Monday, April 30, 2012

HFF secures $10 million refinancing for retail center in Houston, TX

AUSTIN, TX – HFF announced today that it has secured a $10 million refinancing for 610 & San Felipe Shopping Center (top left photo), a 59,873-square-foot retail center in Houston, Texas.

HFF worked on behalf of the borrower, 610 & San Felipe, Inc. to secure the 20-year, fixed-rate loan through Lincoln Financial Group.  HFF will also service the loan.

610 & San Felipe Shopping Center is located at the northeast corner of Loop 610 and San Felipe in Houston’s Galleria area.  Built in 1998, the property is anchored by Ashley Furniture and is currently 100 percent leased.  Other tenants include David’s Bridal, Starbucks, Antone’s and Jack in the Box.

The HFF team representing 610 & San Felipe, Inc. was led by associate director Robert Wooten (lower right photo)

The borrower, 610 & San Felipe, Inc., is owned by Cam Allard, a Canadian-based real estate investor, who has developed, managed and leased office, retail, apartment and residential communities across the US and Canada.


ROBERT B. WOOTEN                                   
HFF Associate Director                               
(512) 532-1900                                                                                    

HFF Associate Director, Marketing
(713) 852-3500

HFF secures $65 million financing for Grace Lake Corporate Center in Van Buren Township, Michigan

 CHICAGO, IL – HFF announced today that it has secured $65 million in financing for Grace Lake Corporate Center (top left photo), a 10-building, 882,949-square-foot, Class A office complex in Van Buren Township, Michigan.

Working on behalf of Sovereign Partners, LLC, HFF placed the floating-rate balance sheet loan with Ladder Capital Finance.  Loan proceeds were used to finance the acquisition of the property from Visteon Corporation, a Fortune 500 components manufacturer for which Grace Lake Corporate Center serves as the international headquarters.

Completed by Hines in 2004 to the “highest institutional standards”, Grace Lake Corporate Center is fully leased to Visteon, General Electric and Dana Holding Corporation.  Situated on 282 acres at 1 Village Center Drive in Van Buren Township, the property is close to Detroit Metro International Airport and Interstate 275. 

The HFF team representing the borrower was led by managing director Matthew Schoenfeldt (middle right photo).

“The multi-national corporations that call Grace Lake Corporate Center ‘home’ enjoy amenities unmatched in the competitive property set including: a cafeteria boasting world-class cuisine, a state-of-the-art fitness facility, a multi-media center and the serene 35-acre Grace Lake,” said Schoenfeldt.

Sovereign Partners is a privately-held real estate investment firm that specializes in the acquisition of high-quality office assets throughout the United States.


MATTHEW R. SCHOENFELDT                                 
HFF Managing Director                                                   
(312) 528-3650                                                                                                          

HFF Associate Director, Marketing
(713) 852-3500

ARA Announces Prime Downtown St. Petersburg, FL Multifamily Development Project

 St. Petersburg, FL (April 30, 2012) — Osprey S.A., Ltd retained theš Tampa office of Atlanta-headquartered ARA to arrange the sale of their 2.88-acre site located at 330 Third Street in downtown St. Petersburg, FL.

American Land Ventures, based out of Miami, Florida, was selected by Osprey to proceed with plans to develop the site, with a project consisting of 340+/- luxury apartments and parking facilities. ššš

 The property is ideally located at the northwest corner of 3rd Street South and 4th Avenue South.š It is adjacent to the University Village Shopping Center which is anchored by a high volume Publix grocery store.

ARA’s Tampa-based Senior Vice President, Patrick Dufour (middle left photo), and Boca Raton-based Principal, Richard Donnellan (top right photo), represented the seller.

 “The site has four million square feet of office space located within one mile of the property, and is only five blocks away from -- and within walking distance to -- Bayfront Medical Center and All Children’s Hospital, which combined employ more than 5,000 people,” stated Donnellan.

According to Dufour, who lives in St. Petersburg, “The property provides a unique walkable lifestyle and is located within blocks of the downtown waterfront, multiple museums, sporting venues, theaters as well as several restaurants and shops. This is truly irreplaceable real estate, in fact, many of the units will enjoy open water views of Tampa Bay,” added Dufour.

