Saturday, November 17, 2012

Wyndham Hotel Group and Riyada Launch Days Inn Brand in Saudi Arabia

Rui Barros (left) and Muhammad Al-Amir
 RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA  – Wyndham Hotel Group, the world’s largest hotel company with over 7,260 hotels and part of Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (NYSE: WYN),  announced the signing of an exclusive development agreement for the Days Inn® brand in Saudi Arabia with Riyada International Hotels and Resorts, currently the master franchisee for Ramada® hotels in the Kingdom.

 The signing of the exclusive development agreement for 10 hotels was recently announced at the headquarters of the prestigious Saudi Commission of Tourism and Antiquities in Riyadh.  Invited guests heard how development of the Days Inn portfolio in Saudi Arabia will be spread over the next seven years.

Rui Barros, Wyndham Hotel Group’s senior vice president and managing director for Europe, Middle East and Africa said, “We are delighted to expand our relationship with Riyada International Hotels and Resorts through this deal to launch and grow the Days Inn brand, our largest brand globally with 147,224 rooms, in Saudi Arabia. This brand has exceptional growth potential in this market as it is perfectly suited to the growing number of travelers seeking comfort and quality accommodation without a mid-market or upscale price tag.”

 This was Barros’ first visit to Saudi Arabia as Wyndham Hotel Group’s newly appointed SVP and managing director of Europe, Middle East and Africa. Previously, he was brand senior vice president for the Howard Johnson®, Travelodge® and Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham® hotel brands and has served Wyndham Hotel Group in a variety of leadership roles since 1998.

Muhammad Al-Amir, founder and managing director of Riyada International Hotel and Resorts said, “We have worked in partnership with Wyndham Hotel Group for the last seven years to successfully build the Ramada brand within the Kingdom. 

"To now work together to launch Days Inn, another leading global brand, represents a significant milestone for us. With Wyndham providing us with up to date global hospitality know-how, coupled with our local knowledge of the market, we have an unparalleled competitive edge in the country’s hotel development sector.”

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

Joy Gulledge
Public Relations Manager
Wyndham Hotel Group
22 Sylvan Way
Parsippany, NJ 07054
+1 (973) 753-6590

DoubleTree by Hilton Opens Second Hotel in Rochester, NY

McLean,VA – DoubleTree by Hilton announced the opening of a newly renovated, all-suite upscale full-service hotel in historic Rochester, N.Y.

 The 155-suite The Strathallan– a DoubleTree by Hilton, is located in the heart of Rochester’s East End, a cultural and historic district, just 10 minutes away from the Greater Rochester International Airport. 

 The hotel is owned and operated by 550 East Ave, LLC, under a franchise license agreement with a subsidiary of Hilton Worldwide. 

 Over the past year each of the hotel’s guest suites was completely renovated to meet DoubleTree by Hilton standards and now include the brand’s signature Sweet Dreams sleep system, Wolfgang Puck in-room gourmet coffee and tea service; and Crabtree & Evelyn Citron bath and body products new carpets, drapery, furnishing and wall coverings.  Renovations to the public spaces make the transformation complete.

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

Maggie Giddens
Director, Global Brand Public Relations
DoubleTree by Hilton
+1 703 883 5346

Lauralee Dobbins
Daly Gray Public Relations
+1 703 435 6293

ARA Announces Sale of Prime Multifamily Development Site in Plantation, FL

Midtown Phase II aerial of development site, Plantation, FL
Plantation, FL — The Boca Raton office of Atlanta-headquartered ARA, the largest privately held, full-service investment advisory brokerage firm in the nation focusing exclusively on the multi-housing industry, has arranged the land sale of 2.42 acresÅ¡ for the development of the 227-unit Midtown Phase II multifamily project.

Troy Ballard
ARA’s South Florida Land Division represented Miami-based American Land Ventures in the sale to Camden Realty Trust. Land Division Vice President Troy Ballard was supported by ARA Principals, Avery Klann and Dick Donnellan in marketing the property.

 “Midtown Phase II offers Camden an incredible opportunity to build a trophy asset located in one of South Florida’s most coveted locations,” noted Troy Ballard, lead broker on the deal.

