Thursday, June 30, 2011

16 South Florida Projects Flirt With $2,000 PSF Condos

MIAMI, FL--As the South Florida real estate market shows signs of stabilizing after years of decline, more than 15 luxury condo projects are flirting with a new pricing threshold: $2,000 per square foot, according to a new report from 

Nearly three dozen condos are currently on the South Florida resale market for more than $2,000 per square foot to go along with an unknown number of new developer units priced at that same level, according to an analysis by the licensed Florida real estate brokerage CVR Realty™.

Bullish sellers of four of the luxury resale units are seeking prices even greater than $3,000 per square foot, according to new report.

 “Sellers always have the option of asking for whatever prices they want without any guarantees that the units will transact,” said Peter Zalewski (lower left photo), a principal with the Bal Harbour, Fla.-based real estate consultancy Condo Vultures® LLC.

“Interestingly enough, the frequency of condo transactions at prices greater than $2,000 per square foot has been on the rise since 2009.

“Foreign buyers with strong currencies and preconstruction contract holders who are opting to purchase condos rather than lose their sizable deposits are clearly a factor in the increased number of transactions above the $2,000-per-square-foot high-water mark.”

 Buyers have acquired at least five new or resale condo units in the first half of 2011 above the $2,000-per-square-foot level, putting the current market on pace to match the 10 transactions recorded at more than $2,000 per square foot in 2010, according to an analysis based on data from the Condo Vultures® Official Condo Buyers Guide™ series and the Florida Realtors association.
Peter Zalewski of Condo Vultures® can be reached at 800-750-0517 or by email at

Scott Crossman of Crossman & Co. to participate in NAIOP Developing Leaders Mentor Program on Retail Property Development

ORLANDO, FL --- Crossman & Company, one of the largest retail leasing, management and development firms in the Southeast, will participate in the NAIOP Developing Leaders Mentor Program – a three-part educational series focused on the development process of retail, office and industrial properties.

Scott E. Crossman (top right photo), CCIM, chief executive officer at Crossman & Company, will lead Retail Development of the NAIOP Developing Leaders Mentor Program on July 26.

 Other speakers include Jeff McFadden (middle left photo) of Taurus Investment Holdings leading the Office Development and Doug Irmscher (lower right photo) of Duke Realty leading the Industrial Development segment of the Mentor Program.

 The NAIOP Developing Leaders Mentor Program is open to eight NAIOP developing leaders who will participate in the three-month program, which allows them the opportunity to meet selected developers, tour one of their developments, and ask questions in a small group setting.

Cost of the three-month program is $75 for NAIOP members, Crossman said, and only eight developing leaders will be admitted. To apply for admission to the Developing Leaders Mentor Program, email Nathan Eissler at

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

Berger Commercial Realty Corp. Broker Reese Stigliano Closes $6.76 Million Sale

 FORT LAUDERDALE, FL. – Berger Commercial Realty Corp., a full service commercial real estate firm based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and serving clients around the state, announced broker Reese Stigliano (top right photo), SIOR, recently closed a $6.76 million sale for BF Accona, LLC, an affiliate of BankFirst of South Dakota.

 Stigliano represented the bank in the sale of a 21.49-acre, multifamily parcel, located at 715 Hank Aaron Drive in West Palm Beach, to Aaron Drive Holdings, a West Palm Beach-based company managed by developer and former Florida U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Greene.

 BankFirst of South Dakota took the title to the land in August 2009 after winning a $44.8 million foreclosure judgment against Hallandale Beach-based developer SWP Palm Beach. The property had been approved for 620 condominiums, 57 townhouses and 20,000 square feet of retail space, but construction on the project never began.

Aaron Drive Holdings paid cash, allowing the company to close in less than a month. Development plans and a timetable for construction are unknown.

 “Oftentimes buyers won’t close on undeveloped land until site plan approval is in place,” Stigliano said. “However, this property had extended entitlements, which was one of the main reasons they bought it. At the price they paid, they can either sit and land bank it or decide to build something economically feasible."

 At Berger Commercial Realty Corp., Stigliano's primary areas of focus are land sales, investment sales and office leasing. He was assisted in this deal by Berger Commercial Realty Corp. Project Manager Gordon Lunt, who's primary focus at the firm is land development management.