 For additional information, contact Patrick Dufour at 813-639-7662.

To schedule an interview with an ARA executive regarding this transaction or for more information about ARA, nationally please contact Lisa Robinson at, 678.553.9360 or Amy Morris at, 678.553.9366; locally, Marti Zenor at or 561.988.8800.šš

Industrial Real Estate: Getting Healthier and Catching Eyes

 ATLANTA, GA (April 30, 2012) – As the economy is slowly gaining traction, so too is the U.S. industrial real estate market. In fact, the sector’s fundamentals have improved enough to catch the eye of investors growing leery of an overheated market for apartment properties.

 Those were two of the points made by show host Michael Bull (top right photo) and his guests on the most recent episode of “America’s Commercial Real Estate Show,” which provided an in-depth look at the industrial market’s performance in first-quarter 2012.

The R&D/flex component of the market experienced a 20-basis-point decline in its vacancy rate during the first quarter, while the warehouse/distribution subsector’s vacancy rate dipped by 10 basis points, said Ryan Severino (middle left photo), a senior economist for Reis.

 Investment sales in the sector dipped slightly in the first quarter when compared with the last three months of last year, but the transaction volume was 21 percent higher than in the same period in 2011, Severino added. 2012’s sales volume should end up bigger than 2011’s, and sales will likely continue to grow in the years ahead, he said.

 Bull echoed Severino’s assessment. “I think it’s going to be a big year for investment sales in the industrial market,” he said.

 “It was another quarter of what I would characterize as modest improvement in the industrial sector …,” Severino concluded. “I say that we should be cautiously optimistic about the sector [in the year ahead].”

 A lack of new supply in recent years has the sector set for significant rent increases in the future, said Mitch Roschelle (middle right photo), who heads PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Real Estate Advisory Practice. Also driving rent growth is tenants’ growing reluctance to move and disrupt the efficient operations they’ve established, he added.

To move “and run the risk [of] this finely tuned machine that’s been productive and profitable taking a hiccup … it doesn’t make sense, and so [tenants would] rather stay put,” Roschelle said.

While fundamentals continue to improve, the industrial sector is not yet a market that favors landlords, said Greg Herren (lower left photo), COO of Seefried Industrial Properties. However, “as they enter the market, I don’t think tenants should expect grossly discounted deals,” he said.

 Albuquerque, N.M.; Denver; and Salt Lake City are three industrial markets experiencing notable recoveries, while Dallas; Nashville, Tenn.; and Orlando, Fla., are three that continue to struggle, according to Roschelle.

 The next “Commercial Real Estate Show” will be available May 3 and will provide an update on the investment market for U.S. medical properties.


Stephen Ursery
Wilbert News Strategies
Office: (404) 965-5026
Cell: (404) 405-2354

Marcus & Millichap Announces Sale of Westbridge Apts. in Clearwater, FL

CLEARWATER, FL,  April 30, 2012 – Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, has announced the sale of Westbridge Apartments (top left photo), a 12- unit apartment property located in Clearwater, Florida, according to Bryn D. Merrey, vice president and regional manager of the firm’s Tampa office. The asset commanded a sales price of $370,500.

Michael Donaldson (middle right photo), a multifamily associate in Marcus & Millichap’s Tampa office had the exclusive listing to market the property on behalf of the seller, a financial institution.  The buyer, a local private investor, was also secured and represented by Donaldson.

“This transaction represents another example of the improving market conditions for the multifamily industry, as Westbridge fetched a higher price point than similar foreclosed apartments that have recently sold” comments Donaldson.

“The asset is situated in a desirable location close to downtown Clearwater and the beaches and was close to being fully stabilized.  The property also featured unique amenities and was parceled separately for condominiums.  These are all qualities that attracted substantial interest from buyers” adds Donaldson.

Westbridge Apartments was built in 1966 and is located at 700 South Betty Lane.

