Catalfumo continues growth with Fisher-Clark acquisition

Going against the tide of corporate belt-tightening, Catalfumo Construction and Development of Palm Beach Garden, Fla., has acquired Fisher-Clark Construction, a West Palm Beach, Fla.-based general construction company specializing in mid-sized projects. Dan Catalfumo, company owner and president, said the acquisition will enable Catalfumo Construction to offer customers a wide range of projects, from small-scale renovation projects to multi-million dollar large-scale projects.

According to Catalfumo, while many companies are quietly trimming the ranks and cutting costs due to the economic downturn, Catalfumo Construction continues to expand and grow. “We're totally opposite. We're trying to hire as many people as possible,” he said. “We've signed up more work — this is our record year.”

Catalfumo doesn't subscribe to the notion that a company has to slow down during a recession. He said that during the lean years of the early 1990s, he was able to grow the company, and he plans to do the same during this economic period.

The company has approximately 64 projects under way. In a recent complex transaction, Catalfumo sold a build-to-suit broadcast facility for $16.5 million to Scripps Howard, the station owners of WPTV-Channel 5, Palm Beach County, an NBC affiliate. Catalfumo also brokered the sale of the station's former studios to Watermark Communities for $7.2 million.

PNC Real Estate closes $882 million CMBS offering

PNC Real Estate Finance, a member of the Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services Group, has closed an $882 million commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) offering. The PNC Mortgage Acceptance Corp. 2001-C1 offering consists of 131 fixed-rate mortgage loans, with PNC Bank contributing 42.4% of the principal balance. New York-based Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Mortgage Capital contributed 35.1%, and Chicago-based LaSalle Bank contributed 22.5%.

The mortgages were collateralized by a wide array of commercial real estate, with retail and office properties comprising 39.8% and 24.6%, respectively. Morgan Stanley & Co. and PNC Capital Markets served as co-lead managers for the transaction. ABN AMRO Inc. and Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown served as co-managers. Midland Loan Services, a PNC Real Estate Finance company, will act as master and special servicer.

Precept and Cohen form commercial lending alliance

Precept Corp., a real estate services firm for lenders, mortgage brokers and borrowers, and Cohen Financial, have entered into an alliance. The partnership will facilitate the underwriting and closing of more than $5 billion in commercial mortgage loans over the next five and one-half years, with origination goals for the next 18 months set at $300 million.

Oakland, Calif.-based Precept's goal is to bring standardization to the commercial lending process through its loan origination process. The company also recently completed its third round of financing for $14 million.

Finance professionals at Chicago-based Cohen Financial will be able to use Precept's system, which will be employed as part of Cohen's Vanguard initiative, a review and re-engineering of its corporate systems and processes.

C & W forges partnership with Windy City's Baum Realty

In an effort to increase its retail brokerage operations in the Midwest, New York-based Cushman & Wakefield (C&W) has formed an alliance with Baum Realty Group in Chicago.

The alliance will enable Baum Realty Group to manage retail-leasing assignments sourced by C&W's regional offices in Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis and St. Louis.

California pension fund invests in UrbanAmerica

UrbanAmerica LP, New York, has received a $30 million investment from the Los Angeles County Employee Retirement Association (LACERA), a $29.5 billion public pension fund.

UrbanAmerica focuses on acquisitions of retail and office properties in urban markets that haven't received institutional investment or redevelopment. According to the company, this is the first real estate investment ever received from the public pension fund market.

Key provides $202 million loan to Archstone Communties

Archstone Communities Trust, an Englewood, Colo.-based REIT, has received $202 million in financing from Cleveland-based Key Commercial Mortgage, secured through Freddie Mac's Program Plus lending program. The company will use the money to finance loans on 11 multifamily properties in its portfolio across the U.S.

The loan is the largest commercial mortgage loan to date issued by Key Commercial Mortgage.

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