Monday, January 28, 2013

HFF closes sale and arranges $25 million financing for Watertower Apartments in suburban Minneapolis

Watertower Aparttments
Minneapolis, MN
CHICAGO, IL – HFF announced today that it has closed the sale of and arranged acquisition financing for Watertower Apartments, a 228-unit, Class A multi-housing property with approximately 10,000 square feet of retail space in suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota.

                HFF marketed the property exclusively on behalf of the seller.  

KBS Legacy Partners Apartment REIT, Inc., through an indirect wholly owned subsidiary, purchased the asset for an undisclosed amount. 

Matthew Lawton
HFF also assisted the buyer in arranging a five-year, 2.46 percent, fixed-rate loan through Allianz of America, Inc.  The loan has two years of interest-only payments and will be serviced by HFF.

 Watertower Apartments is located at 12300 Singletree Lane within close proximity to Interstate 494, Highway 212 and the Eden Prairie Shopping Center in Eden Prairie, about 16 miles from downtown Minneapolis.

 Completed in 2004, the 95 percent leased property consists of a three-story residential building with a connecting single-story retail building and a four-story residential building that sits atop a two-level parking garage. 

 Units are offered in one-, two- and three-bedroom floorplans averaging 959 square feet each.  Residents have access to a fitness center, business center, community room, conference rooms, racquetball court, basketball court, sauna and hot tub and courtyards with grills. 

Marty O'Connell
The retail portion of the property is leased to the Old Chicago Restaurant.

The HFF investment sales team representing the seller was led by executive managing director Matthew Lawton and managing directors Sean Fogarty and Marty O’Connell.
For a complete copy of the company’s news release, please contact:

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 |

Owners of 321 North in Plantation, FL hire CBRE for Office Tower I leasing

Wei Chen
PLANTATION, FL, Jan. 28, 2013 – U.S.  Capital Holdings Group (USCHG) has engaged CBRE to lease its office tower at 321 North. The building is on the site of the former Fashion Mall, which USCHG is transforming into a vibrant live, work, play and shop destination.

 “CBRE can attract the major companies that we want to be part of our new town center,” said Wei Chen, U.S. Capital’s CEO. “We trust in the brokerage’s ability and experience to create a vibrant mix of tenants.”

321 North rendering, Plantation, FL
CBRE First Vice President Jay Adams and Associate Jarred Goodstein are leasing the seven-story, 160,000-square-foot tower, which is being upgraded to a Class A office space. 

Tenants have direct entry from a covered garage, a Sheraton hotel onsite, and easy access to Florida’s Turnpike.

Former Fashion Mall
Plantation, FL
The office building serves multinational corporations, professional firms, and businesses in western Broward County. The new tenants will boost Plantation’s position as a major employment center, Wei Chen said.

 The 1.5 million square foot project will be developed in five phases. Office workers will enjoy an affordable luxury experience with shopping, dining and entertainment within easy walking distance. 

Once the residential towers are built, the property at Broward Boulevard and North University Drive will serve as a centerpiece of urban living.

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

Boardroom Communications
Susan R. Miller
954-370-8999 (Office)
954-294-4973 (Cell)

Cousins Signs Colliers to 35,000-SF Lease at Promenade Tower in Atlanta, GA

Promenade Office Tower, Atlanta, GA
ATLANTA — (January 28, 2013) — Cousins Properties Incorporated (NYSE: CUZ) has signed Colliers International, a leading commercial real estate firm, to a new 35,000-square-foot lease at Promenade office tower in Midtown Atlanta.

The move to Promenade, scheduled for February 2014, will consolidate Collier’s Midtown and Central Perimeter offices into one location, leaving room to expand beyond its current roster of 150 Atlanta employees.  Colliers has been a prominent Midtown tenant since 1986. 

“We’re thrilled to consolidate our Atlanta operations at Promenade,” said Bob Mathews, President of Colliers International Atlanta. 
Bob Matthews

“The central location in the heart of Midtown - coupled with Cousins’ comprehensive improvements to the building - makes it a perfect place for Colliers to retain and recruit top talent while continuing to grow the business in the years ahead.”