For more information, visit

Marielle Sologuren
Pierson Grant Public Relations
6301 Northwest 5th Way, Suite 2600
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
Phone: (954) 776-1999, ext. 226
Fax: (954) 776-0290

Celebration Golf Management names Chris Brown Golf Instructor at Eagle Creek Golf Club in Southeast Orlando

 ORLANDO, FL– Celebration Golf Management LLC, which operates six golf courses in Central Florida, has appointed Chris Brown (lower right photo) golf instructor at Eagle Creek Golf Club (top left photo)  located on Narcoossee Road in Southeast Orlando.

Gene Garrote, president and principal of Celebration Golf Management, said Brown, who has more than 10 years of experience in the golf industry, is a graduate of Boston Architectural Center in Boston, and the San Diego Golf Academy.

Brown was an instructor for Mike Bender Golf Academy for more than three years, formerly director of instruction at Dubsdread Golf Course and most recently was the director of instruction at Kissimmee Oaks Golf Club.

“Chris Brown is a highly knowledgeable and personable young golf instructor who ranks as one of the best in Central Florida,” Garrote explained. “We are delighted he has joined the Celebration Golf team at Eagle Creek,” Garrote said.

Celebration Golf Management leases and operates Eagle Creek Golf Club.

For media information, contact:
Gene Garrote, President, Celebration Golf Management, LLC 407-566-1045
Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142

Marcus & Millichap facilitates sale of Midway Gardens in Largo, FL for $840,000

LARGO, FL, June 30, 2011 – Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, has announced the sale of Midway Gardens (top left photo), a 33-unit apartment property located in Largo, Fla, according to Bryn D. Merrey, Regional Manager of the firm’s Tampa office.

The property commanded a sales price of $840,000 which represents $25,454 per unit.

Associate Vice President Investments, Michael P. Regan (middle right photo), Senior Associate, Francesco P. Carriera (lower left photo), and Multifamily Specialist, Nicholas Meoli in Marcus & Millichap’s Tampa office, had the exclusive listing to market the property on behalf of the seller, a private investor from Palm Harbor, Fla.

 The listing agents also secured the buyer of the property, a limited liability company from St. Petersburg, Fla.                                                                      
 Midway Gardens was constructed in 1971 and is located at 55 Jasper Street East.  Its amenity package includes:  a pool, laundry facility with four washers and four dryers.  Several security cameras are also located throughout the property. 

“This was a short sale and a good example of the loss of value that occurs with distressed properties. We first marketed the property twelve months ago and received 16 offers, the highest of which was $950,000.

“ Unfortunately the loan was sold at the last minute as part of an $80 million portfolio of loans and we were asked by the new lender to remarket the property.

“We received six offers and sold the property for $840,000 which equates to a 13 percent loss in value due to increasing deferred maintenance and vacancy” says Carriera.

 Press Contact: Bryn D. Merrey, Regional Manager, Tampa, (813) 387-4700

HFF closes sale of two San Diego area select service hotels

SAN DIEGO, CA – HFF announced today that it has closed the sale of the Holiday Inn Express Mission Bay (top left photo), a four-story, 87-room hotel in San Diego’s Mission Bay area, and the Comfort Inn National City (middle right photo), a 91-room hotel in the National City area of San Diego.

HFF marketed both properties on behalf of  C-III Asset Management, LLC, the special servicer for the selling trusts.  Local hotel owner, RNM Hospitality, purchased the Holiday Inn Express Mission Bay.  Excel Hotel Group was the buyer for the Comfort Inn National City.

The Holiday Inn Express Mission Bay is located at 4610 De Soto Street adjacent to Interstate 5 and close to Sea World, Mission Bay and Pacific Beach. 

Renovated in 2010, the property offers guests an outdoor pool, outdoor hot tub, business center, fitness room and laundry facility.  Parking is available in a two-story, 78-space garage.

The Comfort Inn National City was renovated in 1997 and features an outdoor heated pool with hot tub and 800 square feet of meeting space.  The select service hotel is located at 1645 East Plaza Boulevard close to the U.S. Naval Station, downtown San Diego and the San Diego Bayfront and Marina in the southeastern area of the city.

 The HFF team representing C-III Asset Management, LLC was led by managing director Holden Lim (lower left photo) and director Zack Holderman.

C-III Asset Management LLC, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of C-III Capital Partners, is a highly rated Primary and Special Servicer of commercial real estate mortgages for CMBS trusts, institutional lenders and other investors. 

C-III Asset Management is the Primary Servicer for approximately $20 billion of performing commercial mortgages and the named Special Servicer for loans in 90 CMBS trusts having an aggregate principal balance of over $118 billion.

