Monday, October 1, 2012

Knoll-Hillis Team at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank sets new low cap rate benchmark in sale of Publix-anchored retail center in Roswell

 ATLANTA, GA --- The Knoll-Hillis Team at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank Capital Group in Atlanta recently negotiated a record price in the sale of the 81,159 square foot Publix-anchored Village Walk retail center (top left photo) at 270 Rucker Rd. in Roswell.

Whitney Knoll (middle right photo), who heads the investment sales team at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, said  Village Walk, built in 2005 and redeveloped three years ago, was 95.3 percent occupied at the time of sale with an “A” list of tenants that includes one of only two Publix Pix gas stations in Georgia, Chase Bank, Shane’s Rib Shack, Anytime Fitness,  Dentistry for Children and Chin Chin Chinese Restaurant in addition to the Publix supermarket.

Whitney Knoll
Knoll and partner Fred Victor negotiated the $20,400,000 sale price on behalf of the seller.

The Prudential Variable Contract Real Property Partnership, a subsidiary of Prudential Real Estate Investors acquired the retail center.

“The returns for this transaction were driven by strong institutional investor demand for quality core product in a market with limited supply of such product,” said Victor.

Knoll said several institutional pension fund clients stepped up to the rarefied pricing, willing to pay true core pricing to acquire such a quality center.

Fred Victor
The Knoll-Hillis team – led by Whitney Knoll and Mark Hillis – is a five-member team that is focused exclusively on capital market transactions on behalf of owners with assets in the Southeast.  Jason Archer coordinates the underwriting and marketing of assets through the disposition process, and is responsible for developing disposition strategies, asset positioning and creating new business leads.

The team has executed transactions valued at more than $10 billion across all property types including office, retail, industrial, multi-family, and hotels.

Transactions range from $1 million to over $100 million and represent core, value add and opportunistic properties including distressed and REO assets.

For more information about this press release, contact:

C. Whitney Knoll, Principal/Managing Director of Southeast Capital Markets Group, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, 201 17th Street, Suite 900, Atlanta, GA 30363;; 404-926-1139
Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications 407-644-4142

Cushman & Wakefield and Cousins Properties Close Business Unit Transaction

Glenn Rufrano
 NEW YORK, NY, Oct. 1, 2012 – Cushman & Wakefield and Cousins Properties Incorporated (NYSE:CUZ) have closed on a transaction integrating Cousins’ third party client services business into Cushman & Wakefield’s globally integrated platform.

 The business unit, previously known as The Client Services Group (CSG), provides third party services to owners of Class A office buildings in Atlanta and Dallas including Leasing, Property Management, and Project Management services. 

 Cousins Properties will continue to own and operate its fee business that is not associated with the Client Services Group.   

Larry Gellerstedt
Under the terms of the transaction, more than 100 professionals have transitioned from Cousins to Cushman & Wakefield, providing immediate enhanced capabilities for clients supported by Cushman & Wakefield’s Investor Services and Leasing groups in two key geographic areas of focus as part of the firm’s strategic growth plan.  

 Glenn Rufrano, President and CEO of Cushman & Wakefield said, “Throughout the execution of this transaction, our goal has been to put the needs of our clients first while providing them with a seamless transition.

“We remain focused on driving meaningful value into our clients’ assets and organizations while adding significantly enhanced capabilities and a more consistent service mix in two priority markets in the U.S.”

“One of the greatest benefits of this transaction is that it combines the strength of two like-minded organizations whose professionals share the same client-centric operating principles,” said Larry Gellerstedt, President and CEO of Cousins Properties.

“This not only ensures that our clients will be part of a broad global platform and can leverage all of the benefits that come with it, but is also consistent with Cousins’ strategic goal of simplification and a heightened focus on our core business.”   

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

First Green Foundation awards its first sustainable energy improvement grant

First Green Bank headquarters, Mount Dora, FL
MOUNT DORA, FL--- The First Green Foundation, the non profit arm of First Green Bank in Mount Dora, Clermont, Ormond Beach and soon in downtown Orlando, has awarded its first sustainable energy improvement grant.

