Thursday, November 14, 2013

Del Frisco’s Grille to Open First West Coast Florida Location at Tampa’s MetWest International

Del Frisco's Grill interior at MetWest International development,  Westshore area, Tampa, FL

MetWest International development
Westshore area, Tampa, FL
TAMPA, FL  – Del Frisco’s Grille, the winner of the 2012 Hot Concepts Award presented by Nation’s Restaurant News, will open its first Florida West Coast location next year at MetWest International.

 The restaurant has signed a lease for 9,700 square feet at MetLife’s mixed-use development in the Westshore area.

Kalyn Brandewie
“We are thrilled to bring Del Frisco’s Grille and our warm, genuine hospitality to MetWest International Tampa,” said Mark S. Mednansky, CEO of Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group. 

“Whether you’re headed to a Tampa Bay Bucs’ game – or checking out the Yankees during Spring Training, our roof deck will be the perfect place to enjoy Ahi Tacos and a cold local beer or prime steak and an amazing glass of wine from our extensive list.  All of our dishes – like our hand-crafted flatbreads – are easy to share, even if you’re just popping in after work with a group of friends.”

 “MetLife is proud to welcome a fourth new restaurant to Tampa Bay at MetWest International,” stated Chuck Davis, regional director of MetLife’s Tampa real estate investment office.

 “MetWest has become a dining destination for Tampa residents as well as the tenants of the development’s 750,000 square feet of office space. Del Frisco’s Grille with its unique rooftop bar nicely rounds out the dining options at MetWest joining Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant, Texas de Brazil and Kona Grill.” 

Martin S. Mednansky

 The Del Frisco’s Grille deal was brokered by Kalyn Brandewie of Florida Retail Partners representing MetLife and co-broker Ted Speros of ATS Realty representing Del Frisco’s Grille.

“We are thrilled that Del Frisco’s Grille is bringing its hot, new concept to MetWest,” said Kalyn Brandewie, Retail Leasing Broker for the development. “We were wowed by their Palm Beach location and knew they would be a great addition to MetWest.”

Del Frisco’s Grille is owned by Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group which is based in Southlake, Texas – just outside Dallas – which operates 39 restaurants across the country.  This will be the first Del Frisco’s Grille in the Tampa area. 

Chuck Davis
Del Frisco’s Grille is the sister restaurant to the renowned Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House and Sullivan’s Steakhouse, both owned by Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group (NASDAQ: DFRG) of Southlake, TX.

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

Kalyn Brandewie,
Florida Retail Partners
(813) 251-3333

Christine Montemurro,
(212) 578-7129

Casey Shaughnessy
Glodow Nead Communications


Marcus & Millichap Names 30-Year Veteran Gary Willard Western Director, National Office and Industrial Properties Group

Gary Willard
PALO ALTO, CA, Nov. 14, 2013 – Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, has named Gary Willard, CCIM as western director, National Office and Industrial Properties Group (NOIPG). He is based in the firm’s Palo Alto, Calif., office, reporting to managing director Alan Pontius, who oversees NOIPG.

“Gary brings a proven track record of 30 years of investment sales experience to our team,” says Pontius. “Attracting a recognized professional of Gary’s caliber is further testament to the strength of our platform and growth strategy in the office and industrial market. His incredible background and high-profile industry presence make him ideally suited for this role.”

In his new post, Willard is charged with growing and developing Marcus & Millichap’s expanding office and industrial investment sales team for the western United States. He is also responsible for aligning and supporting the firm’s national strategic growth initiatives in the region.

Alan Pontius
As lead broker on over 150 transactions totaling $2.5 billion, Willard has gained invaluable investment brokerage expertise as well as broad and deep relationships with private and institutional investors. During his 18-year tenure with CBRE he was a member of the firm’s Institutional Services Group where he focused on disposition assignments for larger office and business park properties throughout northern California.

In 2001, Willard co-founded NAI BT Commercial’s (Cassidy Turley) Investment Services Group in San Francisco and co-managed the group through 2009.

Most recently he was a partner at TCI Properties, a boutique investment brokerage firm in Redwood City, Calif., where he and his partners represented Forest City in the $93 million sale of the Fairmount Office Center, a 326,000-square-foot high-rise in downtown San Jose.

