Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fitch: iStar Facing Inevitable Default; IDR Downgraded to ‘C’

NEW YORK, NY–29  Sept. 29,  2010:  Absent a significant improvement in commercial  real  estate fundamentals which would result in iStar Financial
Inc. (iStar) 
receiving  a  substantial amount of loan repayments from its borrowers, it is inevitable that the company will need to effect a coercive debt  exchange  (CDE) with its second lien noteholders to avoid bankruptcy,
according to Fitch Ratings.

A CDE is considered a default as outlined in Fitch’s global criteria report
'Coercive Debt Exchange Criteria', published on March 3, 2009. In response,
Fitch  has  downgraded  iStar’s  Issuer  Default  Rating  (IDR) and certain
outstanding debt ratings.

For a complete copy of Fitch Ratings' news release and its ranking of iStar, please contact:

Primary Analyst
Steven Marks
Managing Director
Fitch, Inc.
One State Street Plaza
New York, NY 10004

$15 Million Multifamily Asset Trades in Miami

MIAMI, Sept. 29, 2010 – Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, has brokered the sale of Palm Lake Apartments, (top left photo)  a 300-unit, 211,500-square foot multifamily property in Miami. The sales price of $15 million represents $50,000 per unit and $71 per square foot.

            Still Hunter III, (middle right photo) a senior vice president investments, and Evan P. Kristol (lower left photo), also a senior vice president investments, in the firm’s Fort Lauderdale office, exclusively represented the seller, an entity controlled by The Related Group.
Hunter and Kristol also represented the San Francisco-based buyer, The Reliant Group.
            “The property was unique due to an annual U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Program housing assistance payment (HAP) contract for the elderly and disabled in place at the time of the sale, which created significant value,” says Kristol.
“There are very few remaining HAP contracts and even fewer on larger assets like this one in South Florida.”
            The property is located at the corner of NW 27th Avenue and NW 115th Street in unincorporated Miami-Dade County. The community is accessed by a gated entrance on NW 27th Avenue, a heavily trafficked north/south corridor. The north campus of Miami Dade College is directly across the street from the property and the 180-acre, 18-hole Westview Country Club golf course borders the property to the east.
            Built in 1967, Palm Lake Apartments features 220 one-bedroom/one-bath units, 40 two-bedroom/one-bath units and 40 two-bedroom/two-bath units.
Contact: Stacey Corso
Public Relations Manager
(925) 953-1716

Cohen Commercial Properties Announces the Acquisition of Former McRae's Department Store in Birmingham, AL

NEW YORK, NY /PRNewswire/ -- Cohen Commercial Properties is pleased to announce that its affiliate, American Commercial Realty, has purchased a 64,000 square foot former McRae's Department Store (top left photo) located in Birmingham, Alabama.

The non-contingent contract had a firm closing date of 30 days from contract signing and American Commercial Properties closed with cash.

The former McRae's (a division of Saks) is a 64,000 square feet free standing building with two floors of retail. The store is located in Roebuck Marketplace (middle right photo) in a 167,140 square foot community shopping center shadow anchored by Super Wal-Mart.

Roebuck Marketplace is a true community shopping center currently owned by an affiliate of Cohen Commercial Properties and managed by American Commercial Realty.

 Formerly anchored by Winn Dixie and Goody's, the center has been re-tenanted by Cititrends, It's Fashion Metro, and Rainbow Shops.

In addition, a full redevelopment is planned for the shopping center including the addition of several outparcels in addition to the renovation of the former McRae's.

Cohen Commercial Properties has owned the Roebuck Marketplace shopping center since 2004 and has been actively repositioning the property with the continual growth spurred by the Super Wal-Mart traffic to the area.

 The center is going through a renaissance has seen tremendous leasing interest in the retailing of soft goods and now hard goods in the center.

Cohen Commercial Properties, with its affiliates, Cohen Asset Advisory, LLC and American Commercial Realty Corp., own and operate properties throughout the United States.

