.

"Not all of the transactions are new buyers but it is still impressive that the W South Beach developer has been able to sell this many units at this high of a price even in South Beach."

South Beach is the trendy neighborhood on the southern portion of the barrier island that attracts celebrities and athletes, jet setters and working class tourists alike who all come looking for the Miami Beach experience.

South Beach is defined as South Pointe Drive north to 24th Street, the Atlantic Ocean west to Biscayne Bay, according to the Condo Vultures® Official Condo Buyers Guide To South Beach™.

South Beach Pricing Remains High

As the W South Beach pricing remains high, the total number of sales are low at 2009 project.

With less than a dozen units transacted between January and March 2010, the W South Beach has now sold only 54 units, or 13 percent, out of a total of 408 units, according to the report.

The 54 units at the W South Beach to sell did so at an average of $1.7 million, or $1,1674 per square foot, putting the project in an exclusive category of only nine condominiums constructed since 2003 to sell at an average developer price of more than $1,000 per square foot.

The list of $1,000 per foot condos includes the Apogee, Continuum South Beach, and the De Soleil South Beach.

A project not on the$1,000-per square-foot list is the Setai condominium, (top right photo)  just down the block from the W South Beach. The Setai has sold for a average of $861 per square foot, according to the report.

South Beach New Condo Sales Slow To Trickle In Q1 2010

South Beach developers sold only 17 new condo units in the first quarter of 2010, down from 31 units in the first quarter of 2009 and 136 units in the first quarter of 2008, according to a new Condo Vultures® White Paper™.

The slow South Beach sales in the first quarter of 2010 are a stark contrast to the more than 720 units that transacted across Biscayne Bay in Greater Downtown Miami during the same January through March period, according to a recent report based on Miami-Dade County records.

The few buyers that did purchase new condos in the Miami Beach neighborhood of South Beach paid an average price of $1,364 per square foot in the first quarter of 2010, up from $803 per square foot a year earlier in the first quarter of 2009, according to the report based on the Condo Vultures® Official Condo Buyers Guide To South Beach™.

Many of the buyers had preconstruction contracts dating back a few years to the boom times, and faced losing a substantial portion of their 20 percent deposits if they failed to close on their units, according to the licensed Florida brokerage Condo Vultures® Realty.

Some four miles west across the MacArthur Causeway, the average sales price for a new condo in Greater Downtown Miami was $326 per square foot in the first quarter of 2010, according to a recently released Condo Vultures® White Paper™.

"Real estate sales today more than ever are a function of price," said Peter Zalewski, (middle left photo)  a principal with the Bal Harbour, Fla.-based real estate consultancy Condo Vultures® LLC.

 "Many people want to live or invest in the barrier island city of Miami Beach for the sand, glamour, and sex appeal, but an increasing number of investors and second-home buyers are seriously looking to Greater Downtown Miami as an alternative given the $1,000 per square foot pricing difference.

"South Beach will always be South Beach but the rich premium to own on the barrier island is turning out to be a tremendous selling point for developers peddling new condos on the mainland side of Biscayne Bay."

Future Of Trump Tower III Condo Project Finally Unveiled

For months, the South Florida real estate industry has speculated about the future of the completed but vacant 43-story oceanfront tower in Sunny Isles Beach presold as the Trump Tower III (lower right photo)  condominium.

Some industry watchers proposed that the 271-unit project would not become a condominium in the short term but instead be sold off to a Wall Street institutional fund that could operate the tower as a luxury rental project.

Once the market recovered, the speculation usually went, the units could be sold off by the bulk buyer to individual buyers at a premium compared to today's pricing.

The Trump Tower III project's future was finally determined on April 20 when the developer of record formally filed the declaration of condominium paperwork, clearing the way for individual unit sales to begin at Collins Avenue property in southern Sunny Isles Beach, according to a new report from

"There are a lot of institutional funds that are disappointed that another entire tower got away," said Peter Zalewski, a principal with the Bal Harbour, Fla.-based real estate consultancy Condo Vultures® LLC. "Numerous opportunity funds were pursuing this project as a bulk deal as it could have been purchased in its entirety. In the end, the project's future will be just as it was originally planned, a luxury condominium.

