Friday, April 1, 2011

Tolaris Homes Starts Construction of 5,000-SF “Green” Lakefront Custom Home at Lake Forest, FL

 LAKE FOREST, FL – Tolaris Homes, a division of Tolaris International, has started construction of a 5,000 square foot waterfront home at Lake Forest the luxury, gated community on SR 46 west of Sanford.

 Richard Bavec (top right photo), president of Tolaris Homes, said the four-bedroom home with a game room and den, is a Green home featuring photovoltaic panels, solar heat, Low-E windows, 16 seer AC unit, programmable thermostat and other elements to increase energy and water efficiency and indoor air-quality.

 “The custom home will meet or exceed EPA’s Energy Star® standards and will reduce monthly utility bills for the new owners who are expected to move in when construction is completed this summer,” Bavec said.

 For more information contact:
Richard Bavec, President, Tolaris Homes, 407-402-9866
Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, LV Communications, 407-644-4142 (fax: 4410)

HFF arranges $15.5 million refinancing for industrial warehouse in Pittsburgh


PITTSBURGH, PA – HFF announced today that it has arranged a $15.5 million refinancing for 615 Alpha Drive, a 327,500-square-foot industrial warehouse in Pittsburgh’s RIDC O’Hara Business Park (top left photo).

Working exclusively on behalf of McKnight Realty Partners, HFF placed the 10-year, fixed-rate loan with Nationwide Real Estate Investments.  Loan proceeds were used to refinance the acquisition and renovation loan.

615 Alpha Drive is situated on 14 acres within the RIDC O’Hara Business Park about eight miles northeast of downtown Pittsburgh via the Allegheny Valley Expressway.  The property is 80 percent leased to tenants including Benshaw, Inc., a subsidiary of Curtis-Wright Corporation. 

The HFF team representing McKnight Realty Partners was led by executive managing director Gerard Sansosti.

McKnight Realty Partners is a leading real estate investment and development company based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Gerard T. Sansosti, HFF Executive Managing Director, (412) 281-8714
Kristen M. Murphy, HFF Associate Director, Marketing, (713) 852-3500,


Marcus & Millichap Sells 37,631-SF Self-Storage Facility in Panama City Beach, FL for $900,000

PANAMA CITY BEACH, FL – Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, has announced the sale of Top Shelf Storage (top left photo), a 37,631-square foot self-storage facility located in Panama City Beach, Fla, according to Bryn D. Merrey, Regional Manager of the firm’s Tampa office.

The asset commanded a sales price of $900,000.

Michael A. Mele (middle right photo), vice president investments, and senior director of the National Self-Storage Group, and Edwin Greenhalgh (lower left photo), investment specialist with Marcus & Millichap’s Tampa and Birmingham offices respectively, had the listing to market the property on behalf of the seller, a financial institution. 

The buyer, a private investor, was also secured and represented by Mele and Greenhalgh.

 “This sale was significant in that we were able to close this transaction in seven days, start to finish, proving there are cash buyers ready to expand their portfolio in this market” says Mele.

Top Shelf Storage is located at 105 Estes Place.

Press Contact:  Bryn D. Merrey, Regional Manager, Tampa
(813) 387-4700

The Real Estate Capital Scoreboard issued by the Real Estate Capital Institute

 CHICAGO, IL, April 1, 2011-- Modest economic growth steadily fuels the commercial realty markets with abundant debt and equity funds staying in step.

 Inflation pressures are under control in the short-term, alleviating concerns of a double-dip recession.

 However, maintaining modest growth proves challenging under current economic conditions as unemployment, weak housing conditions, cautious consumer spending, concerns about Europe and the Middle East and lack of liquidity for many business sectors still haunts
entrepreneurial investment appetite. 

