Tuesday, July 5, 2011

HFF closes $30.55 million sale of Coral Gables, Florida mixed-use development site

MIAMI, FL – HFF announced today that it has closed the sale of the former Old Spanish Village (top left photo) development site in Coral Gables, Florida.

HFF marketed the development site on behalf of the seller, FirstBank Puerto Rico.  Agave Holdings, LLC purchased the property for $30.55 million.  Legal representation for the buyer and seller consisted of Bilzin Sumberg and Holland & Knight, respectively.

Old Spanish Village is a 5.8-acre mixed-use development site that is entitled for nearly 700,000 square feet of residential and retail uses.  The site is located along Ponce de Leon Boulevard adjacent to Ponce Circle Park and within blocks of downtown Coral Gables, the Miracle Mile shopping district (middle right photo) and Merrick Park. 

The HFF sales team representing FirstBank Puerto Rico included executive managing director Manuel de Zárraga, directors Luis Castillo and Jaret Turkell and real estate analyst Scott Wadler.

“Old Spanish Village represents a generational development opportunity in one of Miami’s most affluent and desirable residential and commercial neighborhoods.  This sale highlights Agave Holdings’ exceptional long-term confidence and significant capital commitment within the Coral Gables market,” said Castillo.

FirstBank Puerto Rico, a subsidiary of First BanCorp, is a state-chartered commercial bank with operations in Puerto Rico, The Virgin Islands and Florida.  First BanCorp and FirstBank Puerto Rico all operate within U.S. banking laws and regulations.  It operates a total of 170 branches, stand-alone offices and in-branch service centers throughout Puerto Rico, The U.S. and British Virgin Islands, and Florida.

Agave Holdings, LLC is a privately-owned, commercial real estate firm specializing in the acquisition and development of the most prominent commercial properties around the world.

 Agave Holdings, LLC currently owns and operates 3,000,000 square feet of institutional grade real estate in Mexico and 1,000,000 square feet in the United States.  Old Spanish Village marks the second significant investment for Agave Holdings in Coral Gables.  The company is currently developing 396 Alhambra, a $140 million mixed-use development in the central business district.

Manuel de Zarraga, HFF Executive Managing Director, (305) 448-1333 mdezarraga@hfflp.com
Luis Castillo,HFF Director, (305) 448-1333, lcastillo@hfflp.com
Kristen Murphy, HFF Associate Director, Marketing, (713) 852-3500

Carter Completes Green Building Certification for Downtown Atlanta Office Tower

ATLANTA, GA (July 05, 2011) - Carter is pleased to announce its involvement in helping Georgia Power achieve LEED EB certification for its headquarters located at 241 Ralph McGill Blvd (top left photo). 

Through sustainable strategies in energy and water use, product selection, and building operations, Georgia Power has been awarded LEED Certification. LEED is an internationally recognized building certification system, established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute, promoting sustainable building practices.  LEED is the nation's preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.

This achievement is the result of a collaborative effort between Carter's program development services and property and facilities management teams. Jonathon Barge, Vice President, served as the LEED administrator and the building team led by General Manager Kelly Furr documented the building's sustainable features. Carter has worked on over 30 LEED projects. This effort continues Carter's longstanding relationship with Georgia Power.

"Carter enjoys a great relationship with Georgia Power and we are very proud to help them achieve this prestigious certification." said Barge. "Georgia Power's dedication to sustainable initiatives continues to drive down building operational costs and improve employee health and safety."

LEED certification of 241 Ralph McGill included many green building operations and maintenance programs.  A comprehensive recycling policy diverts 100 percent of electronic waste and nearly 60 percent of total building waste from landfills and includes a composting program for food and landscape waste.  Plumbing fixture upgrades achieve a 10 percent reduction in water use.

 Georgia Power's SmartRide program reduces conventional commuting trips by employees by 17 percent.  Nearly 80 percent of cleaning products and 66 percent of the building's ongoing consumables meet strict sustainable criteria.

The facilities team continues to improve energy performance for the Energy Star rated building through system upgrades and the ongoing solar demonstration project, which promotes solar usage in Georgia.

 The energy produced from the solar arrays offset building energy use and contribute to the building's carbon emissions reduction efforts.

"Because Georgia Power provides services and products to help our customers become more sustainable, including green energy and numerous energy efficiency programs, it only makes sense for us to show our customers we are making our operations, including corporate activities, as sustainable as possible," said Don Swinford, corporate facilities manager.

