Monday, January 9, 2012

HFF New Jersey hires Tom Graziano as director in debt placement group

FLORHAM PARK, NJ – HFF announced that Tom Graziano has joined the firm as a director in its New Jersey office. 

Mr. Graziano will focus on debt, structured finance and joint venture equity transactions for office, retail, multi-housing and industrial properties throughout the northeastern United States.  

Prior to joining HFF, Mr. Graziano was a vice president in the Loan Portfolio Strategies Group of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. in New York.  Prior to that, he worked as a director at The Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group, LLC. 

Mr. Graziano began his career at Capmark Finance, and its predecessor company GMAC Commercial Mortgage, in the firm’s proprietary lending group.  He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Middlebury College in Vermont and is a FINRA Series 7 and Series 63 Registered Representative.

“HFF is excited to welcome Tom to the New Jersey office and expand upon our debt placement team in a continuing effort to serve our clients growing needs in this ever changing capital markets environment both locally and nationally,” said Jon Mikula (lower left photo), senior managing director in HFF’s New Jersey office.


JON MIKULA, HFF Senior Managing Director, (973) 549-2000,                                                                                                          
 THOMAS R. DIDIO, HFF Senior Managing Director, (973) 549- 2000,
Kristen M. Murphy, Associate Director Marketing,  (713) 852-3500,

HFF arranges $17.1 million financing for Albany, NY area multi-housing community

 FLORHAM PARK, NJ – HFF announced today that it has arranged $17.1 million in financing for Elm Estates (top left photo), a 197-unit townhome and duplex community in Selkirk, New York.

HFF originated a seven-year, fixed-rate permanent loan for the borrower, Tower Management Service, L.P., purchased by Freddie Mac. 

The loan will be serviced by HFF through its Freddie Mac Program Plus® Seller/Servicer program.  HFF originated over $1 billion in new loan originations in 2011 as a Freddie Mac Program Plus seller/servicer. 

Elm Estates is situated on 34.7 acres close to Interstate 87 about 10 miles south of Albany in Selkirk.  Built in phases between 1978 and 2002, the property has 103 townhomes and 94 duplexes in two and three bedroom layouts averaging 1,297 square feet each.   The property also includes an additional 77.19 acres of surplus land.

The HFF team representing Tower Management Service, L.P. was led by senior managing director Thomas Didio (middle left photo) and real estate analyst Calvin Jones.

“I am pleased we could assist Tower Management Service, L.P. in securing such a favorable permanent loan for the Elm Estates property,” said Didio.

Tower Management Service, L.P. is a real estate operating company, which owns approximately 2,200 multi-family apartment units in garden-style apartment communities located in New Jersey and New York State.

THOMAS R. DIDIO, HFF Senior Managing Director, (973) 549-2000,
Kristen M. Murphy, Associate Director Marketing,  (713) 852-3500,

HFF closes $41.475 million sale of Ann Arbor, MI Class A multi-housing community

CHICAGO, IL – HFF announced today that it has closed the sale of Lake Village of Ann Arbor (top left photo), a 360-unit, Class A multi-housing community in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
HFF, along with Pankhurst Properties, marketed the property on behalf of the seller, Northwestern Mutual. 

An affiliate of The Habitat Company purchased Lake Village of Ann Arbor for $41.475 million on a free and clear basis. 

Lake Village of Ann Arbor is located at 101 Lake Village Drive, adjacent to the University of Michigan soccer complex and a short drive from the main campus in Ann Arbor.  The 29.2-acre site has 18 three-story buildings built in two phases in 1997 and 2002. 

Units are available in one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans averaging 1,220 square feet each.  Community amenities at the fully leased property include a clubhouse, health club and tanning bed, heated pool with hot tub, tennis court and business center.

The HFF investment sales team was led by managing director Marty O’Connell, executive managing director Matthew Lawton and managing director Sean Fogarty.

“Lake Village of Ann Arbor’s proximity to the University of Michigan ensures consistent demand from graduate students, faculty and employees of the university, which is the largest employer in Ann Arbor,” said O’Connell.

Founded in 1971, The Habitat Company is a full-service real estate company, committed to the highest standards in management, service and development.  The company has offices in Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit and St. Louis.

 MARTY O’CONNELL, HFF Managing Director,
(312) 528 3650 
 KRISTEN MURPHY,  HFF Associate Director, Marketing, (713) 852-3500                                       

HFF closes sale of Avalon at Stratford Green in Bloomingdale, IL

 CHICAGO, IL – HFF announced today that it has closed the sale of Avalon at Stratford Green (top left photo), a 192-unit, Class A apartment and townhome community in Bloomingdale, Illinois.

HFF marketed the property on behalf of the seller, Avalon Bay Communities, Inc.   

Avalon at Stratford Green is situated on a 12.7-acre site at 492 Vinings Drive adjacent to the Stratford Square Mall in the western Chicago suburb of Bloomingdale. 

Completed in 1997, the property has one-, two- and three-bedroom units averaging 1,234 square feet and is 97 percent occupied. 

