Wednesday, May 5, 2010

D & A Building Services Wins First Contract with City of Dallas


LONGWOOD, FL — D & A Building Services Inc. has secured its first contract with the City of Dallas, Texas, for facility maintenance services for the four-story, 172,000-square-foot Oak Cliff Municipal Center (top left photo)  and a 278,000-square-foot parking garage.

Under its scope of services, D & A is providing janitorial, carpet cleaning and floor refinishing services for the building that houses offices for public works, transportation, storm water management, engineering and architectural services, building inspection, permits, real estate and property management, and general cleaning for the parking structure.

Since opening its Dallas office in 2008, D & A Building Services has hired a staff of twenty and garnered contracts with many notable entities including the Texas Department of Transportation, Garland Independent School District, Dallas County, Denton County, City of Huntsville, City of Plano and the Marriott Hotel at Legacy Town Center.

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

TD Wood & Co. Brokers $2.5M Loan for Norcoss, GA Retail Property


SARASOTA, FL— Thomas D. Wood and Company, a Strategic Alliance Mortgage LLC Member, secured financing on April 29, 2010, in the amount of $2,500,000 for Oakbrook Plaza in Norcross, Georgia.


Brad Cox (top right photo) , CCIM, CPM, Company Senior Vice President, financed Oakbrook Plaza through Thomas D. Wood and Company’s correspondent relationship with The Standard Life Insurance Company in the amount of $2,500,000.

 The full-recourse loan has a term of seven years, based on a 21-year amortization and an interest rate of 6.6%. The loan-to-value is 45%. The 80,581 square-foot office was built in 1985 and is home to major tenants 352 Media Group, Venture Office Suites, and IBT Howard Via, LLC.

Oakbrook Plaza is located at 1770 Indian Trail Lilburn Road, Norcross, Georgia.

For further information, please contact:
Brad Cox, CCIM, CPM (941) 552-9731 bcox@tdwood.com
Jessica Kinnee (407) 937-0470 jkinnee@tdwood.com

Moshe Majeski Returns to Meridian Capital Group as a Managing Director


NEW YORK, NY- –Meridian Capital Group, LLC, one of the nation’s largest commercial real estate finance companies, announced  that Moshe Majeski has returned to the firm as a Managing Director.

Mr. Majeski is a proven commercial real estate professional who has negotiated more than $3 billion in transactions over the past 10 years. Mr. Majeski was a highly successful broker at Meridian until 2008, when he left to launch an investment sales business.

 As an active participant on both the finance side and the sales side of commercial real estate, he brings unique experience and perspective to Meridian in his new executive role.

“I am exhilarated to see Moshe return to the Meridian team and am convinced that his diverse experience will benefit Meridian’s client relationships by providing additional expertise and insight,” said Ralph Herzka, (top right photo) Meridian’s President and CEO. “Meridian will continue to add proven talent like Moshe as part of our growth strategy going forward.”

Meridian recently added seasoned real estate veteran Marty Lanigan (middle  left photo)  as Senior Managing Director of Origination and Strategic Initiatives to expand the company’s origination platform, as well as its product and services offerings.

Founded in 1991, Meridian Capital Group, LLC is one of the nation's largest mortgage brokerages serving the multifamily and commercial real estate sectors. Meridian is headquartered in New York with offices in New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois, Florida and California.

Working with a broad array of capital providers, Meridian finances transactions ranging from $500,000 to more than $500 million for multifamily, co-op, office, retail, hotel, healthcare, student housing, self-storage, industrial, and construction properties. www.meridiancapital.com

Contact: Jonathan Stern, Meridian Capital Group, LLC, 212/972-3600, jstern@meridiancapital.com

Morrison Commercial Real Estate Completes Three Office Lease Transactions Totaling 25,573 SF


ORLANDO, FL (May 5, 2010): Greg Morrison, CCIM, SIOR, Principal of Morrison Commercial Real Estate, announced the completion of three office lease transactions totaling 25,573± square feet.

Emily Zinaich (top right photo) and  Greg Morrison (top left photo) of Morrison Commercial Real Estate represented the landlord in leasing an 11,679 square foot space to The Kessler Enterprise, Inc. in the Millenia Park One building located at 4901 Vineland Road.