 “Midtown Phase II is within walking distance to major employment, high-end shopping, dining and entertainment choices within the 860-acre Plantation Midtown District. This type of location is what every multifamily developer and institutional owner is looking for in today’s development environment.”

Avery Klann
Midtown Phase II is a 2.42-acre site that is planned for 227 multifamily units, with a height of 12 stories, and a self-contained parking garage. The site is part of a larger tract located in the northwestern quadrant of the Midtown District Town Center. ARA previously sold the existing 236-unit Phase I Midtown 24 apartment complex, built in 2010, for over $290,000 per unit.

 Midtown Phase II enjoys a strategic location within the visionary Plantation Midtown District, a master-planned development consisting of 860 acres with 2.5 million square feet of retail and three million square feet of office. The District is home to over 50 Fortune 500 companies, such as American Express, DHL and Tradestation, employing approximately 20,500 people.

Dick Donnellan
This Class “AAA” development’s high barrier-to-entry location in the heart of Broward County is superbly positioned only one mile from I-595, one of the area’s major highways, as well as within minutes from Fort Lauderdale International Airport, I-95, I-75, the Sawgrass Expressway and Florida’s Turnpike.

For more information about ARA nationally, please contact:

Lisa Robinson at, 678.553.9360 
 Amy Morris at, 678.553.9366;
 Marti Zenor at or 561.988.8800.

Beech Street Capital Closes $15.2 Million Fannie Mae Loan to Acquire Naples, FL Apartments

Meadow Brook Preserve Apartments, Naples, FL

 BETHESDA, MD – Beech Street Capital, LLC, announced it closed a $15.2 million Fannie Mae conventional loan used to acquire Meadow Brook Preserve Apartments, a 268-unit multifamily complex in Naples, Florida.

Mitch Sinberg and Michael Wallace, senior vice presidents in Beech Street’s Florida offices, originated the transaction.

 The transaction represents Sinberg and Wallace’s third closing since they joined Beech Street in May of this year and Beech Street’s fourth deal with the borrower, Atlas Real Estate Partners, an entrepreneurial real estate investment firm with a specific focus on multifamily acquisitions in Florida, Texas, and Massachusetts.

Mitch Sinberg
In just six months, Sinberg and Wallace, who head up the Florida offices, have closed close to $100 million in agency debt for new acquisitions. “Our experience in the Florida market, as well as our knowledge of the agencies has helped us to get off to a strong start,” states Wallace.

Sinberg adds, “Everyone at Beech Street goes into every transaction determined to exceed client expectations. That’s the way you generate repeat business.” And it’s repeat business that’s behind Beech Street’s strong run in Florida and nationwide.

Michael Wallace
Since October 2010 the property has undergone over $1 million in renovations and is in excellent condition. The borrower plans to complete additional renovations upon acquisition.

The property is located in North Naples within Collier County, approximately 11 miles from downtown Naples. Conveniently situated, the property is a half mile from Route 41, the major commercial thoroughfare through Naples, and four miles from Interstate 75 which provides access throughout Florida.

  The neighborhood is a new and growing area of Naples that consists of a mixture of single family homes, apartment properties, retail, and nature preserves, as well as a Greyhound race track and numerous golf courses.  Amenities include a clubhouse, fitness center, swimming pool, soccer field, and dog park.  

 The fixed-rate loan has a 10-year term and five years of interest-only.


Courtney Lewis

 Jenifer Bernardi

Colliers Brings on Two Veteran Industrial/Office Brokers

Ronald A. Schagrin
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - Colliers International South Florida is pleased to announce that Ronald A. Schagrin, SIOR and Elias Porras, CCIM, SIOR have joined the firm as Senior Vice Presidents. Schagrin and Porras have both been in the business for over 25 years and have worked as a team representing industrial and office landlords and tenants throughout Broward and Palm Beach counties.

"Ron and Elias are game changers for Colliers South Florida," says Stephen Nostrand, CEO. "Their experience and track record of memorable client service and expertise in the field of both industrial and office leasing is a perfect fit with our existing team."