Cousins’ improvements to the Promenade complex include a redesigned 15th street entrance and garden, an enhanced parking deck, a new fitness facility, the chef-driven Bistro 1230 and The Bean Counter coffee shop.

Larry Gellerstedt
“Having done business with Colliers for many years, we’re excited to expand our relationship with such a first class firm,” said Cousins CEO Larry Gellerstedt.  “We’re particularly delighted for Promenade to receive this type of endorsement from one of the most respected names in the real estate business.”   

Cousins acquired Promenade, the 774,000-square-foot Class-A office tower, in November 2011. The building now is 77 percent leased, up from 58 percent at the time of purchase. 

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

Cameron Golden
Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
(404) 407-1984

DoubleTree by Hilton Continues Rapid Global Expansion with 49 Hotels Added in 2012; Pace Expected to Continue for 2013

John Greenleaf
 MCLEAN, VA  (Jan. 28, 2013) – DoubleTree by Hilton today announced that through Q4 2012, it had added 49 hotels to its portfolio in one year, and that it expects to meet or exceed that pace in 2013 with both new-build and conversion hotels in the development pipeline.

Leading the brand’s growth are conversion projects, located predominantly in the Americas and Europe.

 “2012 was another in what we’re confident will be a number of consecutive milestone years for DoubleTree by Hilton,” said John Greenleaf, global head, DoubleTree by Hilton.

 “Since 2007, we have grown the brand by more than 70 percent to become the fastest-growing, full service brand in the Hilton Worldwide portfolio and one of the fastest-growing within the upscale, full-service segment. 

“We credit this success to a number of factors, including our brand restructuring with the addition of the ’by Hilton‘ endorsement to our name and the positive performance of Hilton Worldwide around the globe.”

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

Maggie Giddens
DoubleTree by Hilton Public Relations
+1 703 883 5346

 Visit for more information and connect with Hilton Worldwide at

North American Properties Breaks Ground at Avalon in Alpharetta, GA

Mark Toro
ATLANTA, GA (Jan. 28, 2013) – North American Properties (NAP) will officially break ground today at Avalon, an 86-acre, resort-inspired, mixed-use development.

When it opens in Alpharetta, Ga., Aug. 22, 2014, the $600 million project will be the Southeast’s preeminent experiential development — a place where specialty retail, entertainment, restaurant, residential, office, hotel and public spaces come together to create a truly unique destination.

Since receiving zoning approval from the Alpharetta City Council in April 2012, NAP has achieved many key milestones.

Avalon rendering, Alpharetta, GA

Accomplishments include commitments from 34 retail and restaurant tenants, securing all major approvals from the Alpharetta Design Review Board, enlisting best-in-class development partners for all mixed-use components, and creating a brand that defines the core values that will permeate the experience of the Avalon guest.

“Today is the culmination of a lot of hard work and countless wins during the past six months,” said Mark Toro, managing partner of North American Properties. “We are excited to share all our progress today and to start demolition and construction. I know the residents of Alpharetta are as eager as we are to begin moving dirt. The wait is over.”

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

Elizabeth Hagin
The Wilbert Group
O: 404-965-5023 
 C: 678-642-4301

New Castle Hotels and Resorts To Open Four Hotels Over Next 18 Months

Gerry Chase
 SHELTON, CT, Jan. 28, 2013 - - New Castle Hotels and Resorts, a leading developer and converter of upper upscale hotels, today announced plans to open four hotels this year,  setting the stage for an unprecedented period of growth of the company’s portfolio of owned and managed hotels.  

                 “There are opportunities in every cycle, and we spent considerable time during the downturn strategically sourcing deals that would come online as the market regained full steam,” said David Buffam, CEO.

 “Those hotels, including new builds, historic renovations, luxury resorts and a select service combination property will expand the rooms in our portfolio by 20 percent.   We also have a substantial pipeline of diverse projects that will mature as the year progresses.”

David Buffam
Headlining the company’s plans is the reopening of the Algonquin Resort in St. Andrews by-the-Sea, NB, and with it, the Canadian debut of Marriott’s Autograph Collection.  New Castle acquired the landmark resort in April of 2012 and is undertaking a $30 million reconstruction that will be completed in Q2 2013.