David Chapin  (middle right photo) of Jones Lang LaSalle represented the tenant in this transaction.

Also at the Millenia Park One building, Morrison and Zinaich represented the landlord in a lease expansion of 5,074 square feet to AI Insight, Inc. Rick Solik (bottom left photo)  of Cushman & Wakefield represented the tenant in this transaction.

 Zinaich  represented the landlord in a lease renewal and expansion for 8,820 square feet to Panda Distribution, Inc. at 423 S. Keller Road. Natalie Gleiter of Jones Lang LaSalle represented the tenant in this transaction.

Contact: Buffy Gillette, Phone: 407.219.3500, Email: bgillette@morrisoncre.com

CBRE Orlando Closes Three More Apartment Sales


ORLANDO, FL--CB Richard Ellis is pleased to announce the sale of three more multi-housing communities in Orlando over the last three weeks.

The three properties sold in separate transactions to different buyers, and cumulatively consisted of approximately 660 units (300 units in Winter Park, 140 units in Sanford, and 219 units in Orlando).

Shelton Granade (middle right photo)  and Luke Wickham (middle left photo)  of CBRE’s Central Florida Multi-Housing Group exclusively represented the sellers on all three assignments.


The properties sold range from a stabilized, value-add deal built in the late 1960’s to a note sale on a fractured condo community.


 Buyer interest in multi-housing assets in Central Florida has increased significantly over the last few months.

CBRE currently has several other offerings under contract, and is generating more than 40 offers on some widely marketed offerings.

 For further information, please contact the Central Florida Multi-Housing Group of CB Richard Ellis:

Shelton Granade, Senior Vice President, T 407.839.3103, shelton.granade@cbre.com
Luke Wickham, Director of Operations, T 407.839.3130,  luke.wickham@cbre.com

Grubb & Ellis Company Announces Departure of Chief Financial Officer


SANTA ANA, CA – Grubb & Ellis Company (NYSE: GBE), a leading real estate services and investment firm,  announced that Richard W. Pehlke (top right photo)  has stepped down as executive vice president and chief financial officer effective May 3, 2010.

Matthew A. Engel, senior vice president, chief accounting officer will serve as interim chief financial officer until a permanent successor is named. A search for a replacement, which is being lead by Korn/Ferry International, is actively underway.

To facilitate a smooth transition, Pehlke will remain available on a consulting basis up to December 31, 2010.

“Due to Rich’s efforts, Grubb & Ellis is better positioned for sustainable long-term growth,” said Thomas P. D’Arcy, (bottom left photo)  president and chief executive officer of Grubb & Ellis. “He has been a valuable member of the executive team, providing the company with steady leadership, particularly with regards to our recent capital raise and the strengthening of our financial position.”

Pehlke joined the company as chief financial officer in February 2007, during which time he oversaw the financial integration following Grubb & Ellis’ merger with NNN Realty Advisors in December 2007, including moving the financial operations to Santa Ana, and, more recently, the company’s $97 million preferred equity offering in November 2009.

“I am very proud of what we accomplished over the past three years,”said Pehlke. “Given the strong position the company is now in and the talented team we have in place I have come to the conclusion that this is the appropriate time for me to seek new challenges and opportunities.”

Contact: Janice McDill, Phone: 312.698.6707, Email: janice.mcdill@grubb-ellis.com


 Donald Schmidt Promoted to Senior Director, Corporate Services

DALLAS, TX) – Grubb & Ellis Company (NYSE: GBE), a leading real estate services and investment firm announced that Donald Schmidt  (lower right photo) has been promoted to senior director, Corporate Services, in the company’s Dallas office, a newly created position that reflects the company’s expanding multi-market client relationships.

Schmidt will manage the company’s relationships with Goodman Inc., Pioneer Drilling Inc., Texas Instruments and Sun Belt Rentals, acting as the “single-point-of-contact” and ensuring seamless delivery of multi-market tenant representation, disposition and real estate consulting solutions. He previously served as director, Corporate Services, of the company’s Houston office.