Elias Porras
Prior to joining Colliers, Schagrin was a co-founding partner along with Porras of Commercial Property Realty Advisors, a full service real estate firm that operated for nine years, which later became Commercial Property Realty Group.

 He served as Senior Vice President at Prudential CRES Commercial Real Estate South Florida. His commercial real estate career began at Colliers International South Florida where when he left in 2001 he served as Senior Director.

He is a founding Board Member of Gilda's Club South Florida and has served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors. Currently Schagrin serves as President for the Georgina Dieter Dennis Foundation which provides scholarships to vocal majors attending Florida universities and colleges.

Stephen Nostrand
"With the menu of services Colliers is able to provide, combined with my experience of understanding market trends, our clients and our prospects will receive world class commercial real estate options," says Schagrin. 

Porras partnered with Schagrin in the operation of Commercial Property Realty Advisors, LLC (CPRA). He also acted as Vice President/Broker with Prudential CRES Commercial Real Estate South Florida.

 He began his brokerage career back in the 1980s with Colliers International. Porras is on the National Recruitment Committee with SIOR. He is a member of the South Florida Office Broker's Association, the Society of Commercial Realtors, National Association of Realtors and Industrial Brokers of South Florida.

 "Having vast experience in real estate market trends, relocation services, stabilization and disposition of distressed or underperforming properties, Colliers International's global offerings will provide my clients with an array of solutions, as well as the ability to tap in to the strength of over 12,300 professionals around the world," says Porras.

Crystal Proenza
Vice President of Marketing
Colliers International South Florida
Commercial Real Estate Services
Tel: 305 476 7138

SMP Now Managing 10,000 Multifamily Units; New Atlanta, GA Firm, Launched Two Years Ago, Expands Portfolio

Cindy Batey
Atlanta, GA – Strategic Management Partners (SMP), which launched just two years ago, is now managing more than 10,000 apartment units across the Southeast and in Texas.

Co-founded by experienced executives Cindy Batey and Angela Smith, the multifamily property management firm specializes in communities where its individualized focus can add value, improve profitability and increase occupancy.

"When we launched, we focused on distressed ‘C-class’ assets,” Smith said. “We’ve now moved into the management of A and B assets with potential added value or upside potential. We believe this approach – and the three ‘Rs’: Results, Responsiveness and Referrals – will continue to carry us forward as the economy improves.”

Angela Smith
The SMP team focuses on stabilizing multifamily properties, recommending improvements and repositioning them. The firm’s innovative, cost-effective solutions are designed to increase occupancy, net operating income (NOI) and property values for clients such as equity owners and special servicers, including banks and other financial institutions in the U.S. and overseas.

 “We pride ourselves on customizing a unique strategy for every asset, then exceeding expectations,” Batey added. “Our ability to turn around underperforming, value-add and distressed properties has led to a number of repeat clients and word-of-mouth referrals. We’re extremely grateful to the clients and contacts who entrust us with their assets.”

 SMP also has a strong commitment to helping the community as a whole. Its unique Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program includes giving employees a paid day off each year to work with the nonprofit of their choice. Batey and Smith also devote tremendous time and resources to individual nonprofit causes.

Atlanta-based Strategic Management Partners ( manages multifamily properties for owners, lenders and special servicers. It provides innovative, cost-effective solutions to increase occupancy and asset values.

 The company, which is especially adept at serving distressed and foreclosed properties, offers clients a diverse range of property management and turnaround services including third party partnerships, receiverships, lease-up, asset management, renovation and due diligence. Its mission statement, “Profitability Through Innovation,” reflects the company’s unique approach to third-party management.

Media Contact:

Terri Thornton,
Thornton Communications

Global Cyber Security Experts Lease 21,000-SF office in Clearwater, FL

Alan Feldshue
CLEARWATER, FL – International Information System Security Certification Consortium, Inc., also known as (ISC)2, is expanding and moving its global headquarters to a larger office in Clearwater.

 The non-profit company specializes in educating and certifying information security professionals throughout their careers to handle the latest technology and issues, such as emerging security threats.

