Monday, August 2, 2010

Grubb & Ellis Recruits Four-Person Retail Team from Brick & Mortar Commercial

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (Aug. 2, 2010) – Grubb & Ellis Company (NYSE: GBE), a leading real estate services and investment firm, today announced that the principals of Brick & Mortar Commercial and their two associates have joined the company to lead the growth of Grubb & Ellis’ retail capabilities in San Francisco, Marin County and the San Francisco Peninsula.

 The team includes Kenneth Brownell (top right photo)  and Peter Mikacich (top left photo) , both senior vice presidents, as well as Cameron Baird,(middle right photo)  vice president, and Shaun Bloomquist (middle left photo), senior associate.

Their addition is consistent with Grubb & Ellis’ strategy to substantially upgrade the company’s capabilities throughout the region.

 Since hiring Mark Geisreiter (bottom right photo) as executive vice president, managing director, in February 2009, the company has recruited 28 professionals and added new product lines, including Management Services, Debt & Equity Finance, Hospitality and Project Management.

“Ken, Pete and their team have earned an outstanding reputation by combining their commitment and dedication to clients with their extensive knowledge of the local retail markets.

" Ken and Pete represent the types of senior professionals we are actively recruiting as we expand our presence in the Bay Area; they are great brokers and great individuals,” Geisreiter said.

 “We anticipate considerable growth in our local Retail Group and they will provide the right foundation from which to build.”

Brownell joins the company with more than 35 years of experience.

 Prior to forming Brick & Mortar Commercial in 2007 with Mikacich, he spent 32 years with Blatteis Realty Company in the position of president.

He has devoted his entire career to the retail sector and transactions include Crunch Fitness, Walgreens, Talbots, Wells Fargo Bank, Smart & Final, Sterling Bank & Trust, Baskin Robins, See’s Candies, Goodwill Industries, Puma and Bebe.

 Brownell earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of California, Berkeley. He is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, as well as San Francisco Real Estate Exchange.

Prior to founding Brick & Mortar Commercial, Mikacich spent 13 years with Blatteis Realty Company, where he was one of the company’s top producing professionals nine times.

Baird joined Brick & Mortar in 2007 as senior vice president, where he focused on the real estate needs of bar and restaurant clients.

In the past 18 months, he has represented clients in more than 50,000 square feet of real estate transactions. He began his professional career in the retail industry with Sprint PCS, assisting the company in launching the Spring PCS Wireless Web throughout Arizona. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University

Bloomquist began his career in commercial real estate in 2009. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Santa Clara University.

Contact: Julia McCartney, Phone: 714.975.2230, Email:

37 New Condos Sell Per Month In Sunny Isles Beach In 2nd Quarter

MIAMI, FL--Buyers acquired 111 new condo units in Sunny Isles Beach in the second quarter of 2010, and in the process reduced the unsold developer inventory to 20 percent, according to a new Condo Vultures® White Paper™.

Buyers paid $102.2 million, or $475 per square foot, for 215,100 square feet of livable space in six new towers that have been built since 2003, according to the report based on the Condo Vultures® Official Condo Buyers Guide To Sunny Isles Beach™.

Less than 1,300 new developer units now remain unsold out of nearly 6,350 units developed - or still under construction - in Sunny Isles Beach in the last seven years, according to the report based on Miami-Dade County records.

"At this current pace of about 110 new condo sales per quarter, Sunny Isles Beach's new inventory could all be sold in a year or so even though there is no financing available," said Peter Zalewski,(lower right photo)  a principal with the Bal Harbour, Fla.-based real estate consultancy Condo Vultures® LLC.

 "It goes without saying that Sunny Isles Beach has state-of-the-art condo product with attractive designs and oceanfront locations. That being said, a major reason for Sunny Isles Beach's success is the high prices still being achieved for new condos in South Beach."

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

Orange County, FL Resort Tax Collections in June Higher than Same 2009 Period

 ORLANDO, F -- County Comptroller Martha Haynie (top right photo)  announced today that resort tax collections received by the County for the hotel collection month of June 2010 were $13,355,200. Resort taxes are charged on short-term rentals, mostly hotels and motels.

Comptroller Haynie noted that June 2010 collections were nine percent higher than June

2009. “It’s good to have numbers to smile about,” Haynie stated.
For a complete copy of the news release and monthly statistics, please contact Martha O. Haynie, (407) 836-5690.

$160M acquisition financing for Washington Harbour in Washington, DC arranged by HFF

WASHINGTON, DC. – The Washington, D.C. office of HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) announced today that it has arranged $160 million in financing for Washington Harbour, (top left photo)  a Class A, two-building, mixed-use development on the Potomac River in Washington, D.C.