For further information, please contact
Arun Singh, Acquisitions Director, 212.803.5781,

Arbor Closes $4,800,000 Fannie Mae DUS® Loan for Pastorius Court Apartments in Philadelphia, PA

Uniondale, NY (Sept. 29, 2010) - Arbor Commercial Funding, LLC (“Arbor”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Arbor Commercial Mortgage, LLC, announced the recent funding of a $4,800,000 loan under the Fannie Mae DUS® product line for the 42-unit complex known as Pastorius Court Apartments (top left photo) in Philadelphia, PA. The 10-year loan amortizes on a 30-year schedule.

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

“Arbor was pleased to provide permanent financing for this project,” Kelly said. “Our client had finished a major renovation, exceeded lease-up expectations and the asset is positioned for long-term success. We look forward to growing this financial partnership with this repeat client.”

Contact:  Christopher Ostrowski,

NAI Realvest Negotiates $425,000 Acquisition of Professional Office in Downtown Orlando Area

MAITLAND, FL – NAI Realvest recently negotiated the acquisition of a 2,445 square foot medical/professional building on a .32-acre site at 1517 E. Robinson Street in the downtown Orlando area.

The NAI Realvest team of Kevin O'Connor (top right photo), Matt Cichocki, (bottom left photo) principals and associate Faith Thompson negotiated the transaction representing the buyer, Degas Holdings, LLC of Winter Park.

The property will be used as a doctor’s office.

The seller, Orlando-based Thomas Osborne & Associates, PA, was represented by Sherri Dyer of Kelly Price & Company.  

For more information, contact:
Matt Cichocki,  NAI Realvest, 407-875-9989,
Kevin O’Connor,  NAI Realvest, 407-875-9989,
Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142

Concord Hospitality Enterprises Adds Record 18 Hotels to Portfolio Year-to-date

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 29, 2010—Concord Hospitality Enterprises, one of the nation’s top-ranked hotel developer/owner/operators, today announced it has signed contracts to manage a record 18 hotels year to date and is fast approaching its goal of being ranked one of the 10 largest U.S. hotel management companies.  The company’s portfolio now exceeds 75 hotels.

“Our rapid, but planned, expansion reflects our three-pronged growth strategy, which includes pure third-party management, joint-ventures and wholly owned acquisitions and development,” said Mark G. Laport (top right photo), president and CEO of Concord Hospitality. 

“We are fortunate to have the financing and relationships to continue to grow aggressively, despite the downturn.  With an improving outlook, we believe our diversified platform will continue to generate significant growth.”

Laport said the company will continue expanding its full-service hotel portfolio, noting that 30 percent of the company’s rooms growth during this recent period of expansion has been in the full-service segment. 

 In 2010, Concord also added two new brand families, Hyatt and Sheraton, to its existing portfolio of Marriott, Hilton and InterContinental hotel brand groups. 

 “With more than 75 properties in the U.S. and Canada, we are geographically diversified and of a size that offers owners the benefits of extensive economies of scale, proprietary systems and management depth,” he said. 

The company has opened four new built hotels this year and has five properties under development, including the first LEED-Certified Courtyard by Marriott (middle left photo), which will open in Pittsburgh next week.  The design will be the “green” prototype for all future Courtyards.  The company has committed to developing only LEED-Certified properties for all future ground-up development projects. 

Joint Venture Investment
Concord has established relationships with several investor and ownership groups to expand its investment and joint venture activity.  “We continue to partner with organizations that share our values of quality, integrity, community and profitability,” he noted.  “Different groups have different criteria and needs, which translates into a diverse mix and timetable for ownership.  We established a number of new relationships this year and look forward to creating new ones.”

Third-party Management
Third-party management now accounts for approximately 60 percent of the company’s overall portfolio, with the remaining properties either joint ventures or wholly owned properties.    “We always will co-invest because we believe in the benefits of ownership.  However, as we grow, third-party management as a percentage of our business will probably expand at a faster rate,” he said.


Looking at the remainder of the year, Laport said the company has a very active pipeline in all of its growth avenues.  “Development has slowed somewhat, with financing hard to come by and the economy still sluggish, but we are finding great locations,” he said, noting a recent announcement to develop a Springhill Suites by Marriott in Latrobe, Pa., in a joint venture with golfing legend Arnold Palmer (bottom left photo). 