Melanie Jackson
Alan Feldshue and Melanie Jackson of Colliers International Tampa Bay represented the landlord, Glenborough Park Place, LLC, in the 21,000-square-foot lease transaction. Mike Barger, Kim Barger and Judy Humbarger of K. Barger Realty, LLC, represented (ISC)2.

Working out a lease that fit the company’s timetable initially presented a challenge. Though the space was vacant, it was under a lease contract with Wells Fargo that wasn’t set to expire until February 2013. Colliers and Glenborough were able to work out a deal to terminate Wells Fargo’s lease and make the space available for (ISC)²’s occupancy requirement. 

“We were able to overcome a significant obstacle for (ISC)2 to have the opportunity to lease the space they preferred,” said Colliers’ Feldshue. “It’s also ideal that the company saw benefits to keeping its global headquarters in Clearwater.”

(ISC)2 has more than 85,000 certified members, who are information security experts that work to improve the cyber security of governments, citizens and businesses around the world.

The company is moving from its office at 33920 U.S. 19 for more space, a better facility and for the convenience of the office being on one floor. The new office is approximately 8,000 square feet larger than the space they currently occupy. (ISC)2 will be renovating the entire fourth floor at 311 Park Place Blvd. and rebuilding it for its 85 employees.


Kyle Parks
Bayview Public Relations
(727) 895-4030, #101
(813) 352-1325

Greystone Closes $4.08 Million Fannie Mae Loan for Multifamily Acquisition in Illinois

Spring Grove Apartments, Carpentersville, IL
Chicago, IL – Greystone, a leading national provider of multifamily and commercial mortgage loans, announced the origination of a $4.08 million Fannie Mae Small Loan for a multifamily property located in Carpentersville, IL.

 The loan was used toward the acquisition of Spring Grove Apartments, a 108-unit community consisting of one- and two-bedroom apartments and 181 parking spaces, situated on 5.211 acres. Spring Grove Apartments is located at 170 Golfview Lane in the Northwest suburb of Carpentersville, Illinois. The property was acquired for a total of $5.1 million and is currently 95% occupied.

Billy Posey
 “The Greystone team was thorough and expedient, and the firm quickly provided us with the financing we needed for the acquisition of Spring Grove Apartments,” said Virender Bedi, Principal of MCJ Spring Grove, LLC. “If my family ever decides to acquire another multifamily building, Greystone will be my lender of choice.” 

 Sujal Parikh and Clint Darby, of Greystone’s Chicago office, arranged financing for the buyer at a 4.24% interest rate, on a 10-year, non-recourse loan with a 30-year amortization.

Clint Darby
“We were very pleased to work with all parties associated with this sale and Fannie Mae in order to secure financing for this acquisition,” said Billy Posey, Executive Vice President of Greystone Servicing Corporation.

 “Our team’s extensive knowledge of the local real estate market, combined with a good working relationship with Fannie Mae, allowed us to close the loan and successfully meet the borrowers’ time frame.”


Jessica Kleinman
+1 646 395 6314

Ackerman & Co. Sells Net Lease Walgreens Property in West Palm Beach, FL for $4.6 Million.

Walgreens, West Palm Beach, FL
 Atlanta, GA – Ackerman & Co. has brokered the sale of a 15,120-square-foot single tenant, net-leased Walgreens in West Palm Beach, Fla. for $4,635,000. The West Palm Beach Walgreens, built in 2001, is located at a highly traveled corner site adjacent to the Palm Beach International Airport. 

Jason Powell
The Ackerman & Co. investment sales team of Jason Powell and Sean Patrick represented the seller, a Washington D.C. private investor, in the transaction. The property was purchased by an affiliate of BMD Management out of Pompano Beach, Fla.  The buyer was represented by Mark Myers of Park Place Realty, also located in Pompano Beach. 

Headquartered in Atlanta, Ackerman & Co. is a privately held, full-service commercial real estate firm focused on providing quality investment, brokerage, management and development services in the Southeast.

Sean Patrick
The company, founded in 1967, retains an expert team of more than 100 real estate professionals.