"The only real difference is, the pricing is going to be a lot less than what it originally started at back in the boom days."

Sunny Isles Beach, an oceanfront city east of Aventura in Northeast Miami-Dade County, is home to the second largest concentration of new condos to be built in South Florida during the go-go days of the last real estate boom, according to the licensed Florida brokerage Condo Vultures® Realty.

At the end of 2009, more than 24 percent of the 6,300 new condo units built or converted in the barrier island city of Sunny Isles Beach during the boom years in South Florida remained in the hands of developers, according to a recent report.

The Trump Tower III project - with 195 two-bedroom and 76 three-bedroom units - alone represented nearly 20 percent of the unsold Sunny Isles Beach inventory at the end of 2009, according to a recent Condo Vultures® White Paper™.

Trump Tower III is one of three luxury skyscrapers with a combined 813 units and 129 floors that together comprise the oceanfront complex named after famed New York real estate developer Donald Trump (lower right photo) as part of a licensing agreement.

As of Feb. 10, some 57 percent of the units in the Trump Towers were still in the hands of the developers, according to the Condo Vultures® Official Condo Buyers Guide To Sunny Isles Beach™.

At about that same time, Dezer Properties finalized an agreement to take control for the project from co-developer, the Related Group with Jorge Perez, (lower left photo) according to the Miami Herald.

Corporate records have since been filed with the Florida Secretary of State removing Perez and other Related Group executives from the official list of members, leaving the father-and-son team of Michael and Gil Dezer as sole owners.

The new condo documents for Trump Tower III - officially as TDR Tower III Condominium Association - names Bernard Diamond as the president.

Discounts Trigger 100 New Condo Sales In Sunny Isles Beach

Buyers purchased more than 100 new condominium units in Sunny Isles Beach in the first three months of 2010 as the average price tumbled 12 percent, or $70 per square foot, on a year-over-year basis, according to a new Condo Vultures® White Paper™.

Between January and March of this year, Sunny Isles Beach developers sold off units at an average price of $508 per square foot, down from $578 per square foot during the first quarter of 2009 and $652 per square foot in the first quarter of 2008, according to the report based on the Condo Vultures®Official Condo Buyers Guide To Sunny Isles Beach™.

The discounting helped developers in Sunny Isles Beach to outsell their counterparts in Miami Beach's South Beach neighborhood, where only 17 new condo units transacted but at an average price of more than $1,350 per square foot.

Greater Downtown Miami, by comparison, experienced nearly 720 sales at an average price of $326 per square foot, according to

"The buying pool for new South Florida condos is proving to be extremely deep despite the fact that financing is difficult to obtain," said Peter Zalewski, a principal with the Bal Harbour, Fla.-based real estate consultancy Condo Vultures® LLC.

"The trend continues to be strong sales at projects where the developers have discounted their prices deep enough to grab the attention of all-cash buyers.

"The unwillingness of South Beach developers to cut their prices on new units has worked to drive buyers to other areas such as Greater Downtown Miami and Sunny Isles Beach."

Contact: Peter Zalewski of Condo Vultures®, 800-750-0517 or by email at

Berger Commercial Realty Corp. Announces Three Multifamily Sales in Florida

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL. – Berger Commercial Realty Corp., a full service commercial real estate firm based in Fort Lauderdale and serving clients around the state of Florida, announced three multifamily property sales of former WAMU assets:

Address: 3901 N.E. 21 Ave., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
Previous Sale: 7/15/2004 $800,000
Sold: $650,000
Sold Date: 3/19/2010
Units: 8
Seller: ECP Properties, Inc.
Buyer: Dagur Investments III, LLC

Address: 1131 N.E. 25 Ave., Pompano Beach, FL 33062
Previous Sale: 12/2006 $1,550,000
Sold: $650,000
Sold Date: 4/11/10
Units: 20
Seller: ECP Properties, Inc.
Buyer: C.U. Inc.