Earlier the foundation announced it will award grants to home and business owners who want to convert their facilities to the use of sustainable energy resources such as solar, wind and recycled biofuels.

The first grant of $1,000 was awarded to Daniel Dean of Lake County.

In addition to the grant, First Green Bank will provide a loan to Dean so that he can install a 10 KW solar panel system, effectively taking his home off the power grid.

Rhonda DeCandia, board member, said that the foundation is still accepting grant applications.

For more information about this press release, contact:  

 Kenneth E. LaRoe, CEO and Chairman, First GREEN Bank, 352-483-9100,
Paul Rountree, President, First GREEN Bank, 352-483-9100,
Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications 407-644-4142 or 407-461-3780,   

Ron Ruffner Promoted to Senior Vice President at Cassidy Turley's Tampa Office

Ron Ruffner
TAMPA, Fla. – Oct. 1, 2012 Cassidy Turley, a leading commercial real estate services provider in the U.S., today announced that Ron Ruffner has been promoted to Senior Vice President.

 Ruffner previously served as Vice President. He joined Cassidy Turley in 2011 when the company acquired the brokerage and property management groups of Carter. He recently completed a major expansion and renewal of the headquarters for OSI Restaurant Partners, parent company of Outback Steakhouse.

 “Ron has played an instrumental role in establishing our Tampa office,” said Clark Gore, Regional Managing Principal, Cassidy Turley. “His industry expertise, knowledge of the Tampa area and ability to get deals done make him the perfect choice to lead the team.”

Clark Gore
 Ruffner has more than 25 years of experience in commercial real estate, in all aspects of development, landlord representation, land sales, tenant representation andbuild-to-suit projects.

At Carter, he was responsible for directing the leasing effort of approximately 1.5 million square feet of Class A office space at Corporate Center at International Plaza and Hidden River Corporate Park.

 Prior to joining Carter, Ruffner was Vice President in Tampa for Crescent Resources, where he was responsible for land acquisitions, development and leasing of commercial properties.

Additionally, he has also served CLW Real Estate Services Group specializing in land sales, office leasing and build-to-suit. He also works with Clay Sovich leasing the University of South Florida Research Park and several other light industrial projects in the I-75 Corridor.


Tony Wilbert
Wilbert News Strategies

Penwood Real Estate Investment Management Announces Acquisition of 1683 Sunflower Ave. in Costa Mesa, CA

 Hartford, CT – October 1, 2012- Penwood Real Estate Investment Management, LLC (“Penwood”) announced today that Penwood Select Industrial Partners III, L.P., Penwood’s third value-added investment vehicle, has closed on the acquisition of a 345,000 square-foot industrial building at 1683 Sunflower Avenue (top left aerial photo) in Costa Mesa, CA.

 The two-tenant building was acquired with a 112,000 square-foot vacancy.

Mitch Zehner
Mitch Zehner of Voit Real Estate Services’ Anaheim Metro office and Michael Hartel of Voit’s Irvine office represented Penwood as the buyer on the property.

 According to Voit’s Zehner, “As a full-service firm, Voit was able to use its acquisition and asset strategy team to assist Penwood not only in identifying this opportunity, but also in planning, due diligence, underwriting and now operations and leasing.” 

 Penwood’s Richard Chase agrees, adding, “The Sunflower investment provides for an attractive income stream and tremendous upside potential.”

Michael Hartel
The property is located within close proximity to John Wayne Airport with frontage on the 405 Freeway with 400,000 cars passing by the property daily.

  “The freeway frontage provides strong appeal to potential tenants due to visibility and ease of access,” Hartel notes.

 Penwood and Voit will improve the landscape and vacant space to position the property for tenants seeking space in a dynamic and high profile location.  

 Zehner and Hartel have been named the exclusive leasing representatives for 1683 Sunflower Avenue.  Information on leasing the property is available from Zehner and Hartel at or

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

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

CRE Show: Retail Tenants Find Success Navigating a Landlord’s Market


 ATLANTA, GA (Oct. 1, 2012) – From getting creative with site selection to becoming more savvy in lease negotiations, retail tenants are finding new ways to thrive.

