Tag Archives: prc

Troppe gets Hands on another Downtown Akron Building — “Thank Goodness!”


LANDMARK RESCUED

Tony Troppe renovating historic Kaiser Building for use as cafe, offices across from Canal Park

By Betty Lin-Fisher
Beacon Journal staff writer

Photo credits (Ed Suba Jr./Akron Beacon Journal)

A downtown Akron building whose last owner lost it to foreclosure after a failed attempt to sell it on eBay is getting new life under the eye of historic building renovator Tony Troppe.

Plans call for the Kaiser Building, across from Canal Park on South Main Street, to have a cafe or store in two slots on the first floor, offices on the second floor and a mix of offices and loft apartments on the third floor.

”I did not like that vacancy across the street from the ballpark,” said Troppe, who has renovated several historical buildings in downtown Akron. ”I felt for some time that a building of that stature should be brought back.”

Troppe said he wants to create ”a positive node of knowledge workers,” referring to downtown workers and students who soon will be living at the 22 Exchange Place project a few hundred feet away. He believes they will be looking for places to hang out, eat and work.

The building, believed to have been built in 1877, formerly housed a German-American Family Club and had a grand ballroom on the third floor with 18-foot-high ceilings.

Troppe envisions a world-cafe type of eatery on part of the main floor, with coffee, beer, food and live music. He also wants to create an outdoor eating area on a brick patio to the side or possibly a drive-through window. Troppe said he is in discussions with potential tenants and might run the cafe on his own, similar to Mocha Maiden on Maiden Lane off East Market Street.

Troppe, with private investors under the name Kaiser Hall Revival Group, bought the building from the mortgage lender after a sheriff’s sale for $365,000, according to public records. They have financed the project through Portage Community Bank.

The building’s previous owner, Jeremy Caudill and his company, JJC Investors Inc., had purchased it in 2005 for $650,000. But Caudill was unable to renovate the building or sell it, including an unsuccessful listing on eBay, before losing it to foreclosure for delinquent taxes and back payments to the lender.

The building, at 323 and 325 S. Main St., needed a lot of internal demolition, Troppe said. Crews began in March, and Troppe hopes to have the first floor done and open for business by fall.

FOR COMPLETE ARTICLE, CLICK HERE <—–

NAR issues “cautionary” advice in its Commercial Real Estate numbers

The National Association of Realtors issued predictions for four major sectors of commercial real estate this week. According the report, national office vacancies are expected to increase from 16.1% in 2009 to over 20% in 2010 with rents falling about 7% this year and 0.8% next year.

Retail vacancies, which were just under 10% in 2008, are projected to rise to 12.1% in 2009 and 15.8% in 2010. Rents are expected to fall 2.1% in 2009 and 1.5% in 2010. Industrial vacancies are expected to increase to 11.9% in 2009 and 12.6% in 2010 with rents falling 3.4% this year and 4% in 2010. Multi Family is expected to fare the best; vacancy is expect to increased to 6.8% this year and 6.7% in 2010 from 5.7% in 2008 with rents slightly growing this year and next.

If these predictions are accurate or close to accurate, there will be more pain in commercial real estate, and we are nowhere near a bottom — especially in office and retail. Loan delinquencies have been increasing in both segments in early 2009 and they could spike over the next two years.

Going forward, overweight multi-family, which continues to benefit from lower home ownership rates and less new supply. Invest in retail and office selectively; only companies that have a handle on their debt maturities over the next couple of years which will help them withstand a prolonged downturn.

Article found on Seeking Alpha (Click here for site) and written by By Greg Sukenik

Boston’s John Hancock Tower, New England’s tallest building, was sold Tuesday in a foreclosure auction held by an investor group for $660.6 million, half the price paid by real-estate private-equity firm Broadway Partners three years ago

Boston’s John Hancock Tower, New England’s tallest building, was sold Tuesday in a foreclosure auction held by an investor group for $660.6 million, half the price paid by real-estate private-equity firm Broadway Partners three years ago.

