Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Carter to Renovate Historic Building at Spelman College in Atlanta

ATLANTA (Mar. 1, 2011) – Carter announced today it has been selected as program manager for the renovations to Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Hall located on the historic oval on Spelman College’s campus (top left photo).

The 20,000-square-foot mixed-use renovation will include study space and technology space on the main level and a 40 bed student housing area on the second and third floor.

The historic building was designed by Hentz, Reid & Adler and completed in 1918.  The original home of the college’s Home Economics program, it was converted to the school of nursing in 1930. Most recently the building has been used for a child development center on the ground floor and student housing. 

“It is both an honor and a privilege to work on a building that was originally designed by Hentz, Reid & Adler on Spelman College’s historic campus,” said Gary Paetau, (middle right photo)  senior vice president with Carter. “We are looking forward to working with Spelman on renovating this facility that plays such an important role in the college’s rich history.”

Menefee + Winter is the architect for the project and Winter Construction Company is the general contractor.  The project is seeking LEED silver certification and is slated to be completed in July 2012.

 For additional information on Carter, please visit http://www.carterusa.com/.

Contact: Laura Dudebout, (678) 642-4301,

Stephen Pearlman Joins Molinaro Koger as Managing Director, Capital Markets Group

 WASHINGTON, D.C., Mar. 1, 2011—Officials at Molinaro Koger (MK), the global hotel-exclusive real estate brokerage, advisory and capital markets firm, today announced that Stephen J. Pearlman (top right photo) has joined the firm as managing director, Capital Markets Group.

  Pearlman is based in the firm’s New York office and, along with MK’s two other senior financing experts, Pierre Ranjeva, vice president, and Randy Gray, vice president, will focus on both domestic and international capital markets.  

“As the global hotel real estate industry gains traction, financing will be the key component to move from recovery mode to fueling growth, be it balance sheet re- capitalization, construction/renovation and acquisition financing or refinancing,” said Robert T. Koger, (middle left photo) MK president. 

“Hotel financing has become increasingly complex.  Sourcing and make-up of the capital stack is constantly changing, and we will remain on the cutting edge.

“ Our team has the expertise to lead the entire capital raise process—from executing sponsor requirements, through negotiations of terms and covenants, to helping close the debt or equity transaction on single assets to multi-national hotel portfolios.

“Steve has worked in all areas of finance with some of the industry’s most prestigious firms and has completed more than $8 billion in financing transactions, including raising debt and equity in a variety of structures, handling loan portfolios and workouts and restructuring,” he said.

 “His in-depth expertise in hotel real estate financing adds greatly to our bench strength in this critical area.”

Prior to joining MK, Pearlman was senior managing director at Beacon Hospitality Partners, a global hospitality asset management, advisory and transactional practice. 

 For further information about the company or current hotel property offerings, call 703.760.9600 or visit the company’s website http://www.mkhotels.com/.

Contact:  Jerry Daly, Chris Daly, Patrick Daly, (703) 435-6293.

Watt Commercial Signs Two Retail Leases in California

 NORWALK, CA--Watt Commercial Properties, a leader in developing, redeveloping and managing community shopping centers in urban markets throughout the Southwest, has announced that it has signed 5R Health to a 3-year lease for 1,105 square feet of space at Norwalk Plaza (top left photo), an 119,685 square foot retail center located at 11660-11790 Firestone Blvd in Norwalk, Calif.

Peter Kay of Wilson Commercial represented the landlord, Watt Commercial, in the transaction.  The tenant represented itself.  Norwalk Plaza is 85 percent leased to several high profile tenants including Northgate Market, TJMaxx (in the process of being converted from AJWright), Subway and Wells Fargo.

 Watt Commercial Properties, a leader in developing, redeveloping and managing community shopping centers in urban markets throughout the Southwest, has announced that it has signed Snowhouse Moments Cafe to a 4-year lease for 1,014 square feet of space at Bell Palm Plaza (bottom right photo), an 84,848 square foot retail center located at 6201 Atlantic Avenue in Bell, Calif. 

The landlord, Watt Commercial, was represented in-house by Karin Gilbert.  The tenant represented itself.  Bell Palm Plaza is 89 percent leased to several tenants including Bell Palm Plaza Medical, Bell Plaza Pharmacy and Bell Beauty Supply.

 Contact: David Ebeling, Ebeling Communications, (p) 949.861.8351,
(c) 949.278.7851, david@ebelingcomm.com

Winter Blizzards Lead to Sharp Increase in Central Florida Second Home and Vacation Home Shoppers

ORLANDO, FL --- Waves of record-setting harsh weather and blizzards across the northeast, midwest and Canada are having a warming effect on Central Florida’s second home and vacation home market.

Roger Soderstrom (middle  right photo), founder and owner of Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty in Orlando, said his firm’s sales agents are receiving a record number of calls and internet leads from serious northerners who want a piece of our sunshine and warm weather.

