Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lincoln Property Company Southeast Inks Slew of Leases at PerimeterOffice Complex in Atlanta

ATLANTA, GA (Feb. 29, 2012) – Lincoln Property Company Southeast recently brokered seven leases totaling nearly 27,000 square feet at Eleven Seventeen Perimeter (top left photo), located in the Perimeter submarket of Atlanta.

The transactions closed in fourth-quarter 2011, and Leigh Braswell (middle right photo) and David Danhof (middle left photo), both vice presidents of Lincoln, represented the landlord in each deal.
In the biggest transaction, Hospice Preferred Choice leased 8,686 square feet in the building. John Thornton of CB Richard Ellis represented the tenant.

In the other deals:

• TekStream, represented by Patrick Braswell of Scotland Wright Associates, leased 5,929 square feet.

• York Claims, represented by Todd Smith of The Acclaim Group, leased 3,485 square feet.

• Pathbuilders, represented by Jud Bass of Bass Commercial, leased 3,210 square feet.

• BF Benefits leased 1,937 square feet. No agent represented the tenant.

• GPD Group, represented by Taylor Smith of Lee & Associates, leased 1,933 square feet.

• Compass Supply LLC, represented by Adam Richards of Resource, leased 1,632 square feet.
“We are tremendously pleased by the amount of activity at Eleven Seventeen Perimeter,” said Tony Bartlett (lower right photo), senior vice president of Lincoln Property Company Southeast. “Leigh and David continue to bring our client outstanding value in their leasing efforts.”

Stephen Ursery
Wilbert News Strategies

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Lincoln Property Company Southeast Brokers Gilbert RV Insurance’s Lease Renewal in Orlando, FL

ORLANDO, FL (Feb. 29, 2012) – Lincoln Property Company Southeast has brokered Gilbert RV Insurance’s five-year renewal of an 8,525-square-foot lease at Global Business Center (top left photo) in Orlando, Fla.

Jay Dixon (lower right photo), vice president of Lincoln’s Office Group, represented the landlord and was the only agent involved in the transaction.

Global Business Center is located near the Orlando International Airport, as well as hotels and restaurants. The center features four parking slots for every 1,000 square feet of space.

“We are proud of efforts in making Global Business Center a top-notch office/flex facility,” Dixon said. “Gilbert’s renewal is a great example of our ability to bring value to our clients.”

Stephen Ursery
Wilbert News Strategies
please visit
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Beech Street Capital Provides $9.5 Million Fannie Mae Loan to Acquire Miami, FL Aparrtments

 BETHESDA, MD – Beech Street Capital, LLC announced it has provided a $9.5 million Fannie Mae conventional loan for the acquisition of Oak Grove Apartments (top left photo), a 369-unit apartment complex located in Miami, Florida.

The transaction was originated by David Hayum of Meridian Capital Group, LLC, and was financed by Beech Street Capital as part of its correspondent relationship with Meridian. 

Beech Street was able to satisfy the borrower’s request of a short sale acquisition with great efficiency.  The company completed the underwriting package and was positioned to rate lock prior to the 15 day due diligence period after approval from the special servicer, a requirement of a short sale acquisition. 

“The entire process was incredibly smooth,” comments Mose Popack, one of the key principals on the deal. 

 “It would have been great for a savings bank and is remarkable for an agency loan.”  Hayman adds, “Beech Street was also able to provide the borrower with their revised request loan term of five years at the original application amount of $9.5 million versus a 10-year loan term.”

Over the past four years, the property has undergone over $2 million in capital improvements and the current borrower plans to make renovations to units upon turnover.

Located in North Miami, the property is surrounded by a public park with recreational activities, multifamily properties and other neighborhood serving retail and services. Common amenities include an on-site leasing office, gated access, three swimming pools, barbeque / picnic area, and 24-hour emergency maintenance.

 The fixed-rate loan has a term of five years with 4.5 years of yield maintenance, 30-year amortization, and actual/360 interest accrual.

Jenifer Bernardi    

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

T5 Data Centers Welcomes a Fortune 50 User in Kings Mountain, NC

Charlotte, NC - T5 Data Centers today announced that a Fortune 50 Company would join T5’s other like-kind data center operations in the 280-acre T5@Kings Mountain Data Center Park (top left photo).

 T5@Kings Mountain will sell approximately 130acres to this company for them to immediately begin construction of their custom enterprise data center.

T5 Data Centers, launched in 2008, is an owner/operator of wholesale data centers and developer of purpose-built facilities. 

