Thursday, January 31, 2013

Pebblebrook Buys San Diego Embassy Suites for $112.5M

Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, a publicly traded real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Bethesda, MD, announced this week that it had acquired the Embassy Suites San Diego Bay – Downtown for $112.5 million. As a part of this transaction, the Pebblebrook is assuming a $66.8 million secured, non-recourse loan that matures in June 2016, with the balance of the purchase price being funded with available cash. Moving forward, the property will be managed by HEI Hotels and Resorts.

"We're very excited about the acquisition of the Embassy Suites San Diego Bay – Downtown and the opportunity to further expand our presence in the highly desirable downtown San Diego market," said Jon Bortz, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pebblebrook Hotel Trust. "The hotel is extremely well located at the corner of Harbor Drive and Pacific Highway, just steps away from Seaport Village and the waterfront. This ideal location is only four blocks from the San Diego Convention Center, and six blocks from Westfield Horton Plaza Shopping Mall, as well as a variety of restaurant and entertainment options in the vibrant Gaslamp Quarter. The strong leisure, group and convention demand for San Diego, particularly in this location along the waterfront, makes the Embassy Suites San Diego Bay – Downtown an excellent investment for our company."

"We are excited to create this new partnership with Pebblebrook Hotel Trust," said HEI's Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Rutledge. "The Embassy Suites San Diego Bay – Downtown exhibits strong growth potential and we are eager to bring our proven industry experience to the hotel."

Built in 1988, the hotel was fully renovated in 2006 and completed a $3.5 million guest suites renovation in May 2012, and operated at 83% occupancy in 2012. The 337-suite, urban, upper upscale, full service hotel is located in downtown San Diego, California.

For more news and information visit Blumberg Capital Partners.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Lowe Enterprises Begins Phase 3 Construction on $73M Office Complex

County Operations CenterLos Angeles-based Lowe Enterprises announced this week that construction has begun on the third phase of its $73 million office complex in Kearny Mesa, California. The County Operations Center and Annex redevelopment, located on Overland Avenue, is being developed in multiple phases; the second phase, completed in August of last year, included two 150,000 square-foot four-story office buildings, and a 15,000 square-foot conference center and cafeteria. Phase one was completed in October 2010, and was named the San Diego Gas & Electric Energy Leader for new construction for 2011. The project team includes RJC Architects, Suffolk Roel Construction, with Project Management Advisors and the County of San Diego Department of General Services overseeing the project on behalf of the County Board of Supervisors.

"This is an important facility and another vital component of this modern, sustainable campus serving the County and residents of San Diego. The building will be state-of-the-art at all levels creating an efficient work environment and providing ample space for the processing of ballots and vote counting on election night," said Mike McNerney, senior vice president, Lowe Enterprises Real Estate Group.

The 118,500 square-foot Registrar of Voters Headquarters will include Registrar of Voters staff offices, election ballot processing capabilities, warehouse production space and a public art installation. The project sits on 47 acres and, once complete, will comprise more than a million square feet of modern, efficient office space, along with two multi-level parking structures.

For more news and information visit Blumberg Capital Partners.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Atlas Capital Buys Midtown NYC Office Building for $62.4M

Atlas Capital, a full service real estate investment, development and management firm, acquired 311-319 West 43rd Street in Midtown New York for $62.4 million. Zuberry Associates sold the property in a deal with representation from Eastern Consolidated, which marketed the property and procured the buyer. Atlas Capital has assumed Zuberry's mortgage in the form of a securitized loan.

"We had to act quickly, since the buyer was obliged to close the transaction by year end within 45 days," said Eastern Consolidated Vice Chairman Brian Ezratty, who added that the property's close proximity to Times Square, it's current cash flow, potential for rental increases when leases expire, as well as its upscale international Chinese restaurant retail tenant, Hakkasan NYC, were all drivers in attracting Atlas.

Zuberry closed on the building in 1982, though the sale price was not available in public records, Zuberry Associates manager Dick Berry said he did not remember how much he paid for the property. "We did good," he said. "We put so much money into it so quickly that I've really lost track. It's a long time, too."

The 14-story office building was 100% leased at the time of sale. While currently rated a Class B building, Atlas could upgrade the property to the Class A category, or take advantage of current zoning that would allow for a future conversion of part, if not all, of the building to residential use when the leases expire. Zuberry will remain in the property for 10 years as a tenant. "We're going to see what that's like," Berry said.

