Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Cohen Commercial Realty Signs All Star Tax Services in New Lease Transaction

Shoppes at Cresthaven, West Palm Beach, FL

Bryan S. Cohen
West Palm Beach, FL (June 26, 2013 )— Bryan S. Cohen and Allan Carlisle announced today the signing of All Star Tax Services, to lease a 1,600-square-foot unit at the Shoppes at Cresthaven located on the northwest corner of Military Trail and Cresthaven Road. 

Allan Carlisle
Cohen Commercial Realty represents the landlord. They join Winn Dixie, YouFit, and Dade Medical College at Shoppes at Cresthaven.

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

Jamie Crocker 561-471-0212
Cohen Commercial Realty, Inc.
P.O. Box 223244
West Palm Beach, FL 33422

Statement of David Stevens on Johnson-Crapo FHA Bill

David H. Stevens
 Washington, D.C. (July 16, 2013) – David H. Stevens, President and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), today issued the following statement regarding the release of Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo’s (R-ID) bipartisan ‘‘FHA Solvency Act of 2013”:

U.S. Senator Tim Johnson
Democrat, South Dakota
 “I strongly commend Chairman Johnson and Ranking Member Crapo for reaching a bipartisan agreement that will ensure FHA continues to fulfill its traditional role as a critical source of affordable credit for first-time home buyers and working families.

 “The FHA Solvency Act of 2013 contains common-sense reforms that will help shore up FHA’s finances. As we continue to analyze the bill, we may suggest some fine tuning of specific provisions. We support the direction of this legislation and look forward to working with the Chairman and Ranking Member as the committee considers their proposal in the coming days and weeks.”

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

Rob Van Raaphorst
(202) 557-2799

Robust Economy Drives Tampa Bay, FL Apartments

Tampa, FL night skyline

TAMPA, FL --  The Tampa Bay apartment sector rolls into the third quarter riding the momentum of positive trends that will sustain strong near-term property performance, according to a second-quarter analysis by Marcus & Millichap real Estate Services.

Job creation was robust in the first half of 2013, supported by a recovery in home sales and home building, and additional retail spending.

In addition, Amazon announced during the second quarter that it selected the south Hillsborough County community of Ruskin as the location for a 1 million-square foot warehouse that will employ roughly 1,000 workers.

With the announcement, the metro’s tested formula of affordability and the presence of a trained workforce has re-emerged as a driving force for economic growth in the region.

 In the present, however, strong tenant demand pushed vacancy to less than 6 percent at midyear for only the second time since the recession began.

Property owners are successfully raising rents as leases roll over, sometimes substantially. Completions will decrease this year ahead of an active 2014, when fluctuations in vacancy will occur as new properties come online in the Central Tampa submarket and in St. Petersburg.

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

Gina Relva
 Public Relations Manager
 Marcus & Millichap
2999 Oak Road
Suite 210
Walnut Creek, CA 94597
 (925) 953-1700 ext. 1716
(510) 999-1284 mobile
(925) 953-1710 fax

For Investors, Not Enough Properties to Go Around in Orlando, FL Market

Fountains at Lake Eola Park, Downtown Orlando, FL

ORLANDO, FL – Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Services reports a slowdown in hiring in the first half of 2013 does not significantly dim a positive outlook for the Orlando apartment sector over the remainder of the year.

Despite subdued job creation, additions to payrolls over the past three years restored roughly 60 percent of the jobs lost during the recession, far exceeding the statewide recovery of 40 percent.

Newly employed residents are driving a vigorous apartment sector, creating sufficient new demand to slash vacancy to less than half the peak level recorded during the downturn.

The improving job market is also fueling a resurgence in home building and single-family home sales across the metro. Intense bidding among prospective home buyers for limited listings and high down payment hurdles, however, preclude many renters from making the leap to homeownership.

Meanwhile, new apartment construction will help meet demand from newly formed households that are selecting rental housing as their residence of choice.