T5@Kings Mountain is a 280-acre Data Center Park located in Kings Mountain, NC, a suburb of Charlotte.

 T5@Kings Mountain offers data center users robust utility infrastructure in a hazard-free area that has some of the best incentives on the East Coast. 

Located within a 30-minute drive of the Charlotte-Douglas International airport, T5@Kings Mountain boasts a 180 mega-watt substation, redundant water supply, and abundant fiber connectivity, which now will include additional fiber bandwidth available to all users in the park.

 In addition to a number of pad-ready sites available for further development, T5@Kings Mountain offers a speed-to-operation advantage with its a new purpose-built “Powered Data Center Shell” available containing 147,720 sf, expandable to over 450,000 sf.

“We’re thrilled to add this company to our roster of Data Center operations in our T5@Kings Mountain Data Center Park,” said Pete Marin (lower left photo), President of T5. “This is yet another example of a major user’s endorsement of the infrastructure and operational benefits T5 purposely created in the data center park setting.” 

For more information, visit or contact them at 404-239-7144.


Tony Wilbert
Wilbert News Strategies, LLC
404-965-5022 / 404-405-3656

 Jason Chartrand
T5 Data Centers
404-239-7144 / 404-933-5996

Krunali Parekh
Wilbert News Strategies 
C:  404.901.4433   D: 404.965.5024

George Smith Partners Arranges $25 Million in Financing for Carriage Square Shopping Center in Oxnard, CA

LOS ANGELES, CA (Feb. 28, 2012)—Commercial real estate investment banking firm George Smith Partners has successfully arranged two loans, totaling $25 million in financing for Upside Investments, LP., for its Carriage Square Shopping Center (top left aerial and lower left photo)) in Oxnard, Calif. according to Principal and Managing Director, Steve Bram (middle right photo) and Senior Vice President, David Pascale (middle left photo).

The two permanent loans replaced a construction loan which had allowed Upside Investments to complete a redevelopment of the 173,000 square-foot outdated shopping center. George Smith Partners had previously arranged the original construction financing for the center in November 2010.

Upside Investments Inc. used the original construction loan to redevelop the functionally obsolete 1960’s retail center, including razing most of the structures, repositioning in-line retail space, constructing new space, and creating a 151,000 square-foot retail pad for new tenant Lowe’s. Lowe’s then constructed a brand-new 120,000 square-foot store and 31,000 square-foot garden center on the property.

The permanent loans included a $21 million credit tenant lease financing and a $4 million life company forward commitment. The loans were provided by two different lenders and funded within seven days of each other.

“The combination financing structure allowed our longtime client, Upside Investments, to maximize their proceeds at the lowest possible rates by taking full advantage of the Lowe’s bond lease structure while also financing the noncredit pad income,” explained Bram.

The $21 million credit tenant lease bond financing was provided for the newly constructed Lowe’s. Upside owns the fee and leases it to Lowe’s on a 20-year ground-lease. This financing was arranged through an investment bank specializing in bond placements for large institutional investors. The 20-year loan had an amortization of 20.5 years. The leases’ bond structure and the tenant’s strong credit allowed the investment bank to underwrite to a 1.01 debt coverage ratio.
The $4 million life company forward commitment provided the permanent financing on the center’s retail pads and in-line stores surrounding the new Lowe’s.

The borrower had requested a permanent loan with a six month forward rate-lock to minimize interest rate risk. At the time, all the tenants had fully executed leases in place, but not all were yet operating. The 10-year loan had a 30-year amortization and a 50 percent loan-to-value.

“Steve Bram and David Pascale of GSP provided us with invaluable support during this redevelopment project.  They advised us on structure when we first put the property into contract and worked with us through the conceptual planning, lease negotiations, initial construction and permanent financing. Thanks to their expertise, we were able to transform this run-down center into a thriving shopping area for the community,” explained Gary Simons, of Upside Investments, LP.

 Information about George Smith Partners is located on the company Web site, .


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

MyRentComps Launches Nationwide Interactive Internet Target Marketing for Apartment Industry

 ORLANDO, FL – (MRC) announces a new way for Apartment Suppliers to connect with onsite apartment property management. According to Robert E. Smith (top right photo), Founder of,

 “With the evolution of the internet many small businesses are stumped about the best way to reach their target audiences. They may end up spending several hundred or up to thousands of dollars per month on the internet and still may be missing their target audiences.

“We have built an Online Market Survey website that Property managers go to on a regular basis to get their Free Comp Reports. The website has partnered with over 21 apartment associations around the nation and now our Supplier Sponsors have another way of reaching their target market.

