Thursday, June 10, 2010

CB Richard Ellis's Global Market Overview for June 2010---A Bumpy Road to Recovery

LOS ANGELES, CA--CB Richard Ellis's Global Market View for June 2010 sees a bumpy road to recovery for the real estate industry. The report was prepared by Nick Axford (top left photo) , Andrew Ness (middle right photo) , Kevin Stanley (bottom left photo) , Raymond Wong (bottom right photo)  and Raymond Torto (top right photo).

Highlights of the report:

The world's attention is focused today on the Euro crisis, and sovereign debt issues are now on the world's mind. The Euro crisis will be a bump for the improving global economy—whether it will be a major bump or small bump is yet to play out. CB Richard Ellis' view is to characterize global economies as "improving, but bumpy"—movement in a positive direction, but not a smooth or uninterrupted path.

Investment sales activity in the American markets continues to slowly revive from the depressed levels of 2009. For the market as a whole, aggregate 1Q 2010 volume surged 126% from 1Q 2009, when market activity hit trough levels.

In the US leasing market, the decreasing rate of decline in commercial property fundamentals and the surprise of outright improvement in multi-family, along with strong signs of life in the capital markets, have made the first quarter of 2010 the best quarter for commercial real estate in quite some time.

Entering 2010, Asian economies demonstrated more evidence of a heated recovery, bordering on overheating. Growth is being supported by a strong rebound in exports, coupled with the robust performance of consumer markets in China and India, the combination of which has resulted in an improvement in the region's economic performance.

The driver of economic growth in 1Q 2010 in the Pacific region was Australia, where the Reserve Bank was so convinced of the fast pace of recovery, it moved the interest rate target up 25 bps in March, April and May. The official cash rate target is now 4.50%—a high rate by global standards and a testament to the growing strength of the economy.

European commercial real estate investment reached €19.1 billion in the first quarter of 2010, an increase of 65% on the same quarter in 2009. This confirms the general upturn in European investment activity, and we expect a pronounced year-on-year improvement in 2010.

For a complete copy of the report, please contact Raymond Torto at

Marcus & Millichap Promotes William Benoist to Vice President of Information Services

ENCINO, CA– Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, has named William Benoist (top right photo)  vice president of information services, according to Richard H. Peltz (bottom left photo) , senior vice president and chief information officer.

As director of desktop services, Benoist is responsible for computer and computer-related services for more than 1,200 commercial real estate investment professionals and the entire corporate staff, including managers and executives.

“Bill’s department has completed more than 200,000 work orders while maintaining customer service ratings consistently above the industry standard,” comments Peltz. “His passion is ensuring that everyone at Marcus & Millichap receives desktop service promptly and professionally.”

Benoist joined Marcus & Millichap’s information services department as a senior technician in 1997. In 2000, he became manager of the firm’s help desk. Benoist has been serving as the director of desktop services since 2006.

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

Hudson, FL Retail Properties Get $2.66M Loan

ORLANDO, FL--Thomas D. Wood and Company, a Strategic Alliance Mortgage LLC member, secured financing in the amount of $2,665,000 for a 7-Eleven Convenience Store and Dorman Crossings Anchored Retail Center.

Brad Cox, (top right photo)  CCIM, CPM, Company Vice President, secured $1,200,000 in financing for the 7-Eleven Convenience Store and Service Station on May 28, 2010, through Thomas D. Wood and Company’s relationship with a regional bank.

The full-recourse loan has an interest rate of 6.375%, fixed for the first three years, changing to 300 basis points over the three-year LIBOR for the next three years, based on a 25-year amortization.

The loan-to-value is 65%. The 2,940 square-foot retail store and service station was built in 1999, and is located at 18934 US Highway 19, Hudson, Florida.

Doug Rozzell, (middle left photo) Company Principal, secured $1,465,000 in financing for Dorman Crossings on June 1, 2010, through Thomas D. Wood and Company’s relationship with a regional bank. The construction/mini-perm loan has an interest rate of LIBOR + 300 basis points with a floor of 4.0%.

The first 12 months are interest-only, followed by a 36-month mini-perm, based on a 25-year amortization. The loan-to-value is 75% and loan-to-cost is 85%.