Working exclusively on behalf of Rockpoint Group and MRP Realty, HFF senior managing directors Bill Asbill (middle left photo) and Bob Donhauser (lower right photo)  and managing director Cary Abod (lower left photo) secured the five-year, fixed-rate loan with MetLife Real Estate Investments.

Washington Harbour is located at 3000 and 3050 K Street NW directly on the Potomac River in the Georgetown submarket of Washington, D.C.

 The property has two towers totaling 532,601 square feet; 456,376 of office space and 76,225 square feet of retail space. Washington Harbour is 86% leased to more than 20 tenants, the largest of which are law firms Foley & Lardner and Kelley Drye & Warren.

On-site amenities include a two-story, 489-space underground parking garage and a fitness center.

Rockpoint Group, L.L.C. is a global real estate investment management firm with offices located in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Rockpoint targets a broad range of real-estate related investments across all asset classes and geographic regions, with particular focus on value creation and distressed/restructuring opportunities.

The firm invests primarily on behalf of public and private pension funds, endowments and financial institutions.


Robert F. Donhauser, HFF Senior Managing Director, (202) 533-2500,
Kristen M. Murphy, HFF Associate Director, Marketing, (713) 852-3500,

HFF closes $8.275M sale of Publix-anchored retail shopping center in Atlanta, GA

ATLANTA, GA – The Atlanta office of HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) announced today that it has closed the sale of Duluth Station, a 94,966-square-foot, Publix-anchored retail shopping center in Atlanta, Georgia.

HFF director Jim Hamilton (middle right photo) led the investment sales team on behalf of the seller, L&B Realty Advisors, LLP. Forge Capital Partners purchased the property for $8.275 million free and clear of debt.

Duluth Station is situated on a 14-acre site at 2750 Buford Highway in Atlanta. The property is 79% leased to tenants including Publix, Great Clips, H&R Block, Kauffman Tire, Kumon Learning, State Farm and Subway.

“The property is situated in one of the most affluent suburban locations in the Atlanta MSA and offers the new owner significant upside opportunity in leasing the remaining vacant suites,” said Hamilton.

L&B Realty Advisors is an employee-owned, SEC-registered real estate investment advisor.

Since 1965, L&B has provided real estate investment management services to institutional investors and high-net-worth individuals. With $3.6 billion under management and over 40 years experience, L&B has a proven track record of successfully acquiring, managing, and disposing real estate on behalf of our clients.

Forge Capital Partners is a diversified, commercial real estate investment and investment management company. The company carries out its business strategy by sponsoring real estate-oriented private equity funds and through an affiliated group of companies, which include: Forge Capital Management, Forge Property Management, Forge Development Group, and Forge Real Estate Services.


Jim R. Hamilton, HFF Director(404) 942-2212
Kristen M. Murphy, HFF Associate Director, Marketing (713) 852-3500

HFF arranges $9.85M financing for Syracuse, NY hotel

NEW YORK, NY – The New York and Dallas offices of HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) announced today that they have arranged $9.85 million in financing for the 279-room Renaissance Hotel (bottom right photo)  in Syracuse, New York.

HFF senior managing director Jay Marshall (lower right photo)  and director Brian Carlton (lower left photo)  worked exclusively on behalf of the borrower, a joint venture between Richfield Hospitality, Inc. and Shelbourne Falcon Investors, to secure the five-year, fixed-rate loan through Lydian Private Bank.

Loan proceeds are being used to acquire the hotel and rebrand it to a Crowne Plaza.

Located at 701 East Genesee Street, the hotel is one half mile north of the Syracuse University Campus adjacent to Interstate 81 in downtown Syracuse.

 The 20-story property will undergo a $5 million renovation that will include updates to guest rooms, public spaces and the exterior of the hotel. Hotel amenities include 12,235 square feet of meeting space, a lounge, fitness center, business center and Redfield’s Restaurant.

Richfield Hospitality, Inc. is a leading hotel management company with a premier track record of maximizing profitability and improving asset values for hotel owners. Richfield and its affiliates offer proven solutions and expertise to approximately 500 hotels and resorts.

 Based in Denver, Richfield is part of City Developments Limited, one of the world's largest real estate, hotel investment and technology conglomerates with a market capitalization exceeding US$6 billion.

Shelbourne Falcon Investors is a joint venture partnership between Shelbourne Capital ( of Radnor, Pennsylvania, and Falcon Investors ( of Harrison, New York.

Shelbourne Falcon Investors specializes in hospitality-sector real estate investments across the United States.


