Monday, November 21, 2011

Self-Storage Industry Holds Its Own in Sluggish Economy, Atlanta Radio Panel States

ATLANTA, GA (Nov. 21, 2011) – Despite the sluggish economy of the past few years, self-storage properties have performed fairly well in 2011, and, in many instances, the sector presents investors with attractive purchasing opportunities.

 That was the view of guests of this week’s “Commercial Real Estate Show,” which provided a detailed examination of the self-storage market.

 Self-storage properties owned by larger real estate investment trusts (REITs) have experienced about an 8 percent increase in same-store net income when compared with last year, noted Nancy Miller (top right photo), vice president of Bull Realty’s National Retail Group, citing a study from Inside Self-Storage magazine. Those same REITs have reported increases in same-store revenue and in occupancy rates, she added.

Miller added that a recent national survey indicates that rental and occupancy have begun to dip as the year draws to a close, but Anne Ballard (top left photo), owner of Universal Management Co., noted that the fourth quarter often is a slow period for the sector.

 “As I see it, we’re coming out of this bottoming out that we all experienced in 2009 and 2010,” Ballard said.

 The show guests also agreed that this could be a good time to buy self-storage properties – provided that you put sufficient thought and research into potential acquisitions.

 “I do think it’s a good time to buy, but I do think it’s important to have a plan for how you’re going to see the property through,” said Steve Houghton of SecurLock Self Storage Centers. “We’re buying with the idea that it could be a while before things really turn around and that we may not be at the bottom yet.”

 Northeastern cities such as Boston, Washington and New York-as well as Midwestern markets like Chicago, Cleveland and Milwaukee-are areas in which investors may want to consider purchasing self-storage properties, Miller added.

 Like all commercial real estate sectors, the self-storage industry is dealing with distressed assets, but Scott Zucker (middle right photo), a partner with the Weissman Zucker Euster Morochnik P.C. law firm, says lenders are “being a little more patient now in pulling the trigger on foreclosure arrangements with the borrowers.”

“There are a lot of successful operations throughout the country that are doing well … ,” Zucker said. “There’s distress out there, but everyone is going to be OK.”

 “It’s a strong sector,” noted show host Michael Bull (middle left photo)of Bull Realty. “It’s performed well compared to other sectors throughout the years.”

 The show is available for download here. The show airs on Saturdays in Atlanta on Biz 1190 at 10 a.m. ET and on Talk 920 on Sundays at 9 a.m. ET.

 The next “Commercial Real Estate Show” airs November 26 and will explore the latest developments in architecture and building design.

 America’s “Commercial Real Estate Show” is a national talk radio show about commercial real estate. New shows are available every Thursday at the show website,

 Shows are also broadcast on several AM stations, including Atlanta stations Biz 1190 on Saturday at 10 a.m. and Talk 920 on Sunday at 9 a.m. Show podcasts are available on-demand on iTunes and the show website.

 The show host is 30-year commercial real estate veteran Michael Bull, CCIM. Michael is the founder of Bull Realty, Inc, a regional commercial brokerage firm with three offices headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

Contact:  Stephen Ursery,

Bull Realty Hired to Sell 188,000-Sq.-Ft. Office Property in Suburban Atlanta

 ATLANTA, GA  (Nov. 21, 2011) - Bull Realty has been hired to sell Corporate Spectrum (top left photo), a 188,000-square-foot, Class B office property in Marietta, Ga. The listing price of the two-story building, which is being sold by a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee, is nearly $4.7 million.

The property is just north of I-285, near the intersection of Windy Hill Road and I-75. The building features approximately 80,000 square feet that are in shell condition. It also contains space for a data center and has a parking ratio of four spaces for every 1,000 square feet.

“This is a unique opportunity,” said Casey Keitchen (lower left photo), vice president of Bull Realty’s National Office Group. “This is a significant amount of square footage in a proven location that is available for a low price-less than $25 per square foot. The seller is very motivated.”

“We are excited about the opportunity to market Corporate Spectrum,” said Michael Bull (middle right photo), the president and founder of Bull Realty. “Our firm has a lot of experience in moving distressed assets, and we have a lot of experience in marketing large properties, so we are well-positioned to movethis asset quickly. This property truly is a tremendous opportunity for a buyer.”