For additional information on Carter, please visit www.carterusa.com
Laura Dudebout
O: 404.965.5023
C: 678.642.4301

American Realty Capital New York Recovery REIT Acquires Parking Garage in Midtown Manhattan

NEW YORK, NY, July 5, 2011--(BUSINESS WIRE)--American Realty Capital New York Recovery REIT, Inc., (the “Company”) announced today that it has acquired a fee-simple parking garage commercial condominium located on 33 West 56th Street in the Midtown neighborhood of Manhattan, New York, for a purchase price, excluding acquisition costs, of approximately $5.4 million.

The parking garage is located at the base of the newly developed, luxury “Centurion Condominium.” Regal Car Park, LLC, a parking management company specializing in New York City, currently leases 100% of the parking garage under a 25-year lease through July 2034. The acquisition closed on June 30, 2011.

“This recently built parking garage benefits from its prime location on 56th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues,” said Michael Happel (middle right photo), Chief Investment Officer and Executive Vice President for the Company. “Regal Car Park is a quality tenant with significant experience operating New York City parking garages.

"This is the eighth property we’ve acquired in New York City and it complements our existing portfolio of six retail stores in West Greenwich Village and Bensonhurst plus our office/showroom building on the eastside of Midtown Manhattan.”

American Realty Capital New York Recovery REIT, Inc. is a publicly registered, non-traded real estate investment program that has commenced its initial public offering of up to 150 million shares of common stock, at a purchase price of $10 per share, for an aggregate offering amount of up to $1.5 billion.

 The Company intends to use the proceeds from the offering to acquire commercial real estate in New York City. The Company is offering the shares of common stock on a “best efforts” basis through its affiliate, Realty Capital Securities, LLC, the dealer manager of the offering.

DeFazio Communications, LLC
Anthony J. DeFazio, 484-532-7783

American Realty Capital New York Recovery REIT, Inc.
Michael Happel, 212-415-6500

HFF arranges $31 million refinancing for Brooklyn Class A multi-housing community


FLORHAM PARK, NJ – HFF announced today that it has arranged a $31 million refinancing for LCOR’s 34 Berry project (top left photo), a newly-constructed, 142-unit, Class A multi-housing community in Brooklyn, New York.

HFF worked exclusively on behalf of the borrower to secure the 10-year, fixed-rate loan through Northwestern Mutual.  Loan proceeds are paying off an existing construction loan.

34 Berry is situated on the southwest corner of Berry and North 12th Streets in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood, close to McCarren Park, the East River, Brooklyn Brewery and Brooklyn Bowl as well as the L line of the subway, which is only one stop from Manhattan. 

Completed in 2010, the seven-story property has studio, one- and two-bedroom units ranging from 463 to 1,168 square feet.  Community amenities include 24-hour concierge service, a fitness center and top floor lounge with a catering kitchen and billiards table.  34 Berry is fully leased.

The HFF team representing LCOR included managing director Jim Cadranell (lower right photo) and senior managing directors Jay Marshall and Jon Mikula.

LCOR is a real estate investment, management and development company specializing in complex urban development including large scale multifamily, commercial and mixed-use properties that often integrate housing, office, retail and transportation components.

James A. Cadranell, HFF Managing Director, (973) 549-2000 jcadranell@hfflp.com
Kristen M. Murphy, HFF Associate Director, Marketing, (713) 852-3500,

Parkside Partners Converting Loft Office in Atlanta; Starting Large-Scale Renovation

ATLANTA, GA (July 5, 2011) - Parkside Partners, LLC, an Atlanta based commercial real estate development and brokerage firm, said today it acquired the building at 1440 Dutch Valley Place (top left photo) adjacent to Piedmont Park's expansion and Atlanta Beltline in Midtown.

Parkside acquired the 41,000-square-foot building last month in a short sale, beating out eight other bidders for the property. The seller was an affiliate of Ashwood Development and price approximately $2.7 million.

Parkside has begun a large-scale, seven-figure renovation of the building, which has been renamed Parkside Piedmont. When the work is completed, Parkside's total investment in Parkside Piedmont will total $4.5 million.

The building also has a 16,000-square-foot lower level with a balcony overlooking Piedmont Park. This space already is drawing interest from restaurants.

The planned improvements at Parkside Piedmont include renovating and expanding the lobbies, installing new interior lighting, skylights, openings and exterior awnings, adding a state-of-the-art conference and break room and repainting the entire building.