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

Gina Relva
Public Relations Manager
(925) 953-1716

St. Thomas Aquinas High School Dedicates Multimillion Dollar Innovation Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL

High-tech classroom at St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Fort Lauderdale, FL

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (November 13, 2013) – A multimillion dollar, cutting edge Innovation Center designed to stimulate creativity in students and faculty with interactive high-tech experiences has opened at St. Thomas Aquinas High School.

 Contractor on the project was Herman Construction Services in Sunrise, Fla. and the architect was Anderson Architecture in Boca Raton, Fla.

St. Thomas Aquinas High School’s
Bienes Center for the Arts,
a 315-seat theater
 The nearly 6,000 square-foot Innovation Center features technology, furniture and lighting throughout five glass-walled classrooms and common areas that are conducive to a learning environment in which students can perform at the highest level through the most current interactive technologies.

 Each state-of-the-art classroom is equipped with interactive touchscreen monitors and projectors on every wall; high definition video conferencing capabilities for interactive long distance learning, virtual field trips and guest lecturers; and mobile ergonomically designed chairs, desks and tables to allow for numerous classroom configurations. 

All of these keep students engaged and actively learning. The goal is to energize students by encouraging and exciting them with exploratory learning.

St. Thomas Aquinas High School is a private, Roman Catholic, college-preparatory high school at 2801 SW 12th Street in Fort Lauderdale that educates young men and women in the Catholic tradition of youth formation. For more information, visit
For a complete copy of the company’s news release, please contact:  

Maria Pierson
954.776.1999, ext. 222

Amy Hoffman
Pierson Grant Public Relations
6301 Northwest 5th Way  Suite 2600
Fort Lauderdale, FL  33309
v. (954) 776-1999  ext. 228
f. (954) 776-0290

Meta Housing Corp. Secures Financing for Three New Multifamily Projects in Los Angeles County

LOS ANGELES, CA – Meta Housing Corporation has secured the financing necessary to break ground on three new multifamily developments in Los Angeles County, totaling 160 units, including two affordable senior apartment communities and one affordable family apartment community.

John Huskey
The project cost for all three communities will total $52.5 million, according to Meta Housing President John Huskey.

 “The need for affordable housing continues to grow throughout the nation, and is especially prevalent in metro areas such as Los Angeles and Long Beach,” explained Huskey. 

“Despite the dissolution of the redevelopment agencies, which substantially affected the way in which affordable projects can be financed, we have succeeded in discovering new ways to finance our affordable family and senior communities.”

Huskey continued, “We have been successful in securing tax credits for every project that we have developed.  These credits have assisted us in developing dozens of successful affordable housing projects.”

The three latest developments for which Meta Housing secured tax credits include:

·         Metro @ Compton - planned as a 75-unit, $19.5 million affordable senior apartment community located at 302 N. Tamarand in the city of Compton, Calif.

·         Cabrillo Family Apartments - planned as a 44-unit, $18 million affordable family apartment community located at1640 Cabrillo Avenue in the City of Torrance, Calif.

·         Long Beach & 21st Apartments - planned as a 41-unit, $15 million affordable senior housing community located at 2114 Long Beach Boulevard in the City of Long Beach.

 Each of these new projects will break ground within the next five months, bringing Meta Housing Corporation’s current portfolio of projects under development to seven.  The company also has 14 other projects in the pre-development phase.

“We are actively pursuing new projects throughout California, with an emphasis on urban markets and dense suburban markets, in order to continue to build apartment communities that deliver pride and satisfaction to the Cities we serve, and the partners with whom we work,” said Huskey.

Since 1993, Meta Housing Corporation has established itself as one of Southern California’s most experienced and trusted developers of apartment communities for families and seniors, developing more than 5,000 residential units.

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

Corynne Randel/Jenn Quader
Brower, Miller & Cole
(949) 955-7940

Prominent Retailer to Replace Gordon Biersch at 1201 Brickell Avenue in Downtown Miami, FL

1201 Brickell Avenue, Downtown Miami, FL

Carol Ellis-Cutler
MIAMI, FL - Colliers International South Florida is pleased to announce that Carol Ellis-Cutler, Senior Vice President - Partner, represented a prominent retailer in executing a 20-year lease for 10,000-plus square feet at 1201 Brickell Avenue in Miami.

Gordon Biersch, a division of Big River Restaurants, agreed to execute an early termination of its lease on the ground floor space it has occupied there since 2000. The new retail tenant in this landmark office tower will add convenience for businesses and neighborhood residents.

