CREC Closes 15 Lender-Owned Transactions Valued At $100 Million

In the latest sign that distressed assets are making their way through the Florida sales cycle following three years of market volatility, Continental Real Estate Companies(CREC) brokered the sales of 15 lender-owned assets valued at nearly $100 million in the 4th quarter of 2011.
The transactions follow a period of market instability that saw the value of distressed real estate in Florida top $12 billion while asset values fell-off dramatically. CREC’s distressed asset practice managed 35 court-appointed receiverships during that span, putting the firm in position to maximize asset value on behalf of owners and lenders and ultimately dispose of the properties via sale.
“The real estate market has finally shown transactional life and movement over the past three years,” says CREC Chairman and Co-founder Warren Weiser. “What began with properties falling into distress due to economic volatility ultimately gave way to workouts, receiverships and foreclosures. Previously, assets were held with no hope of recovery.  The silver lining and recent trend has been driven by low interest rates, strengthening foreign currencies against the dollar, and abundance of equity hungry for Florida assets.  The Market is now taking its first steps toward a long-term recovery.”
In one of the most recent transactions, CREC represented BACM Forum Way Office, LLC in the $15 million sale of the Sabadell United Bank Building and the Horizons Building, both in West Palm Beach, to an affiliate of Pebb Enterprises. The two office buildings total 177,000 square feet.
Separately, CREC represented CS Pines Plaza, LLC in the $9.6 million sale of Pines Plaza, a retail shopping center totaling 68,170 square feet in Pembroke Pines. The property, which is home to Office Depot, Buy Buy Baby and Aldi Supermarket, was purchased by Morris Pines Associates. CREC was previously charged with leasing the property on behalf of the lender and achieved 100% occupancy, maximizing asset value and paving the way for the eventual sale.
CREC also executed seven multifamily and land transactions in recent months representing $50 million in closed sales.  The transactions have been broadly represented across Central, North, and South Florida including Duval, Monroe, St. Lucie, Seminole, Miami, Broward and Palm Beach.  CREC has executed vacant land, partially completed, fractured condominium, and negative cash flow transactions.
CREC attributes this steady deal flow to its full service platform, which puts the firm in prime position to boost asset value and unite buyers and sellers, according to Principal David Moret. “CREC is unique in that we offer clients a full range of services under one roof. The fact that we have court-appointed receivers working alongside leasing, property management and brokerage professionals means our firm is in position to enhance value and stabilize assets with the goal of ultimately selling those properties and maximizing a lender’s recovery,” says Mr. Moret.
“2012 is likely to see increasing volume as loan maturities increase and distressed properties continue to work their way through the system. CREC has an additional 15 lender owned assets valued at nearly $100 million currently on the market and we see no signs of a slowdown in our transactional pipeline,” according to Mr. Weiser. “Investors continue to pursue strong real estate assets due to the fact that they provide attractive risk adjusted returns when compared to alternative investment opportunities in today’s market.  We fully expect the recent trend of activity to continue in the first quarter of 2012 and beyond as the disposition process gains steam and buyers seek value in distressed assets.“



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