Friday, July 9, 2010

More Price Cuts As ICON Brickell in Miami Reaches 33% Sold Milestone

 MIAMI, FL--It has taken 18 months and two price cuts but the nearly 1,800-unit ICON Brickell (top left photo)  condominium complex in Greater Downtown Miami is finally 33 percent sold, according to a new report from

In an effort to accelerate the pace of future sales on the remaining 1,200 unsold units, prices have been slashed for a third time in the last 10 months in the three-tower ICON Brickell complex on the south bank of the Miami River,(middle right photo)  according to the licensed Florida brokerage Condo Vultures® Realty LLC.

This latest price cut announced this month shaves an additional $63 per square foot, or 15 percent, off of the average completed sales price of $430 per square foot in the complex, according to research for a soon-to-be-released Condo Vultures® White Paper™ analysis of second quarter new condo sales in Greater Downtown Miami.

The current prices vary by building with Tower One (North) asking an average of $402 per square foot, Tower Two (South) asking $363 per square foot, and Tower Three asking (West) $308 per square foot.

"ICON Brickell has experienced tremendous sales velocity in the first half of 2010, selling more than 500 units," said Peter Zalewski (lower left photo), a principal with the Bal Harbour, Fla.-based real estate consultancy Condo Vultures® LLC.

"The unknown is whether the sales velocity can continue at the same pace for the next few years to ultimately sell out the project.

"Industry watchers also do not know how many of the 500 sales completed this year were with original contract holders with 20 percent deposits who were offered discounted prices and other incentives to close."

This latest round of price cuts follows discounts of as much as 51 percent in February 2010, which were preceded by a 30 percent price cut in October 2009, according to a recent report.

ICON Brickell has experienced tremendous change in the first half of 2010 besides the price cuts.

In May, the project's developer, The Related Group, deeded over 870 units with more than one million square feet of saleable space in Towers One and Two to an entity controlled by the lending group headed by HSBC Bank USA, according to a recent report.

The Related Group continues to control Tower Three, which was financed by a lending group headed by Bank of America.

For Towers One and Two, HSBC has implemented an approach that maintains a higher price and offers in-house financing to buyers. For Tower Three which has a condo-hotel located within the building, the approach has been to sell the units at deep discounts to all-cash buyers who must close in 21 days.

As of July 7, buyers had purchased 622 units with more than 685,000 square feet livable space for nearly $295 million, according to the analysis conducted using the Condo Vultures® Official Condo Buyers Guide To Miami™.

In Tower One (North), there have been 342 sales out of 713 units at an average price of $483 per square foot with units selling from a range $331 per square foot to more than $915 per square foot, according to the report based on Miami-Dade County records.

In Tower Two (South), there have been only 93 sales out of 560 units at an average price of $443 per square foot, with prices ranging from $188 per square foot to nearly $850 per square foot.

In Tower Three (West), there have been 187 sales out of 520 units at an average price of $317 per square foot. The sales prices have ranged from $203 per square foot up to nearly $620 per square foot.

The ICON Brickell is the largest project to be constructed in Greater Downtown Miami during a boom that produced more than 80 project with more than 22,250 new units in a 60-block stretch from the Rickenbacker Causeway (midle left  photo)  north to the Julia Tuttle Causeway (middle right  photo), Interstate 95 east to Biscayne Bay, according to theCondo Vultures® Official Condo Buyers Guide To Miami™.

Between 1963 and 2002, developers constructed 11,500 units in the same Greater Downtown Miami area.

At the end of the first quarter, some 6,600 new condo units were still under the developers' control in Greater Downtown Miami but the number was decreasing at a steady pace.

 Buyers purchased nearly 720 units - 83 percent of the deals closed with cash - in the first quarter of 2010 at an average price of $326 per square foot, according to a recent Condo Vultures® White Paper™.

Contact: Peter Zalewski, Principal, Condo Vultures® LLC, Office: 305-865-5629
Cell: 305-321-7383, eFax: 1-305-832-0311,

Marcus & Millichap Capital Corp. Arranges $8.8M Refinancing Package

LA VERNE, CA – Marcus & Millichap Capital Corporation (MMCC) has closed an $8,797,500 refinancing for a multi-tenant retail center in La Verne.

Erik Rogers, a director in the Ontario office of MMCC, arranged the loan for the Inland Empire property.

“The borrower assumed a conduit loan that was interest-only, with a maturity date of 2010. The transaction was challenging because the borrower had to pay down the loan considerably in light of current stringent underwriting standards,” explains Rogers.

“Since many of today’s retail loans are financed with 25-year amortization schedules, the borrower had to come out of pocket with the additional equity.”

A commercial bank provided the 10-year, fixed-rate loan, which has an LTV of 65 percent and a 25-year amortization schedule.

“We were able to structure a 10-year fixed rate loan with a 10-year term, even with 85 percent of the center facing lease-rollover risk in the next four years,” he notes.

Rogers discussed the proposal with more than 30 of the firm’s relationship lenders, including commercial banks, life insurance companies and private lenders. “In the end, an Inland Empire-based commercial bank MMCC has a strong relationship with provided the loan,” he says.

“The borrower initially took the transaction to the bank first and was not able to garner any interest from the lender,” Rogers notes. “By leveraging MMCC’s strong local relationships and creating a solid marketing package, we demonstrated to the lender that this is an excellent deal.”

The borrower’s track record of managing real estate also attracted the bank to this transaction.

“The borrower is a professional investor who manages eight retail centers in the Inland Empire, which is the lender’s primary market. The bank analyzed the properties and liked the historical operating performance of this center, as well as the performance of the entire portfolio.