“The new interactive website allows the Apartment Supplier to giveaway prizes to anyone answering their questions correctly. We have sponsors giving away great prizes. Since the
onsite management must answer the questions correctly to have a chance to win, it is a great way to educate their target market on their products or services.”
 Mr. Smith also stated “This system is revolutionizing the way onsite property management get their market survey data while learning about the product and services that they need to run their properties.

Mr. Noel Myatt (top left photo),’s Account Manager adds “The Click, Play, Win concept was a hit from the very beginning.”

According to Mr. Myatt, “In the first two months, we had over 950 customer interactions representing over 85,000 apartment units and over 100 different Multifamily management companies entering to win everything from iPads to $500 Visa Gift Cards.

” An interaction on the site; is a user who clicks the Click Play Win button on the sponsors banner ad and answers a question correctly. Each question gives the hint that allows the player to readily get the answer and then is entered into their drawing.
350 East Pine Street
Orlando, Florida 32801
Phone: (407) 206-3791
Fax: (866) 206-5930

Robert E. Smith Ext. 101

Noel Myatt Ext. 111

Benjamin West Opens Office in Miami to Serve Latin America

 MIAMI, FL and BOULDER, CO,  Feb. 28, 2012—In response to the rapid growth in hotel development in Latin America and the Caribbean, Benjamin West, the hotel industry’s largest global purchasing firm for furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) and operating supplies and equipment (OS&E), today announced that the company will open a new office in Miami.

 The new operation will be led by Liliane Stacishin-Moura (top right photo), who has joined the company as Director-Latin America & Caribbean. 

The new office brings to six the number of locations the company has opened to serve its clients worldwide.  In 2011, Benjamin West worked on projects in 23 countries on four continents. 

“Latin America has reached the tipping point of hotel development, with international and regional brands, as well as independents, ramping up to serve these rapidly growing economies,” said Alan Benjamin (middle left photo), president of Benjamin West.

 “According to Lodging Econometrics, three of the top 20 development markets—Brazil, Mexico and Argentina--are in that region.  All but one country has shown quarter-over- quarter improvements in the development pipeline since the bottom of the cycle in late 2009.

“ Renovations, which were delayed because of the economy, have been accelerating since the recovery began in the region in 2010.    Chile and Columbia have great potential and the Caribbean’s primary economic driver is tourism which requires on-going investment to introduce new product and upgrading existing hotels." 
 Stacishin-Moura, a Brazilian native and educated in the U.S., has an extensive background in design and real estate development, as well as environmental science.

  Prior to joining Benjamin West, she was founder and partner in Find Development Resources International headquartered in Los Cabos, Mexico.  She led the company’s international business development, brokering and financing for the company’s hospitality and retail segments. 

 Additional information about the company may be found at its Web site:


Jerry Daly, Chris Daly                               
Daly Gray                                                       
(703) 435-6293                                                                               

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

Interstate Hotels & Resorts Announces Management Agreement for First Franchised DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in China


ARLINGTON, VA, Feb. 28, 2012—Interstate Hotels & Resorts today announced that Interstate China has signed an agreement to manage the 850-room DoubleTree by Hilton Shanghai-Pudong (top left photo), the first Hilton Worldwide-franchised hotel in China. 

The hotel, owned by Shanghai Jin Jiang International Hotels (Group) Co. Ltd., converted to the DoubleTree by Hilton Shanghai-Pudong on Feb. 28, 2012 and will immediately begin a multi-million dollar comprehensive renovation to be completed in 2013. 

“It is extremely gratifying to be the first hotel operator of a franchised DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in China,” said Jim Abrahamson (top right photo), Interstate’s chief executive officer.

  “Interstate China, our joint venture with Jin Jiang Hotels, is a business model that we have successfully implemented in other regions globally.  Interstate has a long history as a franchisee/operator in multiple countries.  Our outstanding reputation as a quality operator of leading international brands and our highly experienced Interstate China executive team, combined with our depth of resources and scale, position us well for continued growth in China.”

Formerly the Sofitel JJ Oriental Hotel, the two-tower, 850-room hotel is located in Shanghai’s dynamic Pudong district (middle left photo), offering convenient access to Pudong International Airport and the Shanghai New International Exposition Center (SNIEC). 

 Amenities include more than 16,000 square feet of flexible meeting and special event space, a fitness center, spa with men’s and women’s sauna and steam facilities, outdoor tennis courts, indoor swimming pool and extensive retail shops. 