Projects delivered in the first quarter this year were well received, as vacancy declined during the period. Job growth, however, must accelerate from its current pace in order to generate demand sufficient to absorb new units coming online after 2013.

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

Gina Relva
 Public Relations Manager
 Marcus & Millichap
2999 Oak Road
Suite 210
Walnut Creek, CA 94597
 (925) 953-1700 ext. 1716
(510) 999-1284 mobile
(925) 953-1710 fax

Service Sector Job Gains, Long-Term Trends Buoy Miami, FL

MIAMI, FL – Marcus & Millichap’s second-quarter data shows several factors support Miami-Dade County’s place within the upper tier of apartment markets in the country.

 The number of workers in service industries has exceeded its pre-recession peak and is growing, though job creation in other employment sectors remains lackluster.

Additional residents employed at shops, bars, restaurants and hotels are lifting several segments of the local economy and sustaining low apartment vacancy. Also, housing affordability has improved throughout the South Florida region, but the homeownership rate has declined, expanding the pool of potential renters.

The entire region, and Miami-Dade in particular, could also see a surge in housing demand if immigration reform is enacted. While prospects for a prolonged period of steady rental housing demand appear strong, new construction could create some occasional swings in vacancy as new projects are stabilized.

Scheduled additions to supply this year and beyond, however, are a benign 2.2 percent of existing stock, minimizing the potential market-wide impact of development.

Although expensive high-rise condos are forming on the waterfront, building rentals remains challenging due to limited land and higher costs to transport construction materials from outside of the state.

Sales dollar volume topped $1 billion over the past 12 months, the first time that threshold has been breached in seven years.

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

Gina Relva
 Public Relations Manager
 Marcus & Millichap
2999 Oak Road
Suite 210
Walnut Creek, CA 94597
 (925) 953-1700 ext. 1716
(510) 999-1284 mobile
(925) 953-1710 fax

Economic Engine Revs Up, Drives Deal Flow in Broward County, FL

Margaritaville Resort rendering, Hollywood, FL

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – Marcus & Millichap reports positive trends in Broward County are sustaining low vacancy and generating increases in monthly apartment rents.

Since the recovery began, employers have added jobs in each of the past 14 quarters, and improvements in the single-family housing and retail sectors will support additional payroll growth in the second half of 2013.

 The county’s demographic trends are also tilting favorably for the apartment sector. One of the fastest growing segments of the local population is individuals aged 24 years to 29 years, a slice of the prime renter cohort.

Many younger residents will remain renters by choice in order to relocate more easily within the region to pursue job opportunities — an important consideration in South Florida, where daily commutes can be problematic.

Large-scale development is also making a comeback in Broward. Officials in Hollywood recently voted to allow developers to proceed with the construction of the $147 million Margaritaville Resort.

The project, tentatively slated for completion in 2015, will create the type of service sector positions that the rental housing market relies on as a source of potential tenants.

Dedicated multifamily property investors and new capital are entering the South Florida region and debt sources remain

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

Gina Relva
 Public Relations Manager
 Marcus & Millichap
2999 Oak Road
Suite 210
Walnut Creek, CA 94597
 (925) 953-1700 ext. 1716
(510) 999-1284 mobile
(925) 953-1710 fax

. HFF closes sale of grocery-anchored retail center in Salinas, CA

                    Boronda Plaza, 1576 North Sanborn Road, Salinas, CA

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – HFF announced today that it has closed the sale of Boronda Plaza, a 93,796-square-foot, grocery-anchored retail center in Salinas, California.

Nicholas Bicardo
                HFF marketed the property on behalf of the seller, Donahue Schriber.  Phillips Edison-ARC Shopping Center REIT Inc. successfully purchased the asset free and clear of existing debt amongst a highly competitive field of 20 bidders.