 “Construction and land costs both are noticeably lower, helping some projects get off the drawing board.” 

Contact:  Chris Daly, Jerry Daly, Daly Gray Public Relations, (703) 435-6293

Arbor Closes Two NYC Fannie Mae DUS® Small Loans Totaling $4.2 Million

Uniondale, NY (Sept. 29, 2010) - Arbor Commercial Funding, LLC (“Arbor”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Arbor Commercial Mortgage, LLC, announced the recent funding of two (2) loans under the Fannie Mae DUS® Small Loan product line. These loans include:

  • 95-101 St. Marks Place Apartments (top left photo), New York, NY – The 83-unit complex received $3,000,000 funded under the Fannie Mae DUS® Small Loan product line. The five-year loan amortizes on a 30-year schedule.

  • 539 West 49th Street, New York, NY (Lower right photo) – The 20-unit complex received $1,200,000 funded under the Fannie Mae DUS® Small Loan product line. The five-year loan amortizes on a 30-year schedule.

The loans were originated by Edward Petti, Director, in Arbor’s full-service New York, NY, lending office.

“These two loans were part of a three-loan portfolio that we closed. The other property is known as Haven Avenue,” Petti said.

 “These were all refinancings where the borrower reduced the existing rates significantly by going with our interest-only products.”

Contact:  Christopher Ostrowski,

Grubb & Ellis Names Michael Edward Managing Director of Boston Office

 SANTA ANA, Calif. (Sept. 29, 2010) – Grubb & Ellis Company (NYSE: GBE), a leading real estate services and investment firm, today announced that commercial real estate veteran Michael Edward (top right photo), SIOR, will assume the role of executive vice president and managing director of the company’s Boston office, effective immediately. 

In this role, he will be responsible for the company’s Real Estate Services operations in the Boston area. 

“Mike is a great fit for us because of his reputation in the industry, deep relationships and demonstrated success in leadership roles,” said Shawn Mobley (lower left photo), president, Brokerage Services.  “Boston is a tremendously important growth market for Grubb & Ellis, and I’m confident that the experience, dedication to client service and integrity Mike brings to the table will help us build a better foundation for that growth.”

Edward, 50, has 28 years of commercial real estate experience and was most recently senior vice president with Lincoln Property Company, where he headed the company’s Boston brokerage operation since 2008. 

 During this time, the office secured 1.5 million square feet of additional agency leasing assignments and had success in strategically recruiting leading professionals to expand Lincoln Property Company’s presence in key submarkets. 

 Previously, Edward was a senior vice president and shareholder with Colliers Meredith & Grew for 14 years, where he focused on agency leasing in the CBD.  Prior to joining Colliers Meredith & Grew in 1994, he spent 12 years with several Boston-based boutique real estate brokerage firms. 

Contacts:         Janice McDill                                                  Erin Mays
Phone:             312.696.6707                                                  312.698.6735

HFF retained by Walton Street Capital L.L.C. to market for sale the Houston Galleria Office Towers

 HOUSTON, TX – The Houston office of HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) announced today that it has been retained to market for sale the Houston Galleria Office Towers (top left photo), three Class A office buildings totaling nearly 1.1 million square feet.

HFF senior managing director Robert Williamson (top right photo) will lead the marketing efforts on behalf of the seller, which is an affiliated entity of Walton Street Capital, L.L.C.  The portfolio is being offered without an asking price free and clear of debt.

The Galleria Office Towers are located at 2700 Post Oak Boulevard, 5051 Westheimer and 5065-5075 Westheimer close to Interstate 610 about five miles west of downtown Houston. 

 The properties are connected to the Houston Galleria,(lower left photo)  a mixed-used development that includes a mall with 2.3 million square feet of upscale retail, two Westin hotels and three office towers.

 Tenants at the 90% leased towers include Air Liquide, Southern Union, Merrill Lynch, Citigroup Global Markets, UBS, Banco Santander and BBVA Bancomer.

“This offering represents a unique opportunity to own part of a world-renowned Houston landmark that is one of the largest and most successful mixed-use projects in the country,” said Williamson. 

