Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Grubb & Ellis Provides Update on Strategic Process

  SANTA ANA, CA (May 31, 2011) – Grubb & Ellis Company (NYSE: GBE), a leading real estate services and investment firm, today issued the following update regarding the strategic process currently being conducted.

 As previously disclosed, the Board of Directors of Grubb & Ellis initiated a process in the first quarter of 2011 to explore strategic alternatives for the company, with the goals of maximizing value for all stakeholders and strengthening the company’s competitive position.

 This process included hiring JMP Securities to explore the potential sale or merger of the company and engaging FBR Securities to market for sale the company’s wholly owned but separately managed subsidiary, Daymark Realty Advisors. 

 The company received initial indications of interest from numerous strategic and financial buyers after hiring JMP Securities on March 21, and on March 30 it announced the signing of a loan agreement with Colony Capital LLC, which included a 60-day exclusivity period for Colony to explore a larger strategic transaction. 

As of May 29, Colony’s exclusivity period ended, which allows Grubb & Ellis to actively engage in discussions with additional parties, while continuing discussions with Colony.

 In addition, the company has made significant progress in the Daymark process and expects to complete a transaction with respect to Daymark.  Daymark is a full service property and asset management company and is responsible for the management of the company’s tenant-in-common portfolio, which consists of 30 million square feet of commercial real estate, including 8,700 apartment units and nearly 5,000 investors. 

“We have already made significant progress with both initiatives and now that we have expanded the pool of potential strategic partners the Board and management are intent on bringing the strategic process to conclusion in a manner that creates value for all of our stakeholders,” said Thomas P. D’Arcy (top right photo), president and chief executive officer of Grubb & Ellis.

 “The market reaction to our core real estate services and non-traded REIT business – with its broad platform, talented professionals and deep client and investor base – has been very strong.  At the same time, Daymark has attracted strong interest from a range of potential buyers.”

There can be no assurances that the company will reach an agreement for the sale of Daymark or successfully conclude negotiations with a strategic investor.  The company will continue to provide updates on both initiatives as appropriate

Contact: Janice McDill, Phone: 312.698.6707                                     

Essex Realty Group Brokers Sale of Six-Building Apartment Portfolio

CHICAGO, IL, May 31, 2011.   Essex Realty Group, Inc. is pleased to announce the sale of a portfolio consisting of 6 apartment buildings totaling 249 units located on Chicago’s south and southwest sides.

Neighborhood              Address                                               # of Units

Marquette Park            6656-58 S. Sacramento                                85

Avalon Park                 8054 S. Ingleside                                             45

Avalon Park                 8061 S. Cottage Grove                                    29

Grand Crossing            7600-34 S. Stewart (3 separate bldgs.)        62

Grand Crossing            7121 S. Harvard                                                13

South Chicago             7922 S. Muskegon                                              15

Doug Imber (top right photo) of Essex represented the seller and Matt Welke and Doug Fisher (lower left photo) also of Essex, represented the buyer. The price for the portfolio was approximately $3,300,000.

 Essex Realty Group, Inc. specializes in the sale of investment real estate throughout the Chicago metropolitan area.

Contact: Douglas S. Imber, Essex Realty Group, Inc., 773.305.4902

Morrison Commercial Real Estate Completes Two Lease Transactions Totaling 15,870 SF at Lake Point Business Park in Orlando

ORLANDO, FL (May 31, 2011):  Greg Morrison, CCIM, SIOR, Principal of Morrison Commercial Real Estate, announced the completion of two lease transactions totaling 15,870± square feet. 

Lisa Bailey and Phil Marchese of Morrison Commercial Real Estate represented the Landlord in leasing 5,040± square feet to CCK Construction Services at the Lake Point Business Park (top left photo) on Hazeltine National Drive.  Danny Brown of 828 Realty represented the Tenant in this transaction. 

 Bailey and Marchese also renewed the lease of 11th Hour Business Center at the Lake Point Business Park for a total of 10,830± square feet. 

 Contact: Buffy Gillette, Phone: 407.219.3500

Friday, May 27, 2011

Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty Reports Strong Traffic at Johns Lake Point, Three Homes under Contract Already

ORLANDO, FL--- Barely one month after Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty was named exclusive sales and marketing agents at Johns Lake Point on Avalon Road in Winter Garden, three of nine ready-to-move-in homes are under contract.

