Monthly Archives: October 2012 - Page 2

CNL Healthcare Makes Acquisitions in Florida and Iowa

By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor –

Orlando—CNL Healthcare Trust Inc., a seniors housing and healthcare real estate specialist, is investing $21.6 million in an assisted living and memory care development project in Florida, and acquiring three senior housing properties in Iowa for about $18.8 million.

In Florida, the company is buying, in its entirety, HarborChase of Villages Crossing in the town of Lady Lake. Upon completion, the project will consist of a two-story building containing 96 units and totaling about 91,000 square feet. The property is immediately adjacent to the Villages, the largest retirement community in the country and one of the fastest-growing small urban markets in the country, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Harbor Retirement Associates is the developer of the project, and when it’s finished Harbor will provide management under a long-term contract. The company has developed or renovated more than 1,400 seniors housing units across the country, and currently manages 1,411 units in 17 senior housing properties.

CNL Healthcare Trust has also acquired a 75 percent interest in three Windsor Manor senior housing properties in Iowa through a joint venture with GCI Development LLC. The properties are Windsor Manor of Vinton, a 36-unit assisted living and memory care center in Vinton; Windsor Manor of Webster City, a 46-unit assisted living and memory care facility in Webster City; and Windsor Manor of Nevada, a 40-unit assisted living and memory care property in Nevada, Iowa. The JV has entered into a long-term agreement with Provision Living LLC to operate these facilities.

CNL Healthcare Trust is a relative newcomer in the seniors housing arena, formed in the summer of 2011. Since then, however, it has grown rapidly, acquiring interests in seniors housing assets valued at more than $350 million. In June 2012, the company entered into a JV with Sunrise Senior Living to acquire seven senior housing communities for about $226 million.

North American Properties Begins Construction on a $35M Multifamily Development

By Keith Loria, Contributing Writer –

Atlanta—North American Properties has begun construction on BOHO, a 260-unit luxury multifamily residential project in Atlanta’s Historic Fourth Ward, which illustrates the company’s focus on building communities in walkable, urban neighborhoods.

“BOHO has the unique pleasure of being at the front steps of the newly completed Historic Fourth Ward Park and adjacent to Atlanta’s Beltline Eastside Trail,” Richard Munger, North American Properties’ partner and vice president of development, tells MHN. “The Old Fourth Ward neighborhood has shown strong rental and occupancy growth over the last few years responding to the influx of new restaurants and entertainment options complimenting the spectacular recreational uses available in the Historic Fourth Ward Park.”

Additionally, BOHO’s residents will have a short walk to the Ponce de Leon Whole Foods and the two million-square-foot mixed-use redevelopment transformation of City Hall East into Ponce City Market. BOHO has a Walk Score of 82, a number that measures the walkability of an address.

“NAP is focusing its efforts to create communities in walkable, urban neighborhoods with a ‘cool factor’ within walking distance of good restaurants, parks, coffee shops and other amenities,” Munger says. “On a macro level, the metro Atlanta area grew by leaps and bounds in the latter part of the 20th century, but the city of Atlanta was stuck in a steady decline. That trend has reversed itself as the population of Generation Y residents in Atlanta has grown every year for the last decade, and they are seeking more walkable urban communities.”

Units inside the $35 million project will contain granite and solid surface countertop, designer cabinets, laminated wood plank flooring, oversized walk-in closets, large windows maximizing light and views, tile backsplashes and upgraded appliances.

Community-wide amenities include a resort-style saltwater swimming pool overlooking Historic Fourth Ward Park, a state-of-the-art fitness canter and yoga room, a cyber café, outdoor grilling and dining area, a pet grooming station, art studio and covered parking.

“We are seeing a shift in our industry focusing more attention towards the needs of Gen Y. No longer content to live the lifestyle of their parents, with a half-acre lot, 2.5 kids and two SUVs, Gen Y seeks interaction beyond the four walls of a suburban home,” Munger says. “They seek activity and crave diversity of experience. In a word, they are attracted to energy. Energy created by putting feet on the street, residents walking to and from their homes in communities with a rich retail, restaurant, cultural and recreational offering.”

Other examples of NAP’s “walkable” multifamily strategy include the construction of ParkCentral, an eight-story, 200-unit luxury rental community located in Nashville, Tenn., directly across the street from the 132-acre Centennial Park and within walking distance of the amenities in Nashville’s West End; and Avalon, a four-story, 250-unit luxury rental community located in Alpharetta, Ga., which is slated to open in 2014.

278-Unit Multifamily Development Proposed in Dorchester

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor – MultiHousingNews Online

undefinedSynergy Investments, a Boston development company, has filed a letter of intent with the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) and is seeking approval to create a residential community on a vacant parcel located at 25 Morrissey Boulevard in Dorchester.