For more news and information visit Blumerg Capital Partners.

Monday, January 28, 2013

JV Purchases Las Vegas' CityCenter Veer Towers Units for $119M

A joint venture between an affiliate of Ladder Capital Finance Holdings and Pordes Residential Sales & Marketing have purchased 427 condominium units in Veer Towers in Las Vegas for $119 million. The joint venture purchased the property from CityCenter, a joint venture between MGM Resorts International and a subsidiary of Dubai World, a Dubai-owned holding company. Cohen Financial brokered the acquisition. SRF Ventures advised Pordes Residential on the acquisition and has been retained to manage the project.

"High-rise condos on the Las Vegas Strip are a supply-constrained market, and the condos at Veer Towers are in a fantastic location surrounded by world-class amenities, including fine dining, casinos and entertainment," stated Brian Harris, Ladder Capital's founder and CEO.

"We see premium value in the Las Vegas condominium market," said Mark Pordes, CEO of Pordes Residential, who has over 25 years of experience marketing and selling luxury condominiums in Las Vegas and South Florida. "The unique qualities of Veer Towers and the worldwide appeal of Las Vegas make the offering attractive in this market rebound."

"With deeply discounted prices in the resale market, relative to their new construction counterparts, it has been difficult for developer-owned units to gain traction without discounting prices," said a local real estate analyst for Las Vegas Business Press. "This transaction reflects an opportunity for CityCenter to move substantially all of the remaining inventory into third-party hands while fetching a market price ahead of other high-rise product in the resale market."

For more news and information visit Blumberg Capital Partners.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Bracebridge Sells Hallmark Center for $105M

Bracebridge Corporation, a real estate entity of MBNA Corporation before MBNA'S merger with Bank of America, sold the Hallmark Center in Addison, TX to Select Income REIT for $105 million, or $190 per square foot, this month. Bracebridge, an operating subsidiary of Bank of America, sold the property in a sale-leaseback deal with Newton, MA-based Select Income, which owns 260 properties primarily net leased to single tenants. Select Income funded the purchase using cash on hand and borrowings under it's revolving credit facility, according to a CoStar report. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and any broker involvement is unknown.

Hallmark Center at 16001 Dallas Parkway in Addison features two buildings: Hallmark Center I, delivered in 1977, is a two-story office building with 280,799 square feet. Designed by Corgan Associates Inc., the adjacent three-story Hallmark Center II was delivered in 1997 and features 280,799 square feet. Bank of America fully occupies the two buildings.

For more news and information visit Blumberg Capital Partners.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Drawbridge Realty Buys CA Office Buildings for $73M

Drawbridge Realty Trust, San Francisco-based real estate investment and development company, announced this week that it had acquired four buildings in San Diego County and Silicon Valley, adding over 227,600 square feet to Drawbridge's portfolio. According to a CoStar report, the company acquired three office buildings in San Diego and one in Santa Clara, CA, for an aggregate $73 million. The acquisitions occurred after Drawbridge received a $150 million capital infusion from Almanac Realty Investors last September.

"We feel that each property is ideally located in its submarket and is well positioned to attract and retain large corporate users," said Mark Whiting, CEO of Drawbridge Realty Trust. "We are looking forward to expanding the firm's portfolio, optimizing potential opportunities through redevelopment, and continuing to invest in quality properties."

Three properties were purchased in San Diego submarkets. Two buildings of the Discovery Corporate Center campus located at 11020 Via Frontera Drive and at 16465 Via Esprillo in Rancho Bernardo and developed by Webcor, were acquired for $53 million. The two properties are leased to Broadcom Corporation and comprise 137,438 square feet. The seller was Menlo Equities, LLC, and no brokers were involved in the off market transaction. Drawbridge also acquired a vacant life sciences building in San Diego County's Sorrento Mesa area, located at 6550 Nancy Ridge Drive. The 24,117 square-foot building was acquired for approximately $2 million and will be redeveloped to attract a corporate user. The fourth property is located 3201 Scott Boulevard in Santa Clara and was purchased for just under $18 million. The building totals 66,106 square feet and is leased to Advantest America. The seller was also Menlo Equities, LLC.

