Friday, January 6, 2012

Cohen Real Estate Capital Funds Acquisitions in Downtown Orlando, FL

 ORLANDO, FL, Jan.6, 2012 -- Cohen Real Estate Capital LLC, a 5-yr old commercial real estate company located in downtown Orlando, acquired promissory notes from a local Central Florida bank with original face amounts of close to $2,800,000, together with first mortgages and related loan documents secured by a newly renovated 12-unit apartment building and a two commercial buildings having close to 4,000 SF of mixed-use space.

 Simultaneous with closing, CREC entered into a forbearance agreement and a discounted settlement with the borrower, and the apartments were immediately sold to a local investor.

The properties are within walking distance of Lake Eola in the Thornton Park neighborhood.

CREC facilitated the purchase and sale of over $100 million in debt in 2011 covering 602 condo units, 562 apartment units and 165,000 SF of commercial space – all in Central Florida.

For more information, contact:
Todd F. Cohen

(407) 956 2544 - O
(407) 928-5530 - C
(407) 650-2503 - F

Landlords gain by helping new retail tenants open earlier and selling more, consultant says

ST. PETERSBURG, FL--- Retail property landlords who “partner” with their new tenants reap substantial benefits, says Rachel Elias Wein (top right photo), AIA, the real estate consultant who heads WeinPlus Real Estate Advisory Services in St. Petersburg.

Wein, a former development manager with the Sembler Company in St. Petersburg who served as senior associate with Ernst & Young’s Construction and Real Estate Advisory Service, said landlords should begin monitoring tenant progress even before the lease is signed.

“It a landlord can accelerate the tenant’s opening by 90 days that’s three months worth of additional revenues for the landlord and three months worth of tenant sales,” Wein said.

Typically, Wein said, gains of 30 to 60 days are more common.

“If you are the landlord, the tenant is your customer,” Wein said. “Landlords who focus on partnering with their tenants can accelerate a tenant’s success, and that generates new revenues for the landlord,” Wein said.

“Landlords can provide the greatest assistance in the area of tenant improvements, site signage and marketing, Wein said.

“Landlords need to set tenants up for success,” Wein said.

 “After the lease is signed, landlords can’t just forget about the tenant until the first rent check comes due. The sooner the tenant opens, the sooner the landlord gets paid,” she said.

Landlords should consider hiring a tenant consultant or a tenant coordinator who can help kick-start tenants’ marketing efforts to drive sales from the beginning.

“Don’t wait until that tenant owes rent to offer help,” Wein warned, “By then, it may be too late; set them up for success from the beginning,” she added.

For more information,  contact

Rachel Elias Wein, AIA, Founder / Principal, WeinPlus, 727-386-9346,;

 Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications 407-644-4142,

Mercantile Capital Corp. in Orlando, FL reports record-breaking 2011

 ORLANDO, FL. --- Mercantile Capital Corporation, which recently opened new offices in the Old Florida National Bank building on Court Avenue in Downtown Orlando, reported it had a record-breaking year in 2011.

Chris Hurn (top right photo), chief executive officer at Mercantile Capital Corporation, said the eight year old firm closed 57 commercial loans in 15 states in 2011 to finance commercial real estate projects valued at more than $174.4 million, a 24 percent increase over 2010.

Most important, Hurn said, the loans helped create 1,132 new jobs.

Mercantile Capital Corporation is one of the nation’s largest providers of U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 loans for small business owners who want to acquire, develop, or refinance their own facilities.

SBA 504 loans typically require only 10 percent down and offer below market rates and very favorable terms, Hurn said.

In December, Mercantile Capital closed five loans to finance projects valued at $18.4 million, including a $4 million loan to a West Virginia hotelier. It was Mercantile Capital’s first loan to a West Virginia company, Hurn added.

In the past eight years Mercantile Capital has closed over $744.8 million worth of commercial loans in 36 states that helped create 5,081 jobs.

Hurn said he expects loan volume — and job creation — to increase dramatically in 2012.

“The SBA 504 loan program was developed to stimulate small business growth, create new jobs, and generate wealth for entrepreneurs,” Hurn said. “Today, the SBA 504 ranks as one of the nation’s most efficient economic stimulus efforts and one of the best job generators.”

Recent changes in SBA rules now allow SBA 504 financing for a wider range of business expenses, including refinancing of current commercial mortgages.