The 2.35-acre lot between JFK/UMass MBTA station and the Shaw’s Supermarket was purchased by the developer in 2007 for $30 million, along with the adjacent supermarket and the Greater Boston Media facility. As revealed by the Dorchester Reporter, the Residences at Morrissey Boulevard project represents Phase I of a more extensive revitalization plan that would span over the next 20 years along the Morrissey Boulevard under BRA’s guidance.

If approved by the City, construction at the site would begin in 2013 and the first residents could move in starting fall 2014. The $60 million complex will include two buildings—five-and-a-half stories each—totaling 278 rental apartments ranging from studios and lofts to three-bedrooms and priced from $1,200 to $1,800 per month in order to attract young professionals and families in this rather isolated area.

According to the news source, this phase does not include retail spaces because the area has yet to prove that is has commercial potential. However, the developer stated that a new market and retail/office facilities could be developed during Phase II of the project.

With vacancy rate trends spiraling down in Boston, as pictured in this chart fromMarcus & Millichap,  Synergy Investment’s new construction project will try to balance out the lack of housing inventory, at least in this area of Dorchester.

For a more detailed report on Boston vacancy rates, please click here.

Rendering of “Residences at Morrissey Boulevard” courtesy of Synergy Investments
Chart credits to Marcus & Millichap

Atlanta office sector rebounds, but downtown struggles

 – Commercial Real Estate Editor-Atlanta Business Chronicle –

Atlanta’s office market is posting its best absorption rate in more than five years.

That’s an important trend for an Atlanta market that still has a long road back to recovery.

Building owners use the absorption rate to measure the change in total space that their office tenants occupy. The higher the number, the healthier the office market.

Atlanta’s office market is on pace to absorb almost 3 million square feet this year, according to estimates from Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. (NYSE: JLL).

That’s the best performance since 2006, when Atlanta posted 2.8 million square feet in absorption. In 2007, it reported 2.1 million square feet.

Year-to-date, Atlanta has seen more than 2.5 million square feet of absorption, according to Jones Lang LaSalle.

The improvement is fueled by companies that are either consolidating regional office space in Atlanta, or expanding their existing presence here.

In Dunwoody, State Farm Insurance is opening a roughly 400,000-square-foot customer service center near Perimeter Mall. It’s moving into the formerly vacant 64 Perimeter Center East and 66 Perimeter Center East buildings.

In Buckhead, Boston-based technology services company Sapient Corp. (Nasdaq: SAPE) says it will expand to a full floor at the 3630 Peachtree tower. The company believes it could add 150 jobs over the next few years.

In Alpharetta, health care information technology company Athena Health will expand by almost half a floor of office space at the Northwinds development.

Atlanta building owners would be quick to caution against too much optimism.

The metro region has about 140 million square feet of class A and B space, or the top quality offices that corporate tenants prefer.

More than 26 million square feet of that type of space remains vacant.

That’s enough to fill Atlanta’s tallest skyscraper, the 50-story Bank of America Plaza, more than 20 times over.

Atlanta’s vacancy rate stands at 20 percent, down from its historic high of 22.5 percent in 2010, said Sarah Dasher, research manager with Jones Lang LaSalle Americas Inc.

Atlanta could use a few years in a row of absorption ranging from 3 million to 6 million square feet.

It did that in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Dasher said.

“We’ve not reached that again since the dotcom collapse, even during the housing bubble,” she said.

The reason is that developers continued adding spec office buildings, though that pipeline shut down after the last wave of office towers between 2007 and 2009.

Some “micro” office markets within Atlanta have rebounded well.

Buckhead is the best example. Vacancy was almost 30 percent in 2010 after the spec office buildings 3630 Peachtree, Two Alliance Center, Terminus 200 and Phipps Tower were completed.

Building owners offered huge concessions including free rent, free parking and tenant improvement allowances that induced several companies in northern Atlanta to relocate to Buckhead.

Now its vacancy sits at 16 percent.

Other parts of the region, such as downtown Atlanta, are struggling.

While Buckhead has posted more than 903,000 square feet of absorption this year and Midtown has seen more than 800,000, downtown’s absorption is negative by almost 100,000 square feet, according to Jones Lang LaSalle.

Buckhead and Midtown building owners have done a better job of landing tenants in recent years that have sought to upgrade their space to newer towers, a trend known as the “flight to quality.”

Some downtown tenants have relocated operations to other parts of the city, including SunTrust Banks.

Another challenge comes from the government and nonprofit sectors, which are big occupiers of downtown space. Neither have not been expanding.