"The building's location right off the new Piedmont Park expansion and on the Beltline makes it ideal for attracting fast-growing firms seeking office space in a vibrant part of Midtown," Parkside Partners principal Kyle Jenks (middle right photo) said. "We signed several tenants while we have the building under contract, we plan to build on that momentum and attract even more tenants."

The tenant roster at Parkside Piedmont includes Sparkfly and Qoppa Software.

Parkside Piedmont is the 16th project Parkside Partners has acquired and/or renovated since 2003 and brings the firms total investment in metro Atlanta to more than $100 million.
Parkside Partners is recognized as a leader in the development of boutique office buildings, adaptive re-use projects, and office condominium buildings.  Since its inception in 2003, Parkside has completed 15 developments totaling over 550,000 square feet of office space in the Atlanta area.

 For additional information on Parkside Partners, please visit www.parksidepartners.com
Laura Dudebout
O: 404.965.5023
C: 678.642.4301

Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing and NVR Acquire Residential Land Portfolio in Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area

NEW YORK, NY, July 5, 2011--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing (MSREI) announced today the acquisition of a land portfolio comprised of approximately 5,600 fully entitled residential lots in nine separate master planned communities located in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

The portfolio was acquired in partnership with NVR, Inc. (NVR). CoastOak Group will manage the day-to-day operations of the portfolio on behalf of the MSREI/NVR venture.

“We are delighted to have completed the acquisition of this strategic land portfolio in partnership with NVR, a best-in-class homebuilder,” said John R. Klopp (top right photo), Co-Chief Executive Officer and Co-Chief Investment Officer of MSREI.

“The purchase provides our partnership with a sizeable portfolio of well-located residential lots in the Washington, D.C. area, one of the strongest and most supply-constrained residential markets in the United States.”

Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing (MSREI) is the global real estate investment management arm of Morgan Stanley. Established in the early 1990s, MSREI has been one of the most active real estate investors for two decades, acquiring over $175 billion of assets in 36 countries.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a leading global financial services firm providing a wide range of investment banking, securities, investment management and wealth management services. The Firm's employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals from more than 1,300 offices in 42 countries.

For further information about Morgan Stanley, please visit www.morganstanley.com
NVR, Inc. operates in two business segments: homebuilding and mortgage banking. The homebuilding unit sells and builds homes under the Ryan Homes, NVHomes, Rymarc Homes and Fox Ridge Homes trade names, and operates in twenty-five metropolitan areas in fourteen states.

For more information about NVR, Inc. and its brands, see www.nvrinc.com, www.ryanhomes.com, www.nvhomes.com, www.foxridgehomes.com, and www.rymarc.com.

 CoastOak Group is a real estate development company that creates and operates unique and market-leading residential and mixed-use communities. CoastOak currently operates communities with over 15,000 lots in ten distinct markets throughout the United States.

Contacts:  Media Relations, Matt Burkhard, Morgan Stanley, 212 761 2444

Real Estate Investment Analyst George Livingston sees Angel Investment Group as Key to Economic Growth in Central Florida

MAITLAND, FL--- Local investment in local enterprises is the key to economic growth in Central Florida, says George Livingston (top right photo) chairman of NAI Realvest in Maitland and a leading and longtime Orlando-area real estate investment analyst.

And Livingston is willing to put his money where his mouth is.

Livingston recently signed on as a founding member of Maximize Angel Investments Orlando, Inc., an angel investment firm that aims to invest in Florida companies with a bright future.

“We are not going to substantially improve the local economy by luring companies here with big tax breaks,” Livingston said.

“Every community in the U.S. is playing that game, and they’re all chasing the same half dozen companies,” Livingston said.

Livingston is convinced a “grow our own” philosophy is the more cost-effective path toward economic development.

“We should be investing in new, innovative approaches in information technology, energy, life sciences, software, clean tech, communications and entertainment,” Livingston said.

“Those are sustainable industries, and we have the talent right here in Central Florida to make those industries thrive,” he said.

Livingston said groups like Maximize Angel Investments Orlando, help identify prospective growth companies and track their investment value.

“We have substantial resources right here in Central Florida — at the UCF Business Incubation and GrowFL programs, for example — to identify appropriate startup companies that have high potential for accelerated growth,” Livingston said.