“Since joining Grubb & Ellis, Don has done an outstanding job of supporting key corporate accounts to ensure that the clients’ needs are met above and beyond their expectations. He has played an integral role in business development and I believe he will continue to do so in his new role in the Dallas office,” said David Susoreny, president, Corporate Services.

Schmidt joined Grubb & Ellis in 2006 as a transactions manager and was promoted to director, Corporate Services in 2009. During his career, Schmidt has been involved in more than 103 site acquisitions, dispositions and build-to-suit projects.

Prior to joining Grubb & Ellis, he served as an account executive of Direct Energy Business Services, a leading supplier of electricity and natural gas products. He began his career in commercial real estate with Wulfe & Co. in 2003.

Schmidt holds a bachelor’s degree from Briar Cliff University and has served on the board of directors of the local Houston chapter of CoreNet Global since 2009.

Contact: Julia McCartney, Phone: 714.975.2230, Email: julia.mccartney@grubb-ellis.com

Grubb & Ellis Announces Pricing of $30M of Unsecured Convertible Senior Notes


SANTA ANA, CA— Grubb & Ellis Company (NYSE: GBE), a leading real estate services and investment firm, has entered into an agreement to sell $30.0 million aggregate principal of unsecured convertible senior notes due in 2015.

The notes will have an interest rate of 7.95% per annum and are being offered at a price equal to 100% of their face value. The company also granted the initial purchaser a 45-day option to purchase up to an additional $4.5 million aggregate principal amount of notes to cover over-allotments, if any.

The company estimates that the net proceeds from the offering will be approximately $28.0 million after deducting offering expenses. The company intends to use the net proceeds from the offering to fund growth initiatives, short-term working capital and general corporate purposes.

The notes are being sold in a private placement to qualified institutional buyers pursuant to Rule 144A of the Securities Act of 1933. The sale of the notes is expected to close on or about May 7, 2010, subject to customary closing conditions.

The notes will be convertible into common stock at an initial conversion rate of 445.583 shares per $1,000 principal amount of notes, which is equivalent to an initial conversion price of approximately $2.24 per share and is a 17.5 percent premium above the closing price of the company’s common stock on May 3, 2010. The conversion rate is subject to adjustment in certain circumstances.

The notes and the underlying common stock issuable upon conversion have not been registered under the Securities Act or applicable state securities laws.

This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy the notes (including the shares of common stock into which the notes are convertible), nor shall there be any sale of the notes (including the shares of common stock into which the notes are convertible) in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.

Contact: Janice McDill, Phone: 312.698.6707, Email: janice.mcdill@grubb-ellis.com

Grubb & Ellis Named to Virginia Tech Residential Property Management Advisory Board


WASHINGTON, DC – Grubb & Ellis Company (NYSE: GBE), a leading real estate services and investment firm,  has been elected to the Residential Property Management Advisory Board at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, known as Virginia Tech.

The company is the only commercial real estate brokerage firm of the board’s 23 member companies.

“We couldn’t be more pleased that Grubb & Ellis has joined the Residential Property Management Advisory Board,” said Rosemary Goss, (top right photo) Ph.D., RPM Advisory Board Professor. “In order to ensure our students receive the best possible education, it’s paramount that we incorporate into our program the experience, leadership and potential career opportunities brought by our corporate board members.”

Karen Whitt,  (lower left photo) executive managing director, Grubb & Ellis Management Services Inc., will represent the company for the membership, which supports Virginia Tech’s industry-leading commercial and property management program and greatly enhances Grubb & Ellis’ access to recruit the leading new graduates in the property management field.

 In addition to serving in an advisory capacity about trends in the industry and how it might affect coursework and other aspects of the program, Grubb & Ellis will also participate in the Residential Property Management program’s Career Fair and sponsor a student scholarship.

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

Grubb & Ellis Says 'Zombie Buildings' May Limit Options for Tenants

SANTA ANA, CA-– Grubb & Ellis Company (NYSE: GBE), a leading real estate services and investment firm, announced  that the amount of available space in the office market nationally may actually be overstated and that tenants have fewer realistic alternatives than record-high vacancy rates would indicate.