Bull Realty is a regional full-service commercial real estate brokerage firm with three offices headquartered in Atlanta. The firm is best known for their success selling land and commercial properties throughout the United States.

Bull Realty provides marketing and special asset services for 74 banks, receivers, trustees and servicers. The firm’s commercial real estate web portal, has become the go-to source for commercial real estate information, resources, properties and services.

Contact:  Stephen Ursery,

Jones Lang LaSalle Completes 11,334-SF Office Lease with Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein & Lezcano in Santa Monica, CA

 SANTA MONICA, CA, Nov. 21, 2011 — Jones Lang LaSalle represented Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein & Lezcano in a 11,334-square-foot headquarters lease renewal at Arboretum Courtyard (top left photo), a one-building, 85,401-square-foot, Class A office building located at 2120 Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica, Calif.

Jones Lang LaSalle’s Los Angeles team of Managing Directors John Ghiselli, Anthony Gatti and Associate Blake Searles represented Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein & Lezcano in the transaction.  The property owner, Blackstone / Equity Office Properties, was represented by Scott Rigsby of Industry Partners.

“While rents continue to strengthen in Santa Monica, Jones Lang LaSalle was able to secure very favorable lease terms for Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein & Lezcano,” said Ghiselli. 

For further information, please visit our website,

David Ebeling
Ebeling Communications
(p) 949.861.8351
(c) 949.278.7851

Watt Companies Breaks Ground on $20 Million Upgrade of Edinger Plaza in Huntington Beach, CA

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA. (Nov. 21, 2011)—Continuing a series of retail center upgrades across Southern California, Watt Commercial Properties is investing $20 million for a complete renovation of Edinger Plaza (top left rendering) in Huntington Beach.

Plans for the redevelopment include converting an existing CVS building into a larger retail space for Dick’s Sporting Goods, adding retail space for a new tenant in an existing Howard’s building, and upgrading the façade treatment, storefronts and landscaping throughout the 145,143-square-foot property.

“We are proud to be making improvements to Edinger Plaza at a time when few are moving forward with value-added investments,” said Nadine Watt (middle right photo), President of Watt Companies.

“We are also pleased to welcome Dick’s Sporting Goods to this neighborhood retail center. Dick’s will be a solid anchor tenant for Edinger Plaza and I am confident the store will be well-received by the surrounding Huntington Beach community.”

Construction on the project commenced on October 19, 2011 with the grand opening scheduled for Fall 2012. Through a phased redevelopment process, Watt will complete the following upgrades to Edinger Plaza:

This announcement comes on the heels of a $6 million upgrade to Alicia Town Plaza (lower left rendering) in Mission Viejo, another neighborhood retail center in Watt’s portfolio.  The redevelopment included converting an existing Mervyns building into a smaller retail space for L.A. Fitness and updating the façade treatment for the remainder of the 150,000-square-foot property.

Moorefield Construction will serve as General Contractor for the Edinger Plaza redevelopment project.  All 24 retailers, including Michaels, Howard’s and PetSmart, will remain open during construction.

 Edinger Plaza is located at 7490-7664 Edinger Avenue, at the intersection of Edinger Avenue and Beach Boulevard, across from the Bella Terra Mall.

David Ebeling
Ebeling Communications
(p) 949.861.8351
(c) 949.278.7851

Essex Realty Group Brokers Sale Of Multi-Residential Apartment Building In Chicago, IL

CHICAGO, IL, Nov. 21, 2011 -- Essex Realty Group, Inc. is pleased to announce the sale of Garfield Plaza Apartments (top left photo) at 4114 W. Washington.

The building is a 63 unit Fully Renovated Apartment Building in the Garfield Park area of Chicago. 

Garfield Plaza is ideally located on beautiful Washington Blvd. just two blocks from the famed Garfield Conservatory and CTA Green Line.

Garfield Plaza has undergone a near full renovation over the past few years and is approximately 90% complete at this time.  The Unit mix consists of 50 Studios and 4 One Bedrooms. 

Jim Darrow (lower right photo) and Jordan Gottlieb (lower left photo) of Essex were the brokers in the transaction.  The price was approximately $650,000.

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

 For more information, please contact:

Douglas S. Imber
Essex Realty Group, Inc.