 To date, Ackerman & Co.  has developed and acquired more than 30 million square feet of office, medical, retail and mixed-use space, has nearly 4 million square feet under management, and maintains an investment portfolio valued at $750 million.

The company’s Investment Sales and Retail team provide unsurpassed institutional underwriting and marketing that ensure optimum financial results. Our clients trust us with more than $300 million of active listings.


Fara Wilson,
VP of Marketing
770. 913.3904 

HC Real Estate Capital Arranges $4.3 Million in Financing for Office and Retail Property in Boca Raton, FL

Boca Pier Plaza, Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton, FL --  Kurt Hoffmann and Chris Caveglia of HC Real Estate Capital have arranged $4,300,000 in financing for Boca Pier Plaza (“BPP”).

BPP is made up of two retail buildings and one office building totaling 30,114 SF.  Financing was arranged through a correspondent Life Insurance Company relationship.

 The non-recourse loan carries a 12 term and a 25-year amortization schedule at a competitive fixed interest rate that replaced a maturing facility on the property.  The properties are situated on approximately 4 acres of land located approximately one mile west of the Florida Turnpike. 

Kurt Hoffmann, Principal at HC Real Estate Capital stated, “The borrower is taking advantage of the long term low interest rate environment we are currently in.”

HC Real Estate Capital, LLC is a privately owned mortgage-banking firm founded by Kurt Hoffmann and Chris Caveglia.  Based in Delray Beach, Florida, HC Real Estate Capital arranges permanent and bridge commercial and multifamily real estate loans.  The company has a broad capital provider base that includes insurance companies, CMBS lenders, pension fund advisors, and commercial banks.


Chris Caveglia
HC Real Estate Capital, LLC
660 Linton Blvd. Ste 200 EX5
Delray Beach, FL 33444
Direct: 561-266-3273
Mobile: 561-376-3176

U.S. Retail Sector Showing Definite Signs of Progress

Dan Fasulo
 ATLANTA, GA– Although its recent performance has generally been regarded as trailing the other U.S. commercial real estate sectors, the retail real estate market continues to show unmistakable signs of improvement, particularly in urban infill areas.

 The most recent episode of Michael Bull’s “America’s Commercial Real Estate Show” provided an enlightening update on the sector. Bull and his guests discussed transaction volume, consumer spending, active tenants and the types of properties sought by investors.

Michael Bull
Investments sales of U.S. retail properties totaled $9billion in third-quarter 2012, up slightly from the same period last year, said Dan Fasulo, managing director of Real Capital Analytics. Through the first nine months of 2012, retail investment sales totaled $35 billion, an increase o fabout 5 percent from the first three quarters of 2011, Fasulo added.

 Fasulo also predicted the fourth quarter to be a busy one in terms of investment sales, in part because continuing concerns about potential future tax increases will motivate owners to sell before higher rates might kick in. “I think there’s going to be a flurry of closings by year end,” he said.

Michael Niemira
Meanwhile, holiday retail sales should increase this year by about 3 percent when compared with last year, said Michael Niemira, chief economist for the International Council of Shopping Centers. “That’s a little bit slower [growth] than the year before but still not a bad performance historically,” he said.

 Mixed-use properties in centrally located urban areas are prospering, while their suburban counterparts continue to struggle, noted Michael Cohn, executive vice president for Cousins Properties. “Urban markets are seeing rent escalation, healthy absorption, a tremendous inflow of new retailers and expansion,” he said. “If you’re still in it with a mostly suburban portfolio, your portfolio is probably lagging somewhat and still a bit of a victim of the last cycle.”

Michael I. Cohn
Quick-serve restaurants and healthcare firms are two of the more active tenants in today’s marketplace, Cohn added.

REITs and institutional buyers are exhibiting a healthy appetite for core properties in gateway markets, said John Harrison, a broker in Bull Realty’s National Retail Group. Private equity firms also have significant interest in value-add and Class-B properties.

John Harrison
“There is money to invest in the distressed retail segment, and buyers are courageous and tackling opportunities that require a lot of imagination,” Harrison said.

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


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