Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Stirling Sotheby's International Realty negotiates sales of two luxury properties in Lake and Osceola Counties, Florida

ORLANDO, FL --- Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty recently negotiated the sales of two luxury properties — one in Lake and the other in Osceola County.

Roger Soderstrom, founder and owner of Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty, said Trusted Real Estate Advisor Chris Wilson (top right photo), a luxury home specialist with Stirling Sotheby’s brokered both deals.

In Lake County, Wilson negotiated the short sale of a 5,195 square foot, five bedroom home on Medici Way in the upscale community of Bella Collina (middle left photo) in Monteverde for $865,000.  

The seller was a doctor in the U.K. and the transaction took months to complete with several obstacles to overcome, including foreign tax issues. 

The buyer is a Michigan real estate broker trading up on a second home in the luxury golf community which boasts a grand 42 million dollar clubhouse.

At the same time, Wilson negotiated the sale of a 3,340 square foot home on Harbor Isle Court in the Bellalago community (lower right photo) in Kissimmee. That home was sold by the Michigan real estate broker to move up into a larger second home on Medici Way in Bella Collina.

The Michigan owner sold the Bellalago property, which boasts a private boat dock and large upstairs bonus room, to a New York buyer for $349,000.  This transaction took only 44 days to sell, Wilson said.

For media information, contact:

 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  

Kinder, Gentler Online Travel Company Joins UCF Business Incubation in Kissimmee,FL Recently Launched Web Portal

 KISSIMMEE, FL  – Inspire Travel, a kinder, gentler online travel company that provides a platform that can be leveraged to support social causes and community organizations, has joined the University of Central Florida Business Incubator in Kissimmee.

 Rafael Caamano, site manager for the UCF Business Incubation Program in Kissimmee, said Inspire Travel is a startup company with a conscience and a business model that combines the best features of online booking agencies with group discounting and social media while promoting social entrepreneurship.

 Inspire Travel recently had a soft launch of www.InspireTravel.com, its web portal, Caamano said. A more robust version of the dynamic web portal is scheduled for launch next year.

 “Inspire Travel is a next-generation travel company that focuses on a whole package of services from airline flights, hotel and resort accommodations and rental cars,  with plans to add dining and entertainment,” Caamano said.

Bill Haberman, founder and chief executive officer of Inspire Travel said he began working on Inspire Travel’s socially-conscious business model while developing a luxury condominium hotel in Celebration, Florida.

 “Inspire Travel is a natural evolution of online travel that combines discount travel options with a social media driven marketing strategy,” Haberman said.

 “Most importantly, we aim to be practitioners of ‘kinder capitalism’ by leveraging our platform to support the awareness and philanthropic efforts of worthy causes,” he said.

For more information, contact

 William Haberman, Founder, CEO, Inspire Travel, 407-973-7875; William.haberman@me.com

  Rafael Caamano, Site Manager Kissimmee UCF Business Incubation Program, 407-343-4300 Rafael.Caamano@ucf.edu  

 Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142 or LvershelCo@aol.com  

Orlando EB5 Investment, LLC raises $16.5 Million to help fund two restaurants atop Los Angeles W Hotel

MAITLAND, FL. --- Orlando EB5 Investments, a subsidiary company of Orlando based CommerCenters LLC, helped finance two upscale restaurants at the W. Hotel (top left photo)in West Hollywood, Calif. recently with $16.5 million in investment capital.

Richard A. Asta (lower right photo), president of CommerCenters, LLC and Orlando EB5 Investments, said the private equity group helps international investors obtain permanent U.S. immigration visas by investing $500,000 or more in U.S. projects that will generate or retain at least 10 jobs for U.S. workers.

Asta said financing the W. Hotel project was a joint venture that includes Orlando EB5 Investments and American Dream Fund of Los Angeles.

CommerCenters, LLC is a privately-owned, fully integrated real estate investment and development firm, affiliated with NAI Realvest and NAI Global, one of the largest worldwide commercial real estate brokerage firms. Headquartered in Maitland, Florida, CommerCenters  has clients and joint venture partners in various cities in the United States and around the world.