For more news and information visit Blumberg Capital Partners.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Trammell Crow Buys First Hill Medical Facility for $42.6M

After announcing late last year that they were re-entering the Seattle market, Trammell Crow made its first moves in the market with the acquisition of a medical facility at 1124 Columbia St. in First Hill for $42.6 million, along with two remote surface parking lot land parcels. In a joint venture with equity partner Washington Capital Management of Seattle, Trammell Crow bought the property from Alexandria Real Estate, according to a Puget Sound Business Journal article. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"We have the opportunity to deliver a completely renovated Class A medical office building in the heart of the premier hospital/medical services hub of the Puget Sound region, an area with significant barriers to entry and land scarcity," said Mike Nelson, a Principal with Trammell Crow Company's (TCC) Seattle Business Unit. "1124 Columbia is located adjacent to Swedish Medical Center, the region's premier hospital, and is well positioned to serve a population of over 1.2 million people. We believe this is a great project to kick off TCC's re-emergence in the Seattle commercial real estate market."

Plans for 1124 Columbia Street include a full redevelopment of the existing biotech research and development including the addition of an eighth floor and construction of a new parking structure to serve its medical office building tenants. The project, when complete in 2014, will be comprised of approximately 190,000 square feet of state of the art MOB space, with a complete rehabilitation of the building's common spaces, mechanical and electrical systems, common spaces and tenant suites. Trammell Crow also has plans to convert the two nearby parking lots into multiple residential buildings with 255 units, and may start construction on that by 2015.

For more news and information visit Blumberg Capital Partners.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Blumberg Grain in the News

Blumberg Grain was featured in an article titled Blumberg Grain Makes Ghana A Finalist For West African Manufacturing Hub published by The Investor yesterday. The article makes note of an impending investment decision to possibly locate a multi-million dollar Manufacturing Plant and Export Hub in Ghana by Blumberg Grain. An excerpt:

If Ghana is selected, the Blumberg Grain Hub would employ over 1,000 Ghanaians, generate USD 1.25 billion in sales/export, increasing Ghana's GDP by 3 percent, and house an agricultural institute that provides programming on best practices in agricultural development.

Blumberg's investment will make the winning country the major agribusiness center in the sub-continent. Ghana is in contention with sister African economies, but Blumberg's CEO, Philip Blumberg, said he was impressed with Ghanaian Minister of Food and Agriculture, Mr. Kwesi Ahoi's response, with whom he had personal contact during his 5-day visit.

Mr. Blumberg noted, "Minister Ahwoi has passion, an understanding of the business of agriculture, and a strong desire to see Ghana transformed into a vibrant and critical agricultural commune. Minister Ahwoi introduced us to his team in Accra, who were extremely impressive as well, both in their technical knowledge and their vision for a comprehensive system for Ghana", describing the response as, "extremely impressive."

Speaking about Ghana, the Blumberg team noted that this country is a good place for the Hub as according to them Ghana's Minister is committed to working within the political system to achieve for Ghanaian farmers improvement and support. "He's very focused on that. And that makes a difference to us because it means not only do we have ministerial support, but we also have a government advocate for the center. I was very encouraged by that."

To read the full article, click here. More news and information is available at Blumberg Capital Partners.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Tishman to Sell Three Bay Area Office Complexes

Tishman Speyer Properties is planning to sell three San Francisco Bay Area office complexes this year, hoping to capitalize on demand from investors and the recent rise in rental rates. According to a Bloomberg report, Tishman is seeking $430 million for the properties, a $135 million profit as the complexes were purchased for $295 million in transactions dating back to 2005.

The properties to be marketed include:

350 Rhode Island Street in San Francisco was originally developed for dot com tenants and designed by Pfau Long Architecture/Gordon Chong, with later development and renovation to accommodate the California Culinary Academy by Forell/Elsesser. The 260,000 square-foot, two-building office complex on a Potrero Hill was previously owned by SKS Investments. Tishman purchased the property in 2011 for $42 million and is said to expect $60 million in the sale.

Dublin Corporate Center in Alameda County is a Class A office campus comprised of three office buildings alongside Interstate 580. The current vacancy rate of the 18.6-acre Class A office campus is unknown, but Oracle Corp. is the lead tenant at the complex. Tishman is hoping to bring in $110 million for its sale, after reacpitalizing the property in 2010 by buying back all of the property's debt at a discount and committing new capital used to fund capital expenditures and leasing costs.