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Original post & story By — Email LINGLING WEI

The winning bidder was a partnership between Normandy Real Estate Partners and Five Mile Capital Partners, which holds the senior portion of $700 million in so-called mezzanine debt, or the part that fills the gap between the first mortgage and a borrower’s equity. The partnership agreed to pay $20.1 million for the mezzanine debt and assume the first mortgage of $640.5 million. The Normandy-Five Mile team has bought pieces of the mezzanine debt at discounted prices since June 2008. The debt was originally made by Greenwich Capital, which is part of Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

The auction, which some participants described as a “non-event” and lasted only a few minutes, reflects a steep decline in commercial-property values as the economic distress sweeps through office buildings, shopping malls, hotels and the like. The investor group moved to conduct the foreclosure auction after Broadway defaulted on the mezzanine loan, which came due in early January.

Unless other creditors or Broadway Partners go to court to try to block the foreclosure, the Normandy-Five Mile partnership will take over the building immediately. People familiar with the matter said a court fight is “highly unlikely.”

The Normandy-Five Mile partnership also won the bidding for one other office tower controlled by Broadway Partners in Southern California, called 10 Universal City Plaza near Los Angeles. Their winning offer was about $304.9 million.

For full article and other commercial news, visit WSJ, here <—-

General Growth (2nd largest U.S. Mall owner) files for bankruptcy protection

General Growth Properties Inc, the second largest U.S. mall owner, filed for bankruptcy protection on Thursday in one of the biggest real estate failures in U.S. history.

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Ending months of speculation, the Chicago-based mall owner, which listed total assets of $29.56 billion and total debts of $27.29 billion, sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from creditors along with 158 of its more than 200 U.S. malls, while it seeks to restructure some of its debt.

Since November, General Growth has warned that it may have to seek protection from its creditors when it was unable to refinance maturing mortgages.

The company said in a statement that it planned to continue exploring strategic alternatives during the bankruptcy protection, from which it is seeking to emerge as quickly as possible through a reorganization that preserves its national business.

General Growth’s filing in the U.S. bankruptcy court in Manhattan makes it one of the largest nonfinancial companies to succumb to the financial crisis in the U.S.

Before the bankruptcy protection filing, the company had defaulted on several mortgages as well as a series of bonds. It has also put several of its flagship properties up for sale.

Analysts and other real estate experts have speculated that mall owners Simon Property Group Inc and Westfield Group would be interested in buying some of General Growth’s assets from bankruptcy.

General Growth has been generating enough cash flow for the company to pay monthly interest costs and expenses, but it has been unable to refinance the principal of loans and mortgages as they come due because banks and other financing sources have been reluctant to issue large mortgages and loans.

“Our core business remains sound and is performing well with stable cash flows,” General Growth Chief Executive Adam Metz said in a statement.

“While we have worked tirelessly in the past several months to address our maturing debts, the collapse of the credit markets has made it impossible for us to refinance maturing debt outside of Chapter 11.”
General Growth has received a commitment for a debtor-in-possession financing facility of about $375 million from Pershing Square Capital Management LP, as agent.

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The hedge fund run by William Ackman also owns about 25 percent of General Growth shares.

Ackman, who has been urging General Growth to file for bankruptcy protection, described it as “a great company” with “phenomenal assets” at a conference on April 2.

At the end of 2008, about $15.17 billion of General Growth’s debt was comprised of mortgage loans that had been securitized into commercial mortgage-backed securities, according to research firm Trepp.

“This underscores that real estate companies are most vulnerable to refinancing risk rather than market risk,” said Nomura’s London-based property analyst Mike Prew. “The U.S. insolvency process is, we think, a cure for General Growth’s liquidity problems, which stem from external factors, and not a traditional bankruptcy per se.”

Shares of General Growth have deteriorated as the credit crisis worsened. They closed at $1.05 in the United States on Wednesday, making the company’s market capitalization $283.90 million, down from $11.l8 billion when it traded at a 12-month high of $44 in May.

So far, fallout from the General Growth bankruptcy has not hit European mall owners. Europe’s biggest mall owner, Unibail Rodamco, was trading up 2 percent at 118.69 euros, while Anglo-French retail specialist Hammerson edged up 0.2 percent to trade at 307.75 pence.

For the full article (Reporting by Ilaina Jonas, Emily Chasan and Sinead Cruise in London; editing by Elaine Hardcastle and Lisa Von Ahn) and a history of the company, click here <—-

Barack Obama announces Homeowner Stability and Affordability Plan

On February 18, 2009, President Obama announced his Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan, designed to help up to 7-9 million families avoid foreclosure by restructuring or refinancing their mortgages.