As part of the hotel’s upcoming refurbishment program, a new 8,000 square foot ballroom will be constructed, while all food & beverage outlets, meeting and banquet space, and retail offerings will be re-designed and revitalized to meet the high quality standards and contemporary style of the DoubleTree by Hilton brand.

 For more information, visit the DoubleTree by Hilton Shanghai-Pudong’s website: 

Interstate China Hotels & Resorts Company Limited (“Interstate China”) is a joint venture between Interstate and Shanghai Jin Jiang International Hotels Company Limited (“Jin Jiang Hotels”), China’s leading hotel operator and developer.

For additional information about Interstate, visit the company’s website:

Jerry Daly, Carol McCune                             Carrie McIntyre
Media                                                              SVP, Treasurer
Daly Gray                                                       Interstate Hotels & Resorts
(703) 435-6293                                             (703) 387-3320                            

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

Raintree Partners Acquires Two Luxury Condominium Projects in Los Angeles for $24 Million

LOS ANGELES, CA  (Feb. 28, 2012) – Raintree Partners, a Laguna Niguel, Calif.-based real estate investment and development company, has completed the acquisition of two luxury vacant condominium projects, Vista Paradiso (top left photo) and Villa Sofia (middle left photo), totaling 63 units in the county of Los Angeles, Calif. which the firm will, for the time being, hold and manage as condo units to be rented. 

This $24.2 million acquisition brings Raintree’s holdings in California to 15 multifamily communities, consisting of 2,057 units, according to Jeff Allen (top right photo), CEO of Raintree Partners.

“These two properties were originally built as for-sale condominiums but never made it to market, and therefore were 100 percent vacant when acquired,” explained Allen.

“Our business plan includes the acquisition and ongoing ownership of multifamily properties.  In line with this strategy, Raintree will offer these newly acquired condo units for rent as high-end multifamily units.”

Vista Paradiso is a luxury, Class A community built in 2011 and located at 11805 Laurelwood Drive in Studio City, Calif. The property includes 24 units, featuring two- and three-bedroom floor plans, averaging 1,600 square feet, according to Aaron Hancock, Director of Acquisitions for Raintree. 

“Vista Paradiso is a particularly strong investment opportunity for our firm. The property features panoramic views of the San Fernando Valley and is one of the few high-end condo properties available for rent south of Ventura Boulevard in Studio City,” Hancock explained.

“In fact, Vista Paradiso will be the highest-quality multifamily product available for rent within the San Fernando Valley market today.”

The second property, Villa Sofia, is also a luxury Class A condo project that was constructed in 2011.  The property is located at 4470 Woodman Ave. in Sherman Oaks.  The 39-unit community is made up of two- and three-bedroom floor plans averaging 1,234 square feet. 

Hancock explained, “When combined with our 2011 acquisition of Taiko Village in Burbank, this acquisition brings Raintree’s portfolio of Class A rental condominium properties within this submarket to 106 units.”

Hancock continued, “Because many former homeowners are now renting, and numerous would-be buyers have made the decision to postpone a home purchase, demand for luxury condo properties which are currently available to rent, like Vista Paradiso and Villa Sofia, is strong. 

"We expect that demand for these types of units will increase, and we anticipate that Raintree will acquire additional failed condominiums in the future.”

KW Commercial’s Senior Vice President Hirsch Sherman (lower right photo)  and Vice President Jared Levine (lower left photo) represented Raintree in the acquisition. Daron Campbell, also of KW Commercial, represented the seller.

Corynne Randel / Jenn Quader
Brower, Miller & Cole
(949) 955-7940              

Monday, February 27, 2012

Emerson International Negotiates Long Term Lease Renewal for 28,540 SF at CenterPointe II in Altamonte Springs, FL

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, FL. --- Emerson International, which developed the CenterPointe Office (top left photo) at 220 E. Central Parkway in Altamonte Springs, recently negotiated a major lease renewal there.

Eric Emerson (lower right photo), vice president and general manager of Emerson International, Inc. said Travel Holdings, Inc., owner of renewed its lease for 28,540 square feet in the CenterPointe II building.

Kenneth Koch, commercial portfolio manager at Emerson International negotiated the transaction representing the landlord.

Emerson International is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Emerson Group, the global corporation that is one of the largest privately-owned property development companies.

