Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Grubb & Ellis Company Announces Recent Transactions

ROSEMONT, IL. (Dec. 8, 2010) – Grubb & Ellis Company (NYSE: GBE), a leading real estate services and investment firm, today announced its Rosemont office recently completed the following transactions:

Barrymore LLC purchased a 105,400-square-foot industrial building at 2600 Washington Blvd., in Bellwood from DeNovo Rockford/Bellwood LLC.  Ryan Kehoe, Peter Block and Anne Arnold of Grubb & Ellis represented the seller.

Permatron Corporation purchased a 35,000-square-foot industrial building at 2020 Touhy Ave., in Elk Grove from the Hessler Family.  Brian Carroll and Sam Durkin of Grubb & Ellis represented the buyer. 

APA 73 Inc., leased 70,000 square feet of industrial space at 1106 Ellis St., in Bensenville from Mobile Equipment Warehousing Co.  Brian Carroll and Matthew Mulvihill of Grubb & Ellis facilitated the transaction on behalf of both parties. 

Doumak Inc., leased 50,000 square feet of industrial space at 1815 Landmeier Road in Elk Grove Village from ProLogis Trust.  Sam Durkin of Grubb & Ellis represented the lessee.

WEG Electric leased 49,500 square feet of industrial space at 2325 North Ave., in Melrose Park from TIAA-CREF.  Brian Carroll of Grubb & Ellis represented the lessee; Carroll, Ryan Kehoe and Matt Mulvihill of Grubb & Ellis represented the lessor.

Atlas SN Transportation leased 26,000 square feet of industrial space at 1901 Pratt Blvd., in Elk Grove from Hollander Holdings.  Brian Carroll and Sam Durkin of Grubb & Ellis facilitated the transaction on behalf of both parties.

K2 Express expanded its lease with KTR Capital Partners at 10801 Belmont in Franklin Park by 25,000 square feet to occupy a total of 66,000 square feet.  Brian Carroll of Grubb & Ellis represented the lessee.

Contact:  Erin Mays                                            
Phone:  312.698.6735                                       

Tenant Retention, Renewal is a cost effective development strategy

(Rachel Wein, AIA, heads WeinPlus Real Estate Advisory Services in St. Petersburg. A former development manager with the Sembler Company in St. Petersburg and senior associate with Ernst & Young’s Real Estate and Construction Advisory Services in Philadelphia, Wein earned her bachelor of design, master of architecture and master of science in real estate degrees from the University of Florida.)

 By Rachel Elias Wein

Tenant retention and lease renewal ranks as one of the most cost-effective development strategies a commercial property owner can implement.

Old-school landlords might smirk at such a claim, but for the new generation of professional property managers, property owners and advisors who will define Florida’s post-recession real estate market, tenant retention ranks at the top of the punch list.

The logic is irrefutable. In a buyer’s market, existing tenants can make or break a retail center, office building or industrial facility by relocating.

Recessionary budgets notwithstanding, most major tenants including anchor retailers, report substantial recruitment offers from competing properties.

A good tenant is a landlord’s unofficial operating partner. So long as a tenant’s business prospers, the landlord benefits. For savvy landlords today, “How can we help you succeed?” comes before “Where’s the rent check?”

Marketing costs associated with recruiting new tenants, coupled with the carrying cost of empty space and tenant improvement dollars amount to a fraction of the cost of retaining existing tenants. This assumes there is another tenant to recruit.

In this market, tenant turnover is costly.  Lost profits incurred during the turnover process can impact portfolio value to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.  The existence of vacant space significantly impacts the value of a retail property.

For many landlords, tenant retention is a simple matter of concessions. Certainly, concessions are a part of the mix of good tenant retention efforts, but the most valuable tenant retention efforts constitute minimal financial commitments.

The first and most important tenant retention task is contact. Good landlords maintain regular, ongoing contact with their tenants and structure those contacts to effect a positive outcome. Most tenants, including anchors, are struggling to meet their objectives in a recessionary economy.