 “We also have investment capital. Angel investment networks like Maximize Angel Investments Orlando, puts the capital and mentors together with the entrepreneurs who will lead a new, sustainable economy recovery,” he said.

 For more information, contact: 
George Livingston, Chairman NAI Realvest 407-875-9989; glivingston@realvest.com
 Larry Vershel, Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142, lvershelco@aol.com

Avison Young acquires Millennium Realty Advisors, LLC

TORONTO, July 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ - Mark E. Rose (top right photo), Chair and CEO of Avison Young, Canada's largest independently-owned commercial real estate services company, announced today that it has acquired Millennium Realty Advisors, LLC, a Virginia-based brokerage firm that provides agency leasing and tenant representation services.

The acquisition further expands Avison Young's market coverage in
Northern Virginia, the largest market in the Washington, DC region.

 The change in ownership will add nine employees - including five new
Principals - to Avison Young's U.S. Capital Region operations. Terms of
the acquisition were not disclosed.

Millennium Realty Advisors was founded in 1997 by John McEvilly and Mike Shuler, who have a combined 55 years of experience in the commercial real
estate industry.

Effective immediately, McEvilly, Shuler, Douglas Eliot, James Palmer and RobertWalters join Avison Young as Principals. NathanKrill and Joseph Pilch join as Vice-Presidents, Brokerage Services, Virginia; Sophrona Chinoy as Director; and UlyanaRadisavljevic as marketing assistant.

"We are thrilled to have John and Mike and the rest of the Millennium
team join the Avison Young organization," comments Rose.

 "This acquisition represents the next step in our company's expansion
strategy, and reinforces our commitment to invest in the firms and the
top talent who believe in our Principal-led, client-focused service

“This strategic acquisition will give Avison Young an even
broader client-service platform in the DC area as we continue to expand
our capabilities throughout the U.S.

“With this acquisition, Avison Young has now built one of the leading landlord-representation platforms in the Washington, DC region in less than 18 months."

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

Sherry Quan, National Director of Communications & Media Relations, Avison Young: (604) 647-5098; cell: (604) 726-0959

Self-Storage Call Center Expert Cynthia Abraham Hansell Offers Tips for Analyzing Phone Data for MiniCo Webinar

PHONIX,  AZ, July 05, 2011 --(PR.com)-- Self-storage operators of all sizes rely on the telephone to make sales and serve their customers. On July 27, 2011, self-storage call center expert Cynthia Abraham Hansell, Vice President of Call Center Operations, OpenTech Alliance, Inc., and Sue Haviland, Owner of Haviland Storage Services, will present the free webinar “Analyzing Your Phone Data for Profit.”

The webinar will discuss the best practices that large operators rely on to maintain a competitive edge with the goal of helping self-storage operators of every size make better business decisions based on real data. Topics will include the following:

  • What phone data you should be collecting
  • Which reports you should review on a monthly basis
  • What to look for on your reports
  • Using data to improve conversion ratios and staffing
  • Identifying training opportunities

OpenTech Alliance, Inc., is the sponsor of the webinar.

For more information or to register, visit www.ministoragemessenger.com
Online registration is required for this free live event.

MiniCo Insurance Agency, LLC, publishes the “Mini-Storage Messenger,” the leading monthly trade magazine covering the global self-storage industry. Other publications include “Self-Storage Now!,” “Mobile Self-Storage Magazine,” “RV & Boat Storage Today,” “Self‑Storage Canada,” the “Self-Storage Almanac,” the “Self-Storage Construction & Renovation Handbook,” and the “Self‑Storage Buyer’s Guide.”

Since 1974, Phoenix-based MiniCo Insurance Agency, LLC, has been a self-storage leader providing superior specialty insurance programs, informative publications and valuable products and services created expressly for the self‑storage industry.

For More Information:
OpenTech Alliance, Inc. – www.opentechalliance.com
Herman & Kittle Properties, Inc. – www.shavilandstorageservices.com

MiniCo Insurance Agency, LLC
Christa Van Zant

NAI Realvest negotiates new Long Term Lease in Oviedo, FL for Tampa-Based Fun Center Operation

MAITLAND, FL. – NAI Realvest recently negotiated a five-year lease agreement for 20,000 square feet at 532 S. Econ Circle in Oviedo that will be home to a Tampa-based family fun center.

 Paul P. Partyka (top right photo), managing partner at NAI Realvest, negotiated the transaction representing the landlord Oviedo-based Owen Family Venture, LLC. 