Sunnyvale Office Park in Sunnyvale comprises of three, 4-story Class A office buildings located in the heart of Silicon Valley. The 424,825 square-foot project is 100% leased to Juniper Networks, Inc. and serves as their world headquarters. Tishman acquired Sunnyvale Office park in 2005 for $174 million and is seeking a sale price of $260 million.

For more news and information visit Blumberg Capital Partners.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Pier 70 Plans in San Francisco Unveiled

Pier 70 San FranciscoThe plans for a $242 million mixed-use development at historic Pier 70 in San Francisco were unveiled to the public last night at a Central Waterfront Advisory Group meeting. The project calls for putting shops, restaurants, small manufacturers and a bayfront park, with roughly 1,000 apartments and 2.2 million square feet of office space. The historic shipyard at Potrero Point would begin Phase One construction in 2016, and would include the reuse of two historic shipyard buildings. The 100,000-square-foot Building 2 would become about 100 units of housing, and the 160,000-square-foot Building 12 would be reimagined as a loft-style creative office building with a ground floor marketplace that spills out into the public plaza, according to a San Francisco Business Times article.

In the Spring of 2007, the Port of San Francisco initiated a public planning process to produce a Preferred Master Plan for Pier 70. In 2010, the Port published its Preferred Master Plan for Pier 70 after extensive study and community planning. Last year, Forest City California Development, Inc., a subsidiary of Forest City Enterprises, was selected as the developer by the Port of San Francisco for Pier 70's 25-acre waterfront site. Forest City estimates that the infrastructure alone will cost $152 million and the historic restoration part of the project will come in at $90 million.

"We went out and spent six months working to capture the character of the neighborhood," said Jack Sylvan, a Forest City executive, in a SFGate article. "We want to understand what makes that part of the city tick."

"We think to deliver an office campus of the future, it includes residential," Forest City Senior Vice President Alexa Arena. "The two are intimately connected. If you don't have a 24-hour living place, you are not responding to the talent and the kind of talent companies need to house."

"We believe that Pier 70 can become a new model of how public/private partnership can bring industrial waterfronts back as leading economic growth and innovation drivers. New construction will compliment the historic resources of the site, and new uses, tenants and programs will co-exist symbiotically with existing maritime functions and infrastructure. All of this activity is expected to increase the Port's tax base, spur job creation and deliver significant community benefit," said Kevin Ratner, President of Forest City Development California.

For more news and information visit Blumberg Capital Partners.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Kilroy Buys Westlake Terry for $170M

Kilroy Realty Corporation announced today that it had closed on the acquisition of Westlake Terry in the Seattle submarket for approximately $170 million. Vulcan Inc. and Group Health sold the property, with Kilroy assuming an in-place loan of approximately $84 million that bears interest at 6.05%. According to a Puget Sound Business Journal article, when Vulcan and Group Health announced plans to sell the property this summer, Group Health said it intended to use the proceeds for its core business of health care, while Vulcan planned to use its share for more South Lake Union development projects. The listing agent for the sale was Jones Lang LaSalle.

"Westlake Terry encompasses all the compelling characteristics that we seek to include in our portfolio – strong submarket fundamentals, adjacency to transportation and abundant amenities as well as proximity to an anchor corporate user," said John Kilroy, Jr., Kilroy Realty's President and Chief Executive Officer. "In today's environment where core pricing has been extremely aggressive, it is our platform and franchise that have provided us with a competitive advantage to allow us to unlock the value of this acquisition and achieve an in-place cap rate in the mid 6% range on a fully-leased premier asset."

The 320,399 square-foot, two-building Class A office property was 100% leased at the time of sale, with about 126,000 square feet leased to Microsoft and 149,000 square feet occupied by Group Health Cooperative. The LEED Gold certified property, designed by Callison, was built in 2007 and occupies a full city block at 320 Westlake Avenue North and 321 Terry Avenue North.