The phenomenon, dubbed “Zombie Buildings” by Grubb & Ellis researchers, refers to properties that have significant capital constraints and are therefore unable to fund market-level tenant improvement allowances and commissions, which adversely impacts their ability to compete for tenants.

“Now that the values of many properties purchased during the peak of the market have fallen below the balance due on the loan, some landlords are too capital-constrained to offer the tenant improvement allowances and other concessions necessary to attract tenants in today’s marketplace,” said Robert Bach, (top right photo) senior vice president and chief economist.

“One caveat to the trend, however, is that the wave of foreclosures was much less severe than anticipated. We expected banks to be proactive in taking distressed assets back, but instead, they’re avoiding taking those write-downs by helping landlords retain their assets,” he added.

“That being said, the fact remains that many landlords are unable to offer the kinds of tenant improvement allowances and other concessions that require capital on hand. That’s good news for landlords who are in a good capital position – they have much less competition than the reported market statistics would indicate.”

A summary of this trend occurring in key markets across the nation includes:

· In Atlanta:

Some landlords are handing the keys back to the bank, prompting operational challenges as properties transfer ownership. Landlord stability has become increasingly important to tenants as they seek buildings with solid owners capable of funding tenant improvements and maintaining critical building operations. Additionally, amenities such as caf├ęs, restaurants, sundries shops and dry cleaning services normally associated with Class A and Class B+ buildings are at risk of ceasing operations due to decreased foot traffic.

In Boston:

· The Boston market in particular is seeing the active investors of 2006 and 2007 challenged by decreased property values, causing several trophy Boston-area office buildings to go back to the lender. Several other landlords have been unable or unwilling to make capital improvements to their buildings, including necessary systems upgrades, removing those from broker tours as well.

In Portland:

· In downtown Portland, a large portfolio of historic properties is currently in bankruptcy, making 15 percent of the Class C space in the downtown market not competitive due to their financial uncertainty. Financial records are being requested on both sides of the table – landlords want to make sure their tenants will be viable for the full term of the lease, while some tenants are going so far as to require a letter of credit from landlords until all tenant improvements are completed.

In Chicago:

· In downtown Chicago, the landlords holding as much as 20 percent of the office inventory are not in a position to compete aggressively, but for those landlords in a stronger financial position, they’re actually able to keep asking rental rates at higher levels than would otherwise be achievable.

In Texas:
· While considered to be a healthy market, Texas is estimated to have more “Zombie Buildings” than well-capitalized properties throughout the state. Unlike many other markets, however, tenants are still renewing leases and touring “Zombie Buildings.” That being said, tenants frequently negotiate a back-up lease in the event the negotiations with the “Zombie Building” landlord falls apart, usually due to lack of lender approval of lease terms.

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

Crossman & Co. Negotiates New Lease Agreement with Pannoli International Gourmet Bakery at Osceola Corporate Center in Kissimmee, FL


ORLANDO - Crossman & Company, one of the largest third-party retail leasing and management firms in the Southeast, recently negotiated a new five-year lease agreement for 1,600 square feet of retail space at 1261 W. Osceola Parkway, off John Young Parkway in Kissimmee.

John Crossman,(bottom left photo)  president of Crossman & Company, said associate Whitaker Leonhardt (top right photo) negotiated the lease agreement with the tenant, Pannoli International Gourmet, Inc., on behalf of the landlord, Osceola Corporate Center.

Leonhardt said Pannoli International is an International bakery specializing in gourmet baked goods and coffee.

“Owner Pasquale D’Angelone is an experienced restaurant operator and his concept will complement the strong tenant mix that exists at the Osceola Corporate Center. Adding tenants to this center is a good sign for the Osceola County retail market, Leonhardt said.

For more information, contact:
Justin Greider, Senior Associate, Crossman & Company/ICSC Florida Next Generation Chair, 407-581-6225; jgreider@crossmanco.com;
 John Crossman, CCIM, President, Crossman & Company, 407-581-6218, jcrossman@crossmanco.com;
Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142, lvershelco@aol.com.

