Ewing and Johnson formW.B. Johnson Development

W.B. Johnson Properties and Ewing Southeast Realty, both Atlanta-based, have teamed up to form a new company, W.B. Johnson Development. The partnership brings together the strengths of W.B. Johnson, founder and principal of the Ritz-Carlton hotel group, and Morris Ewing Sr., an Atlanta-based real estate professional.

This venture was created to pursue real estate development in Atlanta, South Florida and other Southeast markets. “We reached an agreement to form (W.B. Johnson Development) to invest in what we consider to be entrepreneurial real estate,” Ewing said. “We want to put our combined expertise toward developing mixed-use plans.” The company's first project will be tearing down Old Naples Inn in Naples, Fla., and building condominiums on the site.

Johnson brings hospitality development expertise along with his practical experience as chairman of the board and CEO of W.B. Johnson Properties. Johnson's two partners in the deal are J. Richard Stevens, CFO, and Larry Martindale, chairman and CEO of Tampa-Fla.-based Northlake Foods.

Morris Ewing brings extensive retail experience. He also gained office and industrial expertise at Dallas-based Trammell Crow Co. and Charlotte, N.C.-based Faison. His two sons, Morris Ewing Jr. and Andy Ewing, join him in the venture.

Standard & Poor's acquires Web-based analytic company

New York-based Standard & Poor's has acquired Charter Research, a Boston-based company that provides real-time, Web-based analytic technology for the commercial real estate industry.

Charter Research will operate as a business unit within Standard & Poor's, which is a division of The McGraw-Hill Cos. Charter's Internet-based analytic technology platform is designed for the active management of commercial loan portfolios, both securitized and privately held. Standard & Poor's provides financial information, analytical services and credit ratings to the world's financial markets.

One Beacon Street receives $170 million in financing

Newark, N.J.-based Prudential Real Estate Investors (PREI) and Boston-based Westbrook Partners received $170 million in financing for the 1 million sq. ft. office tower, One Beacon Street, in Boston.

Sonnenblick-Goldman Co., New York, acted as the exclusive adviser to PREI and Westbrook. The financing was provided by an offshore bank and arranged as part of Westbrook Partners' purchase of an interest in the building. The rest of the building is owned by PREI through the Prudential Property Investment Separate Account. One Beacon Street is 100% leased. Built in 1973, the office building offers amenities such as a 300-vehicle parking garage located underneath the building, along with a ground-level retail concourse and a fitness center.

Colliers Seeley expands lineup of financial services

In this spiraling economy, guarding the health of a company balance sheet is imperative. For this reason, Los Angeles-based Colliers Seeley International formed the Corporate Real Estate Finance Group to offer a more comprehensive suite of financial services.

The two managing directors of this new six-person group are W. Bret Hardy and Mark K. Nester. This group within Colliers will specialize in consulting assignments for complex, structured finance transactions. Among other duties, the team will be involved in complex, off-balance-sheet finance placement for real estate assets.

Colliers uses off-balance-sheet financial tools and services such as sale-leasebacks, synthetic leases, credit instruments, REITs, 1031 transfers and tax-deferrals, barter transactions, equity swaps, joint ventures and cash and book analysis.

Arbor closes $136.6 million loan on historic building

Uniondale, N.Y.-based Arbor Commercial Mortgage funded a Fannie Mae DUS $136.6 million refinancing loan for Herald Towers, which is owned by JEMB Realty Corp. The 12-year loan will be amortized over a 50-year schedule at an interest rate of 6.94%.

The historic Manhattan-based Herald Towers is located on 34th St., between The Empire State Building and Macy's. The building was originally built as the McAlpin Hotel in 1913. It was converted to a multifamily unit in 1979. The 25-story building houses 886,000 sq. ft. of space, with 690 residential units and 119,037 sq. ft. of commercial/retail space.

Arbor also closed a $27 million loan under its FHA Section 232 product line to finance the construction of the Millennium Assisted Living Facility in Freehold, N.J. The completed project will feature 176 beds. The loan interest rate is 7.5%. The loan provides for a 17-month construction period and a 40-year, fully amortizing permanent loan.

The Lawrence Group takes over Dakota Realty

The Lawrence Group, a New York-based commercial real estate firm, acquired New York-based Dakota Realty, a leasing brokerage and management firm. The Lawrence Group is the leasing and/or managing agent for 3 million sq. ft. of Manhattan office and retail space. The Dakota Realty acquisition adds an additional 1 million sq. ft. to its portfolio.

The Lawrence Group provides management, leasing as well as in-house construction, legal and consulting services. Dakota Realty's former principals Mordecai J. Elazary and Robert H. Finkelstein join as heads of The Lawrence Group's Midtown location.

GMAC Commercial Mortgage forms subsidiary

To focus on the needs of institutional investors Horsham, Pa.-based GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corp., formed Philadelphia-based GMAC Institutional Advisors.

The main focus of GMAC Institutional Advisors will be on the real estate investment needs of institutional investors. The company will offer both equity and debt investments, expanding the current investment vehicles of the mortgage company.

For HUD's fiscal year 2000, the GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corp. was also the largest originator of FHA-insured loans in the United States. The company achieved this distinction by closing 77 loans for a total of $440 million.

Legg Mason arranges $11.9 million industrial building loan

Baltimore-based Legg Mason Real Estate Services arranged a $11.9 million mortgage loan for two industrial buildings in Miami. The International Corporate Park buildings are each 147,581 sq. ft. located at 1530 NW 98th Court and 9835 NW 14th Street, respectively.

International Place Associates IV owns the buildings. The 10-year loan will be amortized over 30 years. The major tenants are Union Transport Corp., Airborne Freight Co., Clover Systems and Software Brokers of America.Cushman & Wakefield acquires Matlow-Kennedy Commercial Real Estate Services In an effort to increase its market presence in South Bay, Calif., the New York-based real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield has acquired Matlow-Kennedy Commercial Real Estate Services of Long Beach, Calif.

Matlow-Kennedy specializes in servicing the office and industrial markets in Los Angeles and South County. This move triples the size of Cushman & Wakefield's Los Angeles South office. Former Matlow-Kennedy president Kimball Wasick joins Cushman & Wakefield as a senior director.

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