Community amenities include a clubhouse/leasing center, heated pool with sundeck, bbq/picnic areas and walking path.  Most units feature private direct-access garages.

The HFF investment sales team representing the seller was led by managing director Marty O’Connell (top right photo) executive managing director Matthew Lawton (middle left photo) and managing director Sean Fogarty (lower right photo).

“Avalon at Stratford Green is the newest apartment community in the Bloomingdale apartment submarket and is considered to be one of the very finest Class A communities in all of DuPage County,” said O’Connell.

AvalonBay Communities, Inc. is in the business of developing, redeveloping, acquiring and managing high-quality apartment communities in the high barrier-to-entry markets of the United States. These markets are located in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Pacific Northwest and Northern and Southern California regions of the country.

 MARTY O’CONNELL, HFF Managing Director, (312) 528-3650                              
KRISTEN MURPHY,  HFF Associate Director, Marketing,
(713) 852-3500,                                       

Behringer Harvard Summarizes 2011 Activities and Milestones

DALLAS, TX, Jan. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Behringer Harvard's key milestones in 2011 were summarized today by Mr. Robert S. Aisner (top right photo), President and CEO of Behringer Harvard.

"We were pleased and gratified to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Behringer Harvard in 2011," said Mr. Aisner.

 "We are proud of our evolution thus far, which started with two predecessor organizations that began offering alternative investment opportunities in 1989.

“Although all our business units have faced economic headwinds, I believe we made significant progress during the last year in setting the stage for another decade of growth and expanded opportunity for Behringer Harvard and our various constituencies."

Behringer Harvard's multifamily platform received a boost in December 2011 via a new co-investment partnership with one of the world's largest pension funds, advised by Heitman LLC, a multinational real estate investment management firm with more than $23 billion in assets under management.

For a complete copy of the company’s news release, please contact:
Barbara Marler of Behringer Harvard,, +1-469-341-2312, or Jodi Phillip of Richards Partners for Behringer Harvard,, +1-214-891-5883

Arbor Closes $21.2M West Virginia University Student Housing Loan

UNIONDALE, NY (Jan. 9, 2012) - Arbor Commercial Funding, LLC (“Arbor”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Arbor Commercial Mortgage, LLC and a national, direct commercial real estate lender, announced the recent funding of a $21,250,000 refinance loan under the Fannie Mae DUS® Dedicated Student Housing product line for The Lofts Apartments (top left photo) in Morgantown, WV.

The 10-year loan for the 218-unit complex amortizes on a 30-year schedule.

 Servicing the student population of West Virginia University, The Lofts Apartments were constructed in 2010 by an experienced student housing real estate owner and contain 648 beds within its 218 units.

The property is currently 96-percent-occupied on a per-bed basis and features an outdoor pool, a hot tub, a campus shuttle, a fitness center, a game room, three tanning beds, a movie theater, a dog park and a community building.

The fully-furnished units offer such standard amenities as patios, fireplaces, dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, air conditioning, stainless-steel appliances and granite countertops. West Virginia University’s total student enrollment is 28,898.

 The loan was originated by John Kelly (middle right photo), Vice President, in Arbor’s full-service Boston, MA, office.

 “This deal demonstrates Arbor and Fannie Mae’s commitment to providing the best available financing terms within the student housing market,” Kelly said.

“The property’s owner and developer did an outstanding job building this asset in a university community that has a need for more off-campus housing units. The management has done an excellent job in all facets of the day-to-day operations. We look forward to continuing to actively finance student housing communities across the country.”

Contact:  Christopher Ostrowski,

Voit Reports Highest Positive Office Space Absorption in Single Quarter Since 2007 in Orange County, CA Office Market

Orange County, CA  Jan. 9, 2012 - In the fourth quarter of 2011, the Orange County office market displayed positive net absorption for the sixth consecutive quarter, posting 819,510 square feet – the most occupation of space since the first quarter of 2007, according to the Fourth Quarter Market Report from Voit Real Estate Services.

 In addition, activity volume reached its highest level since 2006, and both vacancy and availability decreased from the previous quarter.

 “In 2011, the Orange County office market posted a total of 2.55 million square feet of positive absorption, making this the longest trend of its kind since 2006,” said Jerry Holdner (top right photo), Vice President of Market Research at Voit.  “This steady growth indicates that the office market is continuing its recovery and we expect the market will continue to improve with anticipated job growth.”

 Employment expansion will be led by professional services businesses, healthcare, and research-oriented businesses such as medical, IT and alternative-energy companies, according to Holdner.

 Increasing Demand Drives Activity Volume; Lease Rates Will Increase in 2012

 In 2011, leasing activity checked in at 10.7 million square feet, a slight increase over 2010.  Sales activity for 2011 also improved, with the market posting 2.6 million square feet of activity compared to 2010's 1.9 million square feet of sales transactions. 

 “We are beginning to see an overall increase in investment sales activity, and we foresee a continued increase in this activity in the coming quarters as lenders dispose of distressed assets without fear of fire-sale pricing,” commented Holdner. 

