Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Avalonpark Texas’ Community Springs at Walnut Creek in North Austin, TX sees David Weekley Homes start construction of models

AUSTIN, TX. --- Avalonpark Texas has reported that David Weekley Homes has started construction of two models and five ready-to-move-in homes priced from the low $200s at The Springs of Walnut Creek (top left photo) located near I-35 and Yager Lane in North Austin.

Richard Kunz (bottom right photo), a principal at Avalonpark Texas LP, which is developing The Springs of Walnut Creek, said two of the single family homes are model homes (a one-story model home and a two-story model home) and five are ready-to-move-in homes. All are slated to open in late November.

The neighborhood will see 53 homes in Phase I and 58 homes in Phase II. Construction of the infrastructure for Phase II is planned for the second quarter of 2012.

Plans are also under way to build Phase III, a gated private neighborhood of 50 homes priced in the mid to high $100s.

For more information, contact

Richard Kunz, Principal Avalonpark Texas, L.P. 512-695 3356, richardk@avalonparkgroup.com
Stephanie Hodson, Marketing Director, Avalon Park Group 407-658-6565
Beat Kahli, CEO Avalon Park Group / Principal Avalonpark Texas, LP 407-658-6565
Larry Vershel, Larry Vershel Communications 407-644-4142, Lvershelco@aol.com

Construction Underway on New Patient Tower at St. Jude Medical Campus in Fullerton, CA


FULLERTON, CA. (Nov. 1, 2011) – The design/build team of McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., and TAYLOR, are working with St. Joseph Health System to build a new patient tower, parking structure and central utility plant (top left photo) at the St. Jude Medical Center (bottom right photo) in Fullerton, Calif.

 Located on the northern side of the existing medical campus at Bastanchury Road and Harbor Boulevard, site preparation has been underway since December 2010, and the new tower officially broke ground during a private ceremony on September 25, 2011.

 An integral part of the St. Jude Medical Center’s multi-phased Master Plan, the $285.4 million project includes construction of a 200,000-square-foot, 4-story acute care building with a connecting bridge to level four of the existing hospital building and a 14,000-square-foot central utility plant.

 Along with architect International Parking Design of Irvine, Calif., McCarthy is also adding 215 parking spaces to an existing 455-car parking structure that the firm built in 2004.

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

Laura Mickelson (LM Communications)
(949) 453-0851
Nancy Egan (TAYLOR Media Contact)
(310) 943-7194 / egan@newvoodou.com

Distressed Multifamily Asset in Tempe, AZ Listed at $54.2 Million

TEMPE, AZ – Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services has been retained as the exclusive advisor for the disposition of Haven (top left photo), a 660-unit apartment community in Tempe. Offered at a list price of $54,225,000, the property will be sold free and clear of any existing debt and can be purchased on an all-cash basis.

Cliff David and Steve Gebing, multifamily investment specialists in Marcus & Millichap’s Phoenix office, have been retained to market the property on behalf of the seller, Petra Mortgage Capital Corporation.

 “Haven is a great opportunity to acquire a real estate-owned asset with significant operational economies of scale,” says David. “The sheer size and scope of the project is unlike most acquisitions in terms of the potential leveraged investment and scale of the value-add component.”

“Haven is situated near the main campus of the largest public university in the nation, Arizona State University (ASU), which has approximately 55,000 undergraduate and graduate students,” adds David.

Located at 1440 East Broadway Road in Tempe, Haven was developed by Lincoln Property Company in 1984 and renovated in 2006 and 2007. Approximately 57 percent of the interiors were upgraded to include condominium-quality finishes and contemporary appointments such as stainless-steel appliances, granite countertops and maple cabinetry.

 The property offers five distinct floor plans comprised of studio, one- and two-bedroom apartment homes.

“Haven features approximately 43 percent ‘Classic’ units, which provide new ownership with the opportunity to reposition these units with an estimated $5,000 per unit investment that will potentially generate approximately $100 per unit in monthly rent premiums,” adds Gebing.

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

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa in Phuket, Thailand, Opens to the World


Phuket, Thailand (Nov. 1, 2011)…Starwood Hotels & Resorts is pleased to announce the grand opening of The Naka Island (top left photo), A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket. 

