Saturday, August 27, 2011

East Bay, CA Luxury Home Sales Down in July, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Reports

San Ramon, CA, Aug. 27, 2011 --( After a strong performance in June, the luxury housing market in the East Bay took a breather in July with sales down from the previous month and year-ago levels, according to a new market report by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, the region’s leading provider of luxury real estate services.

A total of 128 homes sold for more than $1 million in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties last month compared with 159 transactions in June and 160 in July 2010. Multi-million-dollar sales were also down, totaling 10 in June compared to 16 a year ago.

The median sale price of a million-dollar home in the East Bay stood at $1,247,500 last month, down 2.2 percent from June and 3.7 percent from a year ago, when the median was $1,295,000.

 Other metrics also showed a fairly flat East Bay luxury market: Homes sold in an average of 49 days, the same as June and up slightly from 47 days in July 2010. And sellers received 97 percent of their asking price on average compared to 97.7 percent in July 2010.

The figures were derived from Multiple Listing Service data of all homes sold in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties for more than $1 million last month.

“Like the overall market, the luxury segment of the East Bay housing market took a step back in July after a robust June,” said Rick Turley (top right photo), president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

 “It’s hard to put your finger on any single reason, but continued uncertainty over the economy and the geo-political events taking place, both in Washington and overseas, probably played a role. High-end buyers appeared to be sitting on the sidelines last month waiting for things to get sorted out.”

Turley said the same softness in the East Bay was seen throughout the Bay Area in July. According to DataQuick, the La Jolla-based information service company, 6,887 new and resale houses and condos sold in the nine-county Bay Area last month. That was down 13.9 percent from 7,998 in June and up 1.7 percent from 6,773 in July 2010.

Last month's sales fell harder in the higher price ranges, DataQuick noted. The number of $500,000-plus homes sold dropped 25.4 percent month-to-month and 19.2 percent year-over-year, analysts said.

 For more information please visit or call 925.275.3085. DRE # 00313415.

For a complete copy of the company’s news release, please contact
Stephen Maita, 510.739.0620,

RE/MAX Office in Skokie Gets New Name, Ownership and Mission

Chicago, IL, Aug.  27, 2011 --( The RE/MAX office in Skokie, Ill., has been purchased by Mark Feyman and Ivana Shudnow, both real estate veterans.

 The office, which was purchased in late July, will remain for the time being at 3947 Dempster St. Formerly called RE/MAX 1st Class Realty, its name has been shortened to RE/MAX 1st Class. The focus will continue to be on providing top service to customers -- but in more than just the residential real estate sector.

Both owners are currently working on transforming the office into one of the busiest brokerages in the Chicago suburbs, with an emphasis on commercial real estate, foreclosures and short sales.

“We intend to become the largest commercial RE/MAX brokerage outside of downtown Chicago,” said Mark Shudnow, husband of co-owner Ivana and managing broker of RE/MAX 1st Class. “We also expect to be a very strong residential real estate company in short sales, foreclosures and regular deals. We are well positioned to grow, and we are eager to expand and serve the buyers and sellers of our market.”

RE/MAX 1st Class currently has a roster of 16 real estate agents serving Skokie and surrounding areas.

RE/MAX Northern Illinois
Laura Ortoleva
847 428 4200


First Cal Wholesale Vision is Clear with New Leadership

Petaluma, CA, August 27, 2011 --( First California Mortgage Company (First Cal) is pleased to announce Michael McIlrath as National Director Wholesale Production.

“Michael McIlrath brings to First Cal the depth of Industry experience necessary to continue our vision of creating value and profitable partnerships with our broker community. Growing our Wholesale footprint in the Western states with Michael’s leadership is an exciting venture.” - Stated Christopher K. Hart, President (top right photo)

Previously, Michael was Executive Vice President of Wholesale Production with GreenPoint Mortgage Company. Before that he was Senior Vice President of the Western Region at Headlands Mortgage Company.