Holden Lim, Ca. Lic. # 01328565, HFF Managing Director, (415) 276-6300,
Zack Holderman, Ca. Lic. #01434957, HFF Director, (858) 552-7690,
Kristen M. Murphy, HFF Associate Director, Marketing, (713) 852-3500,                     

HFF closes sale of Estates at Tuscany Ridge in Tampa

MIAMI, FL – HFF announced today that it has closed the sale of The Estates at Tuscany Ridge (top left photo), a 450-unit, Class AA multi-housing community in Tampa, Florida.

HFF marketed the property on behalf of the seller, Blue Granite Partners, LLC.  Camden Property Trust purchased The Estates at Tuscany Ridge for an undisclosed amount.  HFF was also involved in the prior sale to Blue Granite Partners, LLC from Fidelity Investments in 2010. 

The Estates at Tuscany Ridge is located on the south side of Tampa’s Crosstown Expressway and immediately west of Interstate 75 at 2302 Visconti Boulevard, less than nine miles from downtown Tampa. 

Completed in 2007, the 95 percent leased property has 23 buildings with one-, two- and three-bedroom units averaging 1,126 square feet each.  Community amenities include a clubhouse, cyber cafĂ©, tennis court, sand volleyball court, swimming pool, media room, children’s playroom, fitness center, barbeque area and two lakes with fountains and jogging paths.

The HFF team representing Blue Granite Partners, LLC included managing director George Vail (middle right photo), director Jaret Turkell (bottom left photo)and real estate analyst Scott Wadler.

Blue Granite Partners, LLC is a privately-held real estate investment and management firm based in Clifton, New Jersey.

Camden Property Trust is one of the largest publicly traded multifamily companies in the United States.  Structured as a real estate investment trust (REIT), the company is engaged in the ownership, development, acquisition, management, and disposition of multifamily residential apartment communities. Camden's workforce totals nearly 1,800 employees, and the company is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

George Vail, HFF Managing Director, (305) 448-1333,
Jaret Turkell, HFF Director, (305) 448-1333,
 Kristen M. Murphy, HFF Associate Director, Marketing, (713) 852-3500,                     

HFF advises Brookfield Office Properties on the $340 million sale of 1400 Smith Street in downtown Houston

HOUSTON, TX – HFF announced today that it acted as an advisor to Brookfield Office Properties for the sale of 1400 Smith Street (top left photo) a 1.3-million-square-foot office tower in downtown Houston.

Brookfield Office Properties sold the property to Chevron, which leases the entire building, for $340 million.

1400 Smith Street, also known as Four Allen Center, is located just east of Interstate 45 in downtown Houston.  Chevron has leased the entire 50-story property since 2006.

The HFF team advising Brookfield Office Properties included senior managing directors Jeff Hollinden and H. Dan Miller.

“The sale of 1400 Smith is yet another example of a user sale, a trend that has been occurring on a fairly regular basis as of late.  Six buildings have sold to users so far this year and a total of eight have sold to users over the past 18 months totaling more than 2.5 million square feet and representing more than $460 million in value,” said Miller.

Jeffrey A. Hollinden, HFF Senior Managing Director, (713) 852-3500,
H. Dan Miller, HFF Senior Managing Director, (713) 852-3500,
Kristen M. Murphy, HFF Associate Director, Marketing, (713) 852-3500,                     

Colliers International Continues Expansion; Adds Pittsburgh/Western Pennsylvania to U.S. Platform-

SEATTLE AND PITTSBURGH,June 30, 2011/PRNewswire/ -- Colliers International has bolstered its U.S. footprint with the addition of Pittsburgh Commercial Real Estate Inc., a leader in the Western Pennsylvania commercial real estate industry. 

"Our U.S. expansion has been strategic, prioritized by identifying partners that will help us deliver the best client experience in the industry," said Dylan Taylor (top right photo), chief executive officer of Colliers International in the U.S. 

"Pittsburgh Commercial is the latest example of how we continue to attract the most culturally-aligned firms and the best professionals the industry has to offer." 

According to Gregg Broujos (lower left photo), Managing Director and Founding Principal of Pittsburgh Commercial, combining with Colliers International was a logical move for a number of reasons.

"We are experiencing tremendous growth at this point in our firm's history and we want to further our growth with our Colliers colleagues," he explained.  "Our clients will continue to rely on our local market expertise while benefiting from the national and international opportunities and resources of Colliers International."

