Thursday, September 16, 2010

Westin Hotels & Resorts Expands Its Footprint in India

NEW DELHI, INDIA (Sept. 16, 2010) – Westin Hotels and Resorts announced today that The Westin Gurgaon (top left photo), New Delhi will open in October 2010. 
The Westin Gurgaon will be the fifth Westin property in India, a key geographic region of Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ (Westin’s parent company) expansion efforts. 
The hotel giant recently introduced the Westin brand in India and now operates four hotels:  The Westin Mumbai Garden City, The Westin Pune Koregaon Park, The Westin Hyderabad Mindspace, and The Westin Sohna Resort & Spa.  The opening of the new Westin in Gurgaon will further strengthen the Westin brand’s presence and meeting capabilities in India. 

“India plays an integral role in the expansion of the Westin brand, and Gurgaon is an important emerging economic hub for India,” said Don Elliot, Regional Vice President of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, India, Bangladesh and the Maldives. 
 “The downtown location of this Westin hotel, along with the refreshing Westin guest experiences and programs that it will offer, will make it a perfect venue for leisure and business,” added Elliot
Situated in the heart of downtown’s commercial offices, convention centers, dining and shopping, and near New Delhi International Airport (middle right photo), The Westin Gurgaon, New Delhi ( is a calming oasis where distinguished Indian hospitality will renew and refine the senses. 

(New Delhi skyline lower left photo)

 The hotel features 313 spacious and thoughtfully appointed guest rooms and suites, 1,360 square meters of indoor meeting space, including a ballroom with the highest ceiling in the region, 820 square meters of garden space as well as six meeting rooms with natural light.

The Westin Gurgaon, New Delhi offers guests access to ultimate pampering at the Heavenly Spa by Westin™, as well as to the WestinWORKOUT® Gym where they can recharge.

 For more information, please visit

Media contacts:  Hwee Peng Yeo or Colleen Gallagher at Glodow Nead Communications, (415) 394-6500 or

InformationWeek Ranks Marcus & Millichap Among Top 100 Companies in the U.S.

ENCINO, CA– Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, has ranked No. 62 in InformationWeek magazine’s annual survey of firms offering innovative technology programs.

 This is the fifth consecutive year that Marcus & Millichap has earned a spot in the InfoWeek 500 ranking, and the first time it has appeared in the top 100 for its technology programs, which serve more than 1,200 commercial real estate agents and their private and institutional investor clients nationwide.

 Marcus & Millichap also secured a spot as the highest-ranking real estate services firm in this year’s survey.
“Marcus & Millichap has repeatedly been recognized for its pioneering technology platform, which has revolutionized the real estate brokerage industry,” says Richard Peltz (top right photo), senior vice president and chief information officer. “Our Information Services Department has dedicated all of its tools and resources to better serving our clients and supporting our investment professionals.

“It is an honor to once again be included in this ranking by InformationWeek,” adds Peltz. “Earning a place among the nation’s elite technology firms for the past five years demonstrates our commitment to developing and implementing innovative technology that has significantly improved the way the real estate investment community conducts business.”  
            InformationWeek recognized several new programs implemented by Marcus & Millichap, including a  property search program that offers more than 3.3 million properties for its agents to search for listings, new inventory, comparables and closed transactions; an extensive mapping program for its proprietary property database system, MNet; an initiative that brought together internal and external data to improve analytics on sales, rents, occupancies, pricing and other factors; and its Market Feedback Report, which provides real-time information to agents about their property listings.  
Two of the firm’s green initiatives were cited: Liaison, which is a secured Internet-collaborative environment for sharing documents related to a real estate transaction; agent profile pages that give an electronic snapshot of each agent online to both build their individual brands and bolster the firm’s overall brand; and MarketShare analytics, a system for management to analyze the status of agents in the market and assist them in strategizing for success.

Marcus & Millichap was also recognized for its success in rolling out new technology to create a new division in the company – Institutional Property Advisors (IPA), a specialty group that focuses exclusively on institutional multifamily transactions of $20 million and above.
 The technological improvements included creating new marketing templates for these high-profile properties. In addition, the firm’s new CRM system is now integrated with the IPA website to provide instant updates on client interaction, including preferences, property interests, assignments and relationship status.