 “We also anticipate an increase in leasing activity as many short-term deals come up for renewal.”

 According to Voit, the increase in activity will begin to push lease rates up.  The average asking full-service gross (FSG) lease rate per month per square foot in the Orange County office market was $1.93 at the end of 2011, reflecting a 3 percent decrease from the previous year's rate of $1.99, but only a one-cent drop from the $1.94 rate seen in Q3 2011.

  “While lease rates decreased year over year, it is important to note that the average asking lease rate dropped only one cent from the previous quarter, indicating that the downward trend of lease rates may be near an end,” said Holdner.  “We are forecasting that lease rates will firm up in the early part of 2012 and will begin to increase in the second half of this year.”

 Occupancy is Up in Orange County’s Office Market

 The Orange County office market ended 2011 with low vacancy and availability.  Direct/sublease, unoccupied space finished the year at 14.97 percent, a decrease from both 2011’s third quarter rate of 15.6 percent and the market high of 23 percent recorded in 1990.

 “Occupancy has significantly improved since the Great-Recession peak of nearly 18 percent vacancy in Q2 of 2010, and we predict vacancy will continue its downward trend in 2012, ending the year at around 13.8 percent,” said Holdner.

 Availability also decreased in Q4 of 2011, with all space being marketed (including direct, sublet, and occupied) at 19.44 percent - a decrease when compared to 2010's fourth quarter rate of 21 percent and slightly lower than the 2011’s third quarter rate of 19.82 percent.

 The Q4 report indicates improvement in all areas of Orange County’s office market, according to Holdner, and the market recovery should continue as job creation increases and consumer confidence stabilizes.

Judith Brower
Brower, Miller & Cole
(949) 955-7940

Griffin-American Healthcare REIT II Completes Successful Transition

 NEWPORT BEACH, CA(Jan. 9, 2012) – Griffin-American Healthcare REIT II (formerly known as Grubb & Ellis Healthcare REIT II) announced today that it has successfully completed the transition of its advisory and dealer manager agreements from Grubb & Ellis Company and its affiliates to co-sponsorship by American Healthcare Investors and Griffin Capital Corporation. 
 The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission declared the REIT’s post-effective amendment to its registration statement, which includes a new prospectus, effective on Jan. 6, 2012.    

 Griffin Capital Securities, which received a “no objections” letter from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) on Dec. 30, 2011, has assumed its responsibilities as the new dealer manager for the REIT’s uninterrupted public offering. 

“We are very excited to serve as co-sponsor and dealer manager for Griffin-American Healthcare REIT II,” stated Kevin Shields (top right photo), chief executive officer of Griffin Capital Securities and Griffin Capital Corporation.  “The institutional mindset and investor-first philosophy we share with American Healthcare Investors and the REIT’s board of directors makes this an ideal partnership that I am confident will drive the performance of the REIT to even greater heights.”

 The REIT’s executive management team, led since its inception by chairman and chief executive officer Jeff Hanson (middle left photo) and president and chief operating officer Danny Prosky (middle right photo), remains unchanged, as does its board of directors.

“We are genuinely humbled by the broad-based and resounding support we’ve received from our stockholders, independent broker-dealer partners and their registered representatives through a necessary transition,” said Hanson.  “Griffin-American Healthcare REIT II remains the REIT they know, managed by the people they trust, delivering the performance they expect and deserve.”

 Prosky added, “With the successful conclusion of our transition, we are completely focused on the expansion of our portfolio of clinical healthcare real estate and positioning the company for a successful liquidity event for our stockholders in the future.”

On Nov. 7, 2011, Los Angeles-based Griffin Capital Corporation was selected, along with American Healthcare Investors, to serve as co-sponsor of Grubb & Ellis Healthcare REIT II by the independent members of its board of directors.  Griffin Capital Securities was selected to serve as the dealer manager of the REIT’s offering.  As a result, on Jan. 3, 2012, the REIT was renamed Griffin-American Healthcare REIT II.

To date, the REIT has made geographically diverse acquisitions comprised of 56 buildings valued at approximately $438.7 million, based on aggregate purchase price, with another $270 million of property acquisitions under contract. 

Once the pending acquisitions are completed, most of which are expected to close this month, the portfolio will total 73 buildings valued at nearly $710 million, based on purchase price, representing 266 percent growth in the portfolio since the beginning of 2011.

 As of Sept. 30, 2011, the company's property portfolio was 97 percent leased with a weighted average remaining lease term of approximately ten years and leverage of 25.6 percent.

 Griffin-American Healthcare REIT II has sold approximately 47,385,380 shares of its common stock, excluding the shares issued under its distribution reinvestment plan, for approximately $472,855,000 through its initial public offering, as of Dec. 23, 2011.

For more information regarding Griffin-American Healthcare REIT II, please visit

For more information regarding American Healthcare Investors, please visit

 Contact:  Damon Elder ,, (949) 270-9207