Wednesday, October 2, 2013

What Tenants Want: Trends in Office Leasing


 ATLANTA, GA (Oct. 2, 2013) – As the way people work continues to change, so does office space. Many companies are moving to smaller, more open offices and exploring alternative ways for employees to work, including benching and hoteling.

Michael Bull
Those were several of the points made during the most recent episode of the “Commercial Real Estate Show” radio program, hosted by Michael Bull of Bull Realty. Bull and his guests discussed office layouts, lease terms and mistakes tenants should avoid in lease negotiations.

 Nationwide, the trend of companies reducing square footage per employee continues, said Scott Panzer, vice chairman at Jones Lang LaSalle. “The last couple of years, square footage per employee has dropped to 200 square feet or less. Now there’s a push to get it under 175 square feet,” he said.

 The decrease in square footage per employee has resulted in the creation of more collaborative space, said Richard Rhodes, managing principal at Cresa Partners.

Scott Panzer
More open office layouts also have been growing in popularity. “If you look at various Jones Lang LaSalle offices throughout the country, by and large everyone has an open floor plan,” Panzer added.

 As office space has changed, so have lease terms. While tenants once focused primarily on rent abatement and tenant improvements, they now are concerned with self-help provisions, said Bob Chodos, principal at Colliers International. “The right to fix a problem and offset the cost against rent is important to tenants,” Chodos said.

Richard Rhodes
Flexibility also is important, guests said. Contraction, termination and expansion options have been sticking points, Panzer said. “Companies got burned in the past because they signed leases for too long and took too much space,” he added.

 Exercising a renewal option without re-negotiating lease terms is a common mistake that tenants make, Rhodes said. “Start the process at least 12 months ahead of when you think you need to,” he said. “Having time as leverage, particularly in a soft tenant’s market, can only work to your advantage.”

 Hiring a good advisor to negotiate lease terms on your behalf is key to getting what you want in a lease, Chodos added. “Companies who represent themselves in a process as complex as a real estate lease have a fool for a client,” he said.

Bob Chodos

The entire episode on office tenant strategies is available for download at The next “Commercial Real Estate Show” will be available on Oct. 3 and will examine single tenant net lease investment properties.
For a complete copy of the company’s news release, please contact:

Stephen Ursery
The Wilbert Group

HFF secures $121.6 million financing for luxury apartment development in Bethesda, MD

Rendering of planned 8300 Wisconsin mixed-use development, Washington, DC

Sue Carras
WASHINGTON, D.C. – HFF announced today that it has secured $121.6 million in financing for the development of 8300 Wisconsin in Bethesda, Maryland, which will include 359 luxury apartment residences and a 50,000-square-foot Harris Teeter grocery store.

HFF worked on behalf of StonebridgeCarras to secure the construction financing through Wells Fargo Bank.

Walter Coker
Slated for completion in 2015, 8300 Wisconsin is situated at the entrance to Bethesda on a 1.6-acre site at the intersection of Battery Lane, just south of the National Institutes of Health and Walter Reed campuses. 

The nine-story building will occupy an entire city block.  Community amenities will include a landscaped courtyard, rooftop swimming pool with separate lap pool, rooftop demonstration kitchen, clubroom, fitness center, business center and 24-hour concierge services.

The HFF debt placement team was led by Sue Carras, Walter Coker and Brian Crivella.

Brian Crivella
StonebridgeCarras is a privately-held real estate investment and development firm based in Bethesda, Maryland focusing primarily on developing mixed-use properties in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region.

 During the past 20 years, the principals of StonebridgeCarras, LLC have been involved in the acquisition, development, joint venture, financing, and disposition of real estate assets in the Washington area exceeding $5 billion in value. 

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

Olivia Hennessey
HFF | 9 Greenway Plaza, Suite 700 | Houston, TX 77046
tel 713.852.3403 | fax 713.527.8725 |

HFF arranges $112 million refinancing for Seaport Square in Boston, MA

Rendering of  planned Seaport Square, Seaport District, Boston, MA

BOSTON, MA – HFF announced today that it has arranged a $112 million refinancing for Seaport Square, a master-planned development area in Boston’s Seaport District.  The Seaport Square master plan encompasses 20 buildings of varying sizes totaling 6.3 million square feet of commercial development. 

John Fowler
               HFF worked on behalf of the borrower, a venture between Boston Global Investors and Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing, to secure a six-year loan through Starwood Property Trust.