For more information, contact

Rick Asta, President, CommerCenters, LLC, 407-875-9989 ext 1728 rasta@commercenters.com;

George Livingston, Chairman, NAI Realvest, 407-875-9989,  glivingston@realvest.com.

Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications 407-644-4142 Lvershelco@aol.com.

First Green Bank to Host Official “Green Opening” Celebration at Award-Winning Mount Dora, FL Headquarters Facility on Feb. 4

MOUNT DORA, Fla. --- First Green Bank of Lake County will host the official grand opening of its new 12,000 square foot headquarters facility at 18251 U.S. Hwy. 441 in Mount Dora on Saturday, Feb. 4, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Dubbed the “Grand Green Opening Celebration,” First Green Bank officials said the event will include tours of the award-winning facility, which ranks as the second privately constructed building in Florida designed and built to exceed the U.S. Green Building Council’s rigid Platinum LEED standards for energy efficiency, environmental quality and durability.

First Green Bank was recently named Florida’s Green Business of the Year for 2011 by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Central Florida chapter.

The building---with a design reminiscent of pioneer architect Frank Lloyd Wright---is constructed from materials that required minimal energy for their manufacture and maintenance. Windows, insulation and even the building siting were chosen to reduce energy needs and provide a safe, secure environment for customers.

There are recharging stations for electric cars, said Kenneth E. LaRoe (lower left photo), chairman and chief executive officer of First Green Bank, and their use is free to all customers at all times.

For more information about this press release, contact:  

Ken LaRoe, Chairman and CEO, First GREEN Bank, 352-483-9100, Ken@firstgreenbank.com

 Paul Rountree, President, First GREEN Bank, 352-483-9100, Paul@firstgreenbank.com

 Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications 407-644-4142 or 407-461-3780 lvershelco@aol.com  

Winston-James Development Reports Two Large Lease Agreements at Aloma Business Center in Winter Park, FL

Winter Park, FL. --- Winston James Developer reports it recently closed on two lease agreements at Aloma Business Center (top left photo) developed by Winston-James Development, LLC, and located on Aloma Ave. in Winter Park.

Winston Schwartz, president of Winston-James Development, said new tenant New Horizons Development, leased 930 square feet of office space and International Professional Realty expanded its office space from 930 square feet to 1,200 square feet.

For more information, contact:

Winston Schwartz, President, Winston-James Development, LLC 933 Beville Rd., South Daytona, Fla. 32119; 386-760-2555;

 Larry Vershel, Larry Vershel Communications 407-644-4142 lvershelco@aol.com

Hendricks & Partners Negotiates sale of apartment properties in Winter Springs,FL and Largo, FL that total more than $30 million

ORLANDO and TAMPA, FL. --- Hendricks & Partners, which ranks as one of the largest and most active multi-family investment banking and research companies in the U.S., recently negotiated the sale of apartment properties in Largo in Pinellas County and Winter Springs in Seminole County that totaled $30.6 million.

Cole Whitaker (lower left photo), partner and director of the Southeast Division of Hendricks & Partners in Orlando and Associate Partner Hal Warren negotiated the sales.

The Hendricks & Partners team negotiated the sale of Waterchase, a gated apartment community located at 401 Rosery Rd. N.E. in Largo for $14,750,000. Whitaker and Warren represented the seller, Largo Westmarc Limited Partnership.

Westdale Investment Partners, LLC acquired the 278-unit property, which was built in 1969 and renovated in 2003 on an 18.3 acre site.  Three swimming pools and fitness center are among the amenities on the property.

Whitaker and Warren negotiated the sale of Chatham Pines (middle right photo), 1020 Chatham Cr. in Winter Springs for $15,850,000 representing the seller Chatham Pines Apartments, LLC.

 Seminole-Winter Springs Associates, LLC acquired the 208-unit property, built in 1992 and renovated in 2007 on its 20.6 acre site. Amenities included a resort-style pool, fitness and business centers and children’s playground.

