Monday, October 22, 2012

Office Market Shows Slight Improvement in Third Quarter

Michael Bull
 ATLANTA, GA (Oct. 22, 2012) – The third quarter marked another period of tepid improvement for the U.S. office real estate market, and the sector doesn’t appear ready to take off in the near future.

 The new episode of “America’s Commercial Real Estate Show” offered an enlightening look at the office sector’s recent performance. Show host Michael Bull and his panel of expert guests discussed a range of topics, including vacancy rates, investment sales, design trends and tenant concessions.

Ryan Severino
The national office vacancy rate declined ever so slightly in the third quarter, from 17.2 percent in the second quarter to 17.1 percent, said Ryan Severino, a senior economist with Reis. The third-quarter rate represents a 30-basis-point drop from the same period in 2011.

 National asking and effective rents both increased by 0.2 percent from the preceding quarter, and absorption rose from a positive 4.5million square feet in the second quarter to about 5 million square feet.

Sean Williams
 “With the labor market struggling, demand for office space unfortunately remains at very low levels,” Severino said. Still, even though the office market’s third-quarter performance was “not a spectacular result by any stretch of the imagination, at least we’re still trending in the right direction,” he added.

Office investment sales also appear to be slowing down, according to Severino. “It just seems like there’s a little bit of fatigue on the part of investors,” he said. “They’ve been investing in high-quality, trophy-caliber assets for the last few years, which is what has really beenbehind the downward trend in cap rates. But that’s only sustainable for so long without strong economic growth and improvement in the labor market.”

Steve Martin
Asked about the near future, Severino predicted “slow improvement” in rents and vacancy rates through the end of 2013.

Sean Williams, a vice president in Bull Realty’s Corporate Office Services Group, predicted that more distressed office properties would be available for purchase in the coming months and years. One reason, he said, “is the CMBS loan sector, which saw $6.4 billion in loans coming due in 2012 … In 2015, it’s expected to hit $11 billion.”

 Steven Martin, a managing principal with SDM Partners, said the gradual improvements mean the office market will soon no longer be one that completely favors tenants. “It’s still a tenants’ market, but that window is closing, and it will continue to close,” he said.

Bill Coons
Bill Coons, president of Facilitec, a workplace design firm, said tenants are leasing fewer square feet per employee and are designing more open, collaborative environments but cautioned against believing these changes are here to stay. “We’re in the early stages of some of these trends, and I think it remains to be seen how it plays out,” he said.

 The entire “U.S. Office Market Update” episode is available for download at

 The next “America’s Commercial Real Estate Show” will be available on Oct. 25 and will detail the new “Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2013” report from the Urban Land Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers.


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

Colliers International Tapped to Market Largest Undeveloped Contiguous Commercial Land Parcel in Malibu

Chris Maling
 MALIBU, CA. (Oct.  22, 2012) Chris Maling and David Maling of The Maling Team with Colliers International have been tapped by Malibu Residential Housing Group, LTD to market for-sale the Wave Property, an investment opportunity consisting of approximately 9.2 acres of land located in the heart of downtown Malibu, in California.

The asset, which is offered at $14 million, is currently zoned as CC (Community Commercial), allowing for a wide variety of uses, including office, retail, restaurants, senior housing and storage. Additionally, this is the largest undeveloped contiguous commercial land parcel available in Malibu.

David Maling
This site will appeal to existing owners of coastal real estate in California, Oregon and Washington as well as entities that have been waiting for the right opportunity for irreplaceable real estate to develop senior housing or production facilities.

“Our marketing strategy involves leveraging the Colliers platform by targeting our existing client relationships locally, then regionally, then nationally and lastly our international outreach,” said Chris Maling, senior vice president/retail investments, with Colliers International. “We are receiving interest from investors in China and India as well as Sovereign Wealth Funds in the Middle East like the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.”

9.2-Acre Wave site, Malibu, CA
Chris Maling added: “This site is so rare and unique that I compare it to a quote from the author Mark Twain: ‘I rarely seized an opportunity until it ceased to be one.’"

The Wave Property is ideally located on La Paz Lane off of Civic Center Way and adjacent to the County Library and the Los Angeles County Courthouse, with close proximity to City Hall, several restaurants, a movie theater, shopping and the beach.