 The loan was structured to allow the borrower flexibility in releasing parcels while maintaining leverage such that the loan will likely carry the sponsor through full execution of their business plan.  

Collateral for the loan consists of 15 development sites, which have historically been used as parking lots, and are fully approved by the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) for 5.3 million square feet of new retail, residential, hotel and office development within 15 buildings.

Anthony Cutone
Located directly across the Fort Point Channel from Boston’s Financial District, the development sites are situated in the heart of Boston’s Seaport District. 

The HFF team representing the borrower was led by executive managing director John Fowler, managing director Anthony Cutone and senior real estate analyst Brett Paulsrud.

Boston Global Investors (BGI) is a leading real estate development and consulting firm headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts.  In the last 10 years, BGI has developed projects in excess of $6 billion.

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 |

HFF arranges $27 million in debt and equity for acquisition of Inland Empire industrial facility in Ontario, CA

5491 East Francis, Ontario, CA

LOS ANGELES, CA – HFF announced today that it has arranged nearly $27 million in debt and joint venture equity for 5491 East Francis, a 406,714-square-foot industrial facility in Ontario, California.

Paul Brindley
               HFF worked on behalf of the sponsor, Cohen Asset Management, to arrange joint venture equity through a domestic life insurance company, and to secure $13.75 million of permanent fixed-rate debt through a national life insurance company.  Loan and equity proceeds were used to acquire the property via a sale leaseback.

               5491 East Francis is situated in an “A” location of the Inland Empire West in the City of Ontario just minutes from the intersection of the Interstate 10 and Interstate 15 freeways.  The property is fully leased to a single-tenant.

Ryan Martin
               The HFF team representing the borrower was led by senior managing director Paul Brindley and senior real estate analyst Jeff Sause.

               “We have had a long standing relationship with both Cohen and their joint venture partner and were confident that a strong relationship would be formed between the two,” said Brindley. 

“Our efforts to secure the joint venture equity and debt for this asset are part of our growing emphasis on industrial product both in Southern California and nationally.”

Anthony Brent
 HFF recently added the team of Brett Tremaine, Ryan Martin and Anthony Brent from BlackRidge Real Estate Group to the Los Angeles and Orange County offices to focus on industrial capital markets transactions primarily in the western United States.

               Cohen Asset Management, Inc. is a private commercial and industrial real estate investment firm.  Established in 1992 and strategically headquartered in Southern California with a regional office in Northern New Jersey, Cohen Asset Management, Inc. is a proven, national real estate owner and operator with a primary focus on the industrial real estate sector.  

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 |

HFF secures $47 million in permanent financing for Liberty Station Marketplace in San Diego, CA area

Liberty Station Marketplace, Point Loma submarket, San Diego, CA

SAN DIEGO, CA – HFF announced today that it has arranged $47 million in permanent financing for Liberty Station Marketplace, a premier 152,495-square-foot, dual grocery-anchored retail center in the Point Loma submarket of San Diego, California.

Tim Wright
Working on behalf of The Corky McMillin Companies, HFF placed the loan with a major fund advisor. 

Liberty Station Marketplace is located within the award-winning Liberty Station mixed-use development.  The property was originally constructed in 1932 and was converted for retail and office use in 2007.

 Anchored by Vons and Trader Joe’s, the center is 93 percent leased and also features tenants including Starbucks, Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza, Five Guys, Verizon Wireless, Panera Bread, Cold Stone Creamery, Tender Greens and Luna Grill.

Nick Psyllos
The 361-acre Liberty Station community includes 125 acres of parks and open space; shopping villages and restaurants; a 28–acre civic, arts and cultural district; the nine-hole Sail Ho Golf Club; two hotels; and six schools.  

Nearly 350 families now reside at the pedestrian-friendly Liberty Station and dozens of companies, with hundreds of employees, are doing business there.  Please visit for more information. 

The HFF team representing the borrower was led by senior managing directors Tim Wright and Nick Psyllos and associate director Zack Holderman.

A long-standing commercial and residential owner and developer, The Corky McMillin Companies is the master plan developer of Liberty Station, an award winning adaptive reuse of the historic Naval Training Center.

The Corky McMillin Companies is a fully-integrated real estate investment, land development and home-building company with more than 50 years of experience in San Diego. The former Naval Training Center was redeveloped by McMillin into its current mixed-use urban village that mixes homes with employment space, education, retail, recreation and entertainment. 