Lavista Associates Sees Sales of 11 Georgia Office Buildings in 40 Days as a Strong Sign of Economic Recovery


ATLANTA, GA. --- Lavista Associates, a leading commercial real estate broker headquartered in Atlanta, sold 11 office buildings during a single 40-day period recently in Acworth, Atlanta, Loganville, Duluth, Norcross, Lawrenceville, Suwanee, Alpharetta and Cumming.

Tom Davenport, (top right photo) president of Lavista Associates, Inc., said the strong first-quarter sales surge by the firm’s REO Services Division is clearly the first sign of an improving economy. Ten of the 11 buildings had gone through foreclosure, Davenport said.

Davenport said Lavista Associates expects to see record sales this year as prices have declined by as much as 30 percent over the past three years.

“We are seeing buildings priced at half their current cost to build,” Davenport said. “As the economy recovers, we will look back at these prices with disbelief,” he said.

Davenport said the 11 buildings ranged in size from 3,000 square feet of space to more than 20,000 square feet.

Only two of the 11 sales carried financing contingencies, and nine of the sales were to owner-occupied buyers.

Davenport said all 11 sales reflect appraisals that were current within 90 days.

“Adjusted pricing today requires more frequent appraisals to keep up with current values,” Davenport said. “Typically, properly valued assets should sell within a six-to-12-month timeframe. Clearly, sellers who price their properties at the current market can be confident of a timely sale,” he said.

Serving Atlanta for over 37 years, Lavista Associates, Inc. is one of metro Atlanta’s leading commercial real estate companies, representing clients in the sale and leasing of a broad spectrum of commercial, industrial, office and retail properties.

The firm’s goal is excellence of service to its clients resulting in the highest value for their real estate holdings.

For more information, contact:
Tom Davenport, President Lavista Associates, Inc. 770-448-6400; tdavenport@lavista.com;
 Kimberly Steele, Director of Marketing & Administration Lavista Associates, Inc. 770-729-2824; ksteele@lavista.com;
Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications 407-644-4142 lvershelco@aol.com;

Rhodes+Brito Awarded Contract to Design Renovation of Parkway Middle School in Kissimmee, FL


ORLANDO, FL - Rhodes+Brito Architects in Orlando was recently awarded a contract to design renovations of Parkway Middle School in Kissimmee.

Ruffin Rhodes, (top right photo)  co-founder and partner at Rhodes+Brito, said the work will include renovation of classrooms, including electrical, mechanical and technology upgrades total some 20,000 square feet of space.

Design work has been completed and construction will be completed during the summer break, Rhodes said.

The School District of Osceola County awarded the contract.

Rhodes+Brito Architects, which opened in Orlando in 1996, currently employs a staff of 17, including seven registered architects. The firm served as lead architect for the Florida A&M University College of Law facility in downtown Orlando.

For more information, contact:
Ruffin Rhodes, Rhodes+Brito Architects, 407-648-7288 ruffin@rbarchitects.com;
 Maximiano Brito, Rhodes+Brito Architects, 407-648-7288 max@rbarchitects.com;
 Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications 407-644-4142 (fax: 4410)

NAI Realvest negotiates new lease of 12,000 SF for SimCom simulator training center in Orlando


ORLANDO, Fla. – NAI Realvest recently negotiated a new lease agreement for 12,000 square feet of industrial space at 8350 Parkline Blvd., off Orange Ave. and Jetport Drive in South Orlando.

Michael Heidrich, (top right photo)  a principal at NAI Realvest, represented the landlord Parkline Properties, LLC of Columbus, Ohio.

The tenant, SimCom, Inc., a simulator training firm opening its third Orlando center, was represented in the transaction by NAI Realvest managing partner Paul P. Partyka.

For more information contact:
Michael Heidrich, Principal NAI Realvest, 407-875-9989 mheidrich@realvest.com;
Paul P. Partyka, Managing Partner NAI Realvest 407-875-9989 ppartyka@realvest.com;
Patrick Mahoney, President, NAI Realvest 407-875-9989 pmahoney@realvest.com;
Beth Payan or Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142 Lvershelco@aol.com