Press Contact:  Bryn D. Merrey, Vice President/Regional Manager, Tampa
(813) 387-4700

Berger Commercial Realty Corp. Broker Keith Graves Completes $1.1 Million Sale of Bank-Owned Retail Show Room in Miami

 FORT LAUDERDALE, FL.– Berger Commercial Realty Corp., a full service commercial real estate firm based in Fort Lauderdale and serving clients around the state, announced broker Keith Graves (top right photo) completed a $1.1 million sale of a  bank-owned 8,539-square-foot retail showroom.

 The space, located at 1470 N.W. 107th Ave., was purchased by RY Investment Group, LLC. It was owned by Wells Fargo and being managed by Berger Special Assets, the receivership division of Berger Commercial Realty Corp.

 "This was a great investment opportunity in the retail sector," Graves said. "Deals like this one are helping South Florida's commercial real estate market to rebound."


Marielle Sologuren
Pierson Grant Public Relations
(954) 776-1999, ext. 226

Arbor Funds Post Investment Group TX Portfolio Acquisition

UNIONDALE, NY (April 30, 2012) -Arbor Commercial Funding, LLC (“Arbor”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Arbor Commercial Mortgage, LLC and a national, direct commercial real estate lender, announced the recent $29,070,000 funding of a three-property portfolio across Texas for Los Angeles-based Post Investment Group.

The three loans were funded under the Fannie Mae Delegated Underwriting and Servicing® (DUS) Loan product line for the portfolio’s combined $41,400,000 acquisition. These loans include:

 Ladera Palms, Fort Worth, TX (top left photo) – This 784-unit complex received $11,550,000 funded under the Fannie Mae DUS® Loan product line. The 10-year acquisition loan amortizes on a 30-year schedule. Ladera Palms has performed well in its sub-market, which has a long-term positive performance outlook. The property features 68, two-story apartment buildings; six outdoor, in-ground swimming pools, including three kiddie pools and three adult pools; a playground; a basketball court; a fitness center; and three tennis courts.

Canyons at 45 West, Amarillo, TX (middle right photo) – This 328-unit complex received $10,270,000 funded under the Fannie Mae DUS® Loan product line. The 10-year acquisition loan amortizes on a 30-year schedule. Canyons at 45 West recently emerged from a substantial renovation project that significantly enhanced occupancy in a strong market with rising demand. The property’s units now feature new kitchens, bathrooms, interiors, flooring and plumbing.

Regal Crossing, Dallas, TX (middle left photo) – This 384-unit complex received $7,250,000 funded under the Fannie Mae DUS® Loan product line. The 10-year acquisition loan amortizes on a 30-year schedule. Regal Crossing recently underwent several significant capital improvements that have elevated its strong position in the market further with rising occupancy. Amenities include two pools with patio areas, a business center, a lounge and two laundry rooms.

All of the loans were originated by Alex Kaushansky (lower right photo), Vice President, in Arbor’s New York City office.

 “Arbor takes pride in the long-term relationships it builds with its borrowers, a fact that helped lead to the funding of these properties,” Kaushansky said. “In addition to the strong sponsorship, each of the deals involved properties exhibiting robust performance track records within local markets with increasing rental demand.”

 Contact:  Christopher Ostrowski,

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Six Associates at Crossman & Co. Win CFCAR Hallmark Awards in Orlando

ORLANDO, FL and ATLANTA, GA --- Six associates at Crossman & Company – one of the largest retail leasing and management firms in the Southeast – earned accolades during the recent Central Florida Commercial Association of Realtors (CFCAR) Hallmark Awards.

John Crossman CCIM, president of Crossman & Company, said four Crossman & Company associates were recognized among the region’s top 10 retail producers in 2012.

They areVice President of Leasing Justin Greider (top left photo), Director Whitaker Leonhardt (middle right photo), Associate Katherine Rush (top right photo)  and Senior Associate Craig Katterfield (lower left photo)

Crossman & Company Director Brian Carolan and Associate Tracy Harrison earned 2012 Circle of Achievement awards.

Associates at Crossman & Company have been recognized among the top 10 retail producers every year since CFCAR launched its award program in 1995, according to Crossman.