Press Contact: Stacey Corso
Communications Department
(925) 953-1716

Colliers International Directs Office Sales Totaling $4.1 Million in Agoura Hills, Calif.

Agoura Hills, Calif., Sept. 16, 2010Colliers International, the second largest real estate services organization globally, has directed the sale of two office buildings totaling 24,838 square feet in Agoura Hills, Calif., for a combined $4.1 million.

In the first transaction, Agoura Hills-based Aspen Environmental Group, an environmental consulting firm, purchased a 14,000-square-foot office building located at 5020 Chesebro Rd., (top left photo) Bldg. 8 in Agoura Hills for $2.3 million.

Jeff Albee, (top right photo)  senior vice president, and Jeff Gould (middle left photo), senior associate, both in Colliers’ Encino office, represented the buyer in the transaction. The seller WA Real Estate LLC, was represented by Andrew Harper and Michael Ross of Grubb & Ellis. 
“The property was recently foreclosed on and bank owned at the time of sale. Qualified buyers can find some great opportunities in today’s market,” said Albee.
In the second transaction, Woodlands Hills, Calif.-based Global Marketing Partners, a distributor and incubator of emerging technology vendors, purchased a 10,838-square-foot office building located at 28038 Dorothy Dr. in Agoura Hills for $1.8 million.
Albee and Gould, along with Chris Itule (lower right photo), senior associate in Colliers’ Encino office, represented the seller, Robert Meyerson Co. Trust, in the transaction. The buyer was represented by Rick Dearson of Cresa Partners.
“Our marketing efforts generated multiple offers for this property, resulting in a sale price of $166 per square foot,” said Gould.
A key driver for the buyers of both properties was the available financing from the Small Business Administration (SBA), according to Gould. Each of the buyers secured 90 percent financing with low interest rates from the SBA.
Megan Morales
Marketing & PR Coordinator
949 724 5537

The Sustainable City---It’s Not Utopia, but It Could Be One Day!

ORLANDO, Fla. --- For more than twenty years, Orlando economist David Marks (top right photo)  has studied the evolution of towns and cities in the U.S. and Europe. As a president of Marketplace Advisors, Inc., and community development consultant, Marks uses what he has learned to help create sustainable town centers in new communities and urban redevelopment projects.

But Marks is thinking beyond town centers. He’s writing a book to teach planners and elected officials how to create better urban communities. And he wants to expand the definition of “sustainable.”
“Typically, we use the term ‘sustainable’ to refer to energy usage. But successful communities provide residents a lot more than efficient allocation of resources,” Marks said.
(Park Avenue, Winter Park, FL, middle left photo)
The sustainable community meets three fundamental challenges, Marks said.
“It helps bring young people to maturity. It helps integrate them into the society in which they will live as adults. And it helps orient them into the greater environment,” he explained.
It’s not coincidental that those same three challenges constitute the dominant goals of religion and family life, and should drive domestic policy, Marks said.
“Today we can analyze the attributes that constitute a sustainable urban environment,” Marks explained. “We can plan them and build them. We can create sustainable urban communities based on what we have found in historically sustainable urban centers,” he said.
Size, for example. “Sustainable communities in our society should encompass 100,000 to 150,000 people,” Marks said. “With that population, economics of scale permit valuable amenities that enrich the human experience, from healthcare centers to movie theaters, parks and recreational spaces,” he said.
Density is another target. “Population density is a major key to a successful, sustainable urban environment,” Marks said.
(Prague skyline middle right photo)
“Ideal density is great enough to accommodate social interaction without extensive use of personal automobiles,” Marks said. “That doesn’t mean we have to give up our cars, but in the best communities there are convenient alternatives to reach the supermarket or the theater---they have a pedestrian centered street layout, for example, and biking paths, a shuttle or a subway,” he said.
Marks has analyzed successful urban communities in dozens of places from Prague to Seattle to Winter Park, but only the parts. So far the whole package---the sustainable city---exists only on paper. Marks is writing a book on sustainable urban environments he expects to finish this year.
“Successful urban environments developed organically over generations and reflect a wide range of historical influences, from geography to culture to building technology to economic eras,” Marks said.
“Farm towns, fishing villages, desert communities and old world European cities all have common attributes that make them sustainable long past the era when stone walls held back invading armies or families lined the wharfs to welcome home the whale fleet,” Marks explained.
(Seattle, WA skyline lower left  photo)
“There is no utopia, but we cannot continue sprawl into the suburbs without severely hampering our essential social institutions---families, churches, schools---and destroying our environment,” Marks said.
“We can create better places to live and work that will better serve our needs to raise our children, integrate them into our society and orients us to the greater environment,” he said.