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 |


HFF secures $52 million financing for Audubon Estates in Alexandria, VA

Audubon Estates, 7930 Audubon Avenue, Alexandria, VA

SAN DIEGO, CA – HFF announced today that it has arranged $52 million in financing for Audubon Estates, a 701-home site manufactured home community in Alexandria, Virginia.

Zach Koucos
               HFF worked on behalf of the borrower, Hometown America, to secure the 10-year, fixed-rate loan through a correspondent life insurance company lender.  HFF will also service the loan.

Audubon Estates is situated on an 83.73-acre site at 7930 Audubon Avenue, just off Highway 1 approximately 12 miles south of Washington, D.C.  The all-ages community is 99.9 percent occupied with amenities including 11 playgrounds, various sport courts, laundry facilities, picnic areas, and on-site RV and boat storage.

               The HFF team representing the borrower was led by director Zach Koucos.

“We have seen tremendous competition this year amongst our life insurance company correspondents for great manufactured housing assets such as Audubon Estates,” Koucos said.

Doug Minahan
“We were pleased with how competitive the quotes were that we received through HFF’s efforts,” said Doug Minahan, vice president of Hometown America.

“This is a clear indication that lenders are bullish on high-quality manufactured housing communities located in desirable markets.  It was also great to find partners through our relationship with HFF that appreciated the long-term stability of the cash flow generated by the community.”

Founded in 1997 and based in Chicago, Illinois, Hometown America is a privately-held real estate investor that owns and operates manufactured housing communities across the country.  Today, the company operates more than 45 communities in 11 states. 

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 |

IDI Merges with Verde Realty

File photo and not part of IDI's industrial portfolio described below

Atlanta, GA,  Oct. 2, 2013 – IDI, a leading full-service industrial real estate company, announced today it has merged with Verde Realty. The entity, which will operate under the IDI name, has combined assets valued at more than $2 billion.

Timothy J. Gunter
The company will have offices in 11 cities in the U.S. and Mexico, and headquarters will remain in Atlanta with Timothy J. Gunter retaining the title of president and CEO.

 The deal doubles the number of buildings in IDI’s portfolio to a total of 179, while increasing total square-footage to 45 million. Additionally, IDI now has landholdings available for 53 million square feet of buildable space.

 Verde Realty is an existing majority-owned real estate holding of Brookfield Property Partners, L.P. (NYSE: BPY, TSX: BPY.UN) and its institutional partners.

The $1.1 billion transaction positions IDI as one of the largest industrial property companies and makes Brookfield’s portfolio of industrial real estate holdings among the largest in North America.

 “By combining our operations with Verde, IDI is positioned to build upon and strengthen the brand we have built over the past 24 years,” said Tim Gunter, president and CEO of IDI.

“Our collective goal for the ‘new IDI’ is to develop the highest quality North American industrial platform while remaining true to our mission – to build real long-term value for our clients, team members, communities and industry by striving for superior quality in all we do.”

He added, “We will continue to grow the company through development of inventory buildings while still serving build-to-suit clients. 

"By combining our assets and expertise, our footprint becomes broader, our asset base and balance sheet stronger, and we are better able to pursue acquisition of product.”

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

Rita Skaggs

Matt Scofield
Jackson Spalding for IDI


Lakeshore Center within Orlando Central Park, Orlando, FL

ORLANDO, FL -- CBRE, as exclusive advisor, is pleased to present an opportunity to acquire Lakeshore Center, an eight-story, ±133,075 square foot suburban office property located prominently within the South Orlando suburban submarket at Orlando Central Park—a 12 million square foot office and light industrial park in Central Florida.

Ron Rogg
Orlando Central Park features the largest concentration of office space in Orlando’s largest suburban submarket—it is a “self-contained city,” with more than 400 companies at the very epicenter of Orlando’s past, present, and future growth. That keeps it in site selection rotation for the area’s most credit-worthy tenants and investors, according to Ron Rogg.