Address: 821 & 822 NW 7 Ave., Hallandale Beach, FL 33009
Previous Sale: 4/27/2006 $1,265,000
Sold: $360,000
Sold date: 4/14/2010
Units: 16
Seller: ECP Properties, Inc.
Buyer: TIJ Investments, LLC

Contact: Jane Grant, Pierson Grant Publications, (954) 776-1999 ext. 224,

Greenwood Partnership Alliance introduces five-year plan of work

GREENWOOD, SC--The Partnership for Tomorrow is a ten-month initiative to raise $4.5 million to implement the five-year strategic action plan known as The Partnership for Tomorrow Program of Work. The campaign's goal is to secure the necessary funding to underwrite specific programs that will have a lasting positive impact on the community and economic needs of Greenwood County.

Key focus areas for the Program of Work include: Business Retention and Expansion, Business Recruitment, Talent Recruitment and Retention (Workforce Development), Quality of Life (Community Development), and securing an endowed chair in partnership with Clemson University and the Greenwood Genetic Center.

Business Retention and Expansion: GPA will be the preferred partner for existing businesses and employers to create wealth and recruit and retain talent.

New Business Recruitment: With regional and state partners, GPA will execute a recruitment strategy to capitalize on the strengths of the Greenwood Community. The five year goal: create over 1,000 new jobs and $400,000,000 in new capital investment.

Talent Recruitment and Retention: GPA will be the collaborative focus point between the education sector and employers in Greenwood County. All efforts will be made to develop world class education and training systems to support employers and the citizens of Greenwood County.

Quality of Place (Community Development): Greenwood will continue to develop communities and neighborhoods that provide entertainment, shopping, quality healthcare, and world class education as well as employment to attract and retain both young professionals and retirees.

Greenwood Genetic Center / Endowed Chairs: GPA will partner with the Greenwood Genetic Center, the Genetic Endowment of South Carolina, and Clemson University to develop and market the Greenwood Research Park as the premiere location for bio sciences research, treatment, and commerce in North America.

2011 Hunter Hotel Investment Conference Set for March 6-8 in Atlanta

ATLANTA, GA--Officials of the Hunter Hotel Investment Conference announce that the 23rd annual event will be held March 6-8, 2011 at the Marriott Marquis Atlanta.

“We were pleasantly surprised that our 2010 attendance was essentially unchanged when compared to last year," .said Bob Hunter, (top right photo)  CEO of Hunter Realty and conference chair. 

"We see that as a strong signal that hotel owners and buyers, in spite of a difficult economy, wanted to gather together to discuss the current market conditions and hear the collective thoughts and ideas of their fellow owners, as well as to listen to knowledgeable industry experts,

 “Feedback from our 2010 conference in March indicated that recovery, hotel values, Special Servicers and financing were spot-on themes as the industry was bottoming out and showing its first signs of rebound. Based on recent industry trends, we are optimistic that our topics in 2011 will focus entirely on how to maximize the rebound effect.”

The three-day conference, one of the four major national hotel investment conferences, focuses primarily on hotel owners and their concerns. Feedback from the 2010 post-conference survey indicated that education and networking were the two most valuable take-aways for participants.

“We will hold our preliminary planning session May 18 and welcome ideas and suggestions from everyone in the industry,” Hunter said. Suggestions may be made on the conference website,,  or by contacting Bob Hunter or Nancy Petenbrink, conference coordinator, at 770-916-0300 or by email at

The conference headquarters are located at 300 Galleria Parkway, S-620, Atlanta, GA 30339.

Contact: Jerry Daly, Chris Daly, Daly Gray Public Relations, (703) 435-6293

Interstate Hotels & Resorts Opens Renaissance Hotel in Moscow

ARLINGTON, VA—Interstate Hotels & Resorts, the United States’ largest independent hotel management company, has opened and is managing the 366-room Renaissance Moscow Monarch Centre (top left photo) in Russia’s capital city.

The new-build hotel, which includes Moscow’s largest dedicated conference center, is part of a mixed-use development built and owned by Monarch Open Joint Stock Company “Concern Monarch,” one of the largest construction companies in Moscow.