Pittsburgh Commercial offers flexible, customized solutions to meet and exceed client goals, including brokerage, consulting, corporate services, facility and asset management, investment services, project management, valuation services, marketing and market research to individuals, businesses and investors. The firm has 14 brokers plus support staff and currently has almost 10 million square feet of active listings.

Contact:: Russ Colchamiro,, or Richard Mulieri,  , both of The Marino Organization, +1-212-889-0808

Stirling Sotheby’s Christopher Cain has a new retirement strategy —buy a second home or vacation property now

 ORLANDO, FlL— Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty Second Home and Vacation Property Specialist Christopher S. Cain (top right photo) turned his 16-year experience of owning a seaside villa at Kiawah Island, S.C. (bottom left photo) into two popular self-help books — Maximize Your Resort Property Investment (1984) and Road Map to Your Vacation Property Dream (1998). 

Now Cain presents a new retirement strategy — investing in resort and vacation homes.

“Don’t just think IRAs, investments and savings,” Cain said. “Add some real estate to your retirement plan. Buy a vacation property at today’s low prices for a lifestyle strategy that will add fun, excitement, status and enjoyment as you wind down your career,” he said.

 Cain said resort properties are great for family vacations, and if you rent your property when you’re not vacationing, it will help pay the mortgage.

 “When you retire in five, 10 or 15 years, your retirement home is waiting for you,” Cain advised. “Simply stop renting it out and move in full time,” he said.

 Cain isn’t alone with his strategy. According to a March 2011 National Association of Realtors survey, Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey 2011, 34 percent of vacation homeowners acquired their resort property to use as a principal residence in the future.

 “Eighty percent of owners said now is a good time to invest in real estate,” said Cain. “Prices and interest rates are at record lows and that won’t continue forever,” he said. 

 Visit to hear more from Cain on his strategy


For more information, please contact:

Christopher S. Cain, International Second Home and Vacation Property Specialist, Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty, 407-719-4912,
Roger Soderstrom, Owner/Founder Stirling Commercial Group, 407-581-7890;
Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142 or 407-461-3780;

Arbor Closes Five Fannie Mae Loans Totaling $24.6M from Midwest to Southwest

Uniondale, NY (June 30, 2011) – Arbor Commercial Funding, LLC (“Arbor”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Arbor Commercial Mortgage, LLC and a national, direct commercial real estate lender, announced today the recent funding of five loans totaling $24,590,500.

 The loans were funded under the Fannie Mae DUS® Loan, Fannie Mae DUS® Small Loan, Fannie Mae DUS® Coterminous Supplemental Loan (2nd Lien) and Fannie Mae DUS® Multifamily Affordable Housing (MAH) Loan product lines from the Midwest to Southwest.

 Pine Meadows Townhomes, Shawnee, KS (top left photo) – This 102-unit complex received $10,900,000 funded under the Fannie Mae DUS® Loan product line. The 10-year refinance loan amortizes on a 30-year schedule.

Greens at Alvamar, Lawrence, KS (top right photo) –This 152-unit complex received $7,312,500 funded under the Fannie Mae DUS® Loan product line. The 10-year refinance loan amortizes on a 30-year schedule.

North Oak Apartments, Irving, TX (middle left photo) – This 132-unit complex received $3,419,000 funded under the Fannie Mae DUS® Multifamily Affordable Housing (MAH) product line. The 10-year acquisition loan amortizes on a 30-year schedule.

Hacienda by the Sea, San Clemente, CA (middle right photo) – This 21-unit complex received $1,959,000 funded under the Fannie Mae Fannie Mae DUS® Small Loan product line. The 10-year refinance loan amortizes on a 30-year schedule.

Carlisle on the Creek, Dallas, TX – This 176-unit complex received $1,000,000 funded under the Fannie Mae DUS® Coterminous Supplemental Loan (2nd Lien) product line. The five-year, nine-month refinance loan amortizes on a 30-year schedule.

 Each of these loans was originated by Anthony Tarter (lower left photo), Director in Arbor’s full-service Plano, TX, office.

 “This group of deals shows Arbor’s increasingly diverse and flexible financing capabilities from a loan product and size perspective as well as a geographic standpoint.

“Wherever our clients’ investments takes them and whatever financing services they need, Arbor prides itself as always being there as not only a top multifamily lender, but a long-term partner,” Tarter said.

 “In the case of these particular refinance deals, our clients took advantage of the continual historically low interest rate environment, which is sure to entice many multifamily owners moving forward.”

Contact:  Christopher Ostrowski,

These loans include: