Thursday, January 12, 2012

Real Estate Technology Innovator Austin Allison Named To Forbes 30 Under 30 and Inman News Top 100 Most Influential

CINCINNATI, OH  /PRNewswire/ -- After recently being named one of the top 100 most influential people in real estate by Inman News, DotLoop President and CEO Austin Allison (top right photo) was named to the Forbes inaugural 30 under 30 list of 2012. 

Coming off of this accomplished December, Allison has been asked to speak at the Inman Real Estate Connect Conference from Wednesday, January 11 through Friday, January 13 in New York City. For more information about the conference, please visit

On Sunday, December 17th, Inman News released their annual report of the top 100 most influential people in real estate. Allison was named to the technology category for leading DotLoop to become the fastest-growing software as a service company in the industry, acquiring international enterprise wide partnerships with real estate franchises and adoption by nearly 120,000 paying users and 2,000,000 nonpaying users .

Two days later, Forbes announced the inaugural list of 30 disrupters under 30, representing entrepreneurs in 12 verticals including Energy, Media, Technology, Finance and Real Estate that aren't waiting to reinvent the world. 

Allison joined the list with Eric Trump (middle right photo) of The Trump Organization, Daniel Ek (bottom left photo) of Spotify, Stuart Anderson of Twitter, Kevin Systrom of Instagram, David Karp of Tumblr and Mark Zuckerberg (middle left photo) of Facebook.

"To be a part of Forbes 30 Under 30 and Inman News Top 100 is an honor and testament to what we've accomplished,”. said Allison..

“However any great leader knows that he or she is only as strong as the team's weakest link. Our concept fills a big gap in the marketplace and we have been fortunate to attract such an amazing group of 'Loopers.' This award is a result of our mutual success,"

The Inman Real Estate Connect Conference panel will be led by Gahlord Dewald, a columnist at Inman News and President of ThoughtFaucet. Aside from Allison, other panelists include leading innovators Grier Allen, President and CEO at BoomTown LLC, and Frederick Townes, Co-founder of Placester and CTO of Mashable.

Allison will dissect the art of converting leads to sales and the myth that more leads does not equal more sales. He will also discuss how to avoid the pitfalls associated with too much emphasis on lead generation and how to leverage the.

Allison spoke at last year's Inman Real Estate Connect Conference in San Francisco on the topic of the "CRM-Marry-Go-Round."

Contact:  Nikki Nardick of SS|PR, +1-847-415-9307,, for DotLoop
Web Site: http:/

Beech Street Capital More than Doubles Multifamily Financing to $2.2 Billion in 2011 While Strengthening Team and Capacity

BETHESDA, MD, Jan. 12, 2011 – Beech Street Capital, LLC, announced today that it provided $2.2 billion in multifamily financing, more than doubling its record-breaking performance in 2010, its first year.

  “This was really a breakthrough year for us,” says Grace Huebscher (top right photo), Beech Street’s president and CEO.  “The word is clearly getting out among borrowers that Beech Street is committed to providing an extraordinary level of service and execution.” 

Beech Street doubled its Fannie Mae business and more than tripled its Freddie Mac business, while its FHA and broker business continued to grow.  By year end, Beech Street expanded its national reach and is now servicing loans on properties in 27 states.

These milestones reflect Beech Street’s rapidly growing presence in the marketplace.  An equally significant measure of the firm’s growing strength—and one with long-term implications—is its investment in people. 

Among other steps, Beech Street opened an office in Southern California, added experienced personnel to its offices in Chicago and New York, and put together teams specializing in Freddie Mac and FHA LEAN and MAP programs.

“Our position is that finance is ultimately a people business,” Huebscher says.  “We hire people who have exceptional financial expertise and strong character, and who really care about our customers and agency finance partners.  In this way, we set the stage for another year of substantial growth.”

Beech Street plans to build on this momentum throughout 2012. “We have the range of products and the in-house expertise to more than meet the needs of virtually any multifamily borrower,” says Huebscher.  “And we’re eager to show them what we can do!”

Courtney Lewis at 240-507-1948 or Jenifer Bernardi at 240-507-1946.

Smith Consulting Architects Performing Design Production for Flower Hill Promenade Expansion in Del Mar, CA

SAN DIEGO, CA – Smith Consulting Architects, a leading San Diego architectural firm, announces that construction is under way for the 75,000-square-foot expansion of Flower Hill Promenade (top left rendering), located at 2720 Via De La Valle in Del Mar, Calif. 92014. 

The 14-acre center, originally built in 1977, is one of San Diego’s premier shopping and dining destinations, with a collection of 42 specialty shops and restaurants.