                Boronda Plaza is located at 1576 North Sanborn Road at the intersection of East Boronda Road approximately three miles east of Highway 101.  Situated on 9.5 acres, the center was built in 2002 and is 95 percent leased to multiple tenants including anchor tenant Food 4 Less, which occupies 59,412 square feet of space.

                The HFF investment sales team representing the seller was led by managing director Nicholas Bicardo, along with associate director Mark Damiani, both out of the San Francisco HFF office, as well as managing director Bryan Ley from HFF’s LA office.

Mark Damiani
“This transaction represented an excellent opportunity for the buyer to acquire a dominant grocery-anchored retail center located in a secondary market in Northern California at a very attractive yield comparatively to primary markets. 

“Given where spreads are on cap rates between primary and secondary markets, we are seeing a tremendous amount of capital migrate to similar markets like Salinas in search of higher yields,” said Bicardo.

Bryan Ley
Donahue Schriber is a private real estate investment trust (REIT) operating on the West Coast.  The company owns and operates a portfolio of 74 neighborhood, community and power shopping centers representing more than 11 million square feet throughout California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. 

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

Kristen M. Murphy
Associate Director
HFF | One Post Office Square, Suite 3500 | Boston, MA 02109
Main: 617-338-0990 | Direct: 617-848-1572 | Cell: 617-543-4873 | www.hfflp.com

Student-Housing Sector Gets “A” Grade from Experts


ATLANTA, GA – After showing impressive resilience during the Great Recession, the student-housing sector is set for a strong future and is attracting increased interest from investors.

Michael Bull
Those were some of the points made by a panel of student-housing experts on the most recent episode of the “Commercial Real Estate Show,” hosted by Michael Bull of Bull Realty. The episode examined many topics related to the sector, including in-demand amenities, rent growth, financing and construction costs.

“To sum up, conditions right now really look good for the student-housing market,” said Ronald Johnsey, president of AxioMetrics Inc.

Student-housing communities performed better in terms of rent growth and occupancy than traditional apartments during the recession, in part because many people returned to school during the downturn to improve their employment prospects, Johnsey said. 

Ronald Johnsey
Now, with much of the Millennial generation entering their college years, overall college enrollment growth in the United States could average 1.5 percent a year for the next decade, he said.

Combine increasing enrollment with decreased state funds for building or renovating on-campus residences, and the demand for privately developed and operated residential communities near colleges should continue to be strong, Johnsey noted.

Rent growth should actually slow in 2013 because a sizeable amount of new supply – 50,000 beds – will be delivered this year, according to Johnsey. However, rent growth should rebound to 3.7 percent next year, and “occupancy should be in the 96 percent range over the next four years,” Johnsey said. “We think the outlook’s great.”

Ted Rollins
The areas surrounding the non-flagship schools of public university systems offer great opportunities for student-housing developers and operators, said Ted Rollins, CEO of Campus Crest. That’s because enrollment at the institutions is growing as students seek cheaper tuition costs, he said.

“Students are focusing on these non-flagships due to their value and the quality of education that the students are getting,” Rollins said.

 Amenities at student-housing communities are more elaborate than ever, said David Nelson, a vice president with Carter. “It’s about trying to provide almost an all-inclusive environment for students, where they canstudy and be productive, where they can hang out and have fun without” leaving the community, he said.

David Nelson
Resort-style pools, golf simulators and even tanning beds are among the common amenities, Nelson said.

 Financing for student-housing projects has become more readily available in recent years, even to the point that non-recourse loans are not unheard of, Nelson added.

 Still, lenders are carefully evaluating the developers and operators they’re giving money to, according to Miles Orth, chief operating officer of Campus Apartments. “We are constantly getting feedback – whether it be from the life companies or GSEs – that experience is the most critical aspect for them, whether it be on the [project] delivery side or the management side,” he said.

Miles Orth
The entire student-housing episode is available for download at www.CREshow.com. The next “Commercial Real Estate Show” will be available on July 17 and will feature an update on the U.S. office market.