For more information, contact:  
David Marks, Marketplace Advisors, Inc., 407-599-0007,;  
Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, LV Communications, 407-644-4142    

Stirling Sotheby's Commercial Group negotiates 14 Downtown Orlando Leases and Sales in last 90 days valued at over $4 Million

ORLANDO, Fla. – Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty’s Commercial Group representatives James Mincy (top right photo)  and John Kurtz (bottom  left photo) negotiated 14 leases and sales valued at more than $4 million in the last 90 days in the downtown Orlando area.

Roger Soderstrom, founder and owner of Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty said Mincy and Kurtz handled 11 leases totaling more than 40,800 square feet for a dollar volume of $2.35 million. 

Mincy and Kurtz handled three sales of office condominiums totaling more than 16,500 square feet in the Plaza at
Orange Ave.
Church Street
. The sales totaled $1.72 million, Soderstrom said.  

The leases completed – the bulk of them in the Plaza building – include

·        Legacy Wellness Clinics, 2,448 square feet at
100 E. Pine St.
for five years;
·        Epoch Capital Group, 3,352 square feet,
189 S. Orange Ave
; three years; 
·        TDAK Group LLC, 4,296 square feet,
250 N. Orange Ave
; three years;
·        Centra Executive Offices, 6,460 square feet, Plaza, three years;
·        American Financial Lifeline, 3,931 square feet, 500 Delaney, three years;
·        Creative Zing, 1,974 square feet, Plaza, five years;
·        Solar Smart, 7,213 square feet,
250 N. Orange Ave.
, five years;
·        TransAmerican Financial, 1,930 square feet, 250 N. Orange, three years;
·        K Property Management, 2,995 square feet, Plaza, two years;
·        Edge Public Affairs, 3,637 square feet, 250 N. Orange, three years;
·        Croft Real Estate, 2,592 square foot office building at 522 E. Washington;

Sales in the Plaza building were
suite 1830-
1850 with 6,460 square feet for $108 psf to ACM DT Properties, LLC.  CNL Bank was the seller.

 The Plaza LLC was the seller in the sales of
suites 1120-
30 with 6,727 square feet that sold for $108 psf to ACM DT Properties LLC and
suite 1230
with 3,337 square feet which sold to Peninsula Development Corp. for $89 psf.

For more information, contact:
James A. Mincy or John Kurtz, Sales Associate, Stirling Commercial Group 407-581-5550
Roger Soderstrom, Owner/Founder Stirling Commercial Group, 407-581-7890;
Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142 

Creative Financing Solution Enabled Nursing Home Management Company to Purchase Under-performing Properties in Tight Credit Market

CHICAGO, IL--In the business of financing senior housing/healthcare properties, when the going gets tough, the tough get creative.

 Cambridge Realty Capital Companies Senior Vice President Brent Holman-Gomez (top right photo)  describes a scenario involving two under-performing nursing home properties in Southern Indiana.

The owner wanted to sell, and the company brought in to manage the properties under a consulting agreement, Transcendent Healthcare LLC of Fishers, IN, wanted to purchase the properties. 

 But it wasn't feasible for Transcendent to fund the transaction using conventional sources.

Holman-Gomez says Chicago-based Cambridge Investment and Finance Co., Cambridge’s investment and acquisition arm, was approached by Broker Chris Hyldahl (middle right photo) of Marcus and Millichap on behalf of Transcendent and the seller to see what might be worked out.

As part of a long-term strategy, two investor-funded entities agreed to purchase the real estate and enter into a lease agreement with Transcendent.

Under the new arrangement, the two investment entities agreed to lease the real estate to two separate limited liability companies, Transcendent Healthcare of Owensville and Transcendent Healthcare of Boonville. 

The understanding between the parties was that Transcendent would nurse the properties back to clinical and fiscal health and keep any profits made from operations above the rent.   By 2009, the properties had improved substantially. 

 With no new capital other than "sweat equity," the properties' performance allowed Transcendent to purchase the properties and obtain HUD-insured mortgages for both.