“New Castle has a history of turning around Canada’s historic, iconic resorts and positioning them to meet the needs of a new century’s travelers,” said Gerry Chase, President and COO. 

“When the Algonquin became available, we knew that we had the background, the experience and the heart to properly restore and reposition a treasured Canadian landmark.”

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

Lauralee Dobbins
Daly Gray, Inc.


Peachtree Hotel Group Finishes 2012 with 31st Acquisition in Last 24 Months

Greg Friedman
 ATLANTA, GA, Jan. 28, 2013—Officials of Peachtree Hotel Group, one of the nation’s fastest growing hotel acquisition, management, development and ownership groups, today announced that it closed 2012 by completing 31 acquisitions over the past 24 months.

 The most recent was the portfolio purchase of two non-performing hotel first mortgage notes – the 135-room Hilton Garden Inn – Virginia, and the 60-room Best Western – Florida from a regional bank. 

Company executives also divulged that Peachtree plans to maintain one of the industry’s most aggressive acquisition paces of one to three hotels per month for at least the next 12 to 18 months.

 “Our unique, two-fold acquisition strategy of purchasing both hotel real estate and discounted first mortgage notes has enabled us to grow rapidly over the past two years while most other industry players have been on the sidelines,” said Greg Friedman, Peachtree CEO. 

“To support this growth, we continuously have added bench strength to give our organization the strength and flexibility to handle the growth we’ve enjoyed. 

“Our core team has more than 150 years of collective experience, and we’ve added key players in all facets of the business, including acquisitions, asset management, operations, accounting and marketing to support our expansion.” five years,” Friedman said.

 “This is not a sideline business for us or a way to spread our overhead.  We believe we add significant value for our owners’ hotels through best-in-class practices and support, which will allow us to expand rapidly in this sector.”

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

Chris Daly, media
(703) 435-6293

Paramount Hotel Group Kicks Off 2013 with Three New Management Contracts

Ethan Kramer
 FAIRFIELD, N.J., Jan. 28, 2013—Paramount Hotel Group, an independent hotel management and ownership company, today announced the launch of a new expansion initiative with the addition of three new management contracts. 

Company officials said that the growth is being fueled by relationships with a select group of sophisticated hotel real estate capital partners who seek to acquire hotels with significant upside potential in this phase of the hotel real estate cycle.  Paramount expects to add 10 to 12 hotels to its management portfolio in 2013.

The three hotels recently were acquired by Lightstone Value Plus Real Estate Investment Trust, Inc., a non-traded REIT.  The properties include a SpringHill Suites by Marriott and Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott located in West Des Moines, Iowa, and a Courtyard by Marriott in suburban Cleveland, Ohio.

“More hotels are coming to market now and we expect to work closely with The Lightstone Group in the current year to help achieve their growth targets,” said Ethan Kramer, President of Paramount.

 “Our 30-plus years of hotel experience are a huge benefit for investors in sourcing and analyzing hotel investment opportunities, some of which have hard-to-identify, unique attributes.  These properties have intangibles that go beyond repositioning and strong management, often in markets that are overlooked.” 

Paramount and its investors/owners seek full-service and select-service hotels, primarily in secondary and suburban markets that have the “bones” to be premium-branded.  

“While these properties may not be as ‘sexy’ as a downtown urban hotel, we know that they can generate high returns with prudent risk,” Kramer added.  “The key is finding and unlocking the value that others do not see.”

Kramer noted that many hotels currently on the market have significant PIP requirements because upgrades were pushed back well beyond the normal cycle during the recent recession.  

“Those properties create both a dilemma and an opportunity.  Renovations can be costly and disruptive in the short-term which make these investments appear to be unattractive, but they also provide the opportunity to reposition and rebrand and become market leaders.  

"With strategic investment, smart positioning and strong management, those hotels can generate superior returns. We are fortunate to work with Hospitality CPM, a renovation management company, in quickly understanding the costs and opportunities of renovation and repositioning.”

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

Jerry Daly/Lauralee Dobbins
(703) 435-6293