Construction will begin on the 9,833 square-foot retail center in 2010, and it will be home to major tenants Vitamin Shoppe and Mattress Firm. Dorman Crossings is located at 1501 W. Ozell Boulevard, Spartanburg, South Carolina.

For further information, please contact:

Brad Cox, CCIM, CPM (941) 552-9731
Doug Rozzell (407) 937-0470
Jessica Kinnee (407) 937-0470

Palmer Electric Wins Osceola Elementary School Project in Kissimmee, FL

WINTER PARK, FL— The commercial division of Palmer Electric Company has secured a nearly $80,000 contract with the joint venture of W.G. Mills/Ranger Building Services for phase 1 of the renovation of Highlands Elementary School in Kissimmee, Florida.

Under its scope of services, Palmer Electric is providing site and building electrical contracting as well as low voltage systems including fire alarm, voice/data and intercom for the relocation of six portable classrooms, and the demolition of eleven portable classrooms.

This work will prepare the campus for the renovation of the remaining school facilities and the addition of new buildings planned for phases II and III. Phase I will be completed by July 20.

The School District of Osceola County, Florida, is the project’s owner. The Orlando, Florida-based design team includes architecture by Schenkel Shultz Architecture and electrical engineering by OCI Associates.

Contact: Elaine Ingra, 407 384-1344,

Southern Commercial Completes 43,345-SF New Lease in Lake Mary, FL

ORLANDO, FL--Vice President Sher Tolan, MBA of Southern Commercial Real Estate Advisors completed a 43,345 square foot new lease at 400 Rinehart Road, Lake Mary, Florida.

Tolan negotiated the 10 year lease, representing the Landlord, Rinehart Development & Investment Group, LLC. The Tenant, Quality Manufacturing Services was represented by Coughlin Commercial.

Media Contact: Celeste MacKenzie,

City Of Miami Beach Agency Buys Failed South Beach Condo Conversion

MIAMI, FL--The City of Miami Beach is now competing head-to-head with bulk investors for busted condo projects in South Beach as an agency of the municipality implements plans to use the apartments as "affordable" rentals, according to a new report from

On June 2, the nonprofit Miami Beach Community Development Corp housing agency paid $5.7 million for the failed 35-unit Neptune Beach condo (top left photo) conversion located a block south of the popular Lincoln Road pedestrian mall in the neighborhood of South Beach, according to the report based on Miami-Dade County records.

This is the first example of a South Florida agency attempting to cash in as a bulk buyer on the region's real estate crash. The City of Miami Beach agency paid $162,000 per unit in a project where prices originally started at more than $200,000 per condo.

"The competition for failed condo projects just got a little bit more fierce in South Florida with the public sector now moving into a market that had been dominated by private equity and institutional funds," said Peter Zalewski, a principal with the Bal Harbour, Fla.-based real estate consultancy Condo Vultures® LLC.

(MacArthur Causeway over Biscayne Bay, bottom right photo)

 "The public sector, much like the private sector, apparently sees value in purchasing distressed South Florida real estate in this current market. It is too early to determine what effect the emergence of the public sector will have on the bulk market."

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

Wyndham Hotel Group to Acquire Tryp Hotel Brand from Sol Meliá

PARSIPPANY, N.J. – (June 7, 2010) - Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN)  announced that its Wyndham Hotel Group business unit has agreed to acquire the Tryp® hotel brand from Sol Meliá Hotels & Resorts.

In addition, Wyndham will enter into a license agreement with the current 91 Tryp hotels located throughout Europe and South America that will continue to be owned, operated, managed or licensed by Sol Meliá.

Wyndham Hotel Group and Sol Meliá will form a strategic alliance to work together to develop the Tryp brand globally and market the hotels cooperatively through their central reservations systems and loyalty programs.

The brand, expected to be renamed Tryp by Wyndham®, is a select-service, midmarket brand representing approximately 13,000 rooms and caters to business and leisure travelers in cosmopolitan cities including Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Lisbon, Frankfurt, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo and Montevideo.

The acquisition price is approximately $43 million (USD), subject to adjustments. The all-cash transaction is anticipated to close by the end of the second quarter, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions. Sol Meliá will continue to operate hotels, resorts and vacation clubs under its seven other owned brands.