Hurn said Mercantile Capital’s largest single loan in December 2011 financed a $6.7 million self-storage facility in Tallahassee.

For more information about this press release, contact:

Chris Hurn, Chief Executive Officer, Mercantile Capital Corporation,, 407-786-5040

Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142

$26.5 Million South Florida Apartment Community Sold by IPA

 PLANTATION, FL–Institutional Property Advisors (IPA), a recently formed multifamily brokerage division of Marcus & Millichap serving the needs of institutional and major private investors, has arranged the sale of Mar Lago Village (top centered photo) a 216-unit, 231,952-square foot luxury apartment community in Plantation.

The sales price of $26.5 million represents $122,685 per unit and $114 per square foot.

Still Hunter, III (top right photo) and Evan P. Kristol (middle left photo), both senior vice presidents investments, represented the seller, Mar Lago Village Associates Ltd. and the buyer, Henderson Global Investors Limited. IPA is a division of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services.

“Mar Lago Village was 99 percent occupied at the time of the sale and had a trailing 12-month occupancy history of greater than 96 percent, which is indicative of the desirability of the product; its outstanding location; and the overall strength of the Broward County rental market,” says Hunter.

“Mar Lago Village is well positioned to provide immediate and stable cash flow with significant upside through a limited value-add program that will enhance the curb appeal of the community,” adds Kristol.

Built in 1999, the property is located on 13.9 acres at 200 Commodore Drive in Plantation, which is part of the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach metropolitan statistical area.

 Mar Lago Village is comprised of 15 residential buildings and a clubhouse.

Constructed of concrete block and stucco with pitched concrete tile roofs, the residential buildings are two-story garden-style walk-ups with a Mediterranean appearance complemented by lush tropical landscaping.

The complex benefits from a low-density site plan of less than 16 units per acre, which gives the property a neighborhood-like atmosphere.

The floor plans average 1,074 square feet and the unit mix is 24 one-bedroom/one-bath units, 160 two-bedroom/ two-bath apartments and 32 three-bedroom/two-bath units.

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

Marcus & Millichap Facilitates $2 Million Sale of Gonzalez Office Complex in Pensacola, FL

PENSACOLA, FL, Jan. 6, 2012 – Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, has announced the sale of Gonzalez Office Complex (top left photo), a 17,394-square foot office complex located in Pensacola, Florida, according to Bryn D. Merrey, vice president and regional manager of the firm’s Tampa office.

The asset commanded a sales price of $2,000,000.

Leon Brockmeier (middle right photo) and Patrick O’Halloran (lower left photo), retail specialists in the firm’s Tampa and Atlanta offices, had the exclusive listing to market the property on behalf of the seller, a developer based out of Pensacola, Florida.

Gonzalez Office Complex is located at 1115 East Gonzalez Street.  The property was formerly a Winn-Dixie supermarket originally built in 1950. 

The sellers redeveloped the site from retail to office and they were also the original developers. The property is currently 100 percent occupied with a great complementary mix of tenants that includes attorneys, architects, realtor and a V.A. office.

“We had several offers on the property during the listing period, and the transaction closed with a local owner” says Brockmeier.

 “The property has been renovated several times over the years and is in great shape. The condition and location were major factors in the sale of the asset.”

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

Florida Court Orders Auction Of 10 Miami-Dade County Residential Projects

MIAMI, FL -- Investment groups are preparing for a busy first quarter of the new year as 10 separate residential projects in Miami-Dade County are scheduled to be auctioned off within the first 45 days of 2012, according to a new report from

The court-ordered auctions are scheduled to be held to settle more than $260 million in final judgments of foreclosure against the respective borrowers, according to Miami-Dade County records.

The projects slated for auction range from several dozen unsold developer units in the oceanfront Sole condominium tower (top left photo)in Sunny Isles Beach to the unfinished Filling Station condo tower (top right photo) in Greater Downtown Miami to an oceanfront highrise development site in Sunny Isles Beach.

The lenders forcing the auctions range from South Florida-based banks such as Mercantil Commercebank and TotalBank to national institutions such as Iberiabank and MB Financial Bank to investment funds such as ST Residential’s Corus Construction Venture LLC and Chateau Beach LLC.

The final judgment of foreclosure amounts range from nearly $14 million to more than $41 million, according to Miami-Dade Circuit Court records.