First Cal will be announcing innovative products to the wholesale division this week. This new product offering will allow First Cal’s Broker Partners to capitalize on today’s market opportunities. As First Cal adapts and responds to the marketplace these new product offerings will provide its business partners with competitive advantages and enable them to continue to prosper.

Contact: First Cal, Doug Thomas, 707.238.3700

Keller Williams Realty Round Rock Moving to New Digs in Texas

Round Rock, TX, Aug. 27, 2011 --( Keller Williams Realty Inc., the fastest-growing residential real estate firm in North America, according to Realtor Magazine, announced today its Round Rock market center has outgrown its current space and is moving to a new building.

Led by Operating Principal Steve Schlueter (top right photo) and Team Leader Avis Wukasch (lower right photo) the new space will improve the agency’s presence with area buyers and sellers, as well as the working and training experience for agents.

“When the Round Rock market center opened ten years ago, we had our sights set on success and expansion – and here we are!” said Wukasch, who is also chair of the Texas Real Estate Commission.

“This move is proof positive that even in this market we are strong – and getting stronger. Our agents are many of the best in the area, so we want to continue to offer them and their clients the best real estate relationship possible.”

Keller Williams Realty Round Rock (KWRR) will occupy 12,321 square feet complete with reception, private offices, conference rooms, and training facilities. Many of KWRR’s 238 REALTORS® will parade up Old Settler’s Blvd., from their old location at 101 E. Old Settlers Blvd., to their new location at 2300 Greenhill #200, Round Rock 78664, at 9:00 am on Thursday, August 25.

To contact KWRR,  please call 512.255.5050.

Keller Williams Round Rock is the dominant agency in Williamson County, responsible for closing over $400 million in transaction volume for 2010. KWRR has 238 licenses under its management.

Keller Williams Realty - Round Rock
Kiersty Lombar

World’s Most Expensive Egg Roll Gets Shark-Friendly Makeover as Chef Jack Lee Catering Revamps Recipe to Protect Endangered Sea Creatures

Celebrity Chef Removes Shark Fin from Signature Dish due to Sustainability Concerns

LOS ANGELES, CA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Chef Jack Lee Catering, the exclusive Los Angeles culinary firm also known as Chinoise Cuisine (, announced today that in an effort to support ocean sustainability, it will no longer serve shark fin in any of its dishes, including its one-of-a-kind $100 Lobster Egg Roll.

“Shark fin has long been a popular delicacy in Chinese culture. However, it has recently been brought to our attention that growing global demand for this item has resulted in a sharp reduction in shark populations,” said Chinoise Cuisine owner and former Bel-Air banquet chef Jack Lee (top right).

 “As ocean predators, sharks play an essential role in the marine ecosystem. For this reason, we are happy to have found a more environmentally friendly, yet equally delicious way to make our famed Lobster Egg Roll.”

The luxury dish, priced at $100, is now composed of succulent Maine lobster tail, Alaskan king crab, summer black truffle and julienned nagaimo (mountain potato), baby carrot and wild baby taro root. It’s topped with a crown of Sveruga caviar and gold leaf and paired with a fresh raspberry and 2009 Dry Creek Sauvignon Blanc reduction dipping sauce.

About Chef Jack Lee Catering

Chef Jack Lee Catering is a full-service catering company specializing in customized gourmet menus for celebrity events and private parties. Featured menu items include pistachio-crusted veal chops, lobster ravioli (middle right photo), filet of Kobe beef with Foie Gras, Chinoise Bouillabaisse and much more.

The catering firm has managed events for the Oscars® and Golden Globes® as well as international venues.

Oprah, Barbra Streisand, Quincy Jones and actress Roma Downey and her husband, producer Mark Burnett (“The Voice,” “Apprentice”), are among its clients.

Prior to forming the firm, Lee managed the culinary program at the Hotel Bel Air, providing meals for events including the Million Dollar Baby Oscar Party.