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

Stephen Ursery
The Wilbert Group
Please note new office number: (404) 549-7150
Cell: (404) 405-2354

Integrity Home Loan hosting, sponsoring Sunday afternoon Radio Program on Mortgage Rates, home owner Strategies


LAKE MARY, FL. — Integrity Home Loan of Central Florida, which ranks as the state’s largest privately-owned, Florida based residential mortgage company, is hosting and sponsoring “The Real Estate Debate” on WDBO AM 540 Radio airing Sundays from 1 to 2 p.m., featuring Matt Malloy, president of Integrity Home Loan and occasional guests.

Matt Malloy
Malloy, whose company provided more than 2,700 mortgage loans last year that totaled more than $600 million from 11 offices in Jacksonville, Lake Mary, Orlando, Altamonte Springs, Maitland, Tampa, Clearwater, West Palm Beach, Coral Springs and Southfield, Michigan, said mortgage interest rates and residential mortgage strategies are an important component of the national economy.

“For most people who own their home or plan to buy a home, mortgage interest rates become critical information, and refinancing an existing mortgage can substantially improve a family’s financial picture,” Malloy said.

“The Real Estate Debate” covers all the ways families are planning their futures around their homes, whether buying, selling or refinancing,” Malloy said.

Malloy projects Integrity will serve up more than 3,200 residential mortgage loans in 2013.  

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

Larry Vershel, Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142, lvershelco@aol.com

City Center St Petersburg Nears Full Occupancy with 14,000 Square Foot GSA Lease

City Center, St. Petersburg, FL

 St. Petersburg, FL. –  Less than a month after announcing a 26,000 square foot lease with Kobie Marketing, Feldman Equities has executed a 14,000 square foot lease with the GSA (General Services Administration) at City Center St Petersburg.  

Larry Feldman
 “When we acquired the property in January of 2011 the building had an effective occupancy of 44%. We’re now over 93% and surging with the recent leasing and renewal activity,” commented Larry Feldman, CEO of Feldman Equities and co-owner of City Center.

  Feldman attributes their turn around success to an aggressive pricing program coupled with an extensive renovation program. Given their recent success, the City Center ownership group is setting their sights on acquiring new buildings in downtown St Petersburg.  Their plan is to purchase under-performing assets and investing extensively in new renovations and tenant amenities to attract new tenants. 

Cliff Stein
The GSA will move the technology arm of the Veteran’s Administration from their Bay Pines facility to the City Center office complex in St. Petersburg’s Downtown Central Business District.  David Green with Jones Lang LaSalle brokered the deal.
Feldman Equities is the modern business entity that encompasses a century of success in commercial real estate development. 

In the last 25 years, Larry Feldman has developed or acquired over 11 million square feet of office and retail properties with an aggregate value in excess of $2.5 billion. 

Reid Berman
Feldman Equities is recognized for its hands-on approach to turning around distressed assets. Feldman gained a national reputation as a property turnaround specialist when he was the Chairman and CEO of the publicly traded Tower Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: TOW).

Tower Realty Partners is an Orlando-based commercial real estate owner focusing on value-added opportunities throughout the state of Florida. Tower’s principals are Cliff Stein and Reid Berman. Since its inception, Tower has acquired over $1 billion of office properties. Currently, Tower’s assets consist of nearly 4 million square feet office property throughout the state of Florida.

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

Feldman Equities,
 Larry Feldman

Marcus & Millichap Arranges Sale of North Miami Beach Ale House for $4.35 Million

North Miami Beach Ale House, 3227 NE 163rd Street
North Miami Beach, FL

Adam J. Tiktin
NORTH MIAMI BEACH, FL, July 16, 2013 – Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, has announced the sale of North Miami Beach Ale House, an 8,999 square-foot net-leased restaurant located in North Miami Beach, FL. The asset sold for $4,350,000.

Adam J. Tiktin, a Vice President Investments, and Michael Biama, an Associate, both from Marcus & Millichap’s Miami office, had the exclusive listing to market the property on behalf of the seller, a private investor from Boca Raton.  The buyer, a private investor from Aventura, was also secured and represented by Tiktin and Biama. 

Michael Biama
“North Miami Beach Ale House has been at the site for 14 years. The triple-net lease has approximately 12 years remaining and provides two additional five-year options,” says Tiktin.

The property has great visibility and frontage along 163rd Street and is located half-way between Biscayne Boulevard and Collins Avenue. National retailers in the surrounding area include: Outback Steakhouse, Dunkin' Donuts, Dollar Tree, Winn-Dixie, T.J. Maxx, and Old Navy among others.

NMB Ale House is located at 3227 NE 163rd Street in North Miami Beach, FL.

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

Kirk A. Felici
First Vice President
Regional Manager
Miami, FL
(786) 522-7000

Cortland Acquires 1,037 Apartment Homes in Florida and Texas for $130.3 Million

         Saxon Woods Apartments, Dallas, TX

ATLANTA, GA (July 16, 2013) — Continuing its expansion in the multifamily sector, Cortland Partners has acquired, inseparate transactions, three communities totaling 1,037 units in Florida and Texas for a total investment of $130.3 million. The properties are located in Dallas, Houston and Jacksonville.

The Halstead, Houston, TX
 These acquisitions bring to nine the number of communities that the Atlanta-based multifamily investment firm owns in its partnership with Cortland Partners GP Fund I and a large institutional capital partner.

Sticking with the practice of repeat lender relationships, Cortland worked with Berkadia Commercial Mortgage LLC and Ares Commercial Real Estate Corp. to place the debt capital for these transactions. In 2013, Cortland and Ares have worked together on five acquisitions.

 “These acquisitions are an important part of our strategic investment plan to bolster our presence in Florida and Texas,” said Steven DeFrancis, CEO of Cortland Partners.

“Currently we have five additional assets in Texas and Florida under contract to purchase over the course of the summer. We will be making additional inroads into these states and significantly improving our economies of scale there as well as our overall portfolio diversity.” Over the past three years, Cortland’s ownership portfolio has grown to almost 15,000 units in Texas and the Southeast.

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

Tony Wilbert
The Wilbert Group
404-965-5022 (O)
 404-405-3656 (C)

Trepp June Pay Off Report: Percentage of Loans Paying Off Remains Near 12 Month Low; Only 32% of Loans Coming Due Pay Off

NEW YORK, NY -- According to the just-released Trepp June 2012 Pay-Off Report, the percentage of loans paying off on their balloon date remained anchored near its 12 month low.

 In May, the rate plummeted to 29.4%, the lowest level since October 2010. In June, the rate ticked up but the gain was marginal, indicating that despite historically low interest rates, the ability for borrowers to refinance remains challenging.

In June, only 32.3% of loans reaching their balloon date paid off. This is the second lowest total in 21 months. Only May 2012 was lower.

The June total of 32.4% was well under the 12 month average of 42.7%. (This number simply sums the averages of each month and divides by 12--there was no balance weighting across the months.)

By loan count (as opposed to balance), 55.2% of the loans paid off. On the basis of loan count, the 12 month rolling average is now 51.8%. The disparity between the volume-based total and the count-based total indicates that it was mostly small balance loans that managed to pay off in June.

Prior to 2008, the pay-off percentages were typically well north of 70%. Since the beginning of 2009, however, there have only been four months where more than half of the balance of the loans reaching their balloon date actually paid off.

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

Eric R. Gerard
Senior Vice President
Great Ink Communications
27 Union Square West, Suite 205
New York, NY 10001
(212) 741-2977

Should Rising Interest Rates Affect REITs?

Susan Persin
By Susan Persin 
For Trepp

NEW YORK, NY -- Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke commented in both May and June that the Federal Reserve may begin to wind down its bond purchases in the fall.

 His remarks sent stock markets down and pushed interest rates up. The REIT market was particularly affected.