When the properties were refinanced earlier this year, Cambridge fulfilled the final end of the bargain by placing debt on the property that cost just as little as the original rental payments, Holman-Gomez noted.

"Effectively, the management company was able to move from lessee to a fee simple ownership position without seeing its real estate costs rise. And Transcendent’s fee simple ownership positions in the properties did not require the firm to make any new capital investment," he explained.

Evan Washington
Phone: (312) 521-7603
Fax: (312) 357-1611

Arbor Closes $1,570,000 Fannie Mae DUS® Small Loan for Sertoma Hills Apartments in Sioux Falls, SD

Uniondale, NY (Sept. 16, 2010) - Arbor Commercial Funding, LLC (“Arbor”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Arbor Commercial Mortgage, LLC, announced the recent funding of a $1,570,000 loan under the Fannie Mae DUS® Small Loan product line for the 48-unit complex known as Sertoma Hills Apartments (top left photo) in Sioux Falls, SD. The 10-year loan amortizes on a 30-year schedule.

The loan was originated by Anthony Tarter (lower right photo), Director, in Arbor’s full-service Dallas, TX, lending office.

“We were pleased to be able to provide financing for the borrower and this property, which is well-located within Sioux Falls, the fastest growing city in the Midwest and a growing regional hub for financial services, healthcare and retail,” Tarter said. “The property should benefit from the city’s continued growth.”

Contact:  Christopher Ostrowski,

Berger Commercial Realty Corp. Announces Three New Deals in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – Berger Commercial Realty Corp., a full service commercial real estate firm based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and serving clients around the state, announced three new deals from broker Steve Hyatt (top right photo)  in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

"We've seen a lot of activity this summer in apartment buildings with fewer than 30 units," said Hyatt. “In some cases, we’ve seen government entities form partnerships to purchase properties, and in other instances we’ve seen all-cash deals from foreign buyers.”

§  Hyatt acted as the sole broker on the $390,000 sale of the Overtown property, located at 1410 NW 1st Avenue in Miami, to buyer St. John Village 1410, LLC, from seller 1410 Holdings, LLC.

The 26-unit apartment building is located in the Overtown section of Miami. The property is being renovated by St. John Community Development Center in conjunction with The City of Miami under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the federally sponsored Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP).

§  Hyatt represented seller 421 Banks Road, LLC, in the sale of an eight-unit apartment building, located at 421 Banks Road in Margate, Fla., for $355,000 to buyer First Atlantic Ventures, LLC, represented by Racine Tan of Charles Rutenberg Realty.

§  Hyatt represented seller ECP Properties, Inc., in the $220,000 sale of a 20-unit apartment  building in Liberty City, located at 7136-7146 NW 14th Place, to buyer 7136  Building, LLC.

Contact:  Marielle Sologuren
Pierson Grant Public Relations
(954) 776-1999, ext. 226

August Home Foreclosures Up Again, Says New RealtyTrac Report

Jim Saccacio, Realty Trac, new foto.JPG
James J. Saccacio

They're playing the same old tune on the home foreclosure scene.  Filings are up and so are bank repossessions.

Irvine, CA-based RealtyTrac  released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for August 2010, which shows foreclosure filings -- default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions -- were reported on 338,836 properties in August, a 4 percent increase from the previous month but a 5 percent decrease from August 2009.housing units received a foreclosure filing during the month.

"The trend lines of decreasing default notices and increasing bank repossessions converged in August, with virtually the same number of new default notices and bank repossessions for the month -- a clear indication that the clogged foreclosure pipeline is being carefully managed on both ends by lenders and servicers," said James J. Saccacio, (top right photo) chief executive officer of RealtyTrac.

One in every 381 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing during the month.

"On the front end, seriously delinquent loans are rolling into foreclosure at an unusually slow rate, while on the back end the dammed-up inventory of properties already in foreclosure is moving to REO in steady stream rather than a flood -- presumably to prevent further erosion of home prices."

Foreclosure Activity by Type

A total of 96,469 U.S. properties received default notices (NOD, LIS) in August, a 1 percent decrease from the previous month and a 30 percent decrease from August 2009 -- the seventh straight month where default notices have decreased on a year-over-year basis. Default notices peaked in April 2009, when 142,064 were reported nationwide.

