Saturday, April 4, 2020

Class A mixed-use property in Metuchen, NJ trades for $29.6 million

The Hub at Metuchen is a Class A, transit-oriented mixed-use residential and retail property located
 in Metuchen, Middlesex County, New Jersey.

Jose Cruz

MORRISTOWN, N.J., March 23, 2020 – JLL Capital Markets announced today that it has completed the $29.6 million sale of The Hub at Metuchen, a Class A, transit-oriented mixed-use residential and retail property in Metuchen, Middlesex County, New Jersey.

JLL marketed the property exclusively on behalf of the seller, Renaissance Properties. A private buyer purchased the asset as part of a 1031 exchange requirement free and clear of existing financing.

The Hub at Metuchen is situated on 2.69 acres at 656-660 Middlesex Avenue in the heart of Metuchen’s transit village.

Steve Simonelli
 Located in central New Jersey, just off Interstate 287 and less than a 10-minute walk from the Metuchen train station, the property offers residents convenient access to all of the New York City metro’s major employment centers, including Manhattan in 45 minutes. 

Metuchen’s convenient access to transportation has led to a recent renaissance in the vibrant downtown, reflected by over 100,000 square feet of retail and 428 apartment units delivered since 2014 within a half-mile of the Metuchen Station.

Completed in 2018, The Hub at Metuchen consists of a mix of 79 luxury apartments averaging 899 square feet along with 11,203 square feet of retail and a total of 136 parking spaces. 

Michael Oliver
The property offers a luxurious amenity package, including a state-of-the-art fitness center with yoga room, resident lounge, bike storage and pet washing station. 

Units feature quartz countertops, wood cabinetry, designer tile, plank flooring, smart lock entry, and in-unit washers and dryers.

The JLL Capital Markets team representing the seller included Jose Cruz, Steve Simonelli, Michael Oliver, Kevin O’Hearn and Michael Kavanagh.

Kevin O’Hearn
“We are seeing transactions that represent good long-term opportunities in strong markets still closing given today’s current environment,” Cruz said.

JLL Capital Markets is a full-service global provider of capital solutions for real estate investors and occupiers.

 The firm's in-depth local market and global investor knowledge delivers the best-in-class solutions for clients — whether investment advisory, debt placement, equity placement or a recapitalization. 

The firm has more than 3,700 Capital Markets specialists worldwide with offices in nearly 50 countries.

 Michael Kavanagh
For more news, videos and research resources on JLL, please visit the firm’s U.S. media center Web page: U.S. newsroom.


 Olivia Hennessey
 JLL Senior Associate
 Public Relations  
Phone: +1 713 852 3403

Levin Johnston Completes Sales of Two Bay Area Multifamily Communities Via Strategic 1031 Exchange

1 Devonshire is a 15-unit multifamily property in the San Francisco Peninsula submarket of San Carlos, CA

BAY AREA, CA – Levin Johnston of Marcus and Millichap, one of the top multifamily brokerage teams in the U.S. specializing in wealth management through commercial real estate investments, recently sold two multifamily assets in the Bay Area:

Adam Levin
Leigh Court, an 18-unit multifamily community in San Jose, California and 1 Devonshire, a 15-unit multifamily property in the San Francisco Peninsula submarket of San Carlos, California.

With these sales, the brokerage team facilitated a strategic 1031 exchange on behalf of the investor who sold Leigh Court and acquired 1 Devonshire, according to Levin Johnston’s Executive Managing Director Adam Levin and Senior Managing Director Robert Johnston – who were both recently recognized by CoStar Group, Inc. as Power Broker Award recipients. 

“Demonstrating the strength of the irreplaceable San Jose location, we were able to quickly source a buyer for Leigh Court who met the seller’s price requirement,” explains Levin.

“The seller of the asset was then looking to acquire another Bay Area property that would offer immediate strong cashflow and growth potential with less hands-on management required.”

Robert Johnston
According to Johnston, the team recognized that the 1 Devonshire community, which had previously been marketed unsuccessfully by other brokers, would be an ideal asset for the investor to trade into as part of their 1031 exchange.

“We were able to procure the investor we worked with to sell Leigh Court as the buyer of the San Carlos community, which had recently undergone strategic interior and exterior improvements to increase its value,” Johnston continues.

“The buyer in this transaction recognized the long-term potential in 1 Devonshire, and we were ultimately able to satisfy both parties’ investment objectives.”

San Carlos is located in the heart of San Francisco Bay Area and is known for its high quality of living. Situated near the nation’s top tech employers and lively community, 1 Devonshire is a trophy asset that will attract Peninsula renters for years to come, notes Levin.