Marketing efforts that generate traffic to a retail center can prove enormously valuable to a tenant—and generate strong tenant loyalty.  Typically, rent constitutes approximately 10 percent of a retailer’s sales.  A 10 percent sales increase—a realistic goal for a landlord-led marketing program—equates to free rent and a very happy tenant. 

Considering the economic impact of tenant retention on operating revenues and portfolio value, a review of leasing agent and property manager commission structures can incentivize tenant retention with dramatic results.

Above all, the most valuable tenant retention effort is contact.

Make the point obvious. And while you’re at it, ask the tenant, “What can I do to help you succeed?”

Contact:  Larry Vershel or Beth Payan,

Marcus & Millichap Names Marty Louie Chief Financial Officer

ENCINO, CA – Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, has promoted Marty Louie (top right photo) to chief financial officer, according to John J. Kerin (bottom left photo), president and chief executive officer of Marcus & Millichap.

Most recently, Louie was a first vice president with the firm.

Louie joined Marcus & Millichap as controller in 2003. Prior to joining the company, he served as a senior financial executive with worldwide responsibilities for several Fortune 500 companies including Sony, The Walt Disney Co., Infineon Technologies AG.

Louie graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a degree in economics and received his MBA in finance from the University of Southern California.

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

Robert P. Stephens Joins Grubb & Ellis as Vice President, Industrial Group

PHOENIX, AZ – Grubb & Ellis Company (NYSE: GBE), a leading real estate services and investment firm, today announced that Robert P. Stephens (top right photo)  has joined the company as vice president, Industrial Group. 

“Rob is an extremely knowledgeable professional whom I have known for many years. 

"He is a class act and is well-regarded in the marketplace as someone that people love to collaborate with,” said Pete Bolton (lower left photo), executive vice president and managing director of Grubb & Ellis’ Phoenix office. "I am thrilled to welcome him to Grubb & Ellis.”

Specializing in the representation of industrial tenants and landlords, Stephens joins Grubb & Ellis from Cushman & Wakefield, where he spent 15 years as a senior director.

Previously, he spent 10 years with CB Richard Ellis, where he began his career in 1985 and ultimately rose to the position of senior associate.

 During his 25-year career, Stephens has been involved in sale and lease transactions valued in excess of $225 million for a number of clients, including Federal Express, Airborne, ProLogis, First Industrial, RREEF, Catellus, Seefried Properties, Fuji USA, Nabisco, AIT Worldwide, AMEC and Crane Co.

  Stephens holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona.  He is a member of NAIOP, the Council of Logistics Management, Valley Partnership and the Arizona Interscholastic Association.  He has also served as a football referee for the Arizona Interscholastic Association for more than 25 years. 

 Contact: Julia McCartney, Phone: 714.975.2230,  

Thomas J. Swieca and Tony Archer Join Grubb & Ellis as Senior Vice Presidents, Retail Group

ONTARIO, CA – Grubb & Ellis Company (NYSE: GBE), a leading real estate services and investment firm, today announced that Thomas J. Swieca (top right photo) and Tony Archer (top left photo) have joined the company’s Retail Group as senior vice presidents. 

 Specializing in tenant representation and shopping center leasing and sales in the Riverside and San Bernardino counties, the team joins from CB Richard Ellis Inc., where they served as senior vice president and first vice president, respectively. 

As partners for more than 15 years, Swieca and Archer have represented both landlords and tenants in significant retail centers.

  Their experience includes deals with major retailers such as Target, Wal-Mart, The Home Depot, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Kohl’s, Best Buy and Chevron to name a few. 

 They currently represent The Home Depot, Stater Bros. Markets, 99 Cent Only Stores, CVS Drug Stores and O’Reilly Auto Parts.