Default notices increased on a monthly basis in some states, counter to the national trend. Default notices in California increased on a month-over-month basis for the third month in a row, and New York, Indiana, Ohio and Florida also registered month-over-month increases in default notices.

Foreclosure actions (NTS, NFS) were scheduled for the first time on a total of 147,003 U.S. properties in August, a 9 percent increase from the previous month and a 2 percent increase from August 2009.

The August total for scheduled auctions was the second highest monthly total in the history of the report, which goes back to April 2005, and was 7 percent below the peak of 158,105 in March 2010.

Lenders foreclosed on 95,364 U.S. properties in August, the highest monthly total in the history of the report and about 2 percent higher than the previous peak of 93,777 bank repossessions (REOs) in May 2010. August REO activity increased 3 percent from the previous month and was up 25 percent from August 2009 -- the ninth straight month where REOs have increased on a year-over-year basis.

Nevada, Florida, Arizona post top state foreclosure rates in August

Nevada continued to document the nation's highest state foreclosure rate for the 44th straight month, with one in every 84 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing in August -- 4.5 times the national average. Nevada maintained the nation's highest state foreclosure rate despite a 25 percent year-over-year decrease in foreclosure activity in August -- the 11th straight month where Nevada foreclosure activity has decreased on a year-over-year basis.

Florida foreclosure activity decreased on a year-over-year basis for the fifth straight month in August, but the state's foreclosure rate still ranked second highest among all states. One in every 155 Florida housing units received a foreclosure filing in August -- 2.5 times the national average.

One in every 165 Arizona housing units received a foreclosure filing in August, the nation's third highest state foreclosure rate, and one in every 194 California housing units received a foreclosure filing in August, the nation's fourth highest state foreclosure rate.

One in every 220 Idaho housing units received a foreclosure filing in August, the nation's fifth highest state foreclosure rate. A total of 2,915 Idaho properties received a foreclosure filing in August, an increase of nearly 9 percent from the previous month and an increase of 11 percent from August 2009. Idaho was the only state with a top 5 foreclosure rate to document a year-over-year increase in foreclosure activity.

Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the top 10 in August were Utah, Georgia, Michigan, Illinois and Hawaii.

Five states account for more than 50 percent of national total.

California alone accounted for 20 percent of the national total in August, with 69,143 properties receiving a foreclosure filing during the month -- a 3 percent increase from the previous month but a 25 percent decrease from August 2009.

Florida accounted for nearly 17 percent of the national total, with 56,877 properties receiving a foreclosure filing -- a 10 percent increase from the previous month but a 9 percent decrease from August 2009. Florida default notices were down 46 percent from August 2009 but increased 2 percent from the previous month, ending five straight months of month-over-month decreases in Florida default notices.

Michigan, Illinois and Arizona each accounted for about 5 percent of the national total in August, with 17,764 Michigan properties receiving foreclosure filings, 16,808 Illinois properties receiving foreclosure filings, and 16,510 Arizona properties receiving foreclosure filings.

Other states with foreclosure activity totals among the nation's 10 highest in August were Georgia (16,366), Texas (14,290), Ohio (13,479), Nevada (13,385), and Washington (6,760).  

Metro foreclosure hotspots continue downward trend in all 10 metro areas with the nation's highest foreclosure rates in August. All posted year-over-year decreases in foreclosure activity for the second month in a row.
The Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev., metro area documented the highest foreclosure rate among metropolitan areas with a population of 200,000 or more, with one in every 73 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing, despite a 25 percent decrease in foreclosure activity from August 2009.

Foreclosure activity in Modesto, Calif., decreased 10 percent from August 2009, but the city still documented the nation's second highest metro foreclosure rate, with one in every 95 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing in August.

Six other California metro areas had foreclosure rates ranking among the top 10: Stockton at No. 3 (one in every 100 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing); Merced at No. 6 (one in 111); Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario at No. 7 (one in 113); Bakersfield at No. 8 (one in 120); Vallejo-Fairfield at No. 9 (one in 124); and Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville at No. 10 (one in 125).

Two Florida metro areas registered foreclosure rates among the top 10: Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., at No. 3, with one in every 104 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing; and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach at No. 5, with one in every 111 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing.

Linden Kohtz Garcia
735 Market Street 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103
415. 593.1400 ext. 216
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