The Northlake office market on the east Perimeter is also losing ground. Northlake has posted more than 375,000 square feet in negative absorption this year, according to Jones Lang LaSalle.

Is Atlanta retail on the move?

 By Bill Brown – Atlanta Business Chronicle –

The ICSC Southeast Conference was held this week at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, titled “Retail is on the Move.”

But is Atlanta-area retail truly “on the move” or not? We’ll know more after seeing the level of activity at the conference, an annual event held by the International Council of Shopping Centers to facilitate knowledge sharing and deal making.

Some signs that we may expect more activity this year than in recent years:

• More banks are talking about lending for retail deals. We continue to hear from more lenders who want to talk about possible deals. This is after 3-4 years when there simply wasn’t any activity to speak of.

• A number of retailers are doing well, which helps drive activity. Retailers selling exercise wear and outdoor equipment, restaurants offering “fast-casual” fare, and urgent-care centers, to name a few, are aggressively looking for new locations.

• More troubled properties are changing hands, which leads to more leasing activity. After a distressed center is sold at today’s sales prices, the new owner has a lower basis, allowing the landlord to offer leases at competitive rates. This breeds activity.

• For the first time in years, tenants have an opportunity to look at new space, as a limited number of new developments are getting off the ground around the Southeast.

Of course, the true measure of whether things are really looking up will be how many deals actually happen, after being talked about at the ICSC conference.

Polk Medical Center plans $40M replacement hospital

 – Staff Writer- Atlanta Business Chronicle –

Polk Medical Center plans to seek regulatory approval to to build a nearly $40 million replacement hospital west of Metro Atlanta.

The proposed facility will replace an existing 25-bed hospital in Cedartown, in Polk County.

The replacement hospital is expected to be built by 2016 and will include two operating rooms and an adjoining medical office building.

“Our goal is to improve the overall patient experience while providing additional services,” the hospital said on its website.

Polk Medical Center offers several services including cardiology, orthopedics, diagnostic radiology and rehabilitation.

Before Polk can start work on the replacement hospital, it must first go through the state’s certificate-of-need (CON) process, where health regulators need to be convinced, among other things, that the planned project is necessary.

Wal-Mart to hire 150, break ground for Atlanta store

By Arielle Kass – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution –

A Wal-Mart store in Atlanta’s Vine City area is hiring about 150 people.

Beginning Monday, the company will be interviewing job-seekers at a hiring center near the store. Interviews will be held until the full- and part-time positions are filled. The store will open in January.

The hiring center, at 825 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive Suite B in Atlanta, will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Applicants can apply in person at kiosks or online at Their applications will be screened before in-person interviews are granted at the center.

Benefits include health care options, discounts on groceries and a 401(k) match.

Wal-Mart is also breaking ground Monday on a Cascade Road store in Atlanta that will employ 300 people and open in mid-2013.

The Wal-Mart store’s design will adhere to requirements of a local overlay district, including a requirement for trees and a restriction on outdoor signs.

The company is seeking to build more intown stores in Atlanta. Wal-Mart spokesman Bill Wertz said the company “would like to have as many as we can” inside the Perimeter, but that it was too soon to give specifics about where other stores would be.

Earlier this month, a vote to change land use rules in Buckhead to allow a Wal-Mart to build fell short by one vote in Atlanta’s city council.

Carter’s to move operations to Georgia

By JEFF MARTIN – The Associated Press –


A clothing manufacturer plans to consolidate its operations in a move that’s expected to bring about 200 jobs to Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal said.

Carter’s Inc. on Thursday announced the plans, which involve merging work now done in Connecticut with the company’s Atlanta headquarters operation.

“Carter’s is well-acquainted with the competitive benefits our business climate can provide for headquarters operations, and we look forward to helping the company continue to thrive here,” Deal said in a statement Thursday.

The children’s clothing retailer said it expects to complete the move by the end of 2013.

“We have a long and successful history of doing business in Georgia,” said Michael Casey, chairman and chief executive officer of Carter’s.

“Atlanta is a very compelling place to live and work,” Casey said. “We look forward to bringing our Connecticut-based operations to Atlanta, which will strengthen our collaboration and ability to provide consumers with the best value and experience in young children’s apparel.”

In April, the company announced that it planned to open a one-million-square-foot distribution center in Braselton for its e-commerce, retail and wholesale businesses.

“Carter’s is one of the top providers of clothing and products for babies and young children in the nation, and we’re proud the company calls the city of Atlanta home,” Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reedsaid in a statement.

The new positions in Atlanta are mostly in the areas of retail merchandising and store operations, finance and information technology, state officials said. The company already employs about 1,200 people in the Atlanta metro area.