Regardless, realty capital markets are undoubtedly back to more normal levels as evidenced by the REIT and CMBS market rebound.  The number of capital providers and financing structures are far superior to those provided a few years ago based upon several factors:

Solid Values:   Conservative investors flock to the best quality, best located properties, accepting lower cap rates in lieu of volatility.  For instance, multifamily properties support 6.5% cap rates on a national average.  Interestingly, same-property dynamics show about a 400-basis-point range within the Class A-B-C quality spectrum.

Public market demand:  The strongest evidence of solid gains in the commercial real estate ("CRE") sector rests with the public markets. Appetite for income properties via REITs offers strong performance and tight pricing.  The underestimated rebound in the capital markets allows these companies to sell stock at very competitive rates; few attractive alternatives are offered in conventional stocks and bonds.  Many investors firmly believe that the commercial property sector has bottomed-out and is set for a steady recovery.

Prudent underwriting:  Rating agencies have increased subordination levels, translating to higher-rated tranches, which are more appealing to investors. Furthermore, CMBS spreads dramatically tightened to more historical norms of about 250 basis points; B-Piece buyers are keeping new issues in-check. Borrowers now have more varied options in addition to life companies and banks. 

Real equity:  Pricing concerns plague non-stabilized properties, especially in competition with under-performing maturing loans.  Extremely conservative loans backed by substantial equity are the only panacea for this sector. That said, savvy investors purchasing such assets at reset prices on an "all cash" basis are expected to handsomely profit, if projects are well conceived and in strategic locations. 

Jeanne Peck (top right photo) of the Real Estate Capital Institute, forecasts "Spring capital markets are clearly in full swing as proof of REIT and CMBS dynamics." Adding, "CMBS [and other] investors are out in full force armed with lots of cash, but still maintain discipline as the memories are still fresh of the Great Recession."

Contact: Jeanne Peck, Research Director
Toll Free 800-994-RECI (7324)

McCarthy Building Companies Begins Demolishing Former March Air Force Base Hospital in Southern California

McCarthy Building Companies representatives at the March Air Force Base hospital demolition event included, from left to right, Mike McGee, superintendant; Laura Barton, assistant project manager; Don Ecker, chairman/founder, March HealthCare Development; Steve Mynsberge, executive vice president, healthcare services; and Jesse Ruiz, Southern California Division safety coordinator. (Photo Credit – Loren Faulkner)

RIVERSIDE/MORENO VALLEY, CA—April 1, 2011—McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., one of the premier hospital builders in the U.S., has begun demolishing the former March Air Force Base (AFB) Hospital ( middle centered photo to make way for construction of a $3.3 billion, 200 acre medical, “health and wellness city” known as March LifeCare.

A ceremony to mark the final stages of deconstruction at March AFB and kicking-off demolition of the 190,000 sq. ft., five-level military hospital tower was held on March 28. The event included speakers, a military fly-over, and a live band before a wrecking ball was swung from a 145-foot crane into the southwest corner of the hospital.

                               (Photo Credit – Loren Faulkner)

The event was attended by more than 100 U.S. Veterans as well as other community members, healthcare community leaders, project team members, and state and local officials.

Joining master developer March HealthCare Development was special guest Willie Brown, the longest serving Speaker of the Assembly and former Mayor of San Francisco. Brown, a redevelopment visionary, successfully led the effort to build a new medical research campus in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood.

 Along with Brown, some of the other speakers at the event included:

  • Don Ecker, Master Developer, March HealthCare Development/March LifeCare
  • Dr. Steve Larson, Chairman & CEO, Riverside Medical Clinic
  • Steve Barron, CEO, St. Bernardine Medical Center, Catholic Healthcare West
  • Marion Ashley, Chairman, March Joint Powers Authority
  • Joel Ayala, Director, Governor’s Office of Economic Development

Since July 2010, McCarthy Building Companies, the March LifeCare program master construction manager, has been working with U.S. Demolition Company to raze a total of 22 buildings on the base before construction of the new facilities can begin. Bragg Crane Co. brought in an American 125-ton crane with a 145-ft. boom and jib, lifting an 8,000 lb. wrecking ball for the initial work. The hospital demolition is expected to be completed in three months.