“Interstate has been an independent, third-party hotel operator and has pioneered the opening of a number of international brands in Russia,” said Kenneth W. McLaren, executive vice president of international operations at Interstate.

“We now operate seven properties in the country, as well as five additional hotels in Europe. We have established a rock solid growth platform based on strong local relationships and mutual respect.

" Those relationships, combined with our proven track record and knowledge of local markets, represent a significant competitive advantage for us. We continue to seek additional management opportunities in Europe for both branded and independent hotels.”

“The Renaissance Monarch Centre represents a major step forward in our international outreach to Europe,” said Thomas F. Hewitt  (bottom right photo), chairman and chief executive officer.

 “Interstate has operated hotels in Europe for over a decade and is committed to additional expansion throughout the European Union.

"Last week, we announced the formation of a strategic alliance with a European-based hotel asset management company to establish a platform that will allow us to accomplish that. We have aggressive growth plans and see significant opportunities ahead.”

 For more information about Interstate Hotels & Resorts, visit the company’s Web site:


Jerry Daly, Carol McCune, Media, Daly Gray, (703) 435-6293,
Carrie McIntyre, SVP, Treasurer, Interstate Hotels & Resorts, (703) 387-3320,

IDI Signs 126,256 SF with Hettich America in NE Atlanta

ATLANTA, GA – IDI, a leading full-service industrial real estate company, has signed a new lease with Hettich America in the northeast Atlanta market totaling 126,256 square feet.

 Hettich will occupy Building A at IDI’s Hamilton Mill Business Center (top left photo) , located at 4925 Hamilton Mill Road in Buford, Ga. beginning in June of this year.

Hettich, one of the leading global manufacturers of hardware for kitchen cabinets, residential furniture and appliances, will use the Gwinnett County location for storage, manufacturing and distribution of their products and also to house the company’s North American headquarters.

 The move represents a consolidation of the company’s existing headquarters in Alpharetta, Ga. and a separate manufacturing location in Baldwin, Ga. Hettich America operates as a subsidiary of the Hettich Group, a German-based company with annual sales of more than $700 million Euros.

IDI worked in partnership with the Gwinnett Chamber to bring Hettich to the county.

According to Gwinnett County Commission Chairman Charles Bannister (middle  right photo),  “Hettich brings the type of quality jobs and infrastructure to Gwinnett County that its leaders, Partnership Gwinnett and the Chamber work hard to attract.

" Companies like this help expand our global business reach, strengthen the County’s commercial tax base, and provide good jobs for our residents. I am proud to welcome Hettich to our community.”

Nathan Anderson of NAI Brannen/Goddard represented Hettich in the lease deal. Lisa Ward, (bottom left photo)  vice president of leasing in IDI’s Atlanta market office, represented IDI.

“Hettich chose the space at Hamilton Mill Business Center because of the Class A environment of the business park, its central location and convenience for their current employees,” said Ward. “With superior access to I-85 and I-985, we are confident they will be pleased with their choice.”

IDI-owned Hamilton Mill Business Center consists of seven buildings totaling 2.7 million square feet. Other notable tenants of the business park, which sits on 238 acres of land, include National Specialty Alloys (36,671 SF) and Ballistic Studios (20,893 SF). 25,314 square feet remains available for lease in Building A.


Kim Hardcastle, Jackson Spalding for IDI, 404-214-0693,
Charlotte Marie Sturtz, Jackson Spalding for IDI, 404-214-3555,

Jonathan Dwoskin and Andrew Gallas Earn New Posts at Marcus & Millichap

Dwoskin Named Regional Manager in Detroit and Grand Rapids

DETROIT, MI – Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, has named Jonathan Dwoskin (top right photo)  regional manager of the firm’s Detroit and Grand Rapids offices, according to Harvey E. Green, (top left photo) president and chief executive officer.

“Jonathan’s sales management expertise and extensive commercial real estate brokerage skills make him a valuable resource to our agents and clients in Michigan and throughout the Midwest,” says Green.

Dwoskin joined Marcus & Millichap in October 2002 and has been the sales manager of the Detroit office since August 2008. Specializing in multifamily properties, he was named a member of the firm’s National Multi Housing Group.