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This plan aims to assist homeowners who have maintained payments and are making earnest attempts to continue along the path. Rather then try to help a boater after they have fallen into the raging waters, this aims to give them a lifejacket and stabilize the boat beforehand.

The 3 main components of the plan, via http://realtor.org are as follows:

1. Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) Refinancing for Up to 4 to 5 Million Responsible Homeowners with GSE loans to Make Their Mortgages More Affordable

2. A $75 Billion Homeowner Stability Initiative to Reach Up to 3 to 4 Million At-Risk Homeowners

3. Supporting Low Mortgage Rates By Strengthening Confidence in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

For a chart breakdown, visit this link.

Real Estate Agents v. Real Estate Consultants – (Is it Superman v. Clark Kent) or (A Chocolate Labrador v. A Yellow Labrador)

Real Estate Agents v. Real Estate Consultants – (Is it Superman v. Clark Kent) or (A Chocolate Labrador v. A Yellow Labrador)

I have recently been kicking around ideas as how to differentiate and set myself apart from others that I am so alike already… Professional and knowledgable Commercial Real Estate Agents who provide sound judgement, consistent passion and earnest service.

I have some initials after my name, but most are peripheral and add to the clutter of random initials. Does a potential client really care if the letters RSAG (“Really Super Awesome Guy”) are next to your name or do too many listed certifications mean “White Noise”.

In commercial there are only 2 or 3 designations that have much bearing on others and mostly the others are other agents/brokers in the industry. But I digress for now, this is another topic for a different day.

Where do the differences lie? Are you unique unto yourself?

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The underlying point is that it is not a large leap from an Agent to a Consultant, but there are some factors that a consultant must abide by to differentiate from an Agent.

Starting with a nonpartisan and open-minded approach to the client. This doesn’t mean that the consultant doesn’t care; but an unbiased approach is vital for true objectivity to decide if the consultant can assist (or wants to assist) the consumer in solving his real estate needs. By objectively summarizing the project, then the consultant can truly advise themselves and the client as to the prospect of achieving goals. The agent is driven to achieve the listing or sale here and usually a little biased by nature of the job.

A Real Estate Consultant surmizes the whole and not just the part of the whole. The Consultant must look deeper then simply the property and its charateristics but ultimately at the entire portfolio, debt, liabilities, etc, etc.. Whereas the agent may analyze the property both physically and financially, the whole of the parts is usually not obtained or needed for the job to be completed.

Finally, in preparing a plan of objectives and the path to attain those, the Consultant must layout primary and secondary options to accomplish the goals addressed. Whereas the agent usually is faced with the question of, “How do I sell this property?

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The Best Subway Ad Ever?

<img src=”subway ad” alt=”subway ad” />

The Foreclosure Identity…starring Banks and How they are making things Worse!

The bad mortgages that got the current financial crisis started have produced a terrifying wave of home foreclosures. Unless the foreclosure surge eases, even the most extravagant federal stimulus spending won’t spur an economic recovery.

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The Obama Administration is expected within the next few weeks to announce an initiative of $50 billion or more to help strapped homeowners. But with 1 million residences having fallen into foreclosure since 2006, and an additional 5.9 million expected over the next four years, the Obama plan — whatever its details — can’t possibly do the job by itself. Lenders and investors will have to acknowledge huge losses and figure out how to keep recession-wracked borrowers making at least some monthly payments.

So far the industry hasn’t shown that kind of foresight. One reason foreclosures are so rampant is that banks and their advocates in Washington have delayed, diluted, and obstructed attempts to address the problem. Industry lobbyists are still at it today, working overtime to whittle down legislation backed by President Obama that would give bankruptcy courts the authority to shrink mortgage debt. Lobbyists say they will fight to restrict the types of loans the bankruptcy proposal covers and new powers granted to judges.

The industry strategy all along has been to buy time and thwart regulation, financial-services lobbyists tell BusinessWeek . “We were like the Dutch boy with his finger in the dike,” says one business advocate who, like several colleagues, insists on anonymity, fearing career damage. Some admit that, in retrospect, their clients, which include Bank of America (NYSE:BAC – News), Citigroup (NYSE:C – News), and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM – News), would have been better off had they agreed two years ago to address foreclosures systematically rather than pin their hopes on an unlikely housing rebound.

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For full article, visit this link… http://news.yahoo.com/s/bw/20090213/bs_bw/0908b4120034085635;_ylt=AtWsJftLkHmVUS64jGxOxMayBhIF

30 topics to focus on in your blog

“Should we have a property blog?”