The latest episode of “America’s Commercial Real Estate Show” took an insightful look at some key issues affecting retailers. The show featured a panel of experts who shared tips to help retail tenants maximize their site selection process and protect themselves in uncertain times. 

Greg Stanislawski
In many markets, the lack of new construction in recent years has made it harder for tenants to find suitable space. Rental rates have creeped up, and it has become a landlord’s market in many cities.

This means tenants have to do their homework and put their best foot forward, explains Greg Stanislawski, vice president at The RetailStrategy. His firm works hard to present tenants in the best light possible to prospective landlords.  

“We really spend a lot of time on the front end educating the landlord on the tenant, educating them about what their products and services are and getting them excited about the brand,” Stanislawski said. “That way they are more apt to provide incentives to get our clients into their shopping centers.”

Michael Bull
Tenants and their brokers are finding that research, networking and a little legwork can make all the difference in securing a great location. For example, they might identify desirable locations that are not on the market and then make calls to see if any tenants are struggling and looking to get bought out of their lease.

“It’s not always just going to be a site that has a big ‘For Lease’ sign in the window,” said show host Michael Bull, founder of Bull Realty Inc. “A professional retail tenant rep is going to have a few more insights on finding some great locations.”

Jonathan Neville
The tighter market also brings opportunities to think outside the box. Some cities don’t appear desirable based on demographics, but a little research reveals potential goldmines. For example, some border towns in Texas have modest income levels but enjoy tremendous traffic from travelers, and the same is true for some sites near the outlet malls in North Georgia.

When it comes time to do a deal, there is a bit of good news for tenants, says Jonathan Neville, a partner at Arnall Golden Gregory LLP who focuses on commercial real estate development and franchising. Tenants may have a better chance of getting a SNDA (subordination, non-disturbance and attornment agreement) clause in the lease. SNDAs protect tenants by ensuring the lender would honor their lease in the event that the landlord goes into foreclosure.

Laurel David
“Landlords and lenders are getting more cooperative — I think certainly for our smaller users who used to get laughed out of the room when they asked for an SNDA and are now getting it,” Neville said.

There could be more positive news for retailers on thehorizon, according to another guest on this week’s show. Proposed federal legislation would require online sellers to collect sales tax in states where they have no store presence, said Laurel David, an attorney at The Galloway Law Group LLC.

“The bills are really aimed at leveling the playing field,” David said. “If I walk into a store on Main Street and I have to pay sales tax, why shouldn’t I have to pay that same sales tax if I buy something online?”

The entire episode on retail tenant strategies is available for download at

The next “America’s Commercial Real Estate Show” will be available Oct. 4 and will feature an update on the U.S. restaurant industry.


Stephen Ursery
Wilbert Public Relations
Office: (404) 965-5026
Cell: (404) 405-2354

HFF secures joint venture equity for Silicon Valley multi-housing development

1201 South Main St.
IRVINE, CA – HFF announced today that it has secured joint venture equity for the development of 1201 S. Main Street,(top left photo), a 200-unit, Class A multi-housing community to be built in Milpitas, California.

                HFF worked exclusively on behalf of Shea Properties to arrange the joint venture equity through The Resmark Companies.

                Due for completion in June 2014, 1201 S. Main Street will have studio, one- and two-bedroom units averaging 913 square feet each.  Nine of the 200 units are designated as affordable units. 
Mark Erland
 Planned community amenities include a sky terrace area, business center, game room, fitness center, basketball court, outdoor pool and spa, and barbecue areas.  The 2.72-acre site is located at the intersection of S. Main Street and Abel Street within walking distance of a VTA light rail station and the future (2018) Milpitas BART extension in Milpitas. 1201 S.

 Main Street is also close to employers such as Cisco and SanDisk, in addition to being adjacent to the Great Mall, which features a wide variety of national retail options. 

                 The HFF team representing Shea Properties was led by directors Mark Erland (middle right photo) and Charles Halladay.

Charles Halladay
  "Resmark was able to understand Shea's vision for this project which will have market leading unit interiors, amenities, and a design concept that will provide a high degree of appeal.  The Milpitas and North San Jose market is benefiting from rapid high technology job growth, and 1201 S. Main is poised to capture this ongoing strong tenant demand," said Erland.