Former Orange County Mayor Richard Crotty (lower right photo), executive vice president at Crossman & Company, said the CFCAR Hallmark Awards are an important measure of achievement for commercial real estate professionals.

“We are proud of our associates for their recognition, and we are honored to support CFCAR,” Crotty said.


John Crossman, CCIM, President, Crossman & Company, 407-581-6218,;
Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142,

Friday, April 27, 2012

3 New Projects With Hundreds Of Residential Units Proposed For Miami Beach

MIAMI, FL --Developers are proposing three new unrelated projects in the neighborhoods of South Beach and Middle Beach that combined would create hundreds of new residential units in Miami Beach at a time when the coastal South Florida condo market is showing signs of recovering from the dramatic real estate crash that began in 2007, according to a new report from

None of the projects being proposed by the prospective developers - Related Group, Crescent Heights, and Lionheart Capital - have obtained final governmental approval so the details could change before anything is ever constructed, industry watchers said.

The three newly proposed projects follow the announcement of 30 new condo towers with more than 6,200 units that are already being planned for the South Florida coastal market of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, according to the Preconstruction Condo Projects list based data from the licensed Florida brokerage CVR Realty™.

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

Condo Vultures® LLC is a real estate consultancy and marketing company based at 1005 Kane Concourse, Suite 205, Bal Harbour, Florida, 33154. You can reach Condo Vultures® LLC at 800-750-0517.


Grubb & Ellis Selected to Market for Sale Partially Complete, 425,000 SF Mixed-Use Project in Las Vegas


LAS VEGAS, NV  (April 27, 2012) – Grubb & Ellis, which recently became a part of BGC Partners, Inc. and has joined with Newmark Knight Frank to create the real estate industry's newest full-service powerhouse, today announced that it has been selected to exclusively market the sale of Manhattan West (top left photo), a partially complete, mixed-use project located at 9255 W. Russell Road.

The 19.22-acre property comprises 425,291 square feet of multifamily, office and retail space, including nine contiguous acres for future development.

 The team of Douglas Schuster (top right photo), senior vice president, Curt Allsop (middle left photo) and Ben Millis, (lower right photo) senior associates, and Vittal Ram, associate, was awarded the listing from the development’s lender, Scott Financial Corporation (“SFC”) in conjunction with Gemstone Development West.

The Eighth Judicial District Court in Clark County, Nevada, recently ruled that SFC’s mezzanine deeds of trust in the amount of $38 million were in first priority with respect to the mechanic’s lienholders.[1]

 “Like so many other speculative developments over the past several years, Manhattan West suffered during the economic downturn and unfortunately couldn’t be delivered by the original developer,” Schuster said. “However, the location of the property and the work completed to date make this a highly desirable investment opportunity.”   

Manhattan West is located seven miles from the Las Vegas Strip at Russell Road and I-215. Construction on the property began in 2005, with original plans for more than 700 multifamily units and approximately 200,000 square feet of office and retail space. 

Existing on the site are two four-story Class A office and retail buildings totaling 190,887 square feet in grey shell condition with underground parking for 451 cars; two four-story Class A multifamily buildings with 160 nearly complete residential units and underground parking for 216 cars; and a nine-story, Class A residential tower with 76 partially complete residential units and underground parking for 77 cars.

 The asking price is $25 million, with an offer deadline of May 2, 2012. Contact Schuster, Allsop, Millis or Ram at 702.733.7500 for more information.


 Monica Sparreo                                             

JW Marriott Luxury Brand to Open New Hotel in Santo Domingo -- First JW Marriott in Dominican Republic and Caribbean

BETHESDA, MD, April 27,2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Marriott International's (NYSE: MAR) world-class luxury hotel brand, JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, announced plans to open a new 131-room JW Marriott Hotel in Santo Domingo (top left rendering), the capital of the Dominican Republic, in 2014.

 The property will be operated by Marriott under an agreement with Grupo Velutini, a Panamanian subsidiary of Fondo de Valores Inmobiliarios (FVI).