A company spokesman said he couldn’t comment on how many jobs would be eliminated by the closing of the Shelton, Conn., facility.

Carter’s Inc. calls itself the nation’s largest branded marketer of apparel and related products exclusively for babies and young children.

Copyright The Associated Press

When Does It Makes Sense to Purchase Your NNN Building?

By Randolph T. Mason, CCIM, SIOR, Partner, Commercial Realty Specialists –

The decision to buy your own building is a question that plagues business owners and investors on a consistent basis. Is there ever a correct answer to this question? I believe there is. If a business is going to be occupying its own building, purchasing versus renting often makes sense if the business is fairly stable with its growth projections. If a business has been the same size headcount and occupancy space-wise for some time, looking at purchasing your own property could warrant some investigation. I recently represented a buyer in the purchase of their facility. They had been at a fairly stable head count for some time and buying the property was less expensive than renting.

When the monthly purchase costs are similar to monthly rental expenses, and the buyer has the down payment, clearly this could make sense. Currently, there are many tax advantages to owning your own real estate.  The owner is able to deduct the interest expense along with all of the other costs of ownership. In leasing, all of the expenses are deductible, yet no equity is realized. It always makes sense to discuss this opportunity with your accountant prior to finalizing any transaction. When clients have monthly or quarterly meetings with their accountant, projections can be analyzed, cash on hand can be assessed and discussions determining a long-term investment should take place.

The security one receives by owning their property should not be overlooked. Landlords can increase lease rates, sell their investment, not renew tenants, as well as a myriad of other scenarios. Running your business is challenging enough; why add another level of uncertainty to the mix if it’s not necessary?

If a company is on a dramatic growth spurt, is a new business or simply needs the affability of a lease, I generally do not recommend purchasing. Having relative flexibility in turbulent times is an important feature of a lease. It always makes sense to look at your long term vision when considering these alternative decisions.

Do It Now!

By Les   Brown

No matter what area of sales you are in, it all boils down to:   Networking, Prospecting, Phoning, Getting Leads, Making Appointments,   Opportunities for Presentations and… the   possibility of new business!


There are a   lot of ATTITUDES that can come together to make this happen . . . But one of   mine that I underscore again and again is to: “Live each day with a Do   it Now! attitude.”

I have learned both personally and from study that success doesn’t result from   luck or random chance. Success never just “happens to the fortunate   few.” Instead, achievers make their own opportunities in business and in   life by doing more than daydreaming or vaguely desiring..


They possess a “DO IT   NOW!” attitude that motivates them to take actions required to soar   above the rest and bridge the gap between their dreams and reality.

Through the   ages, philosophers, heads of state, commanding generals, athletes, and   businesspeople – leaders and go-getters of all types – have tried to kindle   the flame of imagination and light the fire of enthusiasm so that the people   can glimpse the heights they might reach, the richness of rewards they might   savor, and the happiness they might enjoy.

The early Greek philosopher Plato said that if people would move the world,   they must first move themselves. This statement offers one of the enduring   truths of all time. To accomplish any personally meaningful and productive   result, translate all of your ideas, your plans, and your decisions into immediate   action.

The worst handicap any person can possess is the insidious habit of   procrastination. Procrastination is responsible for missed opportunities, low   productivity, and general dissatisfaction with life.

The most BRILLIANT IDEA, The most IMPORTANT DECISION, or The BIGGEST   PROSPECTIVE SALE you will ever make will happen only when you TAKE ACTION and   MAKE IT HAPPEN!!

Adopt a SPARK and FIRE of URGENCY, and you can turn your dreams and goals   into reality!

A Do-It-Now attitude and self-generated urgency are universally available,   and are the keys to success in your particular kind of business.   Anyone—including you—can become so motivated that you reach and surpass –   important life goals. The intensity of desire you develop depends on YOU;   others cannot supply it for you.

I have been credited with starting the self-improvement industry. I know it   inside out, forward and backward. I have written about it, and have lived it.   And because I care about you, I want desperately in some way to help you achieve.

BUT THE TRUTH IS, the intensity of desire you develop depends on YOU and YOU   ALONE – no one else can supply it for you.

You can’t be an achiever just because a family member was successful, or   because your friends are successful business people. And although you can   have mentors who give you guidance, they cannot succeed for you.

It is strictly in your hands. You are the only one responsible for your   success.


Exercise initiative!
Always set goals.
Always put your plans in writing with specific   deadlines.
Determine the time frames you will work.
Then not only take action,   but take INTELLIGENT, RIGHT ACTION and proceed with unswerving singleness of   purpose!

Adopt a DO IT NOW attitude, because: NOW IS THE TIME TO SUCCEED!!