Jay B. Marshall, HFF Senior Managing Director, (212) 245-2425,
Brian G. Carlton, HFF Director, (214) 265-0880,
Kristen M. Murphy, HFF Associate Director, Marketing, (713) 852-3500,

Stirling Commercial Group Negotiates Lease for 7,200 SF of Downtown Orlando Office Space to Solar Company

ORLANDO - Stirling Commercial Group recently negotiated a new five-year lease for 7,200 square feet of office space in the Centennial Bank building (top left photo) at 250 N. Orange Ave. across from St. James Cathedral in downtown Orlando.

Stirling Commercial Group associates John Kurtz and James Mincy negotiated the agreement representing both the landlord, 250 North Orange Ave. LLC and the tenant, Solar Smart, LLC.

Kurtz said Solar Smart, LLC will occupy the entire 10th floor of the building starting in November.

Solar Smart, LLC, an affiliate of Emory Development and Electric Inc. of Maitland, is one of the leading providers of alternative energy devices in the U.S., focusing on solar hot water, solar pool systems, residential wind turbines, and photovoltaic solutions.

For more information, contact:
James A. Mincy or John Kurtz, Sales Associate, Stirling Commercial Group 407-581-5550;
Roger Soderstrom, Owner/Founder Stirling Commercial Group, 407-581-7890;
Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142

Palmer Electric wires tenant space for ITT Tech in Orlando

WINTER PARK, FL, Aug. 2, 2010 — The special projects and low voltage divisions of Palmer Electric Company are providing electrical contracting for the tenant build-out of 18,000-square-feet of space in SouthPark Center, (middle left photo)  a commerce park in Orlando, Fla.

Under its contract with Turner Construction Company, Palmer Electric is providing site and interior building electrical services including lighting, power and fire alarm systems.

The tenant is ITT Technical Institute, a private college system that operates in 37 states.

According to Palmer Electric’s Executive Vice President Van Tilley (top right photo), the nearly $110,000 project will be completed in August of this year.

Orlando, Fla.-based Hunton Brady Architects Inc. is the architect. CHP and Associate Inc. of Maitland, Fla., is providing electrical engineering.

Palmer Electric Company is a provider of electrical contracting, service and energy saving technologies to commercial, institutional and residential customers since its founding in 1951.

The Company employs a staff of 200. Located in Florida, the company is headquartered in Winter Park with residential division offices in Lakeland, St. Cloud and Jacksonville.

 For additional information, visit

Contact: Elaine Ingra, 407 384-1344,

Crossman & Company negotiates renewal lease at Eustis Square in Central Florida

EUSTIS, FL - Crossman & Company, one of the largest third-party retail leasing and management firms in the Southeast, recently negotiated a three-year lease renewal agreement with Ron’s Coins for 400 square feet at 218 West Ardice Ave. in the Eustis Square Shopping Center.

Leasing Associate Daniel Germano (top right photo)  negotiated the transaction representing the landlord Eustis Square One.

For more information,  please contact:
Daniel Germano, Leasing Associate, Crossman & Company, 407-423-5400 or 407-581-6223;
John Crossman, CCIM, President, Crossman & Company, 407-581-6218,;
Molly Delahunty, Crossman & Company, 407-581-6220;
Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142,

Latino Hotel Association Forms Strategic Relationship with Association Mexicana Hoteles y Moteles

HOUSTON, TX/MEXICO CITY, Mexico, Aug/  2, 2010—The Latino Hotel Association (LHA), a newly formed global organization dedicated to expanding Latino ownership, leadership and commerce in the hotel industry, today announced that it had formed a strategic alliance with the Association Mexicana Hoteles y Moteles, Mexico’s primary hotel association.

Under the alliance arrangement, the two groups will work together to increase Latino hotel investment and ownership, concentrating on basic and advanced education programs about hotel franchising, investment and development, as well as networking.

“This is the first step in our plan to bring together the global Latino hotel industry,” said Angela Gonzales-Rowe (top right photo), president and founder of LHA.

“There are nearly 16,000 hotels in Mexico, the vast majority of which have no international brand affiliation. As the hotel industry becomes more global, branding will play an increasingly important role in a property’s success.

"Our initial efforts will be on educational sessions with many of the world’s leading brands, as well as conventions where members of our two organizations can network and increase Latino investment in hotels.”

“In today’s business climate, quality and awareness are leading factors for success,” said Armando De la Garza, (middle left photo) Presidente, Asociacion Mexicana de Hoteles y Moteles en Coahuila.

“With more informed members and awareness of potential partners within our two organizations, we intend to have a long-range impact on the quality and number of hotels in Mexico. One of the most important milestones for our members is, without a doubt, the decision to form a partnership with LHA.”

The two organizations currently are planning their first joint meeting to be held in Mexico this fall. The session will include classes and orientation on franchising, hotel standards, finance and brand support.

Headquartered in suburban Houston, LHA is a worldwide, non-profit association dedicated to increasing Latino participation in the hospitality industry, to include ownership, leadership and commerce. The organization provides education, international and regional conferences and networking opportunities with the leading hotel companies in the world.