“Home buyer visits to the sales center have been greater than we anticipated,” said Roger Soderstrom, founder and owner of Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty.

Jennifer Gonzalez and Luis Gonzalez are representing the Johns Lake Point developer Misty Ridge Ventures in sales of new homes at Johns Lake Point priced from the $160s to the mid $400s.

Altogether, 323 new homes are planned at Johns Lake Point in three distinct villages with 50-, 75- and 85-foot home sites. 

 Soderstrom said construction is planned to start this summer on a 4,000 square foot amenity center with fitness facilities, a junior Olympic-sized pool, tennis courts and children’s play area.

New three to six-bedroom homes at Johns Lake Point range in size from 1,600 square feet of living space to 3,800 square feet.

Some of the homes, according to Soderstrom, offer nature preserve and pond frontages.

For more information, contact

Jennifer Gonzalez, Sales Executive, The Gonzalez Team, Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty 407-333-1900, 321-377-3325 or thegonzalezteam@stirlingsir.com
 Roger Soderstrom, Founder/Owner Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty 407-581-7890; rsoderstrom@stirlingSIR.com
Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications 407-644-4142   Lvershelco@aol.com

Emerson International Reports Sales of 13 New Homes in April at Eagle Creek Golf Community in South Orlando

ORLANDO, FL - Emerson International, the Altamonte Springs based developer of Eagle Creek Golf Club off Narcoossee Road near Medical City in southeast Orlando, reported it closed on sales of 13 new homes at Eagle Creek in April.

“That’s the most sales in a single month we have seen this year,” said Eric Emerson (bottom right photo), vice president and general manager of Emerson International.

Emerson said new homes at Eagle Creek range in price from the low $200s to more than $900,000.

Emerson added that April closings totaled more than $5 million.

Eagle Creek Golf Club features a championship 18-hole golf course, a New England Manor Clubhouse and distinct neighborhoods that offer golf, lake or forest views with luxury single-family homes, golf villas, and town homes.

Eagle Creek Golf Club is owned by Emerson International, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Emerson Group, the global corporation that is one of the largest privately-owned property development companies in the U.K. 

For more information, contact:
Eric J. Emerson, Vice President and General Manager Emerson International, Inc. 407-834-9560; ejemerson@emerson-us.com
Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142 lvershelco@aol.com

Jones Lang LaSalle Announces Merger With King Sturge

 LONDON, May 27, 2011/PRNewswire/ --Global commercial real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE: JLL) today announced it will merge with international property consultancy King Sturge.

The combined firm will be the clear leader in the UK and also in continental Europe, with greatly enhanced strength and depth of service capabilities across the region that will directly benefit the clients of both companies.

The transaction is expected to close on 31 May 2011. Under its terms, Jones Lang LaSalle will pay consideration of 197 million pounds Sterling
($319 million) to the partners of King Sturge, with 98 million pounds
Sterling in cash at closing and the balance paid out in cash over five years.

All 43 King Sturge offices and businesses across Europe, including 24 in
the UK, will become part of Jones Lang LaSalle and will operate under the
Jones Lang LaSalle brand. Integration of business lines and teams, and the
full rebranding of all business activities, will begin immediately.

Christian Ulbrich (top right photo), Jones Lang LaSalle Chief Executive Officer for EMEA said: "The obvious strategic and cultural fit between Jones Lang LaSalle and King Sturge makes this a logical and very attractive proposition for both firms. It gives us a scale and depth of expertise that will make our client service delivery capabilities second to none in both the UK and continental Europe."

Richard Batten, (lower left photo) Joint Senior Partner, King Sturge said: "This is a coming together of two great companies who are culturally aligned, with fantastic business synergies, to create the best firm of property advisers in Europe. We truly believe that we will be better together. The ability to operate on a global platform, and the opportunities that this will provide, is great news
for all our staff and clients."