The $22 million expansion includes a 75,000-square-foot, two-story retail/office building and a 397-car parking structure, along with parking and circulation improvements and new landscaping throughout.

Smith Consulting Architects is acting as production architect on the design-build team of general contractor Lusardi Construction Company of San Marcos, Calif. The Lusardi/Smith Consulting Architects proposal was selected by owner Protea Properties among those of ten competing teams based on schedule and cost projections and their proven retail reputations.   

In its role, Smith Consulting Architects coordinated with design architect SGPA Architecture and Planning of San Diego to ensure the project meets design intent and complies with other conditions and requirements issued during the lengthy planning permit approval process. 

“The owner responded to community concerns and made significant modifications to the original plans that were prepared in 2005,” said Pete Bussett, AIA, LEED AP, vice president and project executive with Smith Consulting Architects.

The new building will be anchored by a 35,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market, with the balance consisting of 9,000 square feet of space for ground-floor retail shops and approximately 31,000 square feet of second-floor professional and medical office space for lease.
 “The expansion and site remodel will transform this 34-year-old property into a modern, upscale lifestyle-center designed to enhance the community and provide the type of amenities that surrounding residents and visitors want most,” said Jeffrey Essakow (top right photo), president of Protea Properties. “The end result will be a showcase center offering them a broader range of products and services within a setting our community will be very proud of.”

One of the primary challenges for the design-build team is executing construction on the compact site without disrupting car and pedestrian traffic nor detracting from a pleasant shopping and dining experience. 

“The project team is working closely with Protea Properties to ensure a smooth, expeditious construction process and to keep existing tenants well informed of progress,” stated Bussett.

Clint Fowler is serving as project manager for Lusardi Construction Company.  Graham Anderson of Campbell Anderson & Associates in La Jolla is acting as construction manager on behalf of Protea Properties.  Dave Reinker (middle right photo), AIA, of SGPA Architecture and Planning served as the design lead.

The team for Smith Consulting Architects includes Pete Bussett, AIA, LEED AP, as project executive and Brian Drache as project architect.  Consultants include Project Design Consultants, civil engineer; Ridge Landscape Architects, landscape architect; GSSI Engineers, Inc., structural engineer; McParlane & Associates, mechanical engineer; and MPE Consulting, electrical engineer.

Tyler Gossett of CB Richard Ellis’ UTC office is handling office leasing for the center. He can be reached at (858) 546-4617.

 More information about the firm can be found on the Web at

Contact: Bonnie Kutch, (619) 299-1010,

MetLife Acquires Luxury Apartment Tower in Chicago


CHICAGO, January 11, 2012 – MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET) announced today that it has, through a subsidiary, purchased EnV (top centered photo), a luxury multifamily property located in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. The company purchased the property from LYND Development Partners, the original builder of the tower.

 “EnV is an excellent fit for MetLife’s real estate equity strategy of acquiring core properties in top-tier markets,” said Robert Merck (top right photo), senior managing director and head of real estate investments for MetLife.  “We manage each of our investments for the long-term, and we are pleased to add this best in class property to our portfolio.”

 Lynd Development Partners, a subsidiary of LYND which is a national real estate investment and management company based in San Antonio, Texas, launched the development of EnV in 2008.

 “Even though we were in the midst of a tough recession, our research told us Chicago was underserved with a luxury rental product,” said A. David Lynd, president and chief operating officer of parent company LYND. When EnV was delivered to the market last summer, it commanded the highest rental rates in the city. A year and a half later, rental rates have continued to rise.       

EnV was one of the first LEED-certified rental properties built in Chicago.  The 249-unit, 29-story tower offers studio, one-and-two bedroom and penthouse apartments and also has 27,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space on the first three floors.

The development is conveniently located directly across the street from the Merchandise Mart and adjacent to an “El” subway station.

This past fall, EnV was named 2011 “High Rise of the Year” by Multifamily Executive ..

“There are a lot of good opportunities in markets where land and construction pricing is well below the peak and where yields are as attractive as we’ve seen for urban infill,” said LYND CEO and Chief Investment Officer Michael J. Lynd, Jr. (lower right photo) “Rental demand in the U.S. overall is very strong, but we continue to be highly selective when choosing markets and sites.”

 CBRE’s Chicago office brokered the sale on behalf of the seller.   

 Press Contacts

Emily Phillips
(212) 578-7217

Todd Templin
(954) 370-8999

Pordes Residential Sells 37 Condos in 12 Months for Over $25 Million at One Bal Harbour, FL

AVENTURA, FL, Jan. 12, 2011 – Mark Pordes and his luxury condominium real estate sales and marketing team has made its name moving the most high-end oceanfront real estate in South Florida.