Alex Caswell / Elisabeth Manville 
Brower Group
(949) 438-6262

Friday, April 3, 2020

Home Prices Still Unaffordable in 66 Percent of Local Markets

Todd Teta

IRVINE, CA — ATTOM Data Solutions, curator of the nation’s premier property database and first property data provider of Data-as-a-Service (DaaS), released its first-quarter 2020 U.S. Home Affordability Report, which shows that median home prices in the first quarter of 2020 are unaffordable for average wage earners in 319 of 483, or 66 percent of the U.S. counties analyzed in the report.

 But that figure is down from 70.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019 and 69.8 percent from the first quarter of 2019.

The report also shows that owning a median-priced home in the first quarter of 2020 in the United States – costing $252,500 – consumes 31.1 percent of the national average wage.

That percentage is down from 31.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019 and 31.6 percent in the first quarter of 2019, to the lowest percentage since the fourth quarter of 2017, when the average workers were spending 30.8 percent of wages to own a home.

The report determined affordability for average wage earners by calculating the amount of income needed to make monthly house payments — including mortgage, property taxes and insurance — on a median-priced home, assuming a 3 percent down payment and a 28 percent maximum “front-end” debt-to-income ratio.

That required income was then compared to annualized average weekly wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Home affordability has inched ahead this year across the United States as buying a house or a condo gets closer and closer to the level where the average wage earner can swing the deal within standard lending guidelines," said Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM Data Solutions.

 "While the national median price still remains a bit out of reach for the average wage earner, the affordability gap has narrowed to the smallest point in more than two years.

“It seems bizarre that median home prices have risen 8 percent over the past 12 years while average wages grew by less than half that amount.

"But falling interest rates continue making up the difference, dropping monthly home ownership payments in a majority of the country.”

“All that may change in a huge way over the next few months as the impact of the coronavirus hits the housing market. We are entering a period of great uncertainty.

 “But in the initial months of the year, the picture has appeared to continue to brighten for home seekers.”

For a detailed analysis on a county-by-county level, please contact:

 Christine Stricker

Data and Report Licensing:


EverWest Enters Nashville, TN Industrial Market with Elm Pike Hill Building Acquisition

Mark Bigarel
NASHVILLE, TN (– Denver-based EverWest Real Estate Investors has cemented its entry into the Nashville industrial market with the purchase of a 169,855-square-foot infill building located at 640 Massman Dr., in the heart of the metro Nashville’s logistics supply chain.

Purchased in a $12 million off-market deal from a private owner, EverWest plans to renovate the fully vacant building with improvements that will maximize functionality and the building’s location within the sought-after Elm Pike Hill area.
With a vacancy rate of just 1.7 percent and trailing rent growth of more than 6.6 percent, this is one of Nashville’s most popular industrial neighborhoods, strategically positioned between downtown Nashville and the Nashville International Airport.
Todd Prevost of Avison Young represented EverWest in the acquisition.
“Nashville has been on our radar for quite a long time, but little industrial product is trading on the open market,” said EverWest Senior Vice President and Head of Acquisitions Mark Bigarel.
                   Todd Prevost
“We are thrilled to have identified this off-market opportunity and look forward to renovating and re-leasing this asset, which by most accounts is located in one of Nashville’s most sought-after industrial pockets.”
EverWest will renovate the 640 Massman Dr. building with improvements including new dock doors, energy-efficient LED lighting, exterior paint and transformation of approximately 5,000 square feet of office space into fully modernized interiors.

 It will also upgrade the parking and truck court areas with new asphalt.
Built in two phases between 1970 and 2000, the 640 Massman Dr. building sits on 11.45 acres just off of Elm Hill Pike. It features 20’ to 32’ clear heights, expansive parking and a separate parcel for trailer storage. It is minutes from Interstates 40 and 24, and the Nashville International Airport, within a highly strategic regional distribution hub.
The submarket is further strengthened by a low cost of doing business and robust new business attractions and expansions, including the Amazon HQ2 that alone will add approximately 5,000 new employees to the downtown market.

640 Mussman Drive,  Nashville, TN
EverWest will begin renovations at 640 Massman Dr. in the second quarter of 2020, with completion expected in the late third quarter of 2020.
EverWest is an active investor and lender across the United States, including regional activity in the Southeastern U.S. spanning industrial, office and multi-family product.
For more information on EverWest, please visit
For more information on GWL Realty Advisors, please visit
Stacey Hershauer

P 480.600.0195

Ware Malcomb Promotes Erica Godun to Director of Regional Operations for Northeast Region

Erica Godun

NEWARK, NJ– Ware Malcomb, an award-winning international design firm, today announced Erica Godun has been promoted to Director, Regional Operations for the Northeast region.
In this role, Godun oversees regional operations for the firm’s offices in Newark, N.J., Princeton, N.J. and New York, N.Y.
Godun joined Ware Malcomb in 2015 as Studio Manager, Interior Architecture and Design as part of the firm’s interiors practice in New Jersey.
She brings over 20 years of experience in all phases of interior architecture and design and construction to the Ware Malcomb team, and has worked on a wide range of projects including corporate office, government, and education. 
“Erica’s talent for design is matched by her extraordinary leadership and mentoring capabilities,” said Michael Bennett, Principal of Ware Malcomb’s Northeast region.
“With such a strong combination of design, leadership and business acumen, Erica is well-positioned to take on a new operational leadership role for Ware Malcomb's Northeast offices.