 Landlords the team has represented include Forest City Development, Fritz Duda Company, Marketplace Properties, Peninsula Retail Partners, Colonies Crossroad Partners and KZ Holdings.

“Tom and Tony are high caliber real estate professionals whose expertise, experience and reputation as the top retail brokerage team in the Inland Empire will help build our market share in the sector,” said Dave Burback (lower right photo), executive vice president, managing director, Inland Empire.

Contact: Julia McCartney, Phone: 714.975.2230,  

HFF closes sale of Villas at River Park West in suburban Houston

HOUSTON, TX – The Houston office of HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) announced today that it has closed the sale of Villas at River Park West (top left photo), a 252-unit multi-housing community in Richmond, Texas.

HFF senior managing directors Craig LaFollette (middle right photo), Todd Stewart (middle left photo)  and Todd Marix (lower right photo), director Tre Banks and associate director Chris Curry along with Wilson Interests led the investment sales team on behalf of the seller, 2005 RP West, Ltd. 

Lane Company purchased the property in an off market transaction free and clear of debt.

“We were able to close this sale in 35 days from letter of intent, a testament to the Lane Company and the asset,” said Marix.

Villas at River Park West is located at 21811 Wildwood Park about 30 miles southwest of downtown Houston in Richmond. 

Completed in 2007, the property has one- and two-bedroom floorplans that are 98% leased.  Community amenities include a business center, laundry facility, clubroom, fitness center and resort-style swimming pool.

Lane Company ( is a vertically-integrated, full-service multifamily real estate company. 

Its expertise extends to all areas of real estate including apartment and condominium acquisition, property management and investment management. 

With over 35 years of experience, Lane Company is recognized as one of the most innovative, efficient and technologically-advanced firms in the multifamily industry.

Todd Marix,  HFF Senior Managing Director, (713) 852-3500,
Kristen M. Murphy, Associate Director, Marketing, (713) 852-3500                           

HFF expands national hotel group with addition of Holden Lim in San Francisco office

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) announced today that Holden Lim (top right photo) has joined the firm as a managing director in their San Francisco office and will focus on institutional grade hotel and resort property transactions throughout North America.

Mr. Lim has more than 21 years of experience and most recently was the president of Hospitality Link, a real estate advisory firm specializing in the hospitality sector.

 Prior to that, he was a senior director with Cushman & Wakefield Sonnenblick Goldman where he completed more than $3.4 billion in real estate transactions, representing a variety of structures including dispositions, debt financings and equity recapitalizations.

 Prior to Cushman, Mr. Lim was a senior associate at HVS International where he appraised more than $1.9 billion in hotel and resort real estate.  Mr. Lim has also held various management positions at Westin Hotels.  He has a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, a Master of Business Administration from Golden Gate University and is a licensed real estate broker in the State of California.

“We are very excited to welcome Holden to our growing hotel team, and look forward to his contributions to the growth of our platform in 2011 and beyond,” said Daniel Peek (lower left photo), senior managing director and hotel practice leader at HFF. 

“He brings a tremendous amount of hotel sector experience to our team, something that will benefit our firm greatly.” 

“The recruitment of Holden Lim is another step in a substantial commitment HFF has to growing our hotel practice and our West Coast platform,” added Bruce Ganong, senior managing director and co-head of the HFF San Francisco office.

 Daniel Peek, HFF Senior Managing Director, (305) 448-1333,
 Bruce Ganong, HFF Senior Managing Director, (415) 276-6300
Kristen M. Murphy, Associate Director, Marketing, (713) 852-3500,

HFF arranges $9.2 million construction loan for BJ’s Wholesale Club in western Massachusetts

BOSTON, MA – The Boston office of HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) announced today that it has arranged a $9.2 million construction loan for a to-be-built, 85,188-square-foot BJ’s Wholesale Club in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

HFF directors Janet Krolman (top right photo) and Greg LaBine (lower right photo) and senior real estate analyst Lauren O’Neil worked exclusively on behalf of the borrower, a joint venture between Saxon Partners and Cape Breton Corporation to secure the loan through Sovereign Santander Bank.