 Its most recent success: 37 condominium-hotel units at One Bal Harbor (top left photo) valued at more than $25 million. The firm is on track to sell the balance of its inventory by early 2012.

 Since Pordes Residential Sales & Marketing entered into a joint venture equity partnership with the current hotel owner in late November 2010, the beachfront condo-hotel has seen residences sell at both record pace and prices.

 The shrinking inventory of oceanfront properties in Bal Harbour has heightened interest among domestic and international buyers from the U.S., Brazil and Argentina. Pordes expects the trend to continue into next season.

 “South Florida’s luxury condo-hotel market is red hot once again and is setting the pace for the rest of the area’s resurgence,” said Pordes, who began sales at One Bal Harbour in January 2011, with 42 units.

Today, he has five remaining at near-record prices. “They’re moving upward of prices of $850 per square foot for whole floor units. These are all-cash buyers. That was unheard of just a year ago.”

 Supply is dwindling at this prime point at the Atlantic Ocean and Haulover Inlet between Aventura and South Beach. Holding the coveted AAA Five Diamond award for unparalleled quality, location, luxurious views and five-star service, the property lures discriminating buyers with its 10,000-square-foot spa, world-class restaurant and bar, oceanfront pool, beachside service, and such high-end hotel amenities as housekeeping, concierge and in-room dining.

Pordes also handles onsite sales and marketing for Canyon Ranch Living Miami Beach (lower left photo), and is the leading oceanfront sales and marketing organization. The company previously handled Terra Beachside and the Fontainebleau, also on Miami Beach.

 “No one else has prime developer oceanfront units and offers the incentives that we do, not only to the buyers, but to the brokerage community as well,” he said. “With St. Regis opening and the market making a resounding comeback, I’m sure we’ll continue at peak performance and finish up our project strong at One Bal Harbour.”

Estee Pinzon
Digital Media Specialist
Boardroom Communications
(954) 370-8999
(954) 370-8892 Fax

John A. Evans Joins Maury L. Carter & Associates as Sales Associate in Orlando, FL

ORLANDO, FL, Jan. 12, 2012 -- Maury L. Carter & Associates, Inc. is honored to welcome John A. Evans (top right photo) as a Sales Associate.  Mr. Evans is a licensed real estate professional and is a Realtor®.

John’s specialties are Agri-Real Estate and commercial real estate brokerage.  Across the State of Florida, he helps clients buy and sell farms, ranches, groves, hunting land and recreational property, as well as traditional commercial real estate transactions. 

John sold over $11,000,000 of real estate during 2011.  His greatest accomplishment was handling the sale of Skinner Wholesale Nurseries' Crescent Lake property. 

The 1,126± acre Crescent Lake property was classified as a unique, outstanding, trophy property.  The property closed in December 2011 for $8.35 million. 

Mr. Evans acted as the listing agent and project manager.  He dealt with all aspects of the transaction including marketing, negotiations, due diligence and much more.

Mr. Evans comes from a large 7th generation agricultural family in Central Florida.  He has over two years of experience in selling large land tracts across the state of Florida.  His family history is in agriculture and commercial real estate.

John received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi’s Business School and majored in real estate. 

As a member of Central Florida Commercial Association of Realtors, Mr. Evans was recently appointed to the Board of Directors.  John is also very active at his church and founded and leads the All Saints (of Winter Park) 2nd Quarter Fellowship Group. 

Maury L. Carter & Associates, Inc. is an Orlando based commercial real estate investment advisory and brokerage firm.  Our firm's officers combine more than 75 years of experience.  Core competencies include land investment, IRC 1031 tax-deferred exchanges, brokerage, retail development and value-add shopping center investments/redevelopment.

Maury L. Carter & Associates, Inc. has completed approximately one billion dollars in transactions on sales of over 200,000 acres of land.  We are very active in Florida, currently marketing and managing over 13,700 acres, and owning over one million square feet of retail and office.


Joan M. Fisher
Maury L. Carter & Associates, Inc.
3333 S. Orange Avenue, Suite 200
Orlando, FL 32806-8500
(407) 581-6207 direct
(407) 422-3144 office
(407) 422-3155 fax

Caleb J. Spivak Joins North American Properties in Atlanta, GA


ATLANTA, GA – Caleb J. Spivak (top right photo), who has established himself as a key player in social media by writing about Atlanta’s retail and hospitality scene, is joining North American Properties.