For more information,  contact

 Eric J. Emerson, Vice President and General Manager Emerson International, Inc. 407-834-9560;;
Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142

Software Development Company Releases First 3D Mobile Application for Real Estate Industry

 MIAMI, FL, Feb. 27, 2012 – Evolution Ventures (Evolution), a Miami Beach-based software development company, has released a first of its kind iPad and web-based application named Sage that transforms the way real estate agents can show, sell and lease real estate. Evolution’s application was developed for residential, retail, and office real estate. 

(MIddle right photo of Eyal Weinstein, left, and Jonathan Oleinick, co-founders of Evolution Ventures)

Residential Sage, specifically developed for the high-rise residential market, provides real estate agents with a dynamic presentation tool to more beautifully and effectively display information to clients.

The application incorporates the company’s revolutionary, patent-pending 3D building visualization system, which enables information such as pricing to be dynamically overlaid on a building’s computer model.

 The technology is an innovative way to display information that tends to be presented in long and confusing lists. In addition, the application is used to present building videos, area maps, amenities, floor-plans and details about the unit inventory, as well as other content.

 It is exclusively available to the sales teams of Evolution’s clients and is currently being used by Trump Soho (middle left photo) in New York City, The Residences at W South Beach (lower right photo) in Miami Beach, Marquis Residences, and BrickellHouse in Miami, among many others. 

 Evolution’s application suite is also used by the retail and office markets with clients including national companies such as Edens and Inland Real Estate Corporation.

“We have an innate understanding of what the real estate industry needs in order to function more efficiently," says Jonathan Oleinick,  co-founder with Eyal Weinstein of Evolution Ventures. 

"Sage is a powerful sales tool that allows agents to give engaging multi-media presentations to buyers and renters of residential units. It helps differentiate the property in a crowded marketplace,”  
For more information, visit


Jessica Wade Pfeffer,
Jessica Wade Inc.,
7100 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 305A | Miami, FL 33138
Cell +1.305.804.8424 | Blackberry Pin 32EC7AE1

Faris Lee Investments Completes $5.27 Million Sale of Retail Property Occupied by Hobby Lobby in Visalia, CA

IRVINE, CA, Feb. 27, 2012 – Faris Lee Investments, the nation’s largest retail-specialized investment advisory firm, has completed the $5,272,000 sale of a 59,283 square foot retail property occupied by Hobby Lobby (top left photo) in Visalia, Calif.

Situated on 4.89 acres, the property is located at 3231 S. Mooney Blvd. as an anchor to the Sequoia Mall (lower left photo)which includes Sears and Regal Theaters, with Marshalls and Bed Bath & Beyond adjacent to the mall.

Also included in the sale is a potential developable outparcel, which has been approved by Hobby Lobby and the mall ownership, for up to 5,000 square feet of rentable area.

Donald MacLellan (top right photo)  and Richard Walter (middle left photo) of Faris Lee Investments represented the seller, Lubert –Adler Management West Inc.

Dennis Vaccaro (lower right photo) of Faris Lee Investments represented the buyer, a private investor from Los Angeles, who paid all-cash.

“This Visalia location which opened a year ago was Hobby Lobby’s first California store and was purported to have one of the strongest store openings in the chain’s history,” said MacLellan. “Faris Lee’s strategy was to educate the capital-rich California buyer pool on the strength of Hobby Lobby as a leading retailer in the industry.”

Vaccaro added: “Hobby Lobby is located in the former Mervyn’s anchor space of Sequoia Mall which has significant vacancy, however, the superior positioning of the Hobby Lobby building within the recovering Visalia marketplace offered an opportunity to capitalize on the property’s intrinsic value.”
 Hobby Lobby is located along S. Mooney Blvd. with excellent visibility and strong traffic counts at the intersection of Caldwell Avenue and Mooney Boulevard (56,000 cars per day).

Hobby Lobby operates about 435 stores in 35 states and sells arts and crafts supplies, baskets, beads, candles, frames, home-decorating accessories, and silk flowers. It also has operations in China, Hong Kong, and the Philippines, and it is the #3 craft and fabric retailer (behind Michaels Stores and Jo-Ann Stores). Sister companies, Crafts, Etc! and Hemispheres, supply Hobby Lobby stores with merchandise, received from its Oklahoma distribution facility.

“California capital continues to seek out single-tenant property within the state as well as in other well-located markets throughout the country,” said Walter. “The marriage between location and tenant strength is key to investor appeal as more often than not, annual returns are more reliable and more profitable than other non-real estate investment options.”