Mercantile Capital Corp. Will Mark Record Year of Commercial Loans; Plans move to Downtown Orlando in December

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, FL --- Mercantile Capital Corporation in Altamonte Springs will mark a record year of commercial loan transactions this year and will be in new offices in the Old Florida National Bank building at 60 N. Court St. (lower right photo) in downtown Orlando this December.

The firm, which ranks as one of the largest and most active providers of U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 loans to small business owners, merged with Winter Park-based Old Florida National Bank earlier this year and plans to relocate to the historic downtown Orlando building before Christmas.

Geof Longstaff (top right photo), chairman of Mercantile Capital Corporation, said he projects the firm will end 2011 with over 60 closed loans to fund projects in more than 15 states, totaling more than $150 million.

That’s a new record for the eight-year-old company.

Longstaff said he’s sorry to leave Mercantile Capital’s Altamonte Springs headquarters but the merger with Old Florida National Bank opens big, new doors for the firm’s mission: local economic growth and new job creation.

“Job creation is one of the principal aims of the SBA 504 loan program,” Longstaff said.

 Chris Hurn, Mercantile’s chief executive officer, said new SBA 504 lending rules are already stimulating economic activity and will likely generate another record year in 2012.

“The SBA 504 program is certainly the smart choice and often the only choice for small business owners who see an opportunity to grow,” Hurn said.

Last year Mercantile Capital Corporation closed 51 loans to fund projects worth more than $140.6 million.

For more information about this press release, contact:

Geof Longstaff, Chairman, Mercantile Capital Corporation 407-786-5040
Chris Hurn, Chief Executive Officer, Mercantile Capital Corporation,, 407-786-5040
Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142

Voit Expands Its Phoenix Brokerage Team With Two New Professionals, Michael Kasulaitis and Aric Adams

PHOENIX, AZ –Voit Real Estate Services’ Phoenix office has announced the addition of two new brokers to its team, according to Todd Brown (lower right photo), Managing Director of Voit’s Phoenix office. 

The company has hired Michael Kasulaitis (top right photo) and Aric Adams (middle left photo), who join Voit from Cushman & Wakefield, bringing more than one million square feet of listings to Voit’s Phoenix operations.

“Voit’s Phoenix office has seen steady growth since it opened last year, and adding new brokers to our team is not only a result of this growth but a reflection of our commitment to strengthen our presence and market knowledge in the region,” explained Brown.

  “By continuing to add experienced brokers to our team like Michael and Aric, we will continue to be able to provide our clients with the customized solutions and full range of services that Voit is known for.”

Since 2006 Michael Kasulaitis and Aric Adams served as a broker team for Cushman & Wakefield, where they averaged 80 transactions annually, equating to approximately 750,000 square feet of manufacturing, distribution and flex industrial product.

The team’s areas of expertise encompass various Phoenix submarkets including the airport, Central/West Phoenix and the Southwest Valley, and they specialize in the sales and leasing of industrial properties. Kasulaitis and Adams began their partnership with the Trammell Crow Company in 2006.

Kasulaitis brings extensive knowledge in all areas of the industrial real estate market to Voit, and his focus is primarily on landlord/tenant and seller/buyer representation. Kasulaitis has worked in the commercial real estate industry since 1999, serving at Landmark TCN and Trammell Crow Company prior to Cushman & Wakefield.

Kasulaitis holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Arizona State University and is a member of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) and Arizona Commercial Brokers Association.

Adams specializes in freestanding single-occupant and multi-tenant industrial buildings in the Phoenix area, and has been in the commercial real estate business since 1999. Prior to his position with Cushman & Wakefield, Adams served CB Richard Ellis as a member of a development team that specialized in industrial development and leasing as well as Trammell Crow Company.

Adams is a graduate of the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and is a member of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP).

  Further information is available at

Judith Brower
Brower, Miller & Cole
 (949) 955-7940

Cassidy Turley Hired to Sell Statesboro Square Shopping Center in Georgia

ATLANTA, GA, Nov. 21, 2011 -- Cassidy Turley, a leading commercial real estate services provider in the U.S., announced today its Southeast Retail Group has been hired to sell Statesboro Square Shopping Center (top left photo) in Statesboro, Ga.

Located adjacent to Statesboro High School, the 41,000-square-foot center is anchored by Big Lots and Rentown. The center is debt free and 97 percent leased. Cassidy Turley Vice Presidents Drew Fleming (middle right photo) and Mark Joines (lower left photo) are marketing the center.