Chef Jack Lee Catering
Chef Jack Lee, 818-802-3008

Hilco Real Estate to Sell 14 Giordano’s Restaurant Properties Including Flagship Property at 740 N. Rush Street in Chicago

NORTHBROOK, lll.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fourteen company-owned properties of Giordano’s, the storied Chicago pizza restaurant chain, are now available for sale, either as a portfolio or individually.

 The properties include the chain’s flagship restaurant and building located at 740 North Rush Street on Chicago’s Gold Coast.

Giordano’s, a casual dining concept best known for its “World Famous Chicago Stuffed Pizza,” filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy relief in February, 2011. William Blair & Company and Hilco Real Estate were retained to advise the debtors. Bids are being solicited for the going-concern business as well as the real estate assets on a stand-alone basis.

Properties are located in the Chicago area, Florida and Arizona. They include a mix of income producing restaurants and value-add real estate opportunities. Most locations are leased to the corporate entity or franchisees. The deadline for initial indications of interest is set for September 8, 2011.

For more information, visit or by calling 847-504-2464.

Type        Location        Square Feet 

  • Mixed-Use (HQ / Flagship)    740 N. Rush Street, Chicago, IL 60611    138,845 
  • Single Tenant Restaurant    1040 Belmont Avenue, Chicago, IL 60657    5,925 
  • Single Tenant Restaurant    280 W. 22nd Street, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181    8,900 
  • Single Tenant Restaurant    641 Plainfield Road, Willowbrook, IL 60527    7,596 
  • Multi-Tenant Retail    1323 W. Lake Street, Addison, IL 60101    6,800 
  • Multi-Tenant Retail    2870 W. Rt. 34, Oswego, IL 60543    7,120 
  • Multi-Tenant Retail    2075 S. Ridge Road, Minooka, IL 60447    6,265 
  • Single Tenant Restaurant    333 Executive Parkway, Rockford, IL 61107    4,400 
  • Single Tenant Restaurant    1115 Chicago Avenue, Oak Park, IL 60302    3,510 
  • Cold Storage Warehouse    2206 S. Busse Road, Mt. Prospect, IL 60056    27,600 
  • Vacant Retail    401 Dale Mabry Highway., Tampa, FL 33609    6,362 
  • Unimproved Land    2462 Sand Lake Road, Orlando, FL 32809    2,287,466 
  • Unimproved Land    185 Cranes Roost Boulevard, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701    74,488 
  • Unimproved Land    17014 W. Bell Road, Surprise, AZ 85388    42,920 

For more information please visit

Hilco Real Estate, LLC
Andrew Becker, 847.504.2464,
Geoffrey Schnipper

California Building Standards Commission Appoints New Executive Director

SACRAMENTO, CA.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The California Building Standards Commission (CBSC) announced today that Jim McGowan (59) of Folsom, California has been appointed Executive Director of the Commission.

 McGowan served as the Deputy Executive Director since October 1, 2010. As Deputy, McGowan was primary to the ongoing development, adoption and publication of the state’s building code program along with supervision of commission administrative requirements.

 As the CBSC liaison for the California Commission on Disability Access, McGowan provided oversight and direction to the newly formed body.

Prior to joining the CBSC, McGowan served as Program Operations Manager for the State of California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), Division of Codes and Standards. He was charged with the administration of six statewide housing code enforcement programs.

 McGowan joined HCD as an apprentice inspector in 1975. During his near 34 year tenure with the agency he was appointed Chair of the District Representative Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee, HCD’s program to develop and train the department’s inspection staff.

This position does not require Senate confirmation. The annual compensation is $111,996.00.

California Building Standards Commission
Katrina Benny, 916-263-0916

Laurus Corp. Completes Acquisition of Intercontinental Center in Houston, TX

LOS ANGELES, CA /PRNewswire/ -- Laurus Corporation ("Laurus") is pleased to announce that it successfully completed the acquisition of the Intercontinental Center Office Building (top left photo) in Houston, Texas.

The building, an institutional quality, nine-story office building sits on a 5.14 acre site and contains approximately 198,090 square feet of net rentable area. 