Jerome Hollo of Florida East Coast Realty (FECR) was the owner's representative and the landlord's attorney. Although the deal's rates were not disclosed, Alyce Robertson of Miami's Downtown Development Authority indicated that retail rents in the Brickell submarket are now in the high $70s per square foot and have begun escalating to $80 per square foot, triple net.

Alyce Robertson
"A key factor in the deal's success was the flexibility of the landlord, new tenant, and existing tenant who had options to renew," said Ellis-Cutler of Colliers.

 "The process was a long one, and the market changed significantly between the time that the tenant's initial letter of intent was drawn up in April and the lease signing in October 2013.

Judy Cable
“New projects including Brickell CityCentre entered the market, and other parties interested in subleasing the premises directly from Gordon Biersch also materialized during the course of our negotiations."

Ellis-Cutler acknowledged FECR's leasing director Judy Cable for initially sparking the idea of this location that was not officially on the market.

Ellis-Cutler said that Alex Lucas of Boos Development Group contributed important support by working the tenant's plans through the City of Miami, thus helping to keep the deal alive.

Tibor Hollo and son Jerome
"The tenant took a significant financial risk in pursuing this transaction despite all of its moving parts, contingencies and uncontrollable circumstances. They firmly believed that the retailer was meant to be at 1201 Brickell Avenue."

Although Ellis-Cutler represented the tenant in this transaction, she has a long-standing relationship representing FECR as the leasing agent for 2020 Ponce, a Class A building in Coral Gables.

 "The trust that has developed over the years among the various parties helped to bring this deal to fruition," she said. 

"It will stand out in my 20-plus-year career, not just because of the 30 months of negotiations required, and not just because it 'died' several times, but because of the relationships, tenacity and cooperation among the parties involved.

“The willingness and flexibility of the property's owner and developer, Tibor Hollo, the transactional knowledge and creativity of his son Jerome Hollo, and the cooperation from Gordon Biersch were all factors in adding this amenity to the prominent 1201 Brickell office tower."

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

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

Foreclosure Starts Up Monthly for Second Straight Month; Big Jumps in Florida, Illinois and Colorado.

Daren Blomquist
IRVINE, CA — RealtyTrac® (, the nation’s leading source for comprehensive housing data, today released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™ for October, which shows foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 133,919 U.S. properties in October, a 2 percent increase from the previous month but a 28 percent decrease from a year ago.

The report also shows one in every 978 U.S. housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month.

Sheldon Detrick
“The backlog of delayed judicial foreclosures continues to make its way through the pipeline, with many of these properties now being scheduled for the public auction after starting the foreclosure process last year or earlier this year,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

“Lenders are likely moving these properties more rapidly to the public auction given that there is strong demand from institutional buy-to-rent investors at the auction and that rising home prices mean more of the loan losses can be recouped, either by selling to an investor at the auction or by repossessing the property and reselling as bank owned.”  

Rick Posner
“People who defaulted three years ago are just now beginning the rest of the foreclosure process, which explains the recent rise in bank repossessions in Oklahoma,” said Sheldon Detrick, CEO of Prudential Detrick/Prudential Alliance Realty covering the Oklahoma City and Tulsa markets.

“When home prices were heading downward banks would sometimes send default notices to homeowners but allow the them to stay in the home without making payments if the homeowner would maintain the home and keep it in good condition. 

“Now that the economy is improving and home prices are rising, banks are willing to complete the foreclosure process if homeowners don’t start making their payments again.”

Craig King
“Homeowners and homebuyers are now able to negotiate home sales together without a bank being involved.  It’s the way real estate should be, and it’s nice to be back to a more normal real estate market again,” said Rich Cosner, President of Prudential California Realty, covering Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties in Southern California. 

 “The increase in Reno-area foreclosure activity is likely the result of lenders pushing through some foreclosures before the new Nevada Homeowner Bill of Rights took effect in October,” said Craig King, COO of Chase International, covering the Reno and Lake Tahoe markets.

“Despite that increase, we’re making steady progress away from the problems that plagued the real estate industry in Northern Nevada. Short sales and foreclosures used to be 85 percent of the market and equity sales used to be 15, and now it’s exactly flipped.”

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

Jennifer von Pohlmann
PR Manager
Office: 949.502.8300 ext 139