 “We are recycling much of the materials from the old buildings,” said Laura Barton, McCarthy assistant project manager. “Concrete will be crushed then compacted back into the former basement areas, and the remaining concrete and asphalt from all the demolished buildings will be processed as aggregate base for future March LifeCare campus streets.”

 Brown, in his remarks before a crowd of some 500 people, said the new March LifeCare City will become the standard to which future healthcare facilities will look, “…it will be replicated all over this Country.” Last year, former Governor Schwarzenegger said of March LifeCare, “This is going to be known as the ‘Mayo Clinic’ of the West.”

 When completed, March LifeCare will include six-million square feet of healthcare related structures including a 550-bed hospital, a senior continuum of over 700 beds, medical office buildings, retail, ambulatory care facilities, education, research and training facilities, plus a hotel, a healing institute and a veteran’s facility. Construction is planned in phases and will provide some 12,700 local construction jobs and employ 7,200 permanent medical-related personnel when completed.

 Internationally renowned architectural firm Ho+k designed the Master Plan for the March LifeCare Campus.

 March LifeCare is being called the largest healthcare construction project in the West and is attracting the attention of federal, state and local officials at a time when the Inland Empire area suffers through some of the worst unemployment figures in the U.S., hovering around 14 percent.

 Laura Barton noted that March LifeCare’s original founder, Don Ecker, has provided, “…vision, enthusiasm, and tireless work that brought this project to life. March LifeCare will have a lasting positive impact on the local community and the way total health care is delivered to individuals here. McCarthy is proud to be part of the team!”

 More information about the company is available online at

Laura Mickelson (LM Communications), (949) 453-0851
Susan Garritano (McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.), (314) 968-3300

Manhattan Residential Sales Prices Down 5% from Previous Quarter but Unchanged from a Year Ago

 Manhattan Average Apartment Price $1,364,733

 NEW YORK, NY--:According to the first quarter market report released today by Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales, the average Manhattan apartment sale price of $1,364,733 was down 5% from last quarter and nearly unchanged from same period in 2010.

 This is the first quarter of declines after six consecutive quarters in which the average sales price rose in Manhattan. At 1,769, the number of reported sales was down 23% from a year ago.

 The average price for cooperatives sold during the first quarter of 2011 was down just 1%, to $1,070,229, from the first quarter of 2010. The average condominium price was $1,745,464, up just 1% from a year ago.

 “Prices remained essentially steady when compared to the first quarter of last year, but we did see a decrease in activity,  said Hall. F. Willkie (top right photo), president of Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales.

“Many home owners decided to sell last year to try and take advantage of Bush-era tax cuts that were set to expire.

“As we see a steady increase in job growth in Manhattan and the general economic outlook continues to improve in New York City, demand for housing will remain strong. At the same time, low inventory will continue to be a factor,”

The median price, which measures the middle of the market, fell 4% from a year ago to $787,500.

On the East Side, two-bedroom apartments posted a large gain in average price, 16%. This is the second consecutive quarter two-bedrooms saw a large gain.

The East Side was the only market where prices increased over the past year for both prewar and postwar co-ops as well as condos.

The average price per room for Midtown West prewar co-ops fell sharply because studio units comprised nearly half the sales in this market.

Downtown prices fell for all size categories except two-bedrooms.

Brown Harris Stevens, established in 1873, is the premier provider of residential real estate services in New York.  The company has offices throughout New York City, the Hamptons, North Fork and Palm Beach.

Brown Harris Stevens offers more luxury residential exclusives than any other Manhattan firm, and serves as the exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate Inc., a subsidiary of Christie’s International PLC, the world’s oldest fine arts auctioneer.

 For more information, please visit

 Contact: Jennifer Little, 212.843.8364,