 The new tenant Xtreme World Fun Center LLC doing business as BOING! Jump Center was represented by Jared Bonshire of Cushman & Wakefield of Florida, Inc. 

“BOING! Jump Center has been extremely successful in the Tampa area and now wants to bring its success to the Orlando area near UCF,” Partyka said.

For more information, contact:
Paul P. Partyka, Managing Partner, NAI Realvest 407-875-9989 ppartyka@realvest.com;
Patrick Mahoney, President, NAI Realvest 407-875-9989 pmahoney@realvest.com;
Beth Payan or Larry Vershel, Larry Vershel Communications, Inc.  407-644-4142 

Lodging Industgry Bright Star in Commercial Real Estate Sector, RECI Finds

CHICAGO, IL, July 5, 2011 - The Real Estate Capital Institute’s monthly Scoreboard reports  fed quantitative easing policies, the Euro monetary crisis, rising concerns about inflation in China and the overflow of capital into commercial real estate are all tampering with low
mortgage rates.

Treasuries are rising and the Federal Reserve has minimal room to continue
monetary easing, despite fragile economic conditions.   Throughout the past
week, treasury rates have risen in excess of 3.1%, the highest since the end
of May.  Rates are already bouncing along the bottom of the curve and can
only be expected to move upward.

Just as Treasuries rise, mortgage spreads also widened -- by about 30 to 50
basis points; concerns loom over CMBS performance.  The Rating Agencies warn about the rapid reintroduction of pro forma cash flow projections as part of
underwriting new loans.

To stay competitive, conduit lenders react by tightening underwriting and pushing back on leverage.  However, such lenders still offer cashouts and a wider spectrum of funding programs (e.g.,combination permanent loan with mezz debt).

In the midst of such change, multifamily properties still capture the lowest
rates.  Despite concerns about the future of agency lending, Freddie Mac and
Fannie Mae are sought by investors and borrowers, alike.  Improving
profitability, the government's continued backing of the housing sector and
no real short-term alternative solutions are reasons for guarded optimism
for this funding sector to stay viable.

The lodging industry is the bright star in the commercial property sector
and room rates rise and occupancy levels recover to pre-recession levels.
This sector is also supply-constrained as few investors dare to venture into
new construction in the foreseeable future.  Lenders take note, selectively
financing hospitality properties at pricing levels matching other more
traditional commercial property types, although at leverage of 65% or below.

Ms. Jeanne Peck (top right photo) of The Real Estate Capital Institute, forecasts "at the mid-year mark, very little room remains for absolute rates to drop further."

Peck notes, "The main focus must be on improved cash flow performance
through expense reductions and more aggressive income growth, where

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.  

The   Real Estate Capital Institute(r)
3517 West Arthington Street
Chicago, Illinois USA 60624
Contact: Jeanne Peck, Research Director

Landmark Hotel’s Facelift Leads Revitalization of Bloomington, MN Strip

BLOOMINGTON, MN.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Drive down I-494 in Bloomington and you can’t miss the iconic Sheraton Bloomington Hotel. Starting July 8, those white letters will change to the DoubleTree by Hilton, beginning its future as the premier business and events destination in the Twin Cities.

“This hotel is an important part of the social fabric of greater Minneapolis,” said Scott Weber, general manager. “Over the years, it has played host to weddings, anniversaries, proms and other special occasions for generations of locals.

“ It also is superbly located for visitors who come to do business in the area, take in a sporting event, or enjoy the best shopping in the region. It’s a landmark hotel that will benefit greatly from a fresh, contemporary, upscale brand.”

 In January 2012, the hotel will launch a $12.5 million renovation of guest rooms, public spaces and meeting rooms. Mortenson Construction will be leading the renovation; which is expected to be finished by the middle of 2012.

The affiliation with Hilton Worldwide means the property will have access to millions of potential new guests who are members of the popular Hilton “HHonors” program and a strong network of rewards for existing guests.

Curt Carlson built the Radisson Bloomington in 1970, creating a hotel that was twice the size of any other hotel in the area. It marked the beginning of an expansion of the Minneapolis metro area into what eventually became known by locals as the Bloomington Strip. The upcoming renovation is part of a multi-million dollar strategy by Platinum Equity and Richfield Hospitality.

Additional information about Richfield Hospitality may be found at the company’s website www.richfield.com
Contact: Richfield Hospitality, Connie Stelter, 952-893-8405