For more news and information visit Blumberg Capital Partners.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

RXR Buying Leasehold at 75 Rockefeller Plaza

75 Rockefeller PlazaRXR Realty has agreed to acquire a 99-year leasehold interest in 75 Rockefeller Plaza, taking control of leasing and management of the 630,000 square-foot tower. According to a Bloomberg report, RXR Realty has positioned itself as a major player in the New York office market, with this transaction bringing their Manhattan portfolio to 6.5 million square feet, all acquired since 2009. "They have been super-active," said Joseph Harbert, eastern regional president of Colliers International, a commercial-property brokerage that isn't involved in the deal. "They seem to be the kinds of guys who want to hold onto these assets and not flip them. They're buying long-term projects."

Late last year, Mohamed Al Fayed, the building's owner, placed 75 Rockefeller Plaza on the market, hiring an investment sales team from Cushman & Wakefield to market the property, offering a leasehold interest instead of an actual ownership stake in the tower. In September, RXR Realty moved into the lead in the auction to take control of 75 Rockefeller Plaza, which would allow the buyer to rent the skyscraper long term, according to a Commercial Observer article. Bloomberg's source noted that RXR has plans to execute a complete renovation that could cost more than $100 million, and would have tenants vacate the building by September 2014 to execute the improvements, which should be completed by the third quarter of 2015.

75 Rockefeller Plaza, also known as the Esso Building and Time Warner Building, was completed in 1947, and at the time was the tallest completely air-conditioned building in New York City. The 33-story skyscraper is fully leased to Time Warner, but the company's commitment there expires in 2014.

For more news and information visit Blumberg Capital Partners.

Monday, January 14, 2013

CBRE Says CRE Continues Recovery in Q4

According to the latest analysis from CBRE Group, the U.S. commercial real estate market withstood pressures from an uneven economic recovery in Q2 2012 and remained on a recovery path. With vacancy falling 10 basis points to 15.4% overall in the office markets, the suburbs outperformed downtown markets by a different of 10 basis points. An excerpt from the CBRE report:

Technology, software, and energy driven markets had the largest occupancy gains in 2012, with vacancy rates in San Jose, Austin, Boston and Houston falling by 200 bps or more. As in 2011, some housing-based or CANVFLAZ (California, Nevada, Florida & Arizona) markets were among the best performers last year, as tenants locked in low rents and expanded their office footprints. Vacancy rates in Phoenix, Miami, Orange County and Ventura fell by 150 bps or more in 2012.

"While the national office vacancy rate has fallen for the third consecutive year, it remains 300 bps above its pre-recession low of 12.4%," said Jon Southard, Managing Director of CBRE’s Econometric Advisors group. "After a strong start in 2012, job growth was disappointing and while the recent budget deal signed by Congress and the President to avoid the 'fiscal cliff' 2 might ease some near-term concerns, uncertainty surrounding continued negotiations on the federal debt ceiling and further government spending cuts will continue to pose near-term downside risks for commercial real estate. However, private sector hiring and confidence should accelerate if Washington DC is able to forge a long-term budget deal and concerns in Europe remain at bay, paving the way for stronger office-using job growth and absorption."

For more news and information visit Blumberg Capital Partners.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Urdang Buys Boston's Two Liberty Square

Investors Warranty of America, an affiliate of AEGON USA Realty Advisors, has sold Two Liberty Square in Boston for $17.56 million to Urdang, a real estate investment specialist for BNY Mellon Investment Management. A joint venture of AEW Capital Management and Neelon Properties paid $23 million for the property in July 2007 after obtaining a $15 million loan from Transamerica Financial Life Co., a subsidiary of Aegon. Aegon took the property back in December 2010, the site reports. Jones Lang LaSalle listed the property for sale in September on behalf of Aegon USA Realty Advisors and handled the sale, according to a Boston Business Journal article.

"As expected, Two Liberty Square attracted significant investor interest from local operators to pension fund advisors and a wide range of institutional capital," said Frank Petz, a managing director at Jones Lang LaSalle, in a statement. "Boston has become a favorite market for foreign investors looking to invest in well-located, quality real estate."

The 11-story, 64,357-square-foot jewel office building was originally built in 1913 and was substantially renovated in 1996 and 1997. The building was 81% leased at the time of sale to nine tenants. Two Liberty Square has signed 40,406 square feet of new leases in the past 16 months. Located off Post Office Square on the corner of Milk and Kilby St, Two Liberty Square is within a 5 minute walk to all major T stops.