 An exclusive, all-villa island hideaway just minutes from the coast of Phuket, The Naka Island is hidden treasure of luxury in an exceptional setting that offers guests a totally unique opportunity to immerse themselves into the rich Thai experience.

“Welcome to The Naka Island, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket – an experience unlike any other in Phuket,” said Erich Friedl, general manager of the resort. 

“Although easily accessible from the mainland, The Naka Island is an enchanting escape from the everyday offering privacy, romance and a host of unforgettable experiences amidst an idyllic natural setting. 

"We look forward to welcoming travelers with a sense of adventure, who want to enjoy an indigenous Thai experience like never before from the luxurious comfort of The Naka Island Resort.”

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

Hwee Peng Yeo
Director of Asian Markets
Glodow Nead Communications
Level 21, Centennial Tower
3 Temasek Avenue
Singapore 039190

Glodow Nead Communications • San Francisco • New York • Singapore
O: 65.9768.6087 or 1.415.394.6500 • E hweepeng@glodownead.com• FB: GlodowNead

Post Properties Announces Third Quarter 2011 Earnings

ATLANTA, GA--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Post Properties, Inc. (NYSE: PPS) announced today net income available to common shareholders of $7.9 million, or $0.15 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2011, compared to $21.7 million, or $0.44 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2010.

Net income available to common shareholders for the nine months ended September 30, 2011, was $16.3 million, or $0.32 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $16.9 million, or a net loss of $0.35 per diluted share, for the nine months ended September 30, 2010.

 The Company’s net income available to common shareholders for the nine months ended September 30, 2011 included a $0.4 million gain on the sale of a technology investment and $1.8 million of costs associated with the Company’s redemption of its Series B preferred stock.

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

Post Properties, Inc.
Chris Papa, 404-846-5028

Or view this news release online at:

Vestar Development and Rockwood Capital Acquire the District at Green Valley Ranch Retail Center in Las Vegas for $79 Million

 LAS VEGAS, NV, NOV. 1, 2011 – Vestar Development, in a joint venture with New York-based Rockwood Capital, is acquiring The District at Green Valley Ranch, a 384,107-square-foot landmark retail property located outside of Las Vegas, for $79 million, the firms announced today.

The all-cash deal, the city’s second largest commercial real estate investment transaction in three years, closed Friday, October 21.

 “Now is a great time to invest in the Las Vegas retail real estate market, particularly in projects like this one,” said Rick Kuhle (middle right photo), President of Vestar Development.

 “This center has recently struggled, but we are confident and excited about stabilizing it over the coming year. We’re very bullish about these types of value-added investment opportunities and are aggressively seeking more properties like it in Las Vegas and throughout the West.”

“We believe this is a compelling opportunity based upon the high quality of the center and the solid in-place cash flow,” said Joel Mayer (lower left photo), Managing Director at Rockwood Capital.  “We have a longstanding relationship with Vestar and their extensive knowledge of this asset and market make them the ideal partner for this project.” 

Richard Walter, president, and Donald MacLellan, senior managing director, out of Faris Lee’s Irvine, Calif. headquarters, and Rob Moore, senior managing director in Faris Lee’s Las Vegas office represented the seller, LNR Partners, LLC. 

“The Faris Lee marketing team, which consisted of our Irvine headquarters and local Las Vegas offices, worked to demonstrate The District’s existing and future potential value for prospective buyers during the marketing process through advanced diligence in strategically and creatively identifying various value-add components,” said Walter. “Vestar was selected as the buyer from multiple bidders and recognized the intrinsic value of this landmark asset.”

The District is located within Green Valley Ranch (top left photo), a leading master-planned community located in the Black Mountain foothills, about 10 miles southeast of the Las Vegas Strip.

Phase one of The District was developed in 2004 and encompasses 212,622 square feet of retail and office space on the west side of Green Valley Parkway. The 21.54-acre property is comprised of 50 national and regional stores and restaurants; 88 luxury condominiums; and complementary office users.

For more information, please visit http://www.vestar.com/.