Additional information is available at the association’s website,

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

Cortland Partners Acquires, Will Renovate, Metro Atlanta Apartments

ATLANTA, GA (Aug. 2, 2010) – Cortland Partners, an Atlanta-based multifamily real estate firm, has purchased and will renovate Northchase Apartments (top left photo)  in Metro Atlanta. The community is located in Dunwoody just outside I-285 on Peachtree Industrial Blvd.

The cost of the acquisition, including the planned renovation, is $15.2 million.

The 519-apartment community includes one-, two- and three bedroom residences averaging approximately 1,300 square feet. Amenities include two pools, a community center, clubhouse and playground. Three-quarters of the units are townhomes and more than a third have three bedrooms.

“This unit configuration is an attribute we look for in this target market,” said Cortland Partners president Steven DeFrancis.

 “Northchase offers a great product that can provide a great home for people – especially families – who want value and a convenient close-in location. The 42-acre parcel also presents great potential for redevelopment down the road.”

The firm purchased the property from a special servicer, which owned it after it was foreclosed upon last year.

Even though occupancy was around 70%, Cortland Partner’s leadership recognized that the apartments showed great potential, and that occupancy could rise considerably once the renovation is complete.

The renovation, which is expected to last approximately six months, will include significant upgrades and repairs to the exteriors and amenities.

“Distressed assets provide a great opportunity for experienced apartment owners to create value in an otherwise down market,” DeFrancis added. “In a few years I expect we will look back at this time as having been the best market to purchase assets.”

The deal closed Monday, July 12. Mutual of Omaha Bank provided capital in conjunction with Grandbridge Real Estate Capital.

Northchase is located at 6750 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Atlanta, Georgia 30360. Close to public transportation, it has immediate access to I-285. It is also close to I-85, I-75 and 400 and is seven miles from Buckhead.

Cortland Partners is also developing West M Apartments (middle left rendering) – a new luxury multifamily community in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The $25 million first phase of the 23-acre gated community includes 222 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments.

Cortland Partners is an innovative, progressive, full service multifamily real estate development firm specializing in unique, financially successful intown developments. Cortland views opportunities from a different perspective, and takes an investment-management approach to its projects.

This helps the firm build thoughtful and interesting homes in unique locations that are site-specific, culturally relevant to their neighborhoods, profitable for investors and partners, and perfectly suited to residents.

For more information, visit

Contact: Terri Thornton, 404-687-8760, 404-932-4347 (Cell),

RECI Sees More Moderate Recovery Than Epected

CHICAGO, IL,, Aug.  2, 2010 - Mid-year key economic indicators point to a more moderate recovery than expected, according to the latest Scoreboard from The Real Estate Capital Institute in Chicago.

During July, benchmark treasuries moved within a quarter point range and settled lower by about 20 basis points for five-year notes, while 10-year notes moved down less than
10 basis points, respectively.

 Mortgage spreads continued to barely tighten, netting slightly lower overall rates.

Throughout the first half of the year, lenders have been scouring the realty markets in search of performing projects with stabilized cash flow. Yet limited opportunities may be found. Simultaneously, scant funding options are available for projects without cash flow performance. Few capital sources reach for deals on longer-term cash flow projects, unless substantial equity exists.

With mortgage rates starting in the mid-4% range for longer term debt of seven years or greater, borrowers are migrating from floating-rate to fixed-rate debt. As rates are at historical lows, focus on loan terms - other than pricing - include the following:

* Loan-to-value sizing dominates underwriting funding limits, as debt service coverage ratios are relatively high due to low rates

* Subordination and non-disturbance agreements are more important to lenders as various players in the capital stack (e.g., mezzanine and preferred equity) take on new positions in situations where developer equity is reduced or eliminated.

* Real estate tax and insurance collection conditions are more stringent, with lenders seeking tighter control in case of default.

* Property insurance carriers must meet higher standards due to default within the industry.

* Unauthorized transfers are no longer covered by most title policies, adding additional recourse carveouts.

Skip Perry, Real Estate Capital Institute advisory board member notes that "lenders want quality loans, and are willing to sacrifice yield in return for safety of principal." He suggests, "Conservatively underwritten income-property loans are precious commodities capturing premium pricing and terms."

The Real Estate Capital Institute(r) is a volunteer-based research organization that tracks realty rates data for debt and equity yields. The Institute posts daily and historical benchmark rates including treasuries, bank prime and LIBOR. Furthermore, call the Real Estate Capital RateLine at 7RE-CAPITAL (773-227-4825) for hourly rate updates.

Contact: Jeanne Peck, Research Director, Toll Free 800-994-RECI (7324),