The court-ordered auctions kicked off the week of Jan. 3, 2012 with four projects available for purchase through Miami-Dade County.

An additional four projects are scheduled for auction the week of Jan. 9, 2012, according to government records.

The other two residential projects slated for auction are scheduled to go up for bid the week of Jan. 23 and Feb. 13, respectively.

The 10 Miami-Dade residential projects are scheduled for auction at a time when various well-capitalized funds are searching for deals just as some South Florida housing submarkets experience signs of improvement, industry watchers said.

As of Sept. 30, 2011, less than 10 percent of the 49,000 units created during the boom in South Florida's seven largest coastal markets were unsold, according to a recent report.

Despite the unsold inventory, developers are now proposing to construct a combined 20 towers with more than 4,200 units east of Interstate 95 in the tricounty region of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, according to the Preconstruction Condo Projects list.

Fueled by a surge in cash buyers from overseas, developers are proposing 10 Greater Downtown Miami, four projects in Sunny Isles Beach, two towers in Miami Beach, two towers in Downtown West Palm Beach, one tower in Aventura, and one condo project in the Southeast Broward County city of Hollywood, according to the report.  

It is unclear how many of the proposed towers could get developed in the short term as construction financing is challenging - and expensive - to secure, industry watchers said.

To overcome the financing hurdle, most of the newly proposed projects are requiring prospective buyers to commit to deposits - to be paid in phases - of as much as 80 percent of the preconstruction contract price, industry watchers said.

During the most recent South Florida condo boom, preconstruction buyers were generally asked for deposits of about 20 percent, industry watchers said. 

Despite the larger deposits being required, presales for new towers have topped 530 units as of Dec. 20, 2011, according to a recent report. 

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.

Vestar Awarded Management of 1.3 Million-SF Buena Park Downtown Retail Center in Buena Park, CA


BUENA PARK, CA, Jan. 6, 2012 – Vestar, one of the leading privately held real estate companies in the Western United States, has been retained by New York-based Coventry Real Estate Partners to handle the property management of Buena Park Downtown (top left photo), a 1.13 million-square-foot retail complex located in at La Palma Ave and Stanton Ave in Buena Park, California. 

Buena Park Downtown consists of Buena Park Mall (bottom left photo), a 794,605-square-foot enclosed mall; Buena Park Place, a 207,784-square-foot open air community center; and Park Center Entertainment Center, a 132.898-square-foot open air entertainment center.

Vestar brings a wealth of experience and talent to Buena Park Downtown.  The company currently serves as the property manager of the one million square foot Long Beach Towne Center and the one million square foot The District at Tustin Legacy.

Vestar plans to revitalize the current marketing campaign at Buena Park Downtown to coincide with the evolving retail mix.  They will also implement a new event plan after evaluating the existing program.  Each of these is geared toward enhancing the consumer experience as well as embracing the community.

“Conventry’s confidence with our expertise in property management is a testament to the long term success we have proven within Vestar’s portfolio of retail centers,” said Pat McGinley (middle right photo) Vice President of Property Management at Vestar.  “We are confident that we can help stabilize this asset and return it to a premier Orange County retail complex.”

Located just minutes from I-5 and SR 91 Freeways, Buena Park Downtown is walking distance to several nearby attractions including Knott’s Berry Farm theme park, Knott’s Soak City water park, Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament and Pirates Dinner Adventure. 

 For more information, please visit

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

Carlos Vigon Joins Grubb & Ellis as Senior Vice President, Investment Services in West Los Angeles, CA Office

 LOS ANGELES, CA – Grubb & Ellis Company (NYSE: GBE), a leading real estate services and investment firm, today announced that Carlos Vigon (top right photo) has joined the company’s West Los Angeles office as senior vice president, Investment Services.

 “Carlos brings an established track record of more than 500 successful transactions to Grubb & Ellis, with deep experience in the financial services and multi housing sectors,” said Chuck Hunt (middle left photo), executive managing director, Southern California. “He has a wealth of relationships and I couldn’t be more pleased to welcome him to the firm.”

As a member of the company’s Financial Services Asset Management practice group, Vigon will primarily specialize in business development in this market niche. Additionally, he will focus on multi housing investment sales as part of Grubb & Ellis’ Multi Housing Group. 

 Vigon joins the company from Wilshire Holdings LLC, a private equity firm he founded in 2000 that focused on large scale national value-added REO and note assets.