 For more information, please visit

Darcie Giacchetto,
Spaulding Thompson & Associates
For Faris Lee Investments

Regency Centers to Begin 378,000 sf Ground-Up Development in Petaluma, CA


 PETALUMA, CA.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Regency Centers (NYSE: REG), a national owner, operator and developer of grocery-anchored and community shopping centers, will begin construction of East Washington Place (top left rendering), a 378,000-square-foot community center anchored by Target.

Located 39 miles north of San Francisco in Petaluma, Calif., this new development is strategically located at the intersection of two main arterial roads, East Washington Street and Highway 101, with daily traffic counts in excess of 92,000.

Regency Centers will invest approximately $61 million into the project, which will create approximately 380 construction jobs and 720 permanent jobs.

East Washington Place will fill a retail gap in the Petaluma market which is currently underserved by major retailers. The center will include a 138,324-square-foot Target along with 121,000 square feet of anchor space and 118,676 square feet for junior anchors, small shops and office space. Construction will commence this week with the center opening slated for Summer 2013.

“East Washington Place has all the key attributes that define a Regency center – market-dominant anchor, a prime infill location and superior demographics,” explained Ryan Nickelson, Vice President of Investments for Regency Centers. “Tenant interest remains high as there are very few location options in this highly desirable market that has limited opportunities for future retail development.”

To lease space, contact Leasing Agent Jenny Smith at 925.279.1885.

In 2004, Regency Centers purchased the land occupied by Kenilworth Junior High School, which used the funds to relocate and construct a new school facility. In addition, Regency Centers partnered with the Petaluma National Little League and Petaluma City School District to relocate and construct new baseball fields located at Petaluma Junior High School which will open for the Spring 2012 season.

Regency Centers owns and/or manages 71 properties in California totaling 9 million square feet.

The Hoffman Agency
Bonnie Hayflick, 904-398-9663
Regency Centers
Ryan Nickelson, 925-279-1865
Vice President, Investments

CMBS Delinquencies and Bank Troubled Assets Holding Steady, Report Guests on Atlanta’s Commercial Real Estate Show

 ATLANTA, GA (Feb. 27, 2012) – When it comes to CMBS loan delinquencies and the percentage of problem assets that banks have on their balance sheets, things are not getting better. But the situation is not getting worse.

 Guests of the most recent episode of the “Commercial Real Estate Show” shared those observations in a comprehensive look at the issues facing banks and servicers. Topics included upcoming CMBS maturities, the performance of banks in 2011, best practices for participation loans and successful OREO marketing techniques.

Tom Fink (top right photo), a senior vice president of Trepp LLC, said the volume of CMBS delinquencies are “in a steady state right now. I wouldn’t call it greatly improving, but it’s not getting worse, that’s for sure.”

 However, some of the numbers are still unsettling. Approximately $60 billion of CMBS loans are set to mature in 2012 – and about half of those are upside down, Fink said.

 CMBS default rates have been improving in the multifamily and hotel sector, but deteriorating among office and retail properties, Fink noted. 

Meanwhile, more than 90percent of U.S. banks turned a profit in 2011, up from approximately 60 percent just two years earlier, said Christopher Marinac (top left photo), managing principal and director of research for FIG Partners LLC. “As the cigarette commercial goes, we like to say, ‘We’ve come a long way, baby,’” he said.

 The median level of problem assets among banks is about 6 percent, but the measurement is holding steady, Marinac noted. “It may not necessarily get better in the near-term … but it’s not getting worse. That’s real important,” he said, adding banks “are much more stable and much stronger than people give us credit for.”

Banks are lending more and have shown interest in hotels, multifamily properties and retail sites that are characterized by healthy cash flows and reasonable leases, Marinac said.

 “That’s good,” replied show host Michael Bull (middle right photo), president and founder of Bull Realty. “Fundamentals are improving slightly for commercial real estate. New loans at the current lowvales may be some of the safest loans lenders will ever originate.”

 Lenders that handle theforeclosure of a property well are the ones that make sure their various departments communicate early and often once trouble rears its head, said Rob Whitmire (lower left photo), a partner with Bull Realty. “They’ll bring their advisors in, their brokers, their leasing team, their management team and have them start early on providing expectations for disposition value,” he said.
 A successful tactic for foreclosing on an OREO property is to have the property held by a special-purpose entity rather than a bank. That way, the asset “has far less liability issues,” said Robert Reynolds, an attorney with Reynolds, Reynolds & Little.

 The next “Commercial Real Estate Show” will be available March 1 and will examine land use and zoning issues.


Stephen Ursery
Wilbert News Strategies