The official announcement event took place at the hotel site inside of the Blue Mall with participants including President Leonel Fernandez; J.W. Marriott, Jr. chairman of the board, Marriott International; Luis Emilio Velutini, owner and president of Grupo Velutini; and Rob Steigerwald, chief operating officer, Americas, Marriott International.

"The Dominican Republic is a highly desirable destination for today's luxury traveler and a growing business hub in the Caribbean," said J.W. Marriott, Jr., (lower right photo) chairman of the board, Marriott International. "This makes it ideally suited for our JW Marriott brand, which is now in 22 countries around the world."

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

: Laura Botelho,

Sara Steffenauer,

Sperry Van Ness International Expands Presence in New Braunfels, TX

 IRVINE, CA. (April. 27, 2012) – Sperry Van Ness International Corporation, a national franchisor for commercial real estate brokerages, today announced the addition of a new franchise in New Braunfels, Texas.

 The new franchise is part of Sperry Van Ness International Corporation’s national expansion program which started in 2001 and has grown to more than 1,400 advisors and staff representing more than 150 markets today.

“Sperry Van Ness International Corporation is continuing to grow in key markets across the United States. We are happy to have this New Braunfels office and its talented brokers as part of the SVNI family,” said Kevin Maggiacomo (top right photo), chief executive officer and president of Sperry Van Ness International Corporation. 

Norris Commercial Group, LLC will now operate as Sperry Van Ness® / Norris Commercial Group, LLC. The office is located at 373 S. Seguin Avenue, New Braunfels, TX and is led by owner and principal broker, Mike Norris (middle left photo).

Other team members include: Patrick Lynch and Steve Rodgers who serve as senior advisors; Allison Humphries, Harry Botkin, and Drew Traeger, who serve as advisors; as well as associate advisor, Callie Payne, and  financial officer/advisor Chris Blankenship.

Sperry Van Ness / Norris Commercial Group provides sales, leasing, property management, development, tenant representation and property management services for apartments, hospitality, office, retail, industrial, land, and self storage properties. 

“Norris Commercial Group joined Sperry Van Ness because its culture and business philosophy mirrors our business character, making it a natural fit for our team,” said Norris.

 “New Braunfels has continued to prosper during this current economic downturn creating jobs and economic growth. I can attest that Norris Commercial has had a proactive role in that prosperity. For decades we have been committed to this region and we will continue that legacy well into the future.”

Norris Commercial Group has been in business for over 62 years. Mike Norris has been with the firm for the past 38 years. Leading a team of experienced advisors, Norris engages in the development, sales, marketing, leasing and management of commercial real estate throughout the San Antonio/New Braunfels MSA.

Located between San Antonio and Austin, the city of New Braunfels is known for its beauty, hill country, rivers and quality of life.


Darcie Giacchetto
(949) 278-6224

Marcus & Millichap Promotes Steve A. Sauter to First Vice President Investments

 PALO ALTO, CA –Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, has promoted Steve A. Sauter (top right photo) to first vice president investments.

This achievement is one of the highest levels of recognition the firm awards to its investment specialists. It represents excellence in the development and servicing of long-term client relationships, according to Steven J. Seligman (lower left photo), vice president and regional manager of the firm’s Palo Alto office.

Most recently, Sauter held the title of vice president investments.

Sauter began his career with Marcus & Millichap in January 1992 and was named vice president investments in January 2008. He has received 14 sales recognition awards from the firm.

Sauter specializes in the sale of retail investment real estate located nationwide. He is a senior director in the firm’s National Retail Group and Net Leased Properties Group

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

Construction is Underway on Martin Luther King, Jr. Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Center in Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA – The design-build team of McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. and HDR Architecture, Inc. have recently begun construction of the new $150 million Martin Luther King, Jr. Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Center (top left rendering) in Los Angeles.

 The new 132,550-square-foot facility was designed to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold standards.

The four-story medical facility, which broke ground on January 25, 2012, will house five operating rooms, dentistry, oncology and physical and occupational therapy services.

Additionally, the project will include 10 acres of site parking and landscape, offsite signalization and street improvements as well as a 31,000-square-foot LEED Silver-rated renovation to existing administration space.