“Malibu is a unique and incomparable California city,” said David Maling, senior vice president/retail investments, with Colliers International. “There is a rare nugget of opportunity here for an investor to take advantage of an irreplaceable location for a development that can reflect the culture, aesthetics and needs of the local community.”

The selling entity is a partnership that is dissolving by court order and this asset in the portfolio must be sold.

Malibu, California is a beachfront city in northwest Los Angeles County. Malibu has 21 miles along the Pacific coastline. The community is famous for its warm, sandy beaches, and for being the home of many Hollywood movie stars and others associated with the entertainment industry.

The city is bounded by Topanga Canyon to the East, the Santa Monica Mountains consisting of Agoura Hills, Calabasas, and Woodland Hills to the North, the Pacific Ocean to the South, and Ventura County to the West. Malibu’s beaches include Surfrider Beach, Zuma Beach, Malibu State Beach, Topanga State Beach, Point Dume State Beach and Dan Blocker Beach.

Los Angeles County Courthouse
Most Malibu residents live within a few hundred yards of Pacific Coast Highway (State Route 1), which traverses the city, with some residents living up to a mile away from the beach up narrow canyons, and many more residents of the unincorporated canyon areas identifying Malibu as their hometown.

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

Darcie Giacchetto
Spaulding Thompson & Associates

NAI Realvest Negotiates New Retail and Office Leases in Winter Park, FL and Oviedo, FL for Hair and Pool Designers

Mitch Heidrich
MAITLAND, Fla. – NAI Realvest recently negotiated two new leases – a retail lease in Winter Park for a hair designer and an office lease in Oviedo for a pool designer – totaling more than 3,800 square feet.

 NAI Realvest Associate Mitch Heidrich negotiated a new retail lease of 1,300 square feet at 400 South Orlando Ave., Suite 112 in Winter Park representing the local tenant, Catwalk Hair Design, Inc.     The landlord New England Courtyard LLC of Winter Park was represented by Trish Debell of Southeastern Realty.

At the same time Heidrich negotiated a lease agreement for 2,514 square feet on behalf of new tenant Advantage Pools & Spas, Inc., a local pool designer, at 348 W. SR 434 in Oviedo.  Scott Garrett of Results Real Estate Partners LLC represented the landlord DK Properties LLC in the transaction.


 Mitch Heidrich, Associate NAI Realvest, 407-875-9989;  
Patrick Mahoney, President, NAI Realvest 407-875-9989
Beth Payan or Larry Vershel, Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142

CoStar Group Leases Full Floor at Phipps Tower in Buckhead, GA

Phipps Tower, Buckhead, GA
 ATLANTA, GA – [Oct. 22, 2012] Cassidy Turley, a leading commercial real estate services provider in the U.S., today announced it brokered the lease of 26,800 square feet of space at Phipps Tower at 3438 Peachtree Road in Atlanta for CoStar Group, Inc., the nation’s leading commercial real estate information, analytic and marketing services provider.

 Cassidy Turley’s Senior Managing Director Kirk Diamond, Managing Director Bradley Fulkerson and Associate April Hawkinson represented CoStar in the 11-year lease of a full floor at Phipps Tower, located in Atlanta’s premier Buckhead market.

The Class-A building’s central location on the Buckhead Loop gives tenants easy access to Atlanta's most important business areas.

Kirk Diamond
CoStar’s criteria for space included convenient access, prominent signage and proximity to amenities. With the help of Diamond, Fulkerson and Hawkinson, CoStar was able to secure all three criteria including a coveted spot on Phipps Tower’s new digital LED sign.

 “Cassidy Turley is honored to have worked with the world’s No.1 commercial real estate information, analytics and marketing provider,” said Diamond, who consistently ranks as one of Cassidy Turley’s top producers. “Phipps Tower provides CoStar with excellent space in Buckhead’s highly sought-after office market.”


Tony Wilbert
Wilbert News Strategies

HFF arranges $92.6 million financing for luxury multi-housing community in, D.C.’s Mount Vernon Triangle


MassCourt Apartments, Washington, DC
 WASHINGTON, D.C. – HFF announced today that it has arranged $92.6 million in financing for MassCourt East End, a 371-unit luxury multi-housing community in the Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

                HFF worked on behalf of the borrower, TIAA-CREF, to secure the 2.88 percent, fixed-rate loan through M&T Realty Capital Corporation (Fannie Mae).  Loan proceeds were used to acquire the property.