For more news and information visit Blumberg Capital Partners.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

WRIT Completes Sale of Plumtree Professional Center

Plumtree Professional CenterWashington Real Estate Investment Trust (WRIT), a real estate investment trust investing in income-producing properties in the greater Washington metro region, announced this week that it had completed the sale of Plumtree Professional Center for $8.75 million. Represented by Cassidy Turley, the 33,921-square foot, single-story medical office building was sold by WRIT to The Atkins Companies.

"As we continue to focus our investments in larger assets in areas closer to the Washington, DC urban core, Plumtree no longer fits into our strategic vision. The property has been a solid performer over the past six years, as evidenced by our 13% internal rate of return," said George F. "Skip" McKenzie, President and Chief Executive Officer of WRIT.

"This sale represented a rare opportunity for an investor to purchase a stable medical office property in the growing and affluent market of Harford County, Maryland," commented Jonathan M. Carpenter, Senior Vice President and Principal at Cassidy Turley. "Medical office assets remain attractive to both institutional and private investors due to their stable cash flows and irreplaceable locations near key healthcare demand drivers."

Plumtree Professional Center is located at 104 Plumtree Road in Bel Air, Maryland and was built in 1991. WRIT acquired the property in 2006 as part of a portfolio acquisition of four medical office buildings, achieving a net book gain of approximately $1.6 million according to a Baltimore Citybizlist report. At the time of sale, the building was fully leased to five unnamed tenants.

For more news and information visit Blumberg Capital Partners.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Inland Buys Rockwell Plaza and Stone Ridge Market for $94.7M

Inland American Real Estate Trust, Inc., sponsored by affiliates of The Inland Real Estate Group of Companies, Inc., announced this week that it had acquired two necessity-based shopping centers in Oklahoma and Texas for $94.7 million. Information about the sellers and terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"These properties are a terrific addition to our retail portfolio and match our long-term strategy of investing in multi-tenant, necessity-based retail properties," said Jeff Manno, vice president of acquisitions for Inland American. "Both assets are dominant retail properties in their areas, with diverse tenant mixes and strong demographics to position them for future growth."

According to a San Antonio Business Journal report, the first property, Stone Ridge Market in San Antonio, Texas, is a 218,436-square-foot shopping center anchored by an H-E-B Plus! store. Other tenants include PetSmart, Sports Authority and Half Price Books. Stone Ridge Market is located at the northwest quadrant of U.S. Highway 281 and Evans Road. REATA Real Estate developed Stone Ridge Market as a joint venture with landowner Frank Sitterle/Big Springs LTD. Bob Barnes, a REATA founder, has described Stone Ridge Market's design as "Hill Country with an edge."

Located at the intersection of Northwest Expressway and Rockwell Avenue, Rockwell Plaza in Oklahoma City is positioned in a bustling retail corridor that is exposed to more than 66,000 vehicles daily. The center has more than 40 tenants, including Ross Dress for Less, Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts, PetSmart, K&G Men's Warehouse, RadioShack, Rue21, GameStop, Dots and Dollar Tree. The property is shadow-anchored by Target.

For more news and information visit Blumberg Capital Partners.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Rubenstein Partners Sells Atlanta Properties for $118.5M

Wells Core Office Income REIT, sponsored by Wells Real Estate Funds, has completed the acquisition of two Atlanta, Georgia office properties from Rubenstein Partners for $118.5 million, or approximately $204 per square foot. CoStar Group reported that no brokers were mentioned, and terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but area field reports show that Cushman & Wakefield was leasing the properties.

The properties at 64 and 66 Perimeter Center E were developed in 1985 and 1971 (the older building at 66 Perimiter underwent renovations in 1985 as well). Perimeter Center East boasts visibility from I-285 and accessibility to local banks, restaurants, and retail at Perimeter Mall. 64 Perimeter Center is a 15-story, 381,432-square-foot structure while 66 Perimeter Center E is an eight-story, 199,000-square-foot building. The properties were 96% leased at the time of sale with State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. anchoring the buildings.

For more news and information visit Blumberg Capital Partners.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Demand for U.S. Office Space Still Sluggish

Gradual Growth CRE office sectorAs we start 2013, several reporting agencies have taken a look into the commercial real estate market and the demand for office space with a fairly consistent analysis: the office sector is still struggling for traction in the U.S. with occupancy rising at disappointing rates. The amount of occupied office space grew by 3.7 million square feet during Q4 2012, down from 4.8 million in both the third quarter and the year-earlier period, according to a report released by real estate research firm Reis Inc. Asking rents were up to an average of $28.46 per square foot, according to Reis, which looks at 79 metropolitan areas.