In his new position as Social Media and Community Manager, Spivak oversees all aspects of North American's digital platform including day-to-day social media efforts relevant to community engagement at Atlantic Station and Avalon.

These efforts include building consumer connectivity and developing an online community to build awareness and drive store traffic and sales. Atlantic Station (lower left photo), in the midst of a successful turnaround, has relied heavily on social media in the past year to engage with visitors and Midtown residents, driving significant sales increases without the use of traditional advertising.

"Spivak's addition to the team will strengthen North American Properties' position as the industry leader in using social media to drive sales and creating a sense of community at its centers," said Mark Toro (middle left photo), Managing Partner, North American Properties. "Caleb knows and understands Atlantic Station's audiences and will help us continue to effectively connect and interact with them."

Spivak owns and operates online publication What Now Atlanta, which has developed a massive following by breaking news on restaurants, retail and the real estate industry in Atlanta.

 Most recently, he served as public relations and social media associate at Newell Rubbermaid where he helped launch the international baby gear brand Aprica in the social space for North America. Spivak recently was featured in Creative Loafing’s 20 People to Watch in 2012.

 “Caleb is a highly motivated, innovative and energetic individual who understands social media and how to use it for connecting with important audiences,” said Atlantic Station Director of Marketing Liz Gillespie (lower right photo)

 “Social media has played an enormous role in the success of Atlantic Station during the past year. The feedback we’ve received on Twitter and Facebook has helped us shape our strategy for Atlantic Station. Caleb has what it takes to continue to build on our momentum, and we are thrilled to have him on board.” 

Atlantic Station currently has more than 7,700 Twitter followers and almost 20,000 fans on Facebook.

Visit Atlantic Station on Twitter at or on Facebook at

Tony Wilbert
Wilbert News Strategies
404-965-5022 (O) 404-405-3656 (C)

Colliers International Central Florida Closes $1.85 Million Office Investment Sale in Melbourne, FL


 MELBOURNE, FL (Jan. 12, 2012) – In a sign that Brevard County may see more private companies investing in and moving to the area to capitalize on the infrastructure of the Kennedy Space Center (bottom right photo) and opportunities available after the retirement of the U.S. space shuttle program, Colliers International Central Florida is pleased to announce the $1.85-million sale of the 34,123-square-foot Melbourne Corporate Center (top left photo), located at 1775 Hibiscus Drive in Melbourne.

 Susan Morris (top right photo) and Kane Morris-Webster (middle left photo), CCIM, of Colliers International Central Florida represented the seller, Wells Fargo, serviced through Berkadia Commercial Mortgage, in the transaction of the real estate owned (REO) office property. The buyer was Wells Melbourne, REO, LLC, a private fund out of Florida.

 The Class-B Melbourne Corporate Center is currently 80 percent occupied. The two tenants include a defense contractor in the information technology field and Webster University. The 20 percent vacant space may be well-suited for professional offices, such as for doctors or lawyers.

“Many have been hesitant to invest in Brevard County because of the layoffs resulting from the U.S. government cutbacks in the space shuttle program or because some consider it a tertiary market,” said Morris.

“But we see a vast potential in this county, which boasts some of the best defense, space, and research and development companies in the country.

“Together with their economic development councils, the county’s jurisdictional boards have been very aggressive in attracting and creating job opportunities in this challenging market. We see this sale as one of many indications that momentum is building for reinvestment and job expansion in Brevard County.”

 In the last year, Brevard County has announced the addition of nearly 900 jobs, and has become home to aircraft manufacturer Embraer’s first and only U.S. manufacturing facility, aviation and defense provider AAR’s Airlift Group, a new $28-million Midair USA facility, and a new R&D center at Patrick Air Force Base.

 Multimillion-dollar expansions have also taken place in the county, including international communications and information technology company Harris spending $100 million to expand its Palm Bay Campus, SolTec Electronics expanding in Rockledge, Fla., and Professional Aircraft Accessories expanding at Space Coast Regional Airport.

  “Now that space exploration has become open to private companies, many are moving to the area or expanding to take advantage of the “Brevard brain-trust,” the thousands of scientists and engineers already here, along with the infrastructure of the Kennedy Space Center,” said Morris-Webster.

“We are representing several locations in Brevard County and expect to see a lot of activity and growth in this market in 2012.”

Noelle Anderson, APR
Principal & President
True Blue Communications

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Industry Veteran Jeffrey S. Schwaber Appointed President of Griffin Capital Securities

El Segundo, CA (Jan. 12, 2012) – Griffin Capital Securities announced today that Jeffrey S. Schwaber (top right photo), one of the financial services industry’s most respected and accomplished senior distribution executives, joined Griffin Capital Securities as president of capital markets and head of distribution. 