For more information,  contact 

Cole Whitaker, Southeast Partner, Hendricks & Partners, 407-218-8880, cwhitaker@HPAPTS.com;  

 Hal Warren, Associate Partner, Hendricks & Partners, 407-218-8881, hwarren@HPAPTS.com;  

 Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142, lvershelco@aol.com  

BankUnited Makes $43 Million Loan to Trekker Tractor and Puerto Rico Wire Group

MIAMI LAKES, FL(Dec.  27, 2011) BankUnited provided a $43,284,000 million commercial loan to Trekker Tractor, LLC and Puerto Rico Wire Group for working capital and equipment and for the refinancing of owner occupied real estate.

 Trekker Tractor, which is headquartered in Miami and maintains a state-of-the-art training center in West Palm Beach, is a source for new and used loader backhoes, excavators, crawler dozers, wheel loaders, trenchers, skid steers and compaction equipment.

 Puerto Rico Wire Group offers a comprehensive collection of commercial equipment, home improvement and garden equipment for sale and rent in Puerto Rico.

“At BankUnited we have made commercial lending a major focus,” said Nic Bustle (top right photo), senior executive vice president for corporate and commercial lending for BankUnited. “We believe in Florida’s economy as well as in the companies that are based here and those that do business in the state. As Florida's economy continues to rebound, we will have more opportunities to positively impact growth in the state.”

 The loan closed in early December. Jose R. Valdes (top left photo), BankUnited senior vice president Miami Dade corporate and commercial banking, and Cristina di Mauro (middle right photo), BankUnited senior vice president Miami Dade corporate and commercial banking team lead, sponsored the transaction and will manage the client relationship going forward.

 CIMA Capital Partners acted as financial advisors to Trekker Tractor and Puerto Rico Wire Group in this transaction.  Jose Cestero, Sr. and Jose Cestero, Jr. are principals of Trekker Tractor and Puerto Rico Wire Group. 

 BankUnited, headquartered in Miami Lakes, Fla., is one of the strongest and most well-capitalized banks in the country. Serving businesses and consumers in 14 Florida counties through more than 90 branches, BankUnited provides a wide range of commercial and consumer banking services.

 For additional information, call (877) 779-2265 or visit http://www.bankunited.com/.


Mary Harris                                                        

Maria Pierson
Pierson Grant
776-1999, ext. 222

Amy Hoffman
Pierson Grant Public Relations
6301 Northwest 5th Way  Suite 2600
Fort Lauderdale, FL  33309
v. (954) 776-1999  ext. 228
f. (954) 776-0290

The Hilton Concord Hotel’s Multi-Million-Dollar Renovation Infuses Smart Upgrades to Provide a Sustainable Experience in San Francisco’s East Bay Area


CONCORD, CA, Dec. 27, 2011 – The Hilton Concord Hotel (top left photo), located in the East Bay of San Francisco, is incorporating environmental and sustainable systems into its multi-million dollar hotel renovation anticipated to be fully completed in early 2012.

The hotel is owned and operated by Interstate Hotels & Resorts, the largest U.S.-based global management company.

 “Reinvesting in a leading hotel such as the Hilton Concord ideally positions the Company to take full advantage of the anticipated recovery in the lodging segment,” said Jim Abrahamson (middle right photo), CEO of Interstate.

 In addition to a stunning redesign, the Hilton Concord is a leading example on how to successfully integrate sustainable programs to reduce waste and conserve natural resources.

 “This renovation is allowing us to become a product of intuitive design and contemporary upgrades,” said General Manager Jack Hlavac..

 “It also gives us the opportunity to have a positive impact on the environment by instituting sustainable practices into our operations that conserve natural resources and reduce waste, pollution, and the hotel’s carbon footprint,” “We are able to create efficiencies and cost savings to the hotel operation while also enhancing guest services.”