Contact: David Ebeling, Ebeling Communications, (p) 949.861.8351
(c) 949.278.7851, david@ebelingcomm.com

Faris Lee Investments Completes $79.3 Million Sale of 384,107-SF Landmark Retail Community Center in Las Vegas metro area

  LAS VEGAS, NV, Nov. 1, 2011 – Faris Lee Investments, the nation’s largest retail-specialized investment advisory firm, has announced the $79.3 million sale of The District at Green Valley Ranch (top left photo), a 384,107-square-foot  landmark community  retail center located in Green Valley Ranch, a leading master planned community located near Las Vegas at Green Valley Parkway and Interstate 215.

Richard Walter (middle right photo), president, and Donald MacLellan (middle left photo), senior managing director, out of Faris Lee’s Irvine, Calif. headquarters, and Rob Moore (lower right photo), senior managing director in Faris Lee’s Las Vegas office represented the seller, LNR Partners, LLC. The all-cash buyer, Vestar Development, in a joint venture with New York-based Rockwood Capital, represented itself.

 While the economic recovery of Las Vegas’ real estate market has been uneven, quality areas continue to prove their value. Faris Lee worked to demonstrate The District’s existing and future potential value for prospective buyers as the foreclosed property was located in a quality master planned community. This effort was evident throughout the marketing process through advanced diligence in strategically identifying previously overlooked income producing components of the existing property.

 “Faris Lee was able to move quickly on its marketing strategy and upfront purchase and sale agreement negotiations that proved favorable for LNR and ultimately maximized the price of the property,” said Bill Ohlsen, senior vice president of LNR Partners, LLC. “The firm was creative about the property’s future potential so that prospective buyers could better envision it from a value-add perspective.”

 “We created an online war room that provided a huge amount of information to investors interested in the property,” said Walter.  “We also worked with an expanded team of engineers and architects to identify viable scenarios for future property enhancements such as a signage program with the movie theatre and opening up a central street to vehicles. This modification alone could allow for additional retailers providing an additional income stream.”

 “The District offered a rare ownership opportunity in the Las Vegas market with a great deal of upside potential as the buyer was able to acquire the property at a significant discount to replacement cost,” said MacLellan. “The Vestar venture now has possession of a trophy retail center located in one of the premier master planned communities in Nevada. This property is one of the finest sites acquired so far this year in the Western U.S.,” said MacLellan.

                The center was marketed on a best offer basis and included two separate investment offerings. The Vestar/Rockwood joint venture chose to acquire both investment offerings.

 Phase one of The District is located at 2220-2275 Village Walk Drive and encompasses 212,622 square feet of retail and office product.

The 21.54-acre property had a very successful opening April 2004, is located on the west side of Green Valley Parkway.

 Phase one is comprised of 50 national and regional stores and restaurants; 88 luxury condominiums, and complementary office users.

 The shopping, dining, entertainment, residences and office space are combined with a pedestrian-friendly main street plaza, and a beautiful central park, complete with a vintage-style Carousel.

For more information, visit www.farislee.com.

Contact: Darcie Giacchetto, 949.278.6224, Spaulding Thompson & Associates
For Faris Lee Investments

Sales Slow on Older Office, Retail and Industrial Properties in Secondary Locations, Reports Real Estate Capital Institute

 CHICAGO, IL, Nov. 1, 2011 - Uncertain economic conditions impinge on commercial property sales, particularly older office, retail and industrial properties in secondary locations.

 Funding sources and investors alike are retreating from these asset classes as the lack of job growth office building sales, particularly for older properties in secondary locations.

 Lenders and investors alike, are retreating as fewer businesses consider new leasing. With a GDP growth of about 2%, not enough jobs are generated to allow landlords to raise rents based on commercial space demand.

 Even though lingering problems face commercial property lending, funding sources are swollen with cash, as investors scramble to find some type of
more attractive yields as compared with treasuries and corporate bonds. 

 A brief overview based upon active funding sources is as follows:

Agencies - The dominant multifamily funding sources for over a decade, the
agencies compete on both price and leverage.  While securitized lending stays depressed, the agencies continue to migrate towards such funding as
mortgage note buyers maintain faith in the future of apartment performance backed by implied governmental guarantees.  Also, the agencies are expanding prepackaged leverage offering of up to 90% in combination with mezzanine
funding partners.

 Banks - With many legacy issues settled, banks are again active in the short-term fixed and floating-rate funding space.  Since most new deals are of higher quality, banks hone in on sponsorship equity and guarantees for such properties; preferring to compete on pricing instead of leverage.