“The MLK, Jr. Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Center project will provide a necessary upgrade for how healthcare is delivered to the community,” said Curtis Lockwood, Vice President, HDR Architecture, Inc. “ The new facility will be key to delivering outpatient care and connecting the inpatient and outpatient services to the new state-of-the-art facilities.”

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

Laura Mickelson (LM Communications)
 (949) 453-0851                           

Susan Garritano (McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.)    
(314) 968-3300                           

Carroll Organization Acquires Houston Apartment Community


Atlanta and Houston (April 27, 2012) – Carroll Organization, a multifaceted multifamily real estate firm, has acquired Waterford Place apartments just north of Houston, Texas.  The 267-unit luxury community will be re-branded as ARIUM Fall Creek (top left and middle right photos). The transaction closed April 26.

 The community is Carroll Organization’s seventh multifamily acquisition within 12 months, and its third in the thriving Houston market since February. Last year the firm bought two communities in Georgia plus two more in Tennessee. More acquisitions are expected in the coming months.

 “We are aggressively seeking high quality communities in strong locations throughout the Southeast, Texas and the West Coast,” said Carroll Organization’s founder and CEO M. Patrick Carroll (middle left photo). “We’re looking for opportunities where our expertise in property and asset management can help deliver the best possible returns for our investors.”

The community was financed in part through a private fund, Carroll Fund I, which co-invests with equity partners to secure Class A and B+ communities. Carroll Management Group, an affiliate company, manages the new acquisitions. The terms of the sale were not disclosed.

 ARIUM Fall Creek is a relatively new community on Sam Houston Tollway near Highway 59. It is just north of Fall Creek, one of Houston’s most affluent master-planned communities, and within a few miles of several large employers including George Bush Intercontinental Airport. (lower right photo) 

The property has 267 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments with luxury amenities including chef’s kitchens, a resort-style pool washer/dryers and garages. The beautifully-appointed clubhouse features amenities including a high-tech fitness center, business center and WiFi computer lounge.

 Carroll Organization is a multifaceted enterprise focusing on the ownership and operation of multifamily real estate. Its primary services include private equity real estate investment, property management and asset management.

This integrated approach, which makes the organization an attractive investment partner, has contributed to the firm’s rapid growth and success.

 Founded in 2004, Carroll Organization has grown significantly through the acquisitions of both properties and former competitors. Headquartered in Atlanta, it has regional offices in Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Denver, Charlotte, Tampa, Orlando and Miami.

For more information, visit


Terri Thornton

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Financing and joint venture equity arranged by HFF for two Woodlands, TX area multi-housing communities

HOUSTON, TX – HFF announced today that it has arranged financing and joint venture equity for Forest View (middle left photo) and Timbermill (lower right photo), two multi-housing communities totaling 472 units in The Woodlands, Texas.

HFF worked exclusively on behalf of Venterra Realty to secure the fixed-rate acquisition loans through Freddie Mac. 

 The seven-year, fixed-rate loans for Forest View and Timbermill include four years of interest-only payments with interest rates of 3.98 percent and 3.99 percent, respectively. 

HFF will service the securitized loans through its Freddie Mac Program Plus® Seller/Servicer program.  A fund managed by BayNorth Capital LLC is providing the joint venture equity for both properties.

Forest View is located at 4545 South Panther Creek Drive and Timbermill is located at 1481 Sawdust Road.  Both properties are west of Interstate 45 and close to Woodlands Parkway, Waterway Square, The Woodlands Mall and Market Street in the Woodlands.

The 95 percent leased Forest View community has 256 units with an average unit size of 842 square feet.  Timbermill, which is 97 percent leased, has 216 units averaging 839 square feet each. 

Community amenities at each property include a sundeck and pool, laundry facilities, clubhouses and playgrounds.

The HFF team representing Venterra was led by director Cortney Cole (top right photo).


CORTNEY COLE                                            
HFF Director                                           
(713) 852-3500                                                                        

HFF Associate Director, Marketing
(713) 852-3500