The BJ’s Wholesale Club will include a free-standing building plus a fueling station. 

The 11.5-acre site is located along Hubbard Avenue adjacent to Berkshire Crossing and close to Route 9 and downtown Pittsfield. 

“The new BJ’s in Pittsfield will satisfy the demand for a warehouse club for much of the Berkshires, as the closest wholesale warehouse club is located 31 miles to the west in Albany, New York,” said Krolman.

Formed in 1998, Saxon Partners is a retail and residential developer focused on the New England region.  Their projects include Colony Place, the­ ­region’s largest open-air shopping ­center and Oak Point Retirement Community, the ­region’s largest active adult retirement community.

Cape Breton Corporation, headquartered in Braintree, Massachusetts, is a real estate development company specializing in the site acquisition and local permitting of retail buildings and shopping centers.

Janet N. Krolman, HFF Director, (617) 338-0990,                             
Gregory F. Labine, HFF Director,  (617) 338-0990,
Kristen M. Murphy, Associate Director, Marketing, (713) 852-3500,

HFF arranges $17.8 million refinancing for grocery-anchored retail center in northern New Jersey

FLORHAM PARK, NJ – The New Jersey office of HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) announced today that it has arranged a $17.8 million refinancing for Veteran’s Square Shopping Center (top left photo), a 113,178-square-foot, grocery-anchored retail center in Lyndhurst, New Jersey.

HFF senior managing director Jon Mikula (middle right photo) and director Michael Klein lower left photo) worked exclusively on behalf of The Hampshire Companies to secure the 10-year, fixed-rate loan through Nationwide Life Insurance Company. 

Completed in 2000, Veteran’s Square Shopping Center has five retail buildings that are 90% anchored by ShopRite and Staples and feature a traditional mix of in-line retailers including GNC, Supercuts and Go Wireless.

 The 12.31-acre site is located at 530-560 New York Avenue close to Route 3 and Route 17 approximately seven miles west of Manhattan in Lyndhurst.  The property has approvals in place for up to a 30,000-square-foot expansion.

“Veteran’s Square Shopping Center receives increased foot traffic during the week; a benefit of being located within walking distance of the Kingsland New Jersey Transit Station, which provides commuters access to Midtown Manhattan,” said Mikula

The Hampshire Companies is a full-service, private real estate firm with equity in assets valued at more than $2 billion, based in Morristown, New Jersey. 

 The Hampshire Companies is a vibrant, dynamic organization that combines creative vision and superior execution, thereby enabling it to create and enhance value in real estate investments.

Jon Mikula, HFF Senior Managing Director, (973) 549-2000,  
Kristen Murphy, HFF Associate Director, Marketing, (713) 852-3500       


HFF arranges $12.3 million refinancing for The Springs Apartments in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Indianapolis office of HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) announced today that it has arranged a $12.3 million refinancing for The Springs Apartments (top left photo), a 180-unit, Class A multi-housing community in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Working on behalf of The Springs Luxury Waterfront Apartments LLC, professionally managed by Becovic Management Group of Indiana, HFF senior managing director Dave Keller (middle right photo) and managing director Jon Everson (middle left photo) placed the loan with a correspondent life insurance company. 

The 10-year fixed rate loan carries a 4.80% interest rate and 30-year amortization. 

“The borrower requested a quick closing and waiver of all escrows, including taxes, insurance and replacement reserves and HFF was very pleased to have successfully satisfied all these requirements,” said Everson.

The Springs Apartments is situated on 12.5 acres at 8851 Springside Lane East in northwest Indianapolis. 

The property has 18 two-story buildings with one- and two-bedroom units averaging 980 square feet each.  Residents have access to a clubhouse, swimming pool, tennis court and playground.  The Springs Apartments is 97% leased.