Blogging isn’t for everyone, but I think there are lots of reasons why the answer is absolutely YES.

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If you have a property blog, or if you’ve thought about writing one, but don’t think you have enough ideas to write about, here are 30 ideas to get you started:

1. How to get the most from our property management team.
2. Recommend an improvement to our community.
3. What kinds of community events would interest you most?
4. Exciting updates or changes coming in future months.
5. How to decorate a small space.

6. Upcoming events, coupons and offers for the next two weeks.
7. A little bit about us.
8. Best kept secrets in our neighborhood.
9. Best place to get a beer, find home accessories, watch the fireworks, etc.
10. Photos from this month’s community party or meetup.
11. Video: A day in the life of our service technicians. (You could also post this on your Careers page.)
12. Our residents rock!
13. We support these causes/non-profits, and here’s why.
14. Tips to lower your utility bills. (You could interview someone from the local utility company.)
15. Have you seen our community garden, dog park, fitness room, whatever.
16. How we handle your disputes or complaints.
17. Anything that builds on a recent piece in your resident newsletter. (Use this both ways — promote recent blog posts in your newsletter.)
18. How to handle a difficult neighbor.
19. Can you recommend a better process for this?
20. We’re sorry, and here’s how we’ll handle things next time.
21. Report from our resident community review board.
22. We hate to see you go, but if you have to leave, here are some tips when preparing for move-out. (Too much?)
23. Need to talk to us? Friend us on Facebook (or Myspace, or Twitter or… You get the point.)

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Click on link below picture of city for original story.

FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS — The Death of the Small Community Bank

Despite the title of this article, community banks are not going to croak and die out altogether tomorrow.

However, the U.S. banking industry has been consolidating for the past 15 years. The big gobble up the small. As a result, banks keep getting bigger. It’s harder to find small banks.

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This could mean it gets harder for small businesses to get loans in the future. And at the very least, the face of small-business banking will change — in part, for the better and in part, for the worse.

According to research by Celent, smaller banks are on their way to becoming an endangered species. Between 1992 and 2008 the number of U.S. commercial banks under $100 Million in assets dramatically shrank, with the number dropping by 5,410 (from over 8,000 to under 3,000 banks in that size range).

The amount of deposits held by these smaller banks also declined. Today, the top 5 banks in the United States have almost 40% of all deposits. As this chart from the Celent research report shows, smaller banks are bleeding deposits, with the amount of deposts held by small banks declining every year since 1992:

Large banks are able to drive operational efficiencies due to economies of scale. The report notes: “Running a bank requires a certain amount of scale, and that floor is rising due to increasing regulatory requirements, channel support, and product support.” Thus, there’s a lot of pressure for banks to consolidate and get bigger, so that they can get more efficient and profitable. In other words, they may not be able to afford to stay small.

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So what does this have to do with small businesses? Well, it means that as smaller banks go away, small businesses, particularly in rural areas without a lot of competing banks, may have a tougher time in the future getting loans.

I’ve long contended that the main advantage of a community bank over a larger bank is if you need a loan. By developing a personal relationship with the local lending officer in a small community bank, as a business owner you may have a better shot at getting a business loan on favorable terms, especially in borderline situations.

But larger banks can be good news for small businesses, too. If you’re looking for the most sophisticated banking products; advanced online banking and bill pay technology; extended branch networks/ hours — larger banks usually walk all over the smaller banks. The wider range of banking products and the convenience of online banking and longer hours — typically provided by larger banks — is a positive development for small businesses.

For your small business, you have to decide what you want most. Do you go for a larger bank that gives you the kind of sophisticated services and banking products that can help make your business more productive, efficient and profitable? Or do you go for a smaller bank where you can get access to the decision-makers, and forge a relationship that may come in handy for a business loan?

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Meanwhile, the Federal government is paying healthy banks to take on weaker banks under the financial system bailout from 2008. For instance, if you look at this list of banks getting TARP money, you’ll notice many are not even in trouble. Some have already made ”arranged marriages,” such as PNC which quickly acquired National City Bank with some of the TARP money. That means this consolidation trend will not only continue, but probably increase — and small and midsize banks may disappear faster than ever before.

Small Business Advice, Small business operations, Commercial Real Estate

February 3, 2009 By Anita Campbell

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