Kevin MacKenzie
MassCourt East End is located at 300 Massachusetts Avenue adjacent to Interstate 395 and within walking distance of three Metro-Rail stations (Judiciary Square, Gallery Place and Union Station).  

Completed in 2004, the 96 percent leased property has studio, one- and two-bedroom units averaging 836 square feet each.  Residents have access to a rooftop lounge with cabanas, yoga and aerobics studio, fitness center, clubroom, and rooftop pool and hot tub. 

An on-site parking garage provides parking for 309 vehicles.  MassCourt East End also features two ground-floor retail tenants, Spring-Glo Dry Cleaning and The Carving Room.

Cary Abod
The HFF team representing TIAA-CREF was led by senior managing director Kevin MacKenzie and managing director Cary Abod.

“This is a great case study on the type of financing that can be achieved through the right process, with strong sponsorship and high-quality assets,” said MacKenzie.

TIAA-CREF ( is a national financial services organization with $481 billion in assets under management (as of 6/30/12) and is the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields.


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 |

Fitzrovia Apartments in London Wins Urban Land Institute Award

Fitzrovia Apartments, London, England
 LONDON, ENGLAND, Oct. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --This morning Ridgeford Properties, the renowned London-based property company and Manhattan Loft Corporation won the ULI Global Award for Excellence at the prestigious 2012 Urban Land Institute Awards in Denver, Colorado.

Fitzrovia Apartments, an innovative project by Ridgeford Properties and Manhattan Loft Corporation, was selected as a winner from 29 global finalists displaying a broad mix of exemplary projects.

Christopher Murray
The ULI Global Award for Excellence honour the highest standards of achievement in the development community that go beyond good design. Many factors including leadership, contribution to the community and environmental protection are qualities deemed important by ULI when selecting winners of its award.

Located in the highly desirable W1 postcode and one of Ridgeford's many award-winning schemes, the Fitzrovia Apartments development raises the bar for property excellence and reinforces the allure of Marylebone and Fitzrovia villages.

Harry Handelsman
Working alongside the world's best designers and architects, including HOK International, Fitzrovia Apartments showcases immaculate detail and design. Striking features include a glazed reception area with double height ceilings that opens onto a courtyard with stunning landscaped gardens, providing tranquillity for residents away from the busy London streets.

The development comprises 70 apartments, the majority of which have already been sold, with 4 state of the art penthouses coming onto the market late 2012.

Chris Murray, Managing Director of Ridgeford Properties Ltd, said: "It's fantastic that Ridgeford Properties has been chosen as the winner of this global property award. We are extremely proud of Fitzrovia Apartments. The development demonstrates our ability to plan and execute innovative projects that outshine the international competition."

Harry Handelsman, CEO of Manhattan Loft Corporation, said: "Fitzrovia Apartments challenges conventions with its contemporary architecture and that the judges have recognized this is testimony to the combined achievements of Ridgeford and Manhattan Loft Corporation. With Fitzrovia Apartments we have helped to rediscover an area of London which looks set to become one of the capital's top neighborhoods."

The Fitzrovia Apartments development will be completed in December 2012. Visit

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

 Press Office:
Viv Jemmett,

MBA Elects New Officers

Debra W. Still
Chicago, IL (Oct.  22, 2012) — The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) today announced the election of Debra W. Still, CMB, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pulte Mortgage LLC, as the 2013 Chairman of MBA at the association’s 99th Annual Convention & Expo in Chicago.

E.J. Burke
E. J. Burke, Executive Vice President and Group Head, KeyBank Real Estate Capital and Corporate Banking Services, was named Chairman-Elect of MBA, while Bill Cosgrove, CMB, President and CEO of Union National Mortgage Company, was named Vice Chairman.  All three officers will serve for the 2012-2013 membership year.

For full copies of all MBA news releases, please contact: 

Matt Robinson, (202) 557-2727                                     
John Mechem, (202) 557-2924