  For the right situation, banks will the most competitive sources for loans with terms of 5 years or less, often dropping rate floors and providing more proceeds to strategic clients.  On a case-by-case basis, recourse can be reduced or even eliminated.

Life Companies - The most active funding sector for longer term permanent
debt, the life companies aggressively compete for the highest-quality
conventional property types.  This sector leads with competitive pricing
instead of higher leverage or more risk.

 CMBS - After a brutal retreat in August, CMBS lenders cautiously return to the market, but softening cash flow fundamentals restrict the scope of qualified borrowers and financeable properties. At the same time, the securitization industry is plagued with higher spreads of at least 75 basis
points or more in contrast to balance-sheet lenders and loan syndication issues for larger funding in excess of $50 million. 

Lastly, CMBS lenders only offer rate estimates rather than lock into specific pricing as available hedging mechanisms are too costly (due to volatility) for any type of rate protection prior to funding.  As such, securitized lenders will only compete for higher-risk loans bypassed by other traditional lenders.

The Real Estate Capital Institute's Jeanne Peck (top right photo) warns, "Record-low interest rates aid realty cash flow performance, but economic uncertainty plagues any significant growth."  She concludes, "Other than the multifamily and part of the healthcare properties sectors, the property markets will remain stagnant for most of 2012."

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

Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty Negotiates $2.25 Million Sale of Luxury Estate Site -- 3.81 Acres on Lake Maitland, FL

ORLANDO, FL. --- Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty recently negotiated the sale of a 3.81 acre estate site on Lake Maitland (lower right aerial photo) near Winter Park for $2.25 million.

Roger Soderstrom, founder and owner of Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty, said the estate site located at 700 Manor Rd. in Maitland, is one of the largest in the area and has one of the lake’s longest shorelines.

“The estate site fronts on Lake Maitland as well as a canal that connects to Lake Nina,” Soderstrom said.

Altogether, the property boasts approximately 1,000 feet of water frontage.

Sungate Trust acquired the property.

Dick Toth (top right photo), an International Luxury Home Specialist with Stirling Sotheby's International Realty in Orlando, negotiated the sale representing the Bichette family.
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.  

Manhattan-Based Real Estate Developer Claremont Group Continues Strategic International Expansion in Kurdistan Region of Northern Iraq

NEW YORK, NY,  Nov. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Claremont Group has expanded its international development operations into the rapidly growing commercial and residential real estate market in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq.

The New York-based real estate firm has launched construction on a major modern residential community in the region's capital of Erbil, Iraq's most secure and fastest-growing city.(Erbil skyline top left photo)

 The Atlantic, a 1,600-unit, mixed-use gated community of apartments and villas, will be built near the city's central business district and international airport to meet the demand for quality new housing for middle income families.

This announcement comes on the heels of a recent partnership between Claremont and Hilton Worldwide to open a western style, suites hotel to accommodate booming international business and tourist travel to Erbil and the region. The 200-room DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Erbil is expected to open in 2013.

"Kurdistan's surging growth and development has been making headlines lately, but none of this is news to The Claremont Group," said Claremont Principal and Founder, A. Alexander Lari.

 "As one of the first western developers in Iraq, we are uniquely situated to help meet the rising demand for commercial and residential properties in Kurdistan. As more people learn about the region's growth potential, we will be there to welcome them with open arms."

The Kurdistan Regional Government estimates that there is demand for more than 100,000 such housing units. The Atlantic will be one of the few new projects of this type to be licensed in Erbil.

"We'd like to commend President Barzani (lower right photo) and the leadership of the Kurdistan Regional Government for fostering a secure, stable and pro-investment environment," Claremont Group Principal Stephen Lari (lower left photo) said. "As tourist and business travel to the region continues to grow, we look forward to a continued partnership that opens the doors of this beautiful and historic destination to the rest of the world."

A global leader in real estate development, The Claremont Group is a New York-based, family owned firm specializing in office, residential, lodging, student housing, and international projects. For more information, please visit http://www.theclaremontgroup.com.

CONTACT: Jeffrey Birnbaum, +1-202-333-4936, JBirnbaum@BGRPR.com