Strategically located on John F. Kennedy Boulevard on the North side of Houston, it is just seconds away from George Bush Intercontinental Airpor (middle right photo)t, one of the Nation's busiest hubs.

The property is located one block North of State Highway Beltway-8 (Sam Houston Toll Road) which provides direct access to Highway 59 (2 miles away), The Hardy Toll Road (3 miles away), and Interstate 45 (5 miles away).

Nearly all areas of Houston are immediately accessible via one of these major arteries; one of the key reasons Class A buildings in the area maintain approximately 95% occupancy levels.

The Houston economic marketplace continues to be one of the nation's most resilient in these challenging times. Houston has seen positive job growth over the past consecutive eight months.

 Bloomberg has recently named Houston as its best city for college graduates while Moody's predicts Houston will trail only New York City among major U.S. cities in both population and employment growth to 2013.

The new owners intend to implement a program to further upgrade the building, while exploring additional development opportunities to maximize the site, aiming at providing an overall enhanced atmosphere for tenants and visitors.

15600 JFK Houston Partners, LLC was formed as an investment vehicle to acquire the property. The partners behind the entity have over 40 years of real estate experience which is further supported by an exceptional history as an active principal in banking.

Laurus Corporation is a boutique style domestic and international real estate development company that specializes in office buildings, hotels and resorts, master plan communities, mixed-use properties and multifamily. The Company coordinates activities converting ideas from paper into real property; it creates, manages, develops, and orchestrates key partnerships, achieving exceptional returns for its investors.

CONTACT: Frederique Szita, Marketing Manager of Laurus Corporation, +1-310-277-8600,

Marcus & Millichap Promotes Philip A. Saglimbeni to Vice President Investments in Palo Alto, CA Office


PALO ALTO, CA – The board of directors of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, has promoted Philip A. Saglimbeni (top right photo) to the position of vice president investments.

This designation exemplifies superior performance in the accomplishments an associate has achieved in his or her sales career at Marcus & Millichap and in the investment real estate brokerage profession, according to Steven J. Seligman (lower left photo), vice president and regional manager of the firm’s Palo Alto office.

 “Phil has earned a reputation as an extremely knowledgeable investment specialist,” says Seligman. “He is a consummate professional, continually striving to expand his knowledge and expertise. His focus on providing superior client services has earned him a high degree of loyalty and respect from investors as well as from his peers.”

Saglimbeni began his career with Marcus & Millichap in December 2006, specializing in the sale of multifamily properties.

Most recently, Saglimbeni held the position of associate vice president investments.

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

$6.4 Million Retail Portfolio Sale Arranged by Marcus & Millichap in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX Metroplex



SAN DIEGO, CA – Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, has arranged the sale of three single-tenant net-leased assets in Texas.

Combined, the assets, which are 7-Eleven convenience stores located in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, traded for $6,400,000. 

Alvin Mansour (middle right photo), a senior vice president and senior director of Marcus & Millichap’s National Retail Group (NRG), represented the seller, a local developer in the portfolio sale.

“Single-tenant net-leased assets in prime locations remain in high demand, even as the economy encounters a soft patch,” says Mansour.

“The buyer sold his steel company for $100 million in a 1031 exchange for the portfolio, which commanded $6.4 million in an all-cash deal that closed within six days of a signed contract. These are excellent long-term investments: Each of the properties has 15-year corporate-backed leases remaining,” he says.

“In addition, convenience stores in infill locations remain highly sought-after among investors. Cap rates will continue to compress for these assets as many national retailers like 7-Eleven continue to pursue plans for expansion and new construction of product in the next 18 months,” notes Mansour.

The 7-Eleven portfolio commanded $6.4 million and includes:

  • ·        9235 John W. Carpenter Freeway in Dallas – $2,217,090

  • ·        1908 Yucca Ave. in Fort Worth, Texas – $2,143,187

  • ·        100 East Interstate 20 in Arlington, Texas – $2,039,723

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