“This acquisition reflects our strategy to invest in our fee-for-service businesses and supplement organic growth with complementary brands,” said Stephen P. Holmes, (middle left photo)  chairman and chief executive officer of Wyndham Worldwide.

“The addition of more than 90 high-performing hotels in key international cities enhances and accelerates the recent development momentum of the Wyndham Hotel Group. The transaction significantly increases our international platform, enhancing our growth opportunities, especially in Europe and Latin America.”

The Tryp by Wyndham brand would join Wyndham Hotel Group and its 11 other hotel brands, which encompass nearly 7,100 hotels and 593,300 rooms in 65 countries.

“We look forward to adding the Tryp brand to our strong global portfolio and continuing our working relationship with Sol Meliá, a world-renowned company,” said Wyndham Hotel Group president and chief executive officer, Eric Danziger.(top right photo)

 “Sol Meliá’s leaders built a family enterprise into a successful and innovative global hotel company, providing an outstanding collection of products and services for more than 50 years. We intend to continue expanding the Tryp brand by utilizing our global development team to tap the significant growth opportunities across Europe and the Americas.”

“We selected to work with Wyndham Hotel Group because of the company’s reputation as a global brand-builder, which will benefit the future of the Tryp brand,” said Gabriel Escarrer Jaume, (lower right photo) vice chairman and chief executive officer of Sol Meliá.

“We are proud to have nurtured this successful brand for the last 10 years. Now, this alliance will help Tryp become a truly global hotel brand by creating long-term synergies between our companies to boost Tryp Hotels to the next level.”

Media contact:  :Evy Apostolatos, +1 (973) 753-6590,
Investor contact:  Margo C. Happer, +1 (973) 753-6472,

Lane Company Expands Student Housing Outreach

ATLANTA, GA– Multifamily real estate firm Lane Company is significantly expanding its outreach into the student housing area.

Lane Management LLC, the firm’s property management arm, has been active in the student housing market for almost 15 years, managing student communities in ten states for a variety of owners, including one of the largest student housing companies in the country.

“In recognition of the growing role of student housing, Lane Management has formally established a division that will focus exclusively on the operation and management of privately-owned, off-campus student apartments,” said Lane Company President Cindy Pfeifer (top right photo).

 Before joining Lane Company, Pfeifer was Chief Operating Officer/Chief Investment Officer of Place Properties, one of the nation’s premier off-campus student apartment companies.

“We have a team of talented, experienced associates who know the business and the particular nuances of student housing,” said Lane Management president Rob Couch (middle left photo) . “This move lets us expand our demonstrated and proven success to a wider audience and ownership base.”

Industry veteran Rick Jones  (middle right photo) will lead the new division, which is comprised of a veritable who’s who of student housing veterans. Jones, a Regional Vice President, has two decades of diverse property management experience.

This includes 10 years devoted to student housing, in which he managed 25 off-campus student living communities in California, Idaho, Utah, Washington, Arizona, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky and North Carolina.

His career has taken him coast-to-coast in a variety of positions including Vice President with Lend Lease Real Estate Investments, Senior Vice President of Trinity Property Consultants and Regional Vice President with BH Management. He is based in Charlotte.

The new group also welcomes two new employees with extensive backgrounds in student housing.

Wesley Deese, a Regional Property Manager, is responsible for student communities in North Carolina, Kentucky and Georgia. He was previously a Vice President of Property Management at University Housing in Roanoke, where he oversaw operations for all company-owned student, rural development and commercial assets, and was an instrumental part of the development team. He is also based in Charlotte.

Michael Mulholland is now property manager for The Bellamy Student Apartments (lower left photo)  in Louisville. He was formerly a Regional Manager with JPI.

He has 14 years of multifamily housing experience including 10 years dedicated to student housing.

He successfully led numerous on-site teams for AIMCO, College Park Communities, University House Communities and JPI.

In addition, Lane Management is a Gold Sponsor of the Interface Student Housing Conference. The conference is a national networking event for all facets of the student housing industry. It will be held June 15 and 16 in Chicago.

Media contact:  Terri Thornton; 404-687-8760, 404-932-4347 (Cell),