"Without a robust labor market recovery there will be no robust office market recovery," said Ryan Severino, senior economist for Reis. Severino explained that weak demand for space gives developers little reason to build, and expected that lenders will continue to impose more stringent requirements on developers before they will provide construction financing.

The cities with the tightest markets continue to be those with stronger technology or energy sectors in their economies. Rents in San Francisco, for example, rose 3.6%, the most of any of 79 markets, to $34.69 per square foot. The vacancy rate in San Francisco was 13.8%. Washington, D.C. has the tightest market of all at the moment, with a vacancy rate of 9.3%. But Severino expects New York to take that title soon as its increasingly important technology sector takes more space and as the government in Washington cuts employment.

For more news and information visit Blumberg Capital Partners.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Arrowhead Professional Center III Sold to Go Daddy's Bob Parsons

Plaza Companies and USAA Real Estate Company, in partnership under RP Arrowhead LLC, announced this week that they have sold Arrowhead Professional Center III in Glendale, Arizona for $13.25. In a statement, the companies said that the medical office project was purchased by Arrowhead Professional Center, LLC, an entity formed by YAM Holdings (though Phoenix Business Journal noted that its business filing with the Arizona Corporation Commission shows it was actually formed by YAM Properties LLC). YAM Properties is controlled by YAM Management LLC, which was formed in 2010 by Bob Parsons, Go Daddy's founder and Executive Chairman. The Journal goes on to note that YAM Management changed managers last month to Steve Gabbay, Anne O'Moore, Mike Quel and Parson's Robert Ralph Trust, and that the address listed for each is that of Go AZ Motorcycles, a dealership owned by Parsons.

"We are very pleased to reach an agreement on the sale of this exceptional medical office property," said Sharon Harper, president and CEO of Plaza Companies, in the statement. "We are also very pleased to continue to provide leasing and construction services moving forward to this strong new ownership group."

The 71,521-square-foot, 8-building complex at 18301 North 78th Avenue in Glendale was reportedly 89% leased at the time of sale. The deal was brokered by Cain Brothers RE of San Francisco, CA and Plaza Companies. The transaction includes an agreement between the new owner and Plaza Companies in which Margaret Lloyd of Plaza will handle leasing for Arrowhead Professional Center III moving forward. Plaza will also coordinate all construction services for the property.

For more news and information visit Blumberg Capital Partners.

Dermot Property Associates Sells $190.5M Portfolio

Represented by a New York team from Cushman & Wakefield, Dermot Property Associates has sold a 14-building New York-based portfolio for $190.5 million. Dermot Property Associates, an affiliate of The Dermot Co., sold ten of the buildings to the Parkoff Organization for $158 million, with the remaining four sold to Douglaston Realty. The 14 buildings were initially marketed as a package before it was determined that splitting it up was in the best interest of both the buyers and the seller, according to an article from The Commercial Observer.

"The guy in the Bronx and Manhattan didn't want the Queens buildings, and the guy in Queens didn't want the Bronx and Manhattan buildings, so it paid to split them up," said Aaron Jungreis, president of Rosewood Realty Group, who represented the buyers. "We did have much time to get the deal done before the end of the year and because both the buyers and the seller were very efficient we got this done in record time."

A breakdown of the properties, provided by Cushman & Wakefield:


201 & 207 West 11th Street – Located in the heart of the West Village between Waverly Place and the intersection of Seventh and Greenwich Avenues. 201 West 11th St. was built in 1920 and 207 West 11th St. was built in 1900. The six-story buildings have a total of 67 residential units and five commercial units.

229 East 12th Street – Located on a quiet tree-lined block between Second and Third Avenues in the East Village. Built in 1920, the seven-story, elevator building has a total of 36 residential units.

71 & 81 Orchard Street – Located between Broome and Grand Streets in the trendy Lower East Side. Built in 1907, the six-story, walk-up buildings have a total of 60 residential units and seven commercial units.