The Hilton Concord Hotel is located at 1970 Diamond Boulevard. For additional information about the Hilton Concord Hotel, to make reservations, or to plan an upcoming event, please contact the hotel at (925) 827-2000 or visit www.Concord.Hilton.com.

The Hilton Concord Hotel is wholly-owned and managed by Interstate Hotels & Resorts http://www.ihrco.com/

To learn more about the Hilton Concord, visit the website: http://www.concord.hilton.com/. 

Media Contacts:

:Matt Hohenstreet, (925) 349-2609, matt.hohenstreet@ihrco.com

Patrick Daly
Account Supervisor
Daly Gray, Inc.
Office:  (703) 435-6293
Cell:  (703) 300-8289

CommerCenters LLC in Orlando shifts focus to International Capital Markets

MAITLAND, FL --- CommerCenters, LLC, which has developed flex warehouse distribution centers that total more than 1.5 million square feet in six Central Florida locations, is shifting its focus to concentrate on private equity funds and investments that target commercial real estate assets and associated service companies.

George Livingston (top right photo), CIPS a principal of CommerCenters, LLC, as well as Chairman of NAI Realvest Development in Maitland and a longtime area real estate investment analyst, said CommerCenters has evolved into an international capital market company that offers proven expertise in commercial real estate development, asset management and long-term growth.

Livingston said CommerCenters funds will invest in rental apartment properties driven by work force and population growth, senior housing and assisted living facilities, and new medical facilities, especially those that are age related.

“The U.S. economy and its commercial real estate market is in the early stage of recovery from a deep and long recession,” Livingston explained.

“The financial markets still suffer from a shortage of capital, yet opportunities for development and investment can be identified and exploited. With a dependable source of equity capital, investors can react to opportunities quickly, and that’s where CommerCenters will focus,” Livingston said.

Livingston added that CommerCenters plans to diversify its investment portfolio across several property types, with multiple developers and investor partners.

Livingston said CommerCenters will look for opportunities that offer solid long-term potential.

“We anticipate returns in the 15 to 20 percent range over a period of seven years,” he said.

CommerCenters, LLC and its subsidiary, Realvest Development, LLC are involved in all aspects of speculative and build-to-suit commercial real estate investment and development from acquisition, planning, design, permitting, and construction through sale or lease.

 Over the past decade, CommerCenters and its development partners have developed over 1,500,000 square feet of industrial and office space in the Central Florida area.

For more information, contact
 George Livingston, Chairman CommerCenters LLC 407-875-9989
Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications 407-644-4142

NAI Realvest Orlando Closes Three Deals in Central Florida

 TLC Engineering for Architecture Extends Lease for 8,240 SF on N. Westshore Blvd. in Tampa, FL

 Orlando and Tampa, FL. – NAI Realvest based in Maitland recently negotiated a new lease agreement for 8,240 square feet of Class A office space at 500  N. Westshore Blvd. in Tampa. 

 Paul P. Partyka (top right photo), managing partner at NAI Realvest, negotiated the lease representing the tenant Orlando-based TLC Engineering for Architecture with an assist from Chairman George Livingston and Christie Alexander (top left photo), principal.

 “TLC Engineering, which has 10 offices throughout Florida plus Nashville and Dallas, extended its lease in the Tampa Bay market for another five years, as they feel very bullish about the Tampa market,” Partyka said.    

 TLC ranks among the most respected engineering firms in the nation, with a portfolio including projects in 46 states.

 The landlord, 500 WS Owner LLC c/o Parkway Realty Services LLC of  Jacksonville was represented in the transaction by Nancy Herz of Parkway Realty Services.

 For more information, please 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 

New China Buffet will open in 11,356 SF at Former Barnhill’s on S.R. 54 in New Port Richey, FL

 MAITLAND, FL - NAI Realvest recently negotiated a long term lease of the 11,356 square foot former Barnhill’s restaurant facility at 6301 S.R. 54 in New Port Richey, Fla.

Paul P. Partyka, principal and managing partner at NAI Realvest, negotiated the transaction representing the landlord, Eifers, Fla-based Silverton Financial Management Inc. c/o Riverpine, Inc. 