For a complete copy of the company’s news release, please contact:

Madeleine Little, +44 (0)20 7852 4868, +44 (0)7809 596 921, madeleine.little@eu.jll.com;
Mark Roberts, +44 (0)20 7087 5120, +44 (0)7815 940 891, mark.roberts2@kingsturge.com

Lynd Wins Bid to Purchase $80 Million Portfolio of Distressed Student Housing in Florida

 SAN ANTONIO, TX— (May 27, 2011) — Lynd, LLC, has purchased an $80 million portfolio of distressed student housing in Tallahassee, Florida from LNR Property LLC, a diversified real estate investment, financing and management company based in South Florida.

The portfolio is comprised of seven distressed notes and two bank owned properties. LNR chose Lynd’s bid over several other real estate investors who made offers. The company closed on the property just eight days after going to contract. The purchase price was not disclosed.

 “I think LNR recognized that we are an attractive buyer,” said A. David Lynd (top right photo), Lynd’s chief operating officer. “Our 30 year track record as a successful owner- operator and our ability to write a check on the spot gives us a big edge against competing investors.  We are flush with plenty of equity and actively seeking to talk with anyone looking to divest of their troubled assets.”

 Over the past two months, Lynd has acquired $161 million in distressed assets including a major bulk purchase of $62 million worth of notes on 14 commercial properties back in February.

The Tallahassee portfolio includes nine student apartment buildings totaling 1.756 million square feet, 1,785 units and 4, 255 beds. Two thirds of product was built between 1999 and 2004.  All of the buildings are located very close to the Florida State University campus as well as several other colleges in the area. Tallahassee is home to nearly 65,000 college students.

 Lynd has already begun tenant improvements on the two REO properties it has taken title to. It will take title on the remaining properties as each is disposed of in the court system. The company is actively seeking a regional manager to manage the portfolio.  

 The properties were listed and marketed by Holliday Fenoglio Fowler’s New York office. Joe Morningstar (bottom right photo) was the listing broker.

 With this purchase, Lynd has increased its national multi-family unit count to 36,000. It now manages 2,000 units in three Florida markets including Miami, Tampa and Tallahassee.

 For more information log on to www.thelyndco.com
Media Contact: Todd Templin, Boardroom Communications
954-370-8999 or 954-290-0810,  ttemplin@boardroompr.com
Lynd Contact: A. David Lynd, President, 210-364-3964

McClatchy Announces Sale of Miami Real Estate

SACRAMENTO, CA, May 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI) announced today that it has sold 14.0 acres of Miami land, including the building housing its subsidiary, The Miami Herald Media Company and an adjacent parking lot, for a purchase price of $236 million to Bayfront 2011 Property LLC, a subsidiary of Genting Malaysia Berhad (Genting). The transaction closed today.

The Miami Herald Media Company is the publisher of The Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald, related websites and other media businesses.Genting and its affiliates are leading developers and operators of destination resorts around the world, including the United States, Malaysia, Manila, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

The Miami Herald Media Company will continue to operate from its existing location for up to two years rent free while McClatchy pursues other sites for its media operations. Approximately 9.4 acres of the land was previously under contract to be sold, but that agreement expired in January 2011.

Gary Pruitt, (middle right photo) McClatchy's chairman and chief executive, said, "We are pleased to complete this transaction. The Genting team has been great to work with and has been true to its word throughout our negotiations.

"This property, located on Biscayne Bay, has been home to The Miami Herald for many years. While locating newspaper operations on the bay may have made sense in the past, it no longer is the best fit.

"Importantly, the sale of this real estate has no impact on the mission of The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald," Pruitt said.

"The Miami Herald is the premier provider of news and information in South Florida, winning 20 Pulitzer Prizes and numerous other awards over a long and distinguished history of community service.

 El Nuevo Herald is among the finest Spanish language newspapers in the United States and is dedicated to serving the Hispanic community in South Florida and surrounding areas.

For a complete copy of the company’s news release, please contact:
Elaine Lintecum, Investor Relations, 916-321-1846, elintecum@mcclatchy.com

COLUMBUS, OH – Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, has named Adam Schlosser (top right photo) as sales manager of the Columbus office, according to Michael L. Glass (lower left photo), regional manager of the office.

 “Adam has extensive experience in commercial real estate as an investment specialist,” says Glass. “He will be an asset to our brokerage team, and instrumental in expanding our national market-making capabilities to clients throughout the Midwest.”

Schlosser began his career with Marcus & Millichap in October 2005 as a sales intern. He became an agent in November 2006, was promoted to associate in 2008 and to senior associate in 2009.

Prior to joining Marcus & Millichap, Schlosser was on active duty in the Army National Guard. He graduated from Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in consumer affairs.

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

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cassidy Turley Announces Commitment to Acquire Carter’s Brokerage and Property Management Group

 Cassidy Turley to Gain Position in Atlanta—Key Market for Growth Strategy

 ST. LOUIS, MO, May 26, 2011 – Cassidy Turley, a leading commercial real estate services provider in the U.S., announced today its commitment to acquire the brokerage and property management businesses of Carter, a national leader in project development, commercial real estate services and investments.

  Based in Atlanta, Carter maintains full-service offices in Atlanta and Tampa and various offices throughout the U.S.

“Cassidy Turley is delighted to announce our commitment to acquire the brokerage and property management businesses from Carter,” said Mark Burkhart (top left photo), Cassidy Turley CEO.

“Carter’s thoughtful and client-driven approach is consistent with ours and will provide our clients across the country access to the best advice from an industry leading team in this region.  The addition of Carter will allow us to offer our full spectrum of services in two significant markets—Atlanta and Central Florida.”

An industry leader for over 50 years, Carter was founded in 1958 in Atlanta as a brokerage and property management firm and evolved into a full service real estate company – offering corporate services, property management, investment sales and project management for clients across the nation.

 Once the acquisition is completed, Carter’s Brokerage Services and Property and Facility Management groups will operate as Cassidy Turley.

 Carter has completed transactions valued at $4.6 billion in Atlanta and Tampa alone in the past five years and manages 25 million square feet in 11 states on behalf of private, institutional and corporate clients as well as for its real estate funds.

Going forward, Carter will focus on continuing to grow its remaining and successful Development, Project Management, Investments, Asset Management and Strategic Consulting groups. Continuing to operate these business units as “Carter,” the company will be focused on delivering value as an investor, developer, project manager, consultant, and asset manager for its clients.

Carter’s Asset Management division manages more than $2.5 billion of third-party and Carter-owned assets, while its Program Development Services division currently oversees projects across the country and is consistently ranked as one of the top 5 commercial real estate development firms in the nation.

“We are excited about moving forward in the process to join Cassidy Turley.  This move will allow us to grow and strengthen our service business by leveraging Cassidy Turley’s leading capital markets, leasing, property management and corporate services platforms,” said Bob Peterson (top right photo), Chairman and CEO of Carter. 

“With Cassidy Turley’s national platform and service approach, we can better serve our clients with multi-market needs.  In addition, Cassidy Turley’s scale and reputation for workplace satisfaction will enable us to offer our professionals additional growth opportunities and a culture that complements Carter’s.”

 “This acquisition will allow reciprocal sharing of best practices between the two firms. We welcome Carter’s key leaders, including Bob Peterson, Chairman and CEO, Scott Taylor (middle right photo), President, Holly Hughes (middle left photo), Executive Vice President and Mike Shelly (lower right photo), Executive Vice President, to our team.

“We see joining forces as a win-win for Carter, Cassidy Turley, and most importantly, our clients,” added Mr. Burkhart.

  Please visit www.cassidyturley.com   for more information about Cassidy Turley.

 For additional information on Carter, please visit http://www.carterusa.com
Media contact: Tony Wilbert,  twilbert@wilbertnewsstrategies.com

Cushman & Wakefield negotiates $28,175,000 sale of Collier Commons Shopping Center in Land O’Lakes, FL to Publix

ORLANDO, FL--The Capital Markets Group of Cushman & Wakefield of Florida, Inc. (C&W) announced the sale of Collier Commons Shopping Center (top left photo), located at the intersection of State Road 54 and Collier Parkway in Land O’ Lakes, Florida.

 The 187,132 square foot grocery and department store-anchored community shopping center was bought by Lakeland-based Publix Supermarkets in a $28 million deal which closed on May 25.

 C&W Senior Directors Karl Johnston (middle right photo) and Patrick Berman (lower left photo) represented the seller, Collier Commons of Pasco LLC and Publix was self-represented.

 "Collier Commons is one of the premier Class A Publix-anchored shopping centers in the Tampa area," said Johnston, Senior Director with the Jacksonville office of C&W. "With its strong tenant mix and location, the center received a large amount of investor interest, along with Publix,” said Johnston.

 "There will always be good investor demand for solid, grocery-anchored community shopping centers, as they are viewed as recession proof because they cater to the everyday needs of consumers," said Johnston.
"Collier Commons has been a strong performing center and will continue to be for the foreseeable future given its strong anchor tenancy, sales volume, limited competition, and premier location.”  

 Originally developed in 2003 & 2005, Collier Commons was 100% leased at the time of sale.  Anchored by a 60,667 square foot Publix, and a 66,355 square foot Belk, Collier Commons features a high-quality roster of shop tenants including Walgreens, Chili’s and Verizon.

Contact: Brook Hines, Tel: 407-541-4401

Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty Named Exclusive Sales and Marketing Agent for Unique Sweetwater Club Luxury Estate

ORLANDO, FL--Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty was recently named exclusive sales and marketing representatives for a unique luxury estate at
106 Squire Hill Rd.
in the Sweetwater Club in Longwood.
Roger Soderstrom, founder and owner of Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty, said the prestigious 8,500 square foot estate home is one of the most desirable properties in Florida.
“Sweetwater Club was originally developed by Everette Huskey and still ranks as one of the most unique, beautiful and exclusive neighborhoods in Florida,” Soderstrom said.
“Sweetwater Club will never be duplicated, as zoning and land use laws have since changed. This property offers a lifestyle that is one of the last of its kind anywhere,” Soderstrom said.
International Luxury Home Specialists Sally Andy (top right photo) and David Warren (middle left photo) of Stirling Sotheby’s Heathrow Gallery are representing the property which is listed at $1,299,000 with its 4.5 acre park-like homesite.
The recently renovated home, with eight bedrooms, seven full baths and two half-baths, features an island gourmet kitchen with all new custom cabinetry and granite counters.
Outside, the estate features a resort style outdoor living area with tropical pool, waterfalls, stone grotto, koi pond and oversized heated spa. The home also features a seven car garage.

For more information, contact
Sally Andy or David Warren, Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty 407-687-7295 or 407-928-3760; sally@sallyandy.com or david@sallyandy.com;
Roger Soderstrom, Founder/Owner Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty 407-581-7890; rsoderstrom@stirlingSIR.com;
Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications 407-644-4142   Lvershelco@aol.com.  

PCCP Partners With Principal Real Estate Investors to Acquire Class A Office Building in Seattle

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, May 26, 2011 - PCCP, LLC has announced that it has partnered with Principal Real Estate Investors, the fourth largest institutional real estate manager in the United States, to acquire a 253,769 square foot class A office building located at 705 5th Avenue South in Seattle (top left photo).

The property is located within the Pioneer Square submarket, which is situated just south of the Seattle CBD, and is 98 percent vacant. The joint venture acquired the property from a private owner in an off market transaction.

Amazon, who occupied the building since it was built in 2001, vacated the building at the end of April of this year as part of a corporate consolidation.

“The most compelling aspect of this acquisition for us was the opportunity to own a “best in class” building in the south Seattle CBD submarket at a time when leasing in the Seattle area is showing strong momentum.

"We were able to purchase a prime office building in an established location at a substantial discount to replacement cost,” said Bryan Thornton (lower right photo), Partner with PCCP.

 The office building is within the Union Station office complex, a five-building, 1.1 million square foot development consisting of mid-rise office buildings over a central 1,100 stall parking garage and the restored Union Station railroad depot (middle left photo). 

The Union Station project was developed from 1998 to 2002 and enjoys excellent access to I-90, the primary connector between Seattle and the Eastside markets of Bellevue and Redmond, as well as direct access to the Metro Transit bus tunnel connecting Pioneer Square with the Seattle CBD and residential neighborhoods to the north and the Sounder Transit light rail to the south and the airport. 

The property is also immediately adjacent to both Qwest and Safeco fields, home to the Seattle Seahawks and Mariners respectively.

 Morgan Deal, of Principal Real Estate Investors, also observed that the building quality, access to public and private transportation corridors, and surrounding environment will allow the property to compete with the upper echelon of class A buildings throughout the Seattle CBD.

 “There is distinct market momentum for technology related firms to target locations not only in close proximity to downtown Seattle, but the Pioneer Square area in particular due to the architectural character of the area, entertainment and service amenities, and regional transportation access.” 
The allure of the submarket is illustrated by the 300,000 square feet of leases executed by tenants within the last 120 days including Cobalt, Isilon and Zulily; as well as a large amount of companies currently in the market for office space.  Jesse Ottele of CBRE will be the primary listing agent at the property.

Learn more about PCCP at www.pccpllc.com

Media Contact: Darcie Giacchetto, Spaulding Thompson & Associates, Inc. (949) 278-6224

Post Properties Announces Quarterly Dividends and Annual Shareholders Meeting Results

ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Post Properties, Inc. (NYSE: PPS), an Atlanta-based real estate investment trust, today announced quarterly dividends on its common stock of $0.20 per share for the second quarter of 2011. The dividend is payable on July 15, 2011 to all common shareholders of record as of June 30, 2011.

Post also announced regular quarterly dividends for its 8.5 percent Series A Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock of $1.0625 per share for the second quarter of 2011. The dividend is payable on June 30, 2011 to all Series A preferred shareholders of record as of June 15, 2011.

Shareholders elected the Board’s nine nominees, voted to approve, on an advisory basis, executive compensation, voted for a one year frequency, on an advisory basis, on the future advisory vote on executive compensation, and ratified the appointment of Deloitte & Touche LLP as the Company’s independent registered public accountants for 2011.

On May 25, 2011, following the Annual Meeting of Shareholders, the Board of Directors determined that future advisory votes on executive compensation will be held on an annual basis.

Contact: Post Properties, Inc., Chris Papa, 404-846-5000

Arbor Closes Three Fannie Mae Loans Totaling $31.4M From TX To CA

Uniondale, NY (May 26, 2011) - Arbor Commercial Funding, LLC (“Arbor”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Arbor Commercial Mortgage, LLC and a national, direct commercial real estate lender, announced the recent funding of three loans totaling $31,400,000 under the Fannie Mae DUS® Loan and Fannie Mae DUS® Small Loan product lines from Texas to California:

 Greenhaven Apartments, Union City, CA (top left photo) – The 250-unit complex received $26,300,000 funded under the Fannie Mae DUS® Loan product line. The 10-year acquisition loan amortizes on a 30-year schedule. The 28-year-old San Francisco Bay-area property is and has historically been a greater-than-95-percent-occupied asset. Furthermore, there have not been any significant housing developments in the surrounding area recently.

Lions Gate Apartments, Fresno, CA (middle right photo) – The 48-unit complex received $2,000,000 funded under the Fannie Mae DUS® Small Loan product line. The 10-year refinance loan amortizes on a 30-year schedule.

Coronado North Apartments, Denton, TX (lower left photo) – The 144-unit complex received $3,100,000 funded under the Fannie Mae DUS® Loan product line. The 10-year refinance loan amortizes on a 30-year schedule.

All of the loans were originated by Jay Porterfield, Vice President, in Arbor’s full-service Plano, TX, lending office.

“The large Greenhaven Apartments acquisition deal involved an experienced and professional California-based borrower that is very familiar with the property and surrounding market.

“Arbor provided a competitive interest rate for the deal and underwrote and closed the loan in an expeditious manner,” Porterfield said.

 “The sponsors involved in the Lions Gate and Coronado North Apartments transactions both opted for lower-leverage refinancings. Lions Gate is consistently highly occupied and Coronado North is managed and maintained exceedingly well.”

Contact:  Christopher Ostrowski, costrowski@arbor.com

US Retailers Poised for Expansion, ICSC Convention Attendees Told

SEATTLE, WA May 26, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Backed by an improving economy, a recent surge in jobs and ten consecutive months of rising retail sales, a broad range of retailers are poised to fill up empty retail spaces over the next 12 to 18 months, according to Colliers International.

Continuing the momentum from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) annual convention in Las Vegas, retailers are actively discussing new store openings--including construction of new stores in select markets. In particular, luxury retail, restaurants and value and discount retailers--including discount apparel and dollar stores--are the sectors most likely to expand.

Colliers International also suggests that if a perfect storm materializes this year--declining gas prices, stabilizing home prices and improving employment figures--the retail market could generate as much as a 4.5 percent increase in consumer sales for the 2011 winter holiday season, a rate that would signal a considerable return to market health.

Further, Colliers International contends that while the retail recovery will likely be uneven across sectors and regions, an increasing number of retail real estate owners, operators and investors are returning to a more fundamentals-based approach, again basing financial decisions and expansion plans on the strength of the retail operations' core underlying business.

 "Retailers across the country came to ICSC excited to do business," said Mark Keschl, National Director of Retail for Colliers International. "Some sectors are stronger than others and we probably won't see growth universally, but for the first time in several years retailers unveiled expansion plans through a combination of leasing space and new construction."

National retail vacancy now stands at roughly 11 percent, essentially flat on a year-over- year basis. And despite some improving leasing activity over the past several months, total absorption has remained under 2 million square feet nationally, as several big box retailers have put more than 65 million square feet of space back on the market. But with several improving sectors and densely populated urban markets rebounding more quickly, the retail market is loaded with potential.

"The national retail market is poised for a return to sound fundamentals and good credit retailers," added Ross Moore (top right photo), Chief Economist in the U.S. for Colliers International. "There is polarization in the sector, with the high-end market on one end and discount retailers on the other. Overall, mid-range retailers have yet to see the impact of an improving economy, but there is more strength in the retail market than is being reported."

 Colliers International also notes that:

  • The strongest retail markets are predominantly in gateway cities--New
  • York (middle right photo), Boston, Washington, DC (lower left photo) and West Los Angeles--while Dallas and Houston also boast vibrant retail sectors.
  • Polarization is also occurring within the shopping center segment, where
  • high-quality, well-located retail assets are reporting consistent leasing activity, while poorly located, marginal centers continue to struggle.
  • Rents in high-end retail corridors appear to have stabilized and in many
  • cases are beginning to rise, with New York City's Fifth Avenue and
  • Madison Avenue, Chicago's Michigan Avenue and San Francisco's Union Square leading the way.

Contact: Richard Mulieri or Russ Colchamiro of The Marino Organization, +1-212-889-0808, Richard@themarino.org, or  Russ@themarino.org

Foreclosure Homes Account for 28% of all Q1 2011 Residential Salels, RealtyTrac Reports

 IRVINE, CA, May 26, 2011 — RealtyTrac® (www.realtytrac.com), the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its Q1 2011 U.S. Foreclosure Sales Report™, which shows that sales of bank-owned homes and those in some stage of foreclosure accounted for 28 percent of all U.S. residential sales in the first quarter of 2011, up slightly from 27 percent of all sales in the fourth quarter of 2010 and the highest percentage of sales since the first quarter of 2010, when 29 percent of all sales were foreclosure sales.

The average sales price of properties in some stage of foreclosure — default, scheduled for auction or bank-owned (REO) — was $168,321, down 1.89 percent from the fourth quarter of 2010 and down 1.46 percent from the first quarter of 2010.

The average sales price of foreclosure properties was nearly 27 percent below the average sales price of properties not in foreclosure, unchanged from the 27 percent foreclosure discount in the fourth quarter and up slightly from the 26 percent foreclosure discount in the first quarter of 2010.

Third parties purchased a total of 158,434 U.S. bank-owned homes and those in some stage of foreclosure during the first quarter, a decrease of 16 percent from a revised fourth quarter total and down 36 percent from a revised Q1 2010 total. Bank-owned properties that sold in the first quarter had been repossessed by the bank an average of 176 days prior to the sale, while properties that sold in the earlier stages of foreclosure in the first quarter were in foreclosure an average of 228 days before selling.

“While foreclosure sales continue to account for an unusually high percentage of all residential home sales, sales volume is well off the peak we saw in the first quarter of 2009, when nearly 350,000 foreclosure properties sold to third parties,” said James J. Saccacio (top right photo), chief executive officer of RealtyTrac.

“While this is probably helping to keep home prices relatively stable, it is also delaying the housing recovery. At the first quarter foreclosure sales pace, it would take exactly three years to clear the current inventory of 1.9 million properties already on the banks’ books, or in foreclosure.”

For a complete copy of the news release and report, please contact:
Michelle Sabolich, Atomic Public Relations, 415.593.1400, ext. 1233