The company also specialized in the repositioning and trading of multi housing assets, among other property types and projects. Previously, Vigon served as an acquisition manager of SCI Investments and vice president of Realty Consultants Corporation. He began his career in commercial real estate in 1989 with Palm Beach Development. 

Vigon holds a bachelor’s degree from University of California, Los Angeles, is a member of the UCLA Real Estate Alumni Group and a recipient of the UCLA Distinguished Alumni Award. He serves as co-chair of the REOMAC Commercial Committee and is a City of Manhattan Beach Commission Member. 


Contact: Julia McCartney, Phone: 714.975.2230                                     

HREC Investment Advisors and Grubb & Ellis Arrange Sale of Holiday Inn Express in Montrose, CO

 DENVER, CO – HREC Investment Advisors, the nation’s leading lodging and gaming real estate advisory firm, and Grubb & Ellis Company (NYSE: GBE), a leading real estate services and investment firm, announced the sale of the Holiday Inn Express in Montrose, Colo (top left photo).

The 122-guestroom property was purchased by an affiliate of Blue Cougar Investments, LLC, a private investment group based in New York City, from a Denver-based lender for an undisclosed price. Waramaug Investors, LLC, led by Paul Nussbaum, is an investor in the Blue Cougar affiliate.

Sam Winterbottom (top right photo), senior vice president and director of Grubb & Ellis’ Hotel, Golf & Leisure practice group represented the seller and Mike Cahill (lower left photo), chief executive officer and founder of HREC represented the buyer in the transaction. 

 Nussbaum stated, “We are delighted to have been able to acquire the Holiday Inn Express as we know the property and market very well. Being a part-time resident of nearby Telluride, I am very familiar with the great reputation the hotel has for excellent customer service and hospitality for its guests.”

 The Holiday Inn Express is conveniently located in the Western Slope of Colorado off U.S. Route 550 via U.S. Route 50, one the major thoroughfare in Montrose, and within five miles of the Montrose Regional Airport.

The town of Montrose is home to a variety of leisure attractions including the San Juan Mountains, Black Canyon National Park, and a number of museums and retail outlets that display the history and natural wonder of the region.

 Interstate Hotels & Resorts will be the new management company for the property. The hotel will remain branded as a Holiday Inn Express.

For more information on Grubb & Ellis and HREC, please visit and


Cushman & Wakefield releases fourth quarter Orlando office and industrial statistics

ORLANDO, FL - Cushman & Wakefield of Florida, Inc. today released fourth quarter 2011 office and industrial statistics for the Orlando market.


 Overall vacancy closed 2011 at 20.2%, a decrease of two-tenths of a percentage point from the third quarter and 1.3 percentage points lower than year-end 2010. This extended the run of consecutive quarterly decreases to six and brought vacancy to its lowest level since the third quarter of 2009.


 Overall vacancy declined four-tenths of a percentage point from the third quarter to 13.1%, its lowest level since the second quarter of 2009; all but two of thirteen submarkets reported a decrease in vacancy from year-end 2010.

 For a complete copy of the company’s news release and further details on the office and industrial markets, please contact:

 Brook Hines at 407-541-4401 or by email at

Neil Hamilton
Research Analyst
Cushman & Wakefield of Florida, Inc.
800 N. Magnolia Ave., Suite 450
Orlando, FL  32803
Tel:  (407) 541-4417
Fax: (407) 425-6455

Lincoln Secures Lease at 215 Celebration in Orlando, FL

ORLANDO, FL. (Jan. 6, 2011) – Lincoln Property Company Southeast secured a 5,356-square-foot lease at 215 Celebration (top left photo) for a boutique travel agency. The building’s proximity to the timeshare capital of the world and Class A amenities were attractive features for Freedom Travel, a company specializing in timeshare vacations.

 Lincoln’s Jay Dixon (lower right photo) and Scott Gregory (lower left photo) represented the landlord in the transaction. Michael Levine with Century 21 represented thetenant.

 “The building’s proximity to Orlando’s tourist corridor made 215 Celebration the ideal location for Freedom Travel,” said Dixon. “The building is one of the nicest in the Celebration area and provides the company with easy access to I-4 and the Central Florida Greenway.”

 Lincoln leases and manages the building.

  For more information on the Southeast Region of Lincoln Property Company, please visit or

Laura Dudebout
O: 404.965.5023
C: 678.642.4301