Dwoskin was promoted to senior associate in February 2006 and was elevated to associate vice president investments in July 2008. He has earned several internal sales awards for his performance, including a National Achievement Award.

Dwoskin earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and journalism from Eastern Michigan University.

Gallas Promoted to Associate Vice President Investments in Chicago

CHICAGO, IL-- Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, announced the promotion of Andrew Gallas (middle right  photo)  to associate vice president investments in the Chicago Downtown office, according to regional manager John Przybyla (bottom leftt photo) .

“Andy has extensive experience as investment sales specialists in the Chicago office,” says Przybyla. “Throughout his career with Marcus & Millichap, Andy has matched numerous private and institutional investors with investment real estate in the Chicago metropolitan area and throughout the United States.

He has been instrumental in driving our business forward and helping to establish Marcus & Millichap as a market leader.”

Gallas began his career with Marcus & Millichap as a sales intern in May 2004. He achieved associate status in June 2005, became a senior associate in June 2008 and joined the firm’s Seven-Figure Club in January 2010. Gallas focuses on net-leased properties throughout the United States and has closed properties in 15 states.

Contact: Stacey Corso, Public Relations Manager, (925) 953-1716

Marcus & Millichap Lists $9.9M Development Opportunity in Ocean City, NJ

OCEAN CITY, NJ– Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, has retained the exclusive listing for Soleil, (centered photo below)  a 266,000-square foot, 1.9-acre approved mixed-use project in Ocean City.

Stephen Verp and Brian Weaver, investment specialists in the firm’s New Jersey office, are representing the seller, a developer that has been active in Ocean City since the mid 1990s.

“Currently, the property features $200,000 per year in parking-lot revenues,” says Verp. “The approved plans call for a five-story structure with 103 residential units or 126 condo/hotel rooms and three parking levels with 287 spaces.”

Located at the northern tip of Cape May County on a beach block at 1101 Ocean Ave. in Ocean City, the property features unobstructed ocean views.

Ocean City is a world-famous seashore community in the heart of the Jersey Shore just 20 minutes from Atlantic City, 70 minutes from Philadelphia and two hours from New York.

Amenities planned for Soleil include a business center, a fitness facility with state-of-the- art equipment, an outdoor pool, a full-service spa, high-speed Internet access in all meeting and guest rooms, 24-hour security service, door attendant and valet services and a restaurant with valet-service garage parking.

“It is unlikely that Soleil will have any competition in the luxury condo marketplace in the foreseeable future as there have been no approvals granted, no plans submitted or filed with the zoning or planning boards for luxury high-rise condo units in Ocean City,” adds Weaver.

Ocean City’s eight miles of beautiful beaches were rated one of the “Best Family Beaches in America” in 2007 by the Travel Channel. Ocean City’s two-and-half-mile boardwalk is lined up with shops, restaurants, movie theatres, amusement rides, miniature golf courses and a water park.

Downtown Ocean City spans from Sixth to 11th streets on Asbury Avenue and features art galleries, dining, boutiques and jewelry stores.

The city provides a wide variety of restaurant cuisine from fresh seafood and steaks to pizza and submarine sandwiches with more than 100 dining choices throughout the island.

In 2009, Ocean City ranked first in New Jersey’s “Top 10 Beaches” contest.

Contact: Stacey Corso, Public Relations Manager, (925) 953-1716

University Corporate Center III in Orlando Sold

Grubb & Ellis Company's Washington, DC Institutional Capital Markets group is pleased to announce the sale of University Corporate Center III (top left photo)  at 11474 Corporate Blvd., The Property is a 94% leased, 104,312 square foot, Class A office building located in the Quadrangle Office Park, less than one mile from the University of Central Florida.

The Seller was Exclusively Represented by:
Eric Berkman, Executive Vice President, Grubb & Ellis Company,
202.312.5751 direct

Steven Gichner, Executive Vice President, Grubb & Ellis Company,
202.312.5750 direct

Greg Morrison, CCIM, SIOR, Principal, Morrison Commercial Real Estate,
407.219.3500 direct