Michael Bennett
 "I’m confident her guidance will result in continued strong growth and the ongoing development of our teams within the region.”
Godun is based in Ware Malcomb’s Newark office, which recently expanded and relocated to a new, larger space located at 110 Edison Place, Suite 303 in the iconic Ironside Newark building.
The firm’s move to Newark was driven by the growth of its local employee and client base, as well as the opportunity to be closer to clients in a vibrant growth market.
For more information, please visit and view Ware Malcomb’s Brand Video at


Rachel Devany
VP Public Relations
 KCOMM for Ware Malcomb

Maureen Bissonnette
 Associate Principal, Marketing,

Diverse Team of Professionals with Combined Talents Join Regal | Christie’s International Real Estate

Daniela Galvao (right) and Marcelo Santos


ORLANDO, FL – Real Estate Professionals and Celebration residents Daniela Galvao and Marcelo Santos recently joined the sales staff at Regal | Christie’s International Real Estate with five Central Florida locations.

The luxury brokerage brought on the diversely talented team of professionals whose single focus for more than a decade has been assisting buyers and sellers of high-end real estate in Orlando’s hospitality corridor, according to Chris Christensen, Broker / Owner of Regal | Christie’s.  

 “Daniela and Marcelo have a unique combination of background and talent demonstrated by their track record of success in the luxury segment of the market – for both primary and secondary vacation homes – especially in Celebration, Dr. Phillips, Reunion , Windermere and Winter Garden,” Christensen said. 

Originally from Brazil , Galvao holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Modern Languages and is fluent in English Portuguese and Spanish.  She spent 11 years in the hospitality industry prior to becoming a real estate broker in 2009.

Chris Christensen
 Santos , with a Masters Degree in Finance and Capital Markets, has more than 16 years of experience in real estate sales and the construction industry including commercial transactions involving mixed-use projects and income properties.  He also holds the Accredited Buyers’ Representative (ABR) designation.

Regal | Christie’s International Real Estate hires the industry’s top performing agents to provide buyers and sellers of luxury real estate an unparalleled level of customer service.  

The Central Florida brokerage that closed over $248 Million in sales last year is the only Christie’s International affiliate in the region. The name has been instantly and internationally recognized as synonymous with quality and prestige and with a steadfast commitment to excellence.


Chris Christensen, Broker/Owner, Regal | Christie’s International Real Estate, 407-312-8003 or

Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications Inc.,
407-644-4142, 407-461-3781 or

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Cuningham Group Announces Completion of 26-story Luxury Multifamily Development in Northeast Minneapolis, MN

Rafter is a 283-unit luxury apartment community 
located at 333 Hennepin Avenue East  
in the Northeast submarket of Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis, MN – Cuningham Group, a global architectural design firm, has announced the completion of Rafter, a 283-unit luxury apartment community in the Northeast submarket of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Rafter is located at 333 Hennepin Avenue East in Minneapolis, Minnesota and features luxury, pet-friendly, studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartment floorplans, including penthouse options. A seven-story, 279-space attached parking structure serves both retail and Rafter residents.

Cuningham,which is headquartered in Minneapolis and has deep roots in the city, was retained by Mortenson Development in cooperation with US Bank to undertake the architecture, concept design, and interior design of the 26-story, 407,530 square-foot project, which also includes 6,000 square feet of retail space.

Stephanie Thompson

“The strategy behind this design was to deliver an aesthetic and amenities that today’s luxury apartment residents crave, while creating a feel and lifestyle that is distinctly Northeast Minneapolis,” says Cuningham Group Live Studio Leader Jeff SchoeneckAIA, NCARB, LEED® AP.

“Those who live in and frequent the area know its historic buildings, exceptional dining, and flourishing art scene – as well as the ‘rafters’ of wild turkeys that call it home.

Jeff Schoeneck
 "Every choice, from each element of the fa├žade design, to the interiors, to the property name – everything reflects the eclectic and unique attributes of this neighborhood.”  

According to Schoeneck, Cuningham’s concept centered on delivering a true ‘love letter’ to Northeast Minneapolis – a fresh, modern design that emulates and seamlessly integrates into the surrounding community, preserving significant elements of its industrial, working-class history.

Jeremiah Johnson, AIA, NCARB, Cuningham’s Lead Designer on the project, adds: “The Mortenson Development team was visionary in its approach to this project.