The new tenant is J & K China Buffet, Inc. who was represented by Josephine Wang of Carlino Commercial Group. 

It will be the second location for China Buffet when it is anticipated to open in March.  The firm’s first restaurant is in Orange Park, outside of Jacksonville, Partyka said.

For more information, contact:  

 Paul P. Partyka, Managing Partner/Principal, NAI Realvest, 407-875-9989; ppartyka@realvest.com;
 Patrick Mahoney, President, NAI Realvest, 407-875-9989, pmahoney@realvest.com;  
 Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142             

NAI Realvest Launches New Associate Program; Appoints Five New Broker Associates
 ORLANDO, Fla. – NAI Realvest, which ranks as one of Central Florida’s largest and most active commercial property developers and one of the region’s most active commercial property firms, recently launched a new Associates Program to recruit and train broker associates.

 Paul P. Partyka, principal and managing partner at NAI Realvest, said the firm’s new Associates Program was designed to give promising young commercial real estate specialists the opportunity to launch their careers in Central Florida.

“We’ve developed a comprehensive orientation and training program that will serve the commercial real estate industry here in Central Florida and energize our own efforts,” 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
 Larry Vershel or Beth Payan Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142 Lvershelco@aol.com     

John Crossman, President of Crossman & Co., to speak on retail development and trends at Institute of Real Estate Management Annual Forecast in Boca Raton, FL

ORLANDO, FL--- John Crossman (top right photo), president of Crossman & Company in Orlando will be on a panel of experts at the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) 20th Annual South Florida Breakfast Forecast Jan. 11 in Boca Raton.

Crossman, who ranks as one of the most prolific retail property brokers in the southeast, will discuss retail developments and trends.

The event begins with registration and networking at 7:30 a.m., breakfast at 8 and the program begins at 8:30 at the Embassy Suites Hotel, 661 NW 53 St., Boca Raton 33487.

The panel of industry experts will discuss past, present and future trends in South Florida in the areas of commercial, retail and residential, according to George Chrismark, IREM Association Executive for the South Florida Chapter.

The cost is $47 for IREM members, $67 for guests and $87 at the door for everyone.

For more information, contact:

 John Crossman, CCIM, President, Crossman & Company, 407-581-6218, jcrossman@crossmanco.com;

 Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142, lvershelco@aol.com

New Year’s Resolutions from WeinPlus for Commercial Real Estate to Increase Productivity

ST. PETERSBURG, FL --- Leading commercial real estate consultant Rachel Elias Wein (top right photo), AIA, founder and principal of WeinPlus Real Estate Advisory Services in St. Petersburg has some programmatic year-end advice for property owners, landlords, developers and real estate firms: clean out the corners of your company’s operations, and plan some time for executives, department heads and office workers to invent faster, better ways to serve your customers.

“In today’s market, no enterprise can afford to overlook better ways to serve customers,” Wein said. “And most companies have outdated policies and procedures that are in place for no better reason other than that’s the way it’s always been done,” she said.

Wein said “cleaning the corners” means taking a close look at everything from decision-making procedures to policies that govern reporting, project approvals and productivity.

“Some of the best strategies come from workers who are dealing with customers every day, fielding their complaints and hearing their success stories,” Wein said.

Wein said focused efforts to develop new ways reach out to tenants and establish strategic partnerships with retailers can be particularly beneficial.

Even elemental tasks such as manual reporting or chasing after non-productive leads can waste valuable time that could be spent more productively.

“This real estate cycle is unlike any that most of us have ever experienced,” Wein said. “Successful landlords, developers and their representatives are the ones who are working on strategies to overcome market weaknesses, and smart ones know that the core of every business is customer service,” she said.

For more information, contact

Rachel Elias Wein, AIA, Founder / Principal, WeinPlus, 727-386-9346, http://www.weinplusassociates.com/;

 Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications 407-644-4142, lvershelco@aol.com.