Thursday, July 29, 2010

John Desper Joins Grubb & Ellis as Vice President, Office Group

NEWPORT BEACH, CA (July 29, 2010) – Grubb & Ellis Company (NYSE: GBE), a leading real estate services and investment firm, today announced that John Desper has joined the company as vice president, Office Group.

“John is a seasoned professional who brings considerable experience and local market knowledge. We are extremely pleased he is part of our team,” said Greg May (top right photo) , co-managing director, Orange County.

With 12 years of experience, Desper joins Grubb & Ellis from CRESA Partners, where he was a vice president. Prior to joining CRESA Partners in 2009, Desper spent 11 years with CB Richard Ellis, where he began his career and most recently served as first vice president. Throughout his career, he has represented tenants in office, flex and industrial property leasing.

 His most notable transactions include representing Parker Properties in leasing The Summit Office Project, (lower left photo)  a 1.2-million-square-foot office complex comprising nine buildings in Aliso Viejo.

 He also represented Parker Properties in the sale of a 247,000-square-foot parcel of land to Pacific Life Insurance Company, which he later assisted in developing a nine-story office property on for use as Pacific Life’s headquarters.

Ron Price Joins Grubb & Ellis Company as Senior Vice President, Director of Management Services

LOS ANGELES, CA (July 29, 2010) – Grubb & Ellis Company (NYSE: GBE), a leading real estate services and investment firm, today announced that Ron Price, (bottom right photo)  a 35-year veteran of the commercial real estate industry, has joined the firm as senior vice president, director of Management Services, effective July 26.

Ron’s background in asset management, property management and project management is deep, and his experience at every level of a management services organization makes him an excellent candidate to lead our Southern California property management operations,” said Eric Forshee, executive managing director, Grubb & Ellis Management Services, Inc. “Ron was at the top of our list of prospects because of his reputation and demonstrated success in the marketplace.”

Contact: Julia McCartney, Phone: 714.975.2230, Email:

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is critical link in Downtown Orlando resurgence, John Crossman says

ORLANDO, FL --- The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts (top left rendering)  is one of Orlando’s “Big Three” projects to redevelop the downtown district.

The new Amway Center (top right rendering)  is set to open in October and work to renovate the Citrus Bowl (bottom left photo) is scheduled.

The open parking lot across from City Hall where the Center for Performing Arts will be located is now fenced off with construction to commence shortly, said John Crossman, CCIM, president of Crossman & Company, the Orlando firm that ranks as one of the largest third-party retail leasing and management firms in the Southeast.

Crossman recently moderated a panel discussion at Embassy Suites Hotel on Pine Street in downtown Orlando to discuss the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts and the future of downtown Orlando.

Speakers included Davon Barbour, assistant director of the Downtown Development Board/Community Redevelopment Agency, Alexis Jackson, vice president of communications for the Dr. Phillips Center and Walter O’Shea, vice president of development for Hines.

“Sports facilities are important as business generators, and the Orlando region will turn out to support our sports teams,” Crossman told the group.

 “But long-term, the educational, community and cultural growth that will emanate from the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts will result in more cultural and educational enrichment and greater long-term benefits,” Crossman said.

For more information,  please contact:
John Crossman, CCIM, President, Crossman & Company, 407-581-6218
Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142

HFF secures $24.5M permanent financing for Alexan Shadow Creek Ranch in Pearland, TX

 DALLAS, TX – The Dallas office of HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) announced today that it has secured $24.5 million in permanent financing for Alexan Shadow Creek Ranch (lower left photo), a 392-unit, Class A multi-housing complex in Pearland’s 3,500-acre Shadow Creek Ranch master-planned community.

Working exclusively on behalf of Trammell Crow Residential, HFF executive managing director Jody Thornton (top right photo)  and associate director John Ahmed placed the 10-year, fixed-rate loan with Freddie Mac (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation).

Proceeds will be used to retire the existing construction loan and recapitalize the asset with assumable, non-recourse financing. HFF will service the loan through their Freddie Mac Program Plus® Seller/Servicer program.

Alexan Shadow Creek Ranch is situated on more than 20 acres at 11900 Shadow Creek Parkway, 13 miles south of downtown Houston and close to Pearland Town Center, Hobby Airport and Tom Bass Regional Park. Completed in 2009, the property has 17 buildings with one- and two-bedroom units that are currently 95% occupied. Community amenities include a swimming pool, clubhouse, business center, fitness center, and parking garages.

Headquartered in Dallas, Trammell Crow Residential is a national multi-family real estate firm that owns multi-family rental and condominium communities in most major markets under such prestigious brand names as Alexan and Wynhaven.


John Ahmed, HFF Associate Director, (214) 265-0880,
Kristen Murphy, HFF Associate Director, Marketing, (713) 852-3500,

HFF arranges refinancing for San Antonio and Houston multi-housing communities

HOUSTON, TX – The Houston office of HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) announced today that it has arranged refinancing for Salado Springs (lower right photo), a 352-unit multi-housing property in San Antonio, and Sandstone Apartments (lower left photo), a 696-unit, multi-housing community in Houston, Texas.

HFF director Cortney Cole worked exclusively on behalf of Venterra Realty to secure the five-year, fixed-rate on-book loans through Wells Fargo Commercial Mortgage Originations.