Shea Properties, headquartered in Aliso Viejo, California, is a diversified real estate company responsible for the acquisition, design, development, construction and management of business parks, shopping centers, apartment communities and mixed-use environments.


Kristen M. Murphy
Associate Director HFF
9 Greenway Plaza, Suite 700
Houston, TX 77046
tel 713.852.3500
cel 617.543.4873
 fax 713.527.8725 

HFF secures $19.5 million financing for Tiger Manor in Baton Rouge, LA

Tiger Manor
 IRVINE, CA – HFF announced today that it has secured $19.5 million in acquisition financing for Tiger Manor, a 287-unit student housing community serving Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

HFF worked exclusively on behalf of Stirling Properties, Inc. to secure the 10-year fixed-rate securitized loan through Natixis Real Estate Capital, LLC.

Kevin Mackenzie

Situated one block north of the Louisiana State University campus, Tiger Manor is located at 3000 July Street to the west of Highland Road in Baton Rouge.  The 93 percent occupied property provides convenient access to school, shopping, restaurants and other entertainment in addition to campus shuttle service. 

The HFF team representing the borrower was led by senior managing director Kevin Mackenzie and associate director Jim Curtin.

Headquartered in Covington, Louisiana, Stirling Properties, Inc. is a commercial real estate firm offering services including commercial brokerage, project management, property and asset management and investment sales and acquisitions.

 With more than 35 years in the industry, the firm delivers unparalleled market knowledge and product diversity to clients throughout the Gulf South region of the United States.


Kristen M. Murphy
Associate Director HFF
9 Greenway Plaza, Suite 700
Houston, TX 77046
tel 713.852.3500
cel 617.543.4873
 fax 713.527.8725  

Marriott Completes Acquisition Of Gaylord Hotels Brand And Hotel Management Company

General Jackson Showboat
BETHESDA, Md., Oct. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) said today that it has completed the transaction announced on May 31 with Gaylord Entertainment Company, now Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. (NYSE: RHP), to acquire the Gaylord brand and hotel management company for $210 million.

Gaylord Entertainment's shareholders approved that company's transition to a real estate investment trust on September 25, and Gaylord Entertainment merged with Ryman Hospitality Properties and assumed that name today.  Ryman will continue to own the existing four Gaylord hotels and Marriott will manage the properties under long-term agreements. 

Gaylord Springs Golf Links Clubhouse
In addition, Marriott will also manage three Nashville attractions, effective today:  the General Jackson Showboat, Gaylord Springs Golf Links, and Wildhorse Saloon. 

On December 1, Marriott will assume management of the Radisson Hotel Opryland, which will then be renamed The Inn at Opryland, a Gaylord Hotel.   Ryman will also continue to own these properties.  The transaction adds five hotels and approximately 8,100 rooms to the Marriott International portfolio.

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

Tom Marder,

Arbor Closes Eight West Coast Fannie Mae Deals Totaling $31.2M


UNIONDALE, NY (Oct. 1, 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 funding of eight loans totaling $31,222,000 across California and New Mexico under the Fannie Mae Delegated Underwriting & Servicing (DUS®) Loan, Fannie Mae DUS® Small Loan, Fannie Mae DUS® ARM 7-6™ and Fannie Mae DUS® Supplemental Loan product lines. These loans include:

·         570 Knollview Court, Palmdale, CA (top left photo) – This 144-unit multifamily property received $9,024,000 funded under the Fannie Mae DUS® ARM 7-6™ Loan product line. The seven-year acquisition loan amortizes on a 30-year schedule. Amenities at Knollview Court include an in-ground, outdoor swimming pool, whirlpool spa, six laundry rooms and a gazebo.

·         1801-1825 Morton Avenue, Los Angeles, CA (top right photo) – This 66-unit multifamily property received $8,183,000 funded under the Fannie Mae DUS® Loan product line. The 10-year refinance loan amortizes on a 30-year schedule. The property is located on a meticulously landscaped site with low density, providing an uncommonly quiet and secluded feel for the market.