 “Development of the Galleria helped define what has become Houston’s largest and most prestigious suburban office submarket.”

Walton Street Capital, L.L.C. is a private equity real estate investment firm. Since its founding in 1994, affiliates of Walton Street Capital have received total equity commitments of $5.7 billion from public and corporate pension plans, foreign institutions, insurance companies and banks, endowments and foundations, trusts, and high net worth individuals.

Affiliates of Walton Street Capital have invested and/or committed to invest approximately $4.5 billion of equity in approximately 180 separate transactions.

Robert E. Williamson, HFF Senior Managing Director, (713) 852-3500,
Kristen M. Murphy, HFF Associate Director, Marketing, (713) 852-3500,

HFF arranges refinancing totaling $109 million on behalf of Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers

 BOSTON, MA – The Boston office of HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) has arranged refinancing totaling $109 million for two Class A multi-housing communities on behalf of Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers.

 The properties, Pacific Place Apartments (top left photo) and Glenview House Apartments, (bottom right photo) are respectively located in Los Angeles, California and Stamford, Connecticut.

HFF senior managing director Dana Brome (top right photo), director Tina Derderian (middle left photo) and senior real estate analyst Carlos Febres-Mazzei secured a five-year, fixed-rate loan through MetLife Real Estate Investments for the Los Angeles property.  Loan proceeds took out an existing construction loan on the property.

 Brome and Febres-Mazzei placed a floating-rate loan for Glenview House Apartments through Freddie Mac’s capped adjustable-rate mortgage program.  Loan proceeds are also refinancing a construction loan.  HFF will service the loan through their Freddie Mac Program Plus® Seller/Servicer program. 

Pacific Place Apartments is located at 5211 Pacific Concourse Drive in the Del Aire neighborhood of Los Angeles, close to Los Angeles International Airport, Interstates 405 and 105 and Pacific Beach. 

 Completed in 2008, the 96% leased property has two, four-story buildings with 430 studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units averaging 900 square feet each. 

Community amenities include two swimming pools, barbeque pits, a fitness center, business center, media center, clubhouse, lounge and underground parking.

Located at 25 Glenbrook Road, Glenview House Apartments is within walking distance of Stamford’s central business district and close to mass transit via the New York MTA Metronorth railway, Amtrak and Interstate 95.

 The four-story property was completed in 2008 and has 146 residential units (14 are below market-rate) and 14,820 square feet of ground-floor retail space that is leased to Walgreens. 

 Glenview House Apartment is 99% occupied.  Residents have access to amenities including a business center, fitness center and resort-style pool.

Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers had over (US) $30 billion in assets managed or serviced as of June 30, 2010, and is one of the world’s largest global real estate investment organizations with capabilities in public and private debt and equity.

Dana e. Brome, HFF Senior Managing Director, (617) 338-0990,
                                                                                                                        Kristen M. Murphy, Associate Director, Marketing, (713) 852-3500,            

Chatham Lodging Announces First Dividend

PALM BEACH, Fla., Sept. 29, 2010—Chatham Lodging Trust (NYSE: CLDT), a hotel real estate investment trust (REIT) focused on upscale extended-stay hotels and premium branded select-service hotels, today announced that its board of trustees has declared a common share dividend of $0.175 for the 2010 third quarter. 

Based on the company’s $20 IPO price in April and the closing price of the common shares at the close of business on September 28, the annualized dividend represents a yield of approximately 3.5 percent and 4.0 percent, respectively.

“As expected, our current hotels are producing sustainable cash flow that gives our Board of Trustees the confidence to start paying a dividend five months after our IPO,” said Jeffrey H. Fisher (top right photo), Chatham’s chief executive officer. 

 “We are on schedule to close on our $85 million line of credit and complete our 12th and 13th acquisitions, and our pipeline remains very active as we continue to source attractive opportunities.”

The common dividend is payable October 29, 2010, to shareholders of record on October 15, 2010.

Jerry Daly, Carol McCune,  Daly Gray Public Relations, (Media) (703) 435-6293                                                                                                            Dennis Craven, Chief Financial Officer (Company) (561) 227-1386