Related Group hopes new condo tower is on the mark The Related Group of Florida, Miami, is developing The Mark, a 405,000 sq. ft., 359-unit luxury condominium tower overlooking Biscayne Bay in Miami. Occupancy of the 36-story building, inspired by the New York City hotel of the same name, is set for early 2001. Construction began in March 1999.

Prices of the units, which went on sale in December 1999 and will have an average size of 1,106 sq. ft., start at $126,500. The tower will have a restaurant featuring indoor and outdoor seating with views of the bay, a heated pool, a fitness center, an air-conditioned racquetball court and a lighted tennis court. Other amenities include housekeeping, dry cleaning, concierge and valet services. The Mark will be located within walking distance of approximately 1 million sq. ft. of retail space.

Berwind, Morgan team up to buy Southeastern portfolio Bala Cynwyd, Pa.-based Berwind Property Group and King of Prussia, Pa.-based Morgan Properties have purchased a portfolio of 10 Southeastern apartment complexes for $76 million. The seller of the 2,494-unit portfolio was Richmond, Va.-based United Dominion Realty Trust. Berwind's investment was on behalf of one of its value-added funds, the $200 million BPG Investment Partnership V LP. With the acquisition, Berwind and Morgan jointly own 35 complexes totaling 8,500 units.

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo Bank provided $50 million in financing; another $10.3 million was arranged through the assumption of tax-exempt loans on two of the complexes. Nine of the properties are in South Carolina; one is in Georgia.

Ambling developing Delaware student-housing Valdosta, Ga.-based Ambling Cos. Inc. is developing University Courtyard Apartments, a $42.8 million, 298-unit student-housing complex near the University of Delaware in Newark, Del. Construction of the community began in December 1999, with occupancy slated for August. The complex will accommodate 880 students and offer leases on a per-resident basis.

The 23-acre, 416,807 sq. ft. property will feature a resort-style pool, clubhouse, fitness facility and computer lab. Each unit will be furnished with a washer and a dryer, a microwave, a dishwasher, an in-sink disposal and a refrigerator. The apartments will range in size from 605 sq. ft. up to 1,420 sq. ft.

'Houston, we have construction funding' Dallas-based Malone Mortgage Co. has provided $19.1 million in construction financing for Bala Woods Apartments, a 262-unit complex in Houston. The developer of the project is Dallas-based Bala Multifamily Investments. The loan, which is for a 40-year term and fully assumable, was provided through the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) 221 (d)(4) program. Construction of the complex started in December 1999; completion is slated for May 2001. Dallas-based Humphries & Partners is the architect of the project.

Consisting of 33 two-story buildings, Bala Woods will feature 95 one-bedroom apartments, 163 two-bedroom apartments and four three-bedroom apartments. Rents are slated to be around $800 per month for the one-bedroom units, $1,150 per month for the two-bedroom units and $1,330 per month for the three-bedroom units.

Chicago condos to be part of Arlington Town Square Chicago-based Golub & Co. and Wheeling, Ill.-based Joseph Freed and Associates Inc. are developing The Residences of Arlington Town Square, a 94-unit condominium complex in Arlington Heights, Ill., a suburb of Chicago. The condos will serve as the residential portion of Arlington Town Square, a mixed-use development in suburban Chicago that includes retail development. Construction of the condominiums began in December 1998, and occupancy is slated for spring 2000.

The 160,000 sq. ft. residential complex will offer more than 20 floor plans. Amenities will include a 24-hour doorman, an on-site building manager and a fitness center. The sales prices range from $224,900 for a one-bedroom unit with a den, to $464,600 for a three-bedroom unit with a den.

CB Richard Ellis arranges sale of Jacksonville apartments Los Angeles-based CB Richard Ellis has negotiated the $20.7 million sale of Cameron Timberlin Apartments, a 320-unit complex in Jacksonville, Fla. The seller of the property was Englewood, Colo.-based Archstone Communities Trust. The buyer was a private investor group. Jay H. Massirman and Michael A. Stein of CB Richard Ellis' Miami office, and Dan Allen of CB Richard Ellis' Jacksonville office, advised Archstone.

Built in 1996, Cameron Timberlin contains 306,458 sq. ft. of rentable space. Amenities of the nearly 36-acre property include an Olympic-size swimming pool, a 24-hour fitness center, storage units, a picnic pavilion and garages with automatic-door openers.

Christiana purchases Delaware apartments Los Angeles-based CB Richard Ellis has brokered the $29.5 million sale of three Delaware apartment complexes. King of Prussia, Pa.-based Christiana Properties LLC was the buyer. Ridgewood, N.J.-based Pantzer Properties sold the portfolio. Christiana plans to invest more than $1 million in renovations to the properties.

Six CB Richard Ellis officers represented Pantzer, including William S. Roohan, Robert F. Freeze Jr. and Michael E. Muldowney, all of the company's Baltimore office; and Robert F. Miller, John H. McFadden and George P. Schmitt, all based in the company's Philadelphia office. The properties involved in the transaction were Oaktree Apartments, a 298-unit complex in Newark, Del.; Sandalwood Apartments, a 367-unit community also in Newark; and Cedar Tree Apartments, a 162-unit complex located in Wilmington, Del. o

Report: Millennium brings more demand for home offices Santa Monica, Calif.-based Van Tillburg Banvard & Soderbergh, an architect of multifamily communities, recently released a report on multifamily-housing trends in 2000. According to the report, more people are wanting to work out of home offices. Consequently, the firm is more conscious of designing units in a way that accommodates such a set-up.