·         Garden Estates Apartments, Ventura, CA (middle left photo) – This 48-unit multifamily property received $3,700,000 funded under the Fannie Mae DUS® Small Loan product line. The 10-year refinance loan amortizes on a 30-year schedule. The Garden Estates property is comprised of seven, two-story buildings and includes two laundry centers and a basketball court.

·         Madison at Green Valley Apartments, Henderson, NV (middle right photo) – This 88-unit multifamily received $3,600,000 funded under the Fannie Mae DUS® Loan product line. The five-year refinance loan amortizes on a 30-year schedule. Located six miles from McCarran International Airport and nine miles from the Las Vegas Strip, amenities at Madison at Green Valley include an in-ground swimming pool.

·         Woodcrest Apartments, Las Cruces, NM (lower left photo) – This 96-unit multifamily property received $3,000,000 funded under the Fannie Mae DUS® Small Loan product line. The 10-year refinance loan amortizes on a 30-year schedule. The Woodcrest Apartments property is comprised of eight, two-story buildings which lie on a 4.17-acre lot. Amenities include an outdoor swimming pool and barbecue area.

·         13260 Maclay Street, Los Angeles, CA  – This 22-unit multifamily property received $1,335,000 funded under the Fannie Mae DUS® Small Loan product line. The 10-year refinance loan amortizes on a 30-year schedule.

·         Tuscany Villa Apartments, West Covina, CA – This 165-unit multifamily property received $1,280,000 funded under the DUS® Supplemental Loan product line. The nine-year equity loan amortizes on a 30-year schedule. Renovated in 2010, the two-building Tuscany Villa Apartments is located 20 miles outside downtown Los Angeles and includes two swimming pools, two laundry rooms, a fitness center and a barbecue area.

·         The Arbors, Davis, CA – This 120-unit multifamily property received $1,000,000 funded under the Fannie Mae DUS® Small Loan product line. The 15-year refinance loan amortizes on a 15-year schedule. The Arbors was renovated in 2011 and is primarily made up of tenants from the University of California, Davis. The property includes a fitness center and swimming pool surrounded by a sundeck.

 All of the loans were originated by Greg Gillam, Director in Arbor’s Manhattan Beach, CA, office. “These loans are examples of Arbor and Fannie Mae’s effort to finance well-maintained properties that provide affordable market-rate housing throughout the California, Nevada and New Mexico rental markets,” Gillam said.


Chris Ostrowski
Arbor Realty Trust, Inc.
 Tel: (516) 506-4255
333 Earle Ovington Blvd, Suite 900

Jonathan M. Tisch, Chairman of Loews Hotels & Resorts, Calls on Policy Leaders to “Rise to the Challenge” and Build World-Class U.S. Infrastructure


Jonathan Tisch
ANAHEIM, CA – In a keynote address delivered to the 11th Annual Southern California Transportation Summit, “Mobility 21,” Jonathan M. Tisch (top right photo), Chairman of Loews Hotels & Resorts, called on transportation and infrastructure policy leaders to reach beyond traditional financing models and partnerships, unite with travel industry and private sector leaders, and build “the world-class infrastructure that America so desperately needs.” 

 Addressing a packed audience of nearly 1,000 transportation experts, policymakers and business leaders, Tisch said that limited government budgets and Washington gridlock have combined to stall critical infrastructure upgrades around the country.

“The old model of relying solely on tax increases or more municipal debt, or a helping hand from the federal government, is broken,” said Tisch. 

 Echoing the summit’s theme, “We’re All In This Together,” he implored the audience to consider new, innovative public-private partnerships to help finance infrastructure projects, citing notable models from Canada to Chicago.

 He also applauded innovative ideas such as America Fast Forward – a proposal to leverage local revenues and federal loans to fast-track construction on vital infrastructure.

While acknowledging the great costs of investing in infrastructure, Tisch emphasized that the cost of inaction would be even higher.

He argued that unless our country commits itself to making the necessary investments to improve our travel infrastructure – particularly our aviation infrastructure – we will lag our economic competitors around the world, and miss out on the economic benefits and new jobs that infrastructure investments could create.

 In closing, Tisch said, “We must join together to meet this challenge,” telling the audience of transportation leaders, “You have allies and partners in the travel industry that are with you every step of the way.  We are all in this together.”

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

 Jen Farley