“The property benefits from strong occupancy levels as a result of a recent renovation, strong management and a highly desirable infill location inside Interstate 465 and within close commuting distance to St. Vincent Hospital, other medical related uses and nearby office parks,” added Everson.

DAVID B. KELLER, HFF Senior Managing Director, (317) 632-7500,
JONATHAN P. EVERSON, HFF Managing Director, (317) 632-7505, 
KRISTEN M. MURPHY, HFF Associate Director, Marketing, (713) 852-3500       


Marcus & Millichap Promotes Michael L. Glass to Vice President

 CLEVELAND,  OH – Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, has promoted Michael L. Glass (top right photo) to vice president, according to John J. Kerin (lower left photo), president and chief executive officer.

Glass currently serves as the regional manager of the Cleveland and Columbus offices, a position he will continue to hold.

 “Michael’s superior management skills, brokerage expertise and excellent knowledge of the investment sales market make him a tremendous asset to our clients and investment specialists in Ohio and throughout the Midwest,” says Kerin.

Glass joined Marcus & Millichap’s sales intern program in 2001. He became an associate in 2005 after closing 16 transactions in his first 24 months as an agent.

In 2006, he joined the management team as sales manager of the Chicago office. Glass was named regional manager of the Cleveland office in 2007 and became the regional manager of the Columbus office in 2009.

Prior to joining the firm, Glass worked at LaSalle Bank/ABN AMRO as a credit analyst and commercial loan officer with an emphasis on real estate lending.

He attended the University of Arizona in Tucson, receiving a degree in business administration with a focus in finance.

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

TD Wood Brookers $2.2 Million in New Loans

SARASOTA, FL, Dec. 8, 2010— Thomas D. Wood and Company, a Strategic Alliance Mortgage LLC member, secured financing in the amount of $2,200,000 for Conda Warehouses and the Residences at 2nd Street.

Brad Cox, CCIM, CPM (top right photo), Company Vice President, secured financing for Conda Warehouses through Thomas D. Wood and Company’s correspondent relationship with The Standard Life Insurance Company in the amount of $1,900,000. 

The borrower refinanced his property because his bank loan was maturing.

 The loan has a term of 10 years, based on a 25-year amortization and a fixed-rate of 6.5%.  The loan-to-value is 60%. 

The 41,200 square-foot warehouse complex comprises four buildings, three of which were built in 2003, and the fourth was built in 2006. 

Conda Warehouses is home to major tenants South Tampa Puppy Palace, Europa Motors and Conda Construction, and is located at 5201 S. Lois Avenue, Tampa, Florida.

Cox also secured financing for the Residences at Second Street, a 16-unit apartment property, in the amount of $300,000.

 The borrower purchased a vacant apartment building from a bank, and the mortgage was financed through a private money lender.  The loan has a term of 18 months, based on a 30-year amortization. 

The loan-to-cost is 80%.  The 16-unit apartment property was built in 1986, and is located in Fort Myers, Florida.

For further information, please contact:
Brad Cox, CCIM, CPM,  (941) 552-9731,
Jessica Kinnee, (407) 937-0470,


Fitch Affirms Developers Diversified's IDR at 'BB'; Outlook Stable

NEW YORK, NY---08 December 2010: Fitch Ratings has affirmed the credit ratings of Developers Diversified Realty Corporation (NYSE: DDR) as follows:

--Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'BB';

--$1 billion unsecured revolving credit facilities at 'BB';

--$1.5 billion unsecured medium term notes at 'BB';

--$625.3 million unsecured convertible notes at 'BB';

--$555 million preferred stock at 'B+'.