The Bronx:

2131 & 2132 Wallace Avenue – Located in the Pelham Parkway neighborhood of the Bronx at the southeast corner (2131) and southwest corner (2132) of Wallace Avenue and Lydig Avenue. Built in 1929, the six-story, elevator building has a total of 344 residential units and 18 commercial units. The property features several convenient shops and retailers on Lydig Avenue.

2146, 2162 & 2182 Barnes Avenue – Located on the east side of Barnes Avenue between Lydig Avenue and Pelham Parkway south. Built in 1930, the six-story, elevator buildings have a total of 211 residential units.


21-80 & 21-81 38th Street – Located in Astoria at the corner of 38th Street and Ditmars Boulevard. The 4-story walk-up buildings, situated across 38th Street from one another, contain 73 residential units and 11 commercial units and were built in 1927.

23-05 & 23-15 30th Avenue – Located in Astoria at the northeast corner of 30th Avenue and 23rd Street. The adjacent 4-story walk-up buildings constructed in 1927 contain 84 residential units.

For more news and information visit Blumberg Capital Partners.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Clarion Sells Interest in Naple's Waterside for $155M

Clarion Partners announced today that it had sold a 50% interest in Waterside Shops on behalf of the Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund (OPERF) for approximately $155 million, less assumed debt. Last month, Taubman Centers announced that it had entered into an agreement to acquire the interest from OPERF, with the remaining interests owned by an affiliate of The Forbes Company.

OPERF held an ownership in Waterside Shops since 1994 and noted that "It is with some degree of sadness that we have sold Waterside Shops," said Steve Latimer, Clarion Partners' portfolio manager for the OPERF relationship. "It has been a strong performer in the portfolio for a long time. However, the portfolio Clarion Partners manages for OPERF is now focusing exclusively on office opportunities. The capital generated from this sale will be reinvested in core office properties." Eastdil Secured acted as advisors to Clarion in the sale.

"We are delighted to build upon our successful partnership with Forbes by increasing our ownership in Waterside," said Robert Taubman, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Taubman Centers. "This highly productive, luxury oriented center complements our portfolio."

Opened in 1992, Waterside Shops is a luxury retail destination on Tamiami Trail in Naples, Florida that was completely redeveloped in 2006 by The Forbes Company. In addition to structural renovations and facade improvements, 30,000 tropical plants and flowering shrubs were planted, as was the Royal Palm promenade. Also added were fountains, walkways, and a 550-foot long, hand-laid rock wall punctuated with special water features cascading into a reflection pool. The fully-leased, 370,510 square-foot property is anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom, with luxury retailers Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Burberry, Cartier, Tiffany, DeBeers and Van Cleef & Arpels as well as Apple among the high-profile tenants.

For more news and information visit Blumberg Capital Partners.

Waterside Shops Naples

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Ventas Pays $242M for Atria's Management Company

Ventas, Inc. announced that it had acquired 100% of various private investment funds, previously managed by Lazard Frères Real Estate Investors, for $242 million. Ventas paid $1.5 billion two years ago for the real-estate assets of Atria Senior Living Group, at which point Atria's management company spun off into a separate entity and continued to manage the assets under a new contract with Ventas.

Atria remains the same corporate and licensed entity and will continue to manage for Ventas a portfolio of 118 high-quality, private pay senior living communities containing approximately 13,600 units that are located in major metropolitan markets with strong wealth demographics. While Ventas now owns 100% of Atria, Atria's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Moore will continue to lead Atria, one of the nation's premier providers of senior living care services.

"We have been working closely with Ventas to finalize this transaction, and we are so pleased that today we can announce its completion," said John A. Moore, Atria's Chief Executive Officer, in a press release. "This has been a complicated process, especially the structure of the transaction and the portfolio location in high barrier-to-entry real estate markets that have complex regulatory frameworks, but I believe that our ability to work together with the Ventas team to ensure a smooth transition is a great sign of things to come. We couldn't be more excited about what the future holds."

"We are excited to complete this strategic transaction, creating additional alignment and capacity to grow our private pay senior housing business with Atria," Ventas Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Debra A. Cafaro said. "Atria is one of the nation's premier providers of care to seniors, with a robust reporting and regulatory infrastructure. Its experienced team has delivered outstanding results. We are proud to expand our relationship with Atria, ensure its continued success and create additional opportunities for growth," she added.

For more news and information visit Blumberg Capital Partners.