"Rather than developing an oasis that would differentiate the property from the more raw and artistic aspects of the neighborhood, Mortenson and the entire design team recognized an opportunity to craft Rafter as a place that echoes the existing Northeast Minneapolis community.”

Jeremiah Johnson
Inspired by numerous historical and industrial spaces, including the nearby General Mills elevators, Johnson explains that the Cuningham team created a simple, honest material palette to blend into the area’s unmistakable historical context and fit comfortably, even at its large scale.

“One significant strategy was the use of paneling to create a distinct look that fulfilled the developer’s request for a varied and active facade while keeping costs to a minimum,” says Johnson.

He explains that the property is integrated into the surrounding streetscape via brick base, and the tower’s exterior is a blend of white and textured charcoal concrete that creates a look reminiscent of modern ceramic arts.

“By using 15 different molds then rotating and shifting them across the building’s facade, our designers created a diverse, dynamic look that maximized variation while minimizing the number of forms required,” Johnson notes.

Ultimately, 442 precast cement panels totaling 540 tons were used to cover the building.

Keith Wyman
The property’s lobby boasts a metal screen wall designed by local artists and a striking reception desk crafted by Keith Wyman of Concrete Pig – comprised of welded steel, slabs of walnut, and black pigmented concrete – that is equal parts function and sculpture.

According to Cuningham’s Lead Interior Designer on the project Stephanie Thompson, NCIDQ, CID, LEED® Green Associate, Rafter’s interior spaces are also defined by a rich variety of materials – including rough, board-form textures on the ceiling; smooth, exposed concrete columns; and polished concrete floors.

A strategic use of warm wood tones helps balance the concrete, creating an environment that is simultaneously striking and welcoming.

“The restrained palette of high-contrast light and dark finishes is reminiscent of a gallery, which is intended to create moments that showcase local artists and craftspeople,” says Thompson.

 “It was important to our team and to all project stakeholders that Rafter reflect the neighborhood’s status as a vibrant artists’ community.

”We achieved this by designing and bringing to life an intimate, interconnected space that now highlights the local art showcased within it.”

Photographs, paintings, and sculptures by local artists are placed throughout Rafter’s shared spaces and on every floor.

Thompson notes that the Cuningham team also saw an opportunity to utilize the space as an ongoing, evolving celebration of the Northeast community’s thriving Arts District.

The project team hired two artists-in-residence, offering each a year lease in exchange for their art, while a shared makerspace allows all residents access to the neighborhood’s artistic spirit.


Elisabeth Manville / Jenn Quader
Brower Group
(949) 438-6262

Ware Malcomb Announces Promotions in its Three National Offices

Mary Grbic Cheval

IRVINE, CA  (April 1, 2020) – Ware Malcomb, an award-winning international design firm, today announced Mary Grbic Cheval has been promoted to Principal, Interior Architecture & Design in the firm’s Irvine, Calif.-based headquarters office.

Ware Malcomb also announced the promotion of Edward Mayer to Principal, Architecture in the firm’s Newark, New Jersey office and Jason Dooley to Principal in the Atlanta, Georgia office. 

 Edward Mayer ll
In her new role, Cheval is responsible for leading the growth and management of the Interior Architecture and Design Studio and overseeing all interiors projects for the Irvine office. 

Cheval joined Ware Malcomb in 2015 as Director, Interior Architecture & Design in Irvine. Since then she has successfully led the development and expansion of the interiors studio while establishing a strong leadership team. 

In addition, Cheval’s expertise and leadership in the area of Workplace Strategy helped to facilitate Ware Malcomb’s formal launch of this service as a core firm offering in 2018.

Kenneth Wink
“Mary’s top-notch design ability, combined with her excellent management and client relationship skills, have resulted in the continuous growth of the Interior Architecture and Design team and its portfolio of projects,” said Kenneth Wink, Chief Executive Officer of Ware Malcomb.

“We thank Mary for her numerous contributions to Ware Malcomb and look forward to her continued impact as Principal.”

Cheval brings over 30 years of industry experience and a wealth of interior architectural knowledge and management expertise to the Ware Malcomb team.

Jason Dooley 
She is well-versed in all facets of interior design, including workplace strategy, project management, space planning, consultant coordination, schematic design, design development, agency processing, contract documents and contract administration.

Her project leadership spans the commercial and corporate office, healthcare, science & technology, institutional, education, hospitality, retail and science & technology sectors. 

Cheval earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Architecture and Design at the University of Texas at Austin. She is a professional member of the International Interior Design Association and is a Certified Interior Designer. 

For more information, please visit and view Ware Malcomb’s Brand Video at


Rachel Devany
VP Public Relations
 KCOMM for Ware Malcomb

Maureen Bissonnette
 Associate Principal, Marketing, 
Ware Malcomb Irvine
10 Edelman
Irvine, CA 92618
p. 949.660.9128