“The severe weather up north has had a very positive impact on sales in the Orlando region,” Soderstrom said.

It isn’t just cold temperatures that are driving sales.

“At the same time as an increasing number of northerners want a respite from frigid temperatures, interest rates are at historic lows and best of all, Florida property prices down 40-60 percent from the market peak,” said Soderstrom.

That combination of motivated sellers and icy incentives is generating a stream of new prospects and serious home buyers from Canada, Illinois, Michigan, New York, New Jersey and other regions of the country, Soderstrom said.

In addition to a great selection of retail priced resale homes, an inventory of bank owned foreclosures and short sales have contributed to the buyer surge, Soderstrom said, and new home builders have slashed their costs in order to price new homes competitively.

“A buyer can find a second home or vacation home in the Orlando region or near the beaches today for about the price they would have paid in the late 1990s,” Soderstrom said.

“Demand is slowly catching up to supply, and with this new surge in buyer inquiries from winter visitors, Florida’s real estate economy could see a dramatic uptick this year,” he said.

For more information, contact:  
Roger Soderstrom, Founder/Owner Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty 407-581-7890; rsoderstrom@stirlingSIR.com
Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications 407-644-4142   Lvershelco@aol.com

Plaza Advisors Announces the Sale of a Free-standing Walgreens Building in Cape Coral, FL

 TAMPA, FL--Plaza Advisors is pleased to announce the recent sale of a Walgreen’s store in Cape Coral, Florida. This building totals 14,820 square feet and is situated at the intersection of Pine Island Road and Burnt Store Road in Lee County.

 Plaza Advisors represented the seller in the transaction and co-managing partners Anthony Blanco and Jim Michalak, together with Senior Associate Lenard Williams, were involved in the engagement. 

The purchaser was a private individual and was represented by Cassidy Turley BRE Commercial.  The sale of this property marks the third freestanding Walgreen’s sale by Plaza Advisors in the past twelve months.

Anthony Blanco, 305-629-3606, FAX: 305-647-6441, Anthony.Blanco@plazadvisors. Com
Jim Michalak, 813-837-1300, FAX: 813-831-2627,

Retail Lagging Rest of Commercial Real Estate Recovery

Vacancy Rate at Strip Malls Expected to Top Record High This Year

ATLANTA, GA, Mar. 1, 2011 – The retail segment of commercial real estate has not yet hit bottom, and when the recovery does start, it is going to be slow, according to Victor Calanog (top right photo), director of research at Reis.

The vacancy rate at strip malls ended 2010 at 10.9 percent, and Calanog said he fully expects this year it will surpass the all-time record of 11.1 percent, set in 1990.

Calanog made his comments while a guest on the “Commercial Real Estate Show,” a radio show hosted by Michael Bull (middle left photo) on Biz 1190 WAFS in Atlanta and available to a national audience via download (hotlink) at www. CRE.com.

.Calanog said retail woes are tightly linked to home ownership. Many retail centers were developed to service new subdivisions. Too many homes now are in foreclosure, sitting empty or underwater, leaving their owners without discretionary income to go shopping.

Retail is not going to see a significant recovery until job growth and consumer confidence improve meaningfully, he said.

 “We are going to be hugging the bottom for quite a while,” he said. “It is not going to be a V-shaped recovery.”

The next “Commercial Real Estate Show” which will air March 5 will focus on the restaurant industry. Guests will include Harold Shumacher from The Shumacher Group; Marianna McCabe with Chick-fil-A; and Pierre Panos, founder of Fresh to Order (f2o) and Brookwood Grill.

 Contact:  Midd Read, mread@wilbertnewsstrategies.com

Carter Sells North Atlanta Publix Center

ATLANTA, GA) – Carter, one of the country’s leading commercial real estate service providers, investors and advisors, has brokered the sale of the Oglethorpe Crossing shopping center (top left photo) just north of Atlanta.

Carter’s Retail Investment Sales Group negotiated the sale of the Publix-anchored center at 3435 Ashford-Dunwoody Road on behalf of seller REES 52 LLC of Atlanta.

An Atlanta-based private equity group paid an undisclosed amount for the 58,000-square-foot center.

The shopping center was 98 percent leased at the time of the sale. In addition to Publix, CVS/Pharmacy is a co-anchor tenant.

Carter’s Retail Investment Sales Group, led by Drew Fleming and Mark Joines, noted the strong and continued investor appetite for grocery-anchored centers.

“Investors are desperately seeking well-located grocery anchored shopping centers with credit tenants such as Publix and CVS,” Joines said. “We don’t expect the demand for these types of centers to wane any time soon.”

For additional information on Carter, please visit http://www.carterusa.com/
Contact: Laura Dudebout, (678) 642-4301