 "Located just a stone’s throw from Statesboro High, Statesboro Square is a community shopping center in the truest sense," Fleming said. "Students and residents from the surrounding areas depend on it - especially Big Lots and Rentown."

 The shopping center’s high occupancy level and stable cash flow should make it an attractive investment opportunity for local investors, Joines said.

 Fleming and Joines have successfully marketed other shopping centers in Southeast Georgia including the sale of Liberty Square in Hinesville last year. The shopping center’s tenants include Peebles, Goodwill, Dollar General and USA Discounters.

 On Sept. 1, Cassidy Turley completed its acquisition of the brokerage and property management businesses of Carter, a national leader in project development, commercial real estate services and investments.

Please visit for more information about Cassidy Turley.

Laura Dudebout
O: 404.965.5023
C: 678.642.4301

HFF closes sale of and arranges financing for Fox Hill Apartments in Austin, TX

AUSTIN, TX – HFF announced today that it has closed the sale of and arranged acquisition financing for Fox Hill Apartments (top left photo), a 288-unit multi-housing community in Austin, Texas. 

HFF exclusively represented the seller, Fox Hill Partners, L.P.  Waterton Residential Property Venture XI, L.P. purchased Fox Hill Apartments for an undisclosed amount.  HFF also arranged a $23.8 million, five-year, fixed-rate acquisition loan through M&T/Fannie Mae.  The loan has a 30-year amortization period. 

Completed in 2009, Fox Hill Apartments has 14 three-story buildings with one-, two- and three-bedroom units averaging 1,066 square feet each.  Community amenities include a fitness center, clubhouse, playground, business center, swimming pool, conference center, laundry facility, valet trash pickup and dog park.  The 97.3 percent leased property is situated on 44.77 acres at 8800 US Hwy 290 West close to MoPac Expressway and Southwest Parkway.

HFF’s investment sales team representing the seller was led by senior managing director Sean Sorrell (middle right photo)

HFF’s debt placement team representing the buyer/borrower was led by managing director Stephen Skok (middle left photo) and managing director Douglas Opalka (lower right photo).

Chicago-based Waterton Residential, one of the leading multifamily companies in the nation, is focused on the acquisition and management of apartment communities in multiple markets to which it can add value through repositioning and renovation. 

Since its inception in 1995, the Waterton Residential team has remained committed to outstanding customer service by providing a community our residents are proud to call home. 

With over 17,350 apartment homes in 45 communities in 12 states the Waterton Residential brand signifies exceptional living experiences, a sense of community, and home.  Waterton employs 474 associates who are committed to achieving the Waterton Residential vision to be the leader in the multifamily industry.

SEAN SORRELL                               STEPHEN SKOK                   
HFF Senior Managing Director          HFF Managing Director          
(512) 532-1900                                   (312) 528-3650                                                     

Kristen M. Murphy, Associate Director Marketing, (713) 852-3500,

HFF closes sale of Two Sugar Creek Center in Sugar Land, TX

HOUSTON, TX – HFF announced today that it has closed the sale of Two Sugar Creek Center (top left photo), a 143,410-square-foot, Class A office building in Sugar Land, Texas.

HFF marketed the property on behalf of the seller, under direction from seller’s asset manager, National Asset Services, Inc.  The buyer, a private Boston-based firm investing on behalf of their institutional fund, purchased the asset for an undisclosed amount free and clear of existing debt. 

Two Sugar Creek Center is situated on 7.55 acres at 77 Sugar Creek Center Boulevard one block from U.S. 59 and U.S. 90.  Completed in 1999, the six-story property is 72 percent occupied and includes a two-level, 240-space parking garage.

The HFF investment sales team representing the seller included senior managing director Dan Miller (middle right photo), associate director Trent Agnew (lower  left photo) and real estate analyst Brad Elmore. 

National Asset Services, Inc. is a nationwide real estate firm with approximately $2 billion in diverse assets under management. 

H. DAN MILLER, CCIM, SIOR                    TRENT AGNEW                    
HFF Senior Managing Director                    HFF Associate Director            
(713) 852-3500                                              (713) 852-3500                                                                

Kristen M. Murphy, Associate Director Marketing, (713) 852-3500,