The FTSE NAREIT All REIT return was 5.8% in April, but fell to -6.56% in May and -2.28% in June. So far in July, the return has measured a slight 0.16%, bringing the year-to-date return to 5.97%.

Ben Bernanke
 The REIT market may have retreated at least partially in response to over exuberance in the first four months of 2013, but higher interest rates have also played a significant role in the pullback. Interest rates are rising, yet they remain low by historical standards, so why is there such a significant impact on REITs?

Evidence suggests that REITs can perform well in higher interest rates environments.

Looking back to the year 2000, the 10-year Treasury rate had risen steadily to an average of 6.03% from 5.65% in 1999 and 5.26% in 1998, yet total REIT returns for industrial/office (33.38%), retail (17.97%), residential (34.30%), and lodging (45.77%), and other property types were still very strong.

In its 2000 annual report, Boston Properties (BXP), which was the second largest office REIT at the time, noted that, “the Year 2000 was one of the most successful in Boston Properties’ history.” In comparison, the June 2013 10-Year Treasury rate was 2.3%, up from a 2012 average of 1.8%.

Additionally, at NAREIT’s REIT Week conference in June, representatives from a number of REITs indicated that their interest rate risk is limited because much of their financing is locked in. Many REITS have also used hedging strategies to limit interest rate risk.

The direct impact of higher interest rates on REITs’ borrowing costs seems to be less of an issue than the indirect impact of higher rates:

1)    Higher interest rates will undoubtedly affect the economy, which will impact demand for commercial real estate. Higher rates will make housing less affordable and could affect or altogether derail the housing recovery. Higher rates could also lead consumers to cut back on purchases ranging from autos to travel to consumer goods. Declining demand for these goods and services would affect corporate expansions and their demand for all types of commercial real estate, which would hurt market fundamentals and consequently affect REITs.

2)    Higher interest rates will affect the value of the real estate held by REITs. Higher borrowing costs mean that buyers aiming for a certain return will be willing to pay less for a property.

3)    Investors looking for the greatest returns can be fickle. In recent years they have poured money into REITs whose attractive dividends helped them achieve the greatest yields. As higher interest rates make yields elsewhere more attractive, investors will pull back on their REIT allocations to invest elsewhere.

The REIT market’s negative reaction to higher interest rates seems disproportionate, given the nation’s consistent economic expansion and improving real estate market fundamentals. The greater danger appears not to be higher borrowing costs, but rather any number of factors that could derail the nation’s economic recovery and make already skittish investors more nervous.

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

Robert Russell Joins Greystone as Head of CMBS Production and Managing Director of Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Orginations

New York, NY, July 16, 2013 – Greystone, a leading national provider of multifamily and healthcare mortgage loans, today announced it has appointed Robert Russell as the Head of CMBS Production and Managing Director for the firm’s Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac platform.

Joseph H. Mosley
He will report to Joe Mosley, Executive Managing Director of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Lending.

 In this newly created position, Russell will coordinate the firm’s production of CMBS loans and originate multifamily Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans for Greystone’s agency platform. He will be based in the New York City office.

 “Robert’s experience working with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, coupled with his unparalleled creativity and knowledge of the industry, is a fantastic addition to Greystone,” said Mosley. “Robert will play a key role in our organization as we continue to expand our offerings, and we are thrilled to welcome him to the team.”

Robert Russell
Russell brings more than 15 years of real estate experience to Greystone and has executed transactions in excess of $6 billion throughout his distinguished career.

Previously, Russell was the Chief Production Officer at Pillar Multifamily, LLC and served as a Managing Director at Wachovia Securities, where his duties included originating and structuring debt/preferred equity transactions in the United States, and establishing Wachovia's lending operations in Canada. He has also held similar positions at Credit Suisse, Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette and Nomura Asset Capital Corporation.
For a complete copy of the company’s news release, please contact:

Loretta Mock/Josh Gerth
+1 646 395 6300