Salado Springs is located at 12727 Vista del Norte centrally situated between Interstate 10, US 281, Loop 410 and Loop 1604 approximately eight miles north of San Antonio’s central business district.

Currently 95% occupied, the Class A property features 14 buildings with one-, two- and three-bedroom units averaging 856 square feet each.

Community amenities include a clubhouse, resort-style swimming pool, fitness center, movie theatre, jogging trails and covered parking.

Located at 4201 Fairmont Parkway, Sandstone Apartments is situated immediately inside Beltway 8 and close to the Houston Ship Channel, NASA and Interstate 45 approximately 13 miles southeast of downtown Houston in Pasadena.

The 90% leased property has 54 two-story buildings with one-, two- and three-bedroom units averaging 761 square feet each. Residents have access to six pools, tennis courts, a community center, fitness center and laundry facility.

Venterra specializes in the identification, finance, acquisition and management of multi-family residential communities in the southern United States. Venterra currently manages a portfolio of multi-family real estate assets totaling over $600 million in value that generates gross annual income in excess of $80 million.

The organization has completed in excess of $1 billion of real estate transactions. Venterra has offices in both Houston and Toronto and employs over 350 people.


Cortney R. Cole, HFF Director, (713) 852-3500,
Kristen M. Murphy, HFF Associate Director, Marketing, (713) 852-3500,

MBA: Second Quarter 2010 Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Originations Increase Over First Quarter, But Remain Flat Over Last Year

Washington, DC - - Second quarter 2010 commercial and multifamily mortgage loan originations were one percent higher than during the same period last year and 35 percent higher than during the first quarter, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Quarterly Survey of Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Bankers Originations.

"Borrowing remains light as few commercial property owners are selling or refinancing their properties unless they have to," said Jamie Woodwell, (top right photo)  MBA's Vice President of Commercial Real Estate Research.

"Life insurers, CMBS conduits and others are back in the market and lending, and rates are at extremely attractive levels. However, low volumes of property sales, depressed property values, stressed cash flows and modest loan maturities are all keeping borrowing to a minimum."

For a complete copy of the report, please contact:
 Carolyn Kemp, (202) 557-2727,

Faris Lee Investments' Creative Deal-Making Completes 2 Los Angeles County Retail Property Sales Totaling Nearly $13M

IRVINE, CA – Faris Lee Investments, the nation’s largest retail-specialized investment sales and advisory team, has successfully closed two Los Angeles-area property transactions totaling nearly $13 million.

 The 100 percent-leased assets include a property occupied by CVS/pharmacy and Starbucks Coffee Drive-Thru in Paramount that sold for $7.95 million, and Burger King Plaza (top left photo)  located in Los Angeles that sold for $4.95 million with tenants including Burger King, ACE Cash Express and neighborhood shops.

In both deals, Faris Lee brought its unique workout expertise to the transaction as well as bank and special servicer relationships to ensure success.

“Critical to the current market, Faris Lee managed the complex task of transferring assumable CMBS loans to the new buyers while at the same time obtaining sale prices exceeding the sellers’ expectations,” said Richard Walter, (top right photo) president, Faris Lee Investments.

 “In these transactions, the buyers were not only able to obtain below-market financing, they were able to capture favorable non-recourse provisions, meaning that their financial liability is limited.”

Though the assumption process can be complex, CMBS loans offer substantial benefits to the buyer that conventional bank loans do not.

Loan assumption is an especially attractive option in high interest rate environments and tight credit environments. Unlike conventional bank financing, the CMBS loan offers non-recourse provisions to the buyer.

“The CMBS loan assumption process is long and complicated due to the numerous parties involved and the long list of requirements that must be met,” said Nick Coo, managing director for Faris Lee Investments.

“We were able to provide the strategic advisory on the transactions and craft a highly skilled team for the buyers that included members of our Faris Lee Capital group, who could work closely with the banks and special servicers.”

On the first transaction, Coo represented the seller, Los Angeles-based Topaz Paramount, LLC, as well as the buyer, Texas and Southern California-based NASA Paramount Centre Enterprises, LLC.

 Despite an environmental issue and a rental rate reduction for Starbucks during the marketing process, Faris Lee identified the right buyer and closed the transaction at a 6.6 percent cap rate and at a sale price above seller’s expectations.

The property provided the buyer with a more favorable CMBS loan with a superior 5.76 percent fixed interest rate, significantly below current market interest rates. The 15,722-square-foot property located at 8859 Alondra Blvd. was built in 2008 and is situated at the intersection of Lakewood and Alondra Blvd.

For Burger King Plaza in Los Angeles, Coo represented the seller Los Angeles-based 7201 South Figueroa, LLC. Coldwell Banker represented the 1031 exchange buyer UHL, LLC, from Southern California.

The transaction closed at a cap rate of 6.9 percent. Located at 7201-7229 S. Figueroa St. in Los Angeles, the three-building property totaling 16,127 square feet was built in 1987 and 1994.

It is situated at the major intersection of Figueroa St. at Florence Ave. The assumed CMBS loan featured a fixed interest rate of 6.2 percent for seven years and is amortized over a 30-year schedule. Considering the difficulty in obtaining retail loans in today’s environment, the assumed loan provided unmatched financing for the buyer.

Contact: Darcie Giacchetto, 949.278.6224, Spaulding Thompson & Associates
For Faris Lee Investments