The Rating Outlook is Stable.
For a complete copy of the news release, please contact:

Sandro Scenga
Senior Director
Corporate Communications
Fitch Ratings/ Fitch Solutions

Blackstone Names Interstate Hotels & Resorts to Manage 13 Properties

ARLINGTON, VA, Dec.  8, 2010—Interstate Hotels & Resorts, the United States’ largest independent hotel management company, today announced that it has signed agreements to manage 13 hotels recently acquired  by affiliates of The Blackstone Group (Blackstone), a global alternative investment management firm. 

 The upscale full-service properties are located in major urban markets and primarily include properties that were recently renovated and rebranded with Hilton, Starwood and Marriott brands.

“This brings to 21 the number of properties we manage for affiliates of The Blackstone Group and continues a relationship that began in 2006,” said Thomas F. Hewitt (top right photo), Interstate chief executive officer. 

 “The selection of Interstate to manage these properties underscores Blackstone’s confidence in our continued ability to deliver a better bottom line at major urban properties in any economic climate.” 

According to Leslie Ng, Interstate’s chief investment officer, the portfolio includes six Westins, two Hiltons, two Sheratons, two Marriotts, and a Wyndham, aggregating 5,466 rooms, located in nine states, the District of Columbia and Canada. 

The 13 hotels are: 

Hotel Name
# of Rooms
Sheraton Philadelphia City Center Hotel
Philadelphia, Pa.
Westin New Orleans Canal Place        
New Orleans, La.
Westin Washington D.C. City Center
Washington, D.C.
Westin San Diego
San Diego, Calif.
Sheraton Baltimore City Center Hotel
Baltimore, Md.
The Buttes, A Marriott Resort
Tempe, Ariz.
Wyndham Chicago Downtown
Chicago, Ill.
Westin Chicago Northwest
Chicago, Ill.
Hilton Fort Lauderdale Airport
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Hilton Burlington
Burlington, Vt.
Westin Harbour Island
Tampa, Fla.
Marriott Atlanta Downtown
Atlanta, Ga.
Westin Bristol Place Airport
Toronto, Ont.

Total rooms:

 For more information about Interstate Hotels & Resorts, visit the company’s Web site:
Jerry Daly, Carol McCune                              Carrie McIntyre
Media                                                              SVP, Treasurer
Daly Gray                                                       Interstate Hotels & Resorts
(703) 435-6293                                                (703) 387-3320                             

Arbor Closes Three Lubbock, TX, Fannie Mae DUS® Loans Totaling $4,960,000

Uniondale, NY (Dec. 8, 2010) - Arbor Commercial Funding, LLC (“Arbor”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Arbor Commercial Mortgage, LLC, announced the recent funding of three (3) loans under the Fannie Mae DUS® Loan and Fannie Mae DUS® Small Loan product line in Lubbock, TX. These loans include:

  • The Townhomes at O’Neil Terrace, Lubbock, TX (top left photo) – The 92-unit complex received $2,250,000 funded under the Fannie Mae DUS® Loan product line. The 10-year loan amortizes on a 30-year schedule.

  • Aspen Village, Lubbock, TX (middle right photo) – The 70-unit complex received $1,750,000 funded under the Fannie Mae DUS® Small Loan product line. The 10-year loan amortizes on a 30-year schedule.

  • Ventura Flats, Lubbock, TX (lower left photo) – The 44-unit complex received $960,000 funded under the Fannie Mae DUS® Small Loan product line. The 10-year loan amortizes on a 30-year schedule.

The loans were originated by Stephen York (lower right photo), Director, in Arbor’s full-service New York, NY, lending office.

 “Our clients on the Townhomes at O’Neil Terrace and Aspen Village were in contract and had a tight timeframe for closing.

"We were pleased to provide them with terms that exceeded their expectations while meeting their closing deadline,” York said.

“Meanwhile, our client purchased the Ventura Flats property in distress and significantly improved both the asset quality and cash flow within a very short period of time.

"Once the property was stabilized and ready for a permanent loan, Arbor was pleased to deliver terms that accomplished our client’s financing needs.”

Contact:  Christopher Ostrowski,