 Provides an Owner/User with immediate income and room for expansion—over 115,000 square feet available for immediate occupancy
 Corporate HQ location with possible building signage
 Ability to expand parking lot on the outparcel, increasing the parking ratio from 4.0 to 5.4 per 1,000 rentable square feet
Orlando Central Park
 No shell space - all floors are completely built-out
 The property is expected to transact at a basis below replacement cost (estimated to be $185.53 per square foot)
 Existing full floor tenant provides predictable cash flow through November 2017
 Only building of this size and height available for purchase in Orlando’s MSA
 Excellent alternative to a build-to-suit
 No existing debt on the property - can be fully leveraged with today’s low interest rate debt

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

Ron Rogg

Greystone Closes $15.9 Million Loan for Multifamily Property in Maryland

Whitfield Towne Apartments, Lanham, MD

New York, NY, Oct. 2, 2013 – Greystone, a leading national provider of multifamily and healthcare mortgage loans, today announced it provided $15.9 million in Fannie Mae financing for Whitfield Towne Apartments, a 322-unit property located in Lanham, Maryland.

Billy Posey
Andrew Ellis, originator in Greystone’s Maryland office, worked closely with the borrower to close the loan.

 This latest deal was the culmination of $34.2 million in funds across three loans in the last 18 months on behalf of Avis-R Company of Rockville, Maryland.

For Whitfield Towne Apartments, Greystone refinanced a $11.5 million bridge loan, which was closed by Greystone in April 2012, with a $15.9 million Fannie Mae DUS loan.

The Greystone bridge loan enabled the borrower to take control of the property and invest approximately $2,375,000 in capital improvements, helping to obtain long-term financing. Greystone worked closely with broker Marc Tropp of Eastern Union Commercial throughout the loan process.

Marc Tropp
 “Through our strong relationship with Fannie Mae and understanding of the borrower’s needs, we were able to provide Whitfield Towne Apartments with not only a temporary financing solution, but a more permanent one as well,” said Billy Posey, CEO of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Lending at Greystone.

 “We see the success of this transaction as a great example of the team’s ability to help secure short-term funding for our clients while keeping long-term financial objectives in mind.”

 The Greystone Bridge Program is specifically designed for properties that are either stabilized or are in need of minor to moderate renovation or other value-add strategies. The real estate and finance experience of Greystone guarantees a deep understanding of the market and an ability to find creative solutions for multifamily and healthcare borrowers.

Zion Avissar
Zion Avissar, President of Avis-R Company stated, “Greystone was able to understand our plans, vision and underutilized potential of Whitfield Towne Apartments. 

“Our team worked incredibly hard to gut-rehab a large percentage of the units and spruce up the asset in a very short amount of time.  Greystone was there along the way and was ready with a solid permanent financing package at stabilization.  We look forward to working with Greystone in the future as we grow our portfolio and property management platform.”

 Greystone, with more than 200 mortgage professionals throughout the United States, is ranked as a top-10 Fannie Mae DUS lender by volume and was the number one FHA lender for 2012. A multifamily industry expert and leader, Greystone offers long term, bridge, gap, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA and CMBS lending solutions. 

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

Karen Marotta
PR Manager
152 W. 57th Street
New York, NY 10019
212-896-9149 direct
917-902-7073 mobile

Waterbury, CT Apartment Building Sells for $1.35 Million

Valley View Apartments, 209 Wolcott Street, Waterbury, CT

BRIDGEPORT, CT – Investment sales broker Northeast Private Client Group has announced the sale of the Valley View Apartments, a 29-unit garden-style apartment complex located at 209 Wolcott Street in Waterbury, CT.

Bradley Balletto
  Bradley Balletto, the firm’s regional manager for Connecticut, represented both the seller and the buyer in the $1,350,000 transaction, which closed on September 26th.

 “High occupancy and rent growth are driving strong demand, especially for multifamily properties,” notes Balletto.  “In today’s slow recovering financial market conditions, income-producing real estate remains one of the best opportunities for generating and preserving wealth.”

 The Valley View Apartments consist of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments built in 1989, with 11 income-generating garages set on 2.32 acres.

Edward Jordan
The Connecticut-based buyer, 209 Wolcott Waterbury LLC, purchased the Valley View Apartments property for a price that equates to more than $46,500 per unit, which represents a capitalization rate of 9.3 per cent on the current year’s net operating income.  The seller, ROI Valley View LLC of Waterbury, CT, will focus on new projects moving forward. 

 “The success of this transaction is the result of our relation-based approach to investment sales,” explains Edward Jordan, JD, CCIM, the firm’s managing director.  “With our regional brokerage platform, we were able to identify the right buyer for the assignment and close the deal.”

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

Rick Leonard