Schwaber joins Griffin from Behringer Harvard Real Estate Investments, where he built and managed an industry-leading non-traded REIT sales organization that raised more than $5.5 billion since 2003.

 “Jeff is one of the most recognized and respected securities executives in the financial services industry,” said Kevin Shields (top left photo), chief executive officer of Griffin Capital Securities and Griffin Capital Corporation.

 “You can count on one hand the senior distribution executives that have built an organization to Tier 1 industry-leading status, compiled a selling group of several hundred prestigious broker-dealer partners and raised billions of dollars through multiple economic cycles, and Jeff Schwaber is certainly one of them.”

 “We undertook the highest level of diligence in making the decision as to whom we would appoint as President of our securities company” said David Rupert (middle right photo), president of Griffin Capital Corporation.

 “We spoke with several leading broker-dealer heads, due diligence officers and other influential industry leaders and invariably one name kept coming up.  We are delighted Jeff is joining our team at such an exciting time in our company’s growth.”

A 27-year veteran of the securities industry, Schwaber brings a wealth of executive-level sales experience to Griffin, where he will focus his efforts on the distribution of Griffin Capital Net Lease REIT and Griffin-American Healthcare REIT II. 

 Known and widely respected throughout the broker-dealer community and acknowledged as one of the most effective and highly regarded speakers in the securities industry, Schwaber is a sought-after keynote speaker and has been a featured guest on CNBC multiple times.  He is also known as a “hands-on” leader with his wholesaling and national accounts teams, and a highly participatory manager in training, education and operations.

 “I considered a number of professional career opportunities and was drawn to Griffin Capital for several reasons,” stated Schwaber.

 “First, the company has an outstanding combination of two high-quality, well-positioned REIT offerings and, perhaps more important, each REIT is advised by a superior management team with a level of pedigree, focus and experience centered around creating value for their shareholders.

  I am excited to combine my capital markets expertise with the extensive real estate experience of each management team to drive sales and success to each REIT and their shareholders.”

Damon Elder
Spotlight Marketing Communications

Westport Capital Partners Acquires Scottsdale Office Building and Deer Valley Flex-Industrial Property in Arizona


EL SEGUNDO, CA, Jan 12, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Real estate investment firm Westport Capital Partners LLC announced that it has closed on the purchase of a 150,000 square foot office building located at Scottsdale Financial Center II (top left photo) in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The acquisition is on the heels of a prior acquisition of a 124,000 square foot flex-industrial park located in Deer Valley, Arizona known as Pinnacle Peak Business Park.

"Westport continues to add attractive, functional assets to our national portfolio that are in strong performing markets," said Greg Geiger (top right photo), principal and portfolio manager with Westport.

 "Both the Scottsdale and Deer Valley properties represent very desirable properties that are attractive to a broad range of tenants. The Phoenix area has proven to be a highly appealing, business-friendly market that continues to draw the attention of business owners."

Scottsdale Financial Center II is located at 4141 N. Scottsdale Road and is a class A, three-story suburban office building offering both covered and subterranean parking.

 Located within the south Scottsdale market of Old Town, at the intersection of Scottsdale Road and Indian School Road, the property has access to nearby amenities such as art galleries, specialty retail, cultural attractions and extensive dining choices.

 Hotels within walking distance include the Scottsdale Marriott, The Hyatt Place Scottsdale, Hilton Inn and The Valley Ho. Currently the property is 71 percent leased to Coventry Health Care, a diversified national managed healthcare company that serves more than 5 million members in 50 states. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Jim Sadler, Dennis Desmond and Brian Ackerman of Jones Lang LaSalle represented the seller in the acquisition, and Jim Sadler, Pat Williams and Harry Klaff, also with Jones Lang LaSalle, represented primary tenant Coventry in the lease transaction.

Pinnacle Peak Business Park is a 124,000 square foot, four building flex-industrial park located in Deer Valley, just north of Scottsdale, Arizona.

Deer Valley is home to many Fortune 500 companies, and is one of the most desirable submarkets in the Phoenix Metropolitan area. The property is 70 percent leased and will undergo some immediate upgrades and improvements. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Russel S. Bernard (lower left photo) Managing Principal of Westport, said, "We are pleased to be able to acquire these high-quality properties that will benefit from our hands-on ownership philosophy and allow us to deliver strong returns to our investors."

Stacey Hershauer
Marketing & Public Relations
(480) 600-0195