In related trends, multifamily dwellers want apartments that provide the quickest possible Internet access, and larger complexes are establishing common-area business centers that provide such amenities as a fax machine. Residents increasingly want walking-distance access to recreational venues such as stores, restaurants and movie theaters, the report adds. Also, urban lofts should continue to be a popular housing option, and the demand for condominiums is growing, the report notes.

GMAC arranges $15.6 million in construction funding Horsham, Pa.-based GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corp. has arranged $15.6 million in construction financing for Capitol Heights Apartments, a 145-unit complex in Denver. FannieMae provided the funding. The developer, Denver-based Capitol Heights Inc., received a fixed-rate construction loan with a 30-year amortization. Construction of the eight-story building began in November 1999.

The 139,180 sq. ft. property will offer such amenities as underground parking and a sculpture garden. GMACCM vice presidents Marilyn Brandt, who is based in the company's Omaha, Neb., office and Michael Kulick, who is based in the company's Denver office, arranged the transaction.

Lincoln National arranges king-sized sale of Queen Anne Square On behalf of Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Lincoln National Life Insurance Co., Chicago-based PM Realty Group Investment Services recently negotiated the $29.6 million sale of Queen Anne Square, a mixed-use complex in Seattle. The buyers were Seattle-based Sabey Corp. and Seattle-based Security Properties Inc. Duane Jones and Will Kralovec, senior vice presidents of PM Realty Group Investment Services, were the brokers in the transaction.

Containing 148,386 sq. ft. of office space and 75 apartment units, Queen Anne Square occupies an entire city block in Seattle's Queen Anne district. According to the terms of the sale, Sabey Corp. Will own and manage the office portion of the square, while Securities Properties will own and manage the apartments.

L.J. Melody arranges financing for Florida apartments

Houston-based L.J. Melody & Co. has arranged $26 million in construction and equity financing for Fort Myers Apartments, a 360-unit luxury apartment complex to be built in Fort Myers, Fla. Charlotte, N.C.-based First Union National Bank provided the construction financing and Columbus, Ohio-based Nationwide Realty Investors provided equity financing. Tampa, Fla.-based CKT Development Co. is the developer.

Maybe I should play If there was one thing I learned at the National Multi Housing Council's (NMHC) 2000 Annual Meeting last month in Palm Beach, Fla., it's that commercial real estate loves golf. It was quite a sight to see the conference, held at the beachside resort The Breakers, empty out at noon one day as seemingly everyone headed out to participate in the golf tournament.

I've never swung a club in my life, so I wasn't about to offer myself up as the convention's primary comic relief. I did, however, regret missing what was probably a golden opportunity to pick the brains of industry members. That doesn't mean the convention was wasted time, though. Far from it. The panel discussions, dinners and cocktail hours provided ample time to meet, mingle, listen and learn.

I thought one of the most interesting panel discussions took place on the convention's first full day. It was titled "Leading Stock Market Observers." The panel consisted of Ralph J. Acampora, managing director of global equity research for New York-based Prudential Securities Inc., and a regular on public television's "Wall Street Week;" Eric I. Hemel, first vice president of New York-based Merrill Lynch; and David Johnson, a Dallas-based commentator for National Public Radio's "Marketplace." Karen J. Knudson, a principal of The RREEF Funds in Chicago, moderated the panel.

The hour-long discussion covered many stock market topics. Speaking of the overall booming stock market, Acampora said he does not think the good times will end soon. "Runaway inflation over the next five years? I don't think so," he said. "We'll see higher [interest] rates. Will we see double-digit rates?"

Later in the program, Acampora told the crowd, "Smile. It doesn't get any better than this. I don't think [the boom economy] is over."

Both Acampora and Hemel also discussed the performances of REITs. "I think REITs have turned the corner ... The worst is behind you," said Acampora. "I doubt whether they'll outperform the [Standard & Poor] consistently, but there will be periods where it does." Seconds later, he added, "I'm very, very enthusiastic, but if you're looking for consistent outperformance, I don't think I can offer that."

Hemel was also positive, and emphasized what one should expect from REITs. "Seven percent dividend yield, 9% earnings growth: If that doesn't turn you on, then go away," said Hemel.

In other NMHC news:

* During its Annual Meeting, the NMHC elected six new companies to its Board of Directors: Dallas-based Echelon Residential; Houston-based Finger Cos.; Boston-based Fleet Bank; Rochester, N.Y.-based Home Properties; Austin, Texas-based SiteStuff.com; San Francisco-based SpringStreet; and Santa Monica, Calif.-based Viva.com. Also, the organization has announced that its 2001 Annual Meeting will be held at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix on Jan. 10-12.

* The organization recently released its Quarterly Survey of Apartment Market Conditions survey. The bulk of participants indicated that in first-quarter 2000, compared to fourth-quarter 1999, apartment sales will be slower and mortgage financing costlier. The survey consists of 86 CEOs and senior apartment firm executives who serve on the NMHC's Board of Directors.

As for the results, 90% said mortgage-borrowing conditions were less favorable than in fourth-quarter 1999; 663% said apartment sales wereslower; 70% said market tightness was unchanged; and 59% said equity-financing conditions were unchanged as well.