“Both the lender and borrower understand that this was a win/win transaction in this challenging environment,” he adds.

Contact: Stacey Corso, Public Relations Manager, (925) 953-1716

Arbor Closes $3,373,000 Fannie Mae DUS® MBS Loan for Spring Hill Apartments in Houston, TX

Uniondale, NY (July 9, 2010) - Arbor Commercial Funding, LLC (“Arbor”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Arbor Commercial Mortgage, LLC, announced the recent funding of a $3,373,000 loan under the Fannie Mae DUS® MBS product line for the 228-unit complex known as Spring Hill Apartments in Houston, TX.

The 10-year loan amortizes on a 25-year schedule and carries a note rate of 5.67 percent.

The loan was originated by Jay Porterfield, (top right photo) Vice President, in Arbor’s full-service Plano, TX lending office. “Arbor provided a rate and term refinance for this well-occupied property located in a golf course community near Houston,” said Porterfield.

Contact: Ingrid Principe, Marketing Manager, Arbor Commercial Mortgage, 333 Earle Ovington Blvd., Suite 900, Uniondale, NY 11553, P: 516.506.4298, F: 516.542.2555,/  Follow us on Twitter @ arbor1

Avison Young acquires Appian Realty Advisors

TORONTO, July 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Mark E. Rose, (top right photo)  Chair and CEO of Avison Young, Canada's largest independently-owned commercial real estate services company, announced today that it has acquired Appian Realty Advisors, LLC, a Northern Virginia-based agency leasing, tenant representation and project management firm.

The acquisition expands Avison Young's market coverage by adding an office in Northern Virginia, the largest market in the Washington, DC region.

The change in ownership will add 16 employees -including 12 brokers and project management professionals led by Dan Gonzalez (top left photo)  and Tom Sandlin (lower right photo)  - to Avison Young's U.S. Capital Region operations.

Effective immediately, Gonzalez and Sandlin become Principals of Avison Young and Senior Vice-Presidents in the Northern Virginia office. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Avison Young opened its first U.S. office in Chicago, IL in 2009, followed by U.S. offices in Washington, DC, Atlanta, GA and Houston, TX over the past half year.

 In the last 18 months, Avison Young has grown from 11 to, now, 20 offices and from 300 to nearly 700 real estate professionals in Canada and the U.S.

"It is a privilege to have Dan and Tom become Principals of Avison Young and we welcome them and the Appian team to the Avison Young organization," comments Rose.

 "From the outset, we have consistently communicated our growth plan - to invest in the companies and top talent who believe in our client-service model. We have listened to the voice of the client, and it is clear that value is defined by strategic solutions. Our structure transcends the peer group's decades-old command and control silo structures that are more shareholder-based than client-centric."

In 2001, Gonzalez and Sandlin established their own organization, which they renamed Appian Realty Advisors, LLC in 2007, after successful careers at the Staubach Company where they consistently achieved national top production awards.

Contact: Media Relations: Sherry Quan, (604) 647-5098 or (604) 726-0959,


Grubb & Ellis Opens Cincinnati Office; Former Vollmer Real Estate Professionals Join Firm

SANTA ANA, CA, (July 9, 2010) -- Grubb & Ellis Company (NYSE: GBE), a leading real estate services and investment firm, today announced that Christopher Vollmer Sr.,  (top right photo) SIOR, principal of Vollmer Realty Inc., has joined the company as senior vice president, effective immediately.

Vollmer’s addition will serve as the foundation for a new Grubb & Ellis-owned office in Cincinnati.

Vollmer has more than 30 years of experience in office, medical and industrial sales and leasing. Reporting to Bob Nosal, executive vice president and managing director, Ohio,

Vollmer will be responsible for serving the needs of industrial and office clients, as well as leading Grubb & Ellis’ business development and recruiting efforts in the market.

Grubb & Ellis plans to expand the office by a total of four to five brokerage professionals by year-end.

Vollmer is joined by Christopher Vollmer Jr. (top left photo) as vice president, giving Grubb & Ellis a significant brokerage and management presence in Cincinnati. Grubb & Ellis currently manages approximately 1.2 million square feet of property throughout the Cincinnati area.

“The establishment of a Cincinnati office is in line with company’s growth strategy to operate owned offices in the top markets nationally,” said Jack Van Berkel, (bottom right photo)  chief operating officer and president, Real Estate Services.

“With the addition of the Vollmer team, Grubb & Ellis can immediately serve clients in the Cincinnati area. They bring a strong track record for service excellence and many established relationships. In addition, with this respected father-son team in place, we have a great foundation for growth.”

Vollmer Realty, which was created in 1986, will be folded into Grubb & Ellis.

Contact: Erin Mays, Phone: 312.698.6735, Email:

Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty Selected to Lease Office Suites at 500 Delaney Ave. in Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. --- Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty was recently named exclusive leasing agents at 500 Delaney Ave. (top left photo), a four-story, downtown Orlando office building.

Roger Soderstrom, founder and owner of Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty, said there is currently 7,000 contiguous square feet available for lease, which can be separated for multiple tenants into varied suites as small as 1,900 square feet.

The well-located building features an on-site private parking facility, lake and fountain views, Soderstrom said.

John Kurtz and James Mincy of Stirling’s Commercial Realty division negotiated the leasing agreement, and they are handling the leasing of the property on behalf of the landlord/owner, Canin Associates.

“The building has a lot of appeal because it’s still downtown but on the quieter outskirts of the central business district with scenic views,” Kurtz said.

For more information,  contact:
John Kurtz or James A. Mincy, Sales Associates, Stirling Commercial Group 407-581-5550
Roger Soderstrom, Owner/Founder Stirling Commercial Group, 407-588-1260;
Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142