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Real Estate News Roundup

The Real Estate News Roundup is a summary of publicly reported real estate news briefs. The information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but REFI does not guarantee its completeness or accuracy.

Mizuho Securitization Head Recalled To Tokyo

The head of securitization in the Americas at Mizuho Corporate Bank is leaving to head a commercial real estate finance group in Tokyo after eight years in New York. Hiroyuki Kasama, senior v.p., will be leading a team focused on financing the commercial real estate market, both in Japan and internationally. He is being replaced internally by Shinichi Nochiide, also a senior v.p. at the bank. Nochiide's prior role could not immediately be determined. Patrick Phalon, spokesman, characterized Kasama's departure as simply a move to take on a new role.

Kasama first moved to New York in 2001 to head the securitization group, which was then a sub-group within the strategic finance division. The group was later broken out into a separate division, which currently has 11 professionals.



Equitable Execs Form Advisory Firm

Three former Equitable Real Estate Investment Management executives have formed TRECAP Partners. The firm, a venture with Transwestern, aims to provide investment advisory services to high-net-worth and institutional investors. Founders Doug Tibbetts, Gary Sligar and Paul Klick each have more than 30 years of experience in the commercial real estate industry. "Today's financial and real estate crisis, while disturbing, is not uncharted territory," Tibbets said. He added that the firm will work with Transwestern to have a better national reach for its clients.



Starbucks To Close 300 Underperforming Stores

Starbucks is planning to close 300 under-performing stores in the U.S. and international markets. According to data from Horsham, Pa.-based rating agency Realpoint, about 200 of those stores are in the U.S. The coffee chain closed 600 stores last year. Although Starbucks did not disclose the stores to be closed, Realpoint found 303 locations where Starbucks is one of the largest tenants. This translates into 303 loans across 177 CMBS deals. "The effect to any single deal will be small in our view because Starbucks occupies a small portion of the gross leasable area in most cases," said Frank Innaurato, managing director.



DJM Realty Tapped For Circuit City Disposition

DJM Realty has been selected to oversee the disposition of all remaining Circuit City Stores. The firm will market leases on retail spaces as well as distribution centers and office spaces. It will also market fee-owned properties for sale. The retailer filed for bankruptcy last year. Andy Graiser, co-president, said that the buildings have a number of other uses, including other retailers, supermarkets and non-retail uses, such as schools.



E&Y Names Non-Performing Loan Chief

Ernst & Young has named Christopher Seyfarth to lead its non-performing loan services and transaction real estate services group in the Pacific Northwest. As part of the job, Seyfarth recently moved from Boston to San Francisco. Seyfarth, a partner at E&Y since 1991, has been focused on the distressed debt markets in countries such as China, Taiwan, Japan and Korea as well as European markets.



California Loan Delinquencies Rising

Commercial real estate loans in California saw delinquencies rise from 0.08% to 0.15% from the third to the fourth quarter. This is triple the rate seen a year ago, according to data from the California Mortgage Bankers Association. The firm is finding that the multifamily sector is seeing the greatest effect, with a delinquency rate of 0.23%. On the flip side, the industrial sector was seeing a much smaller impact.



Carlton Selected For Asian Equity Raise

Carlton Advisory Services has been hired by East Pacific Capital Private Limited to raise $25 million of equity capital that will be used for the development of limited service hotels in Southeast Asia. The capital will be used on a non-discretionary basis to build hotels under the TuneHotels.com brand. The venture's aim is to achieve returns of more than 25%. Carlton is arranging the financing on behalf of a Singapore-based investment company that includes the co-founder, former ceo and the third-largest shareholder of Tune Hotels.



Behringer Harvard Launches Advisory Platform

Behringer Harvard has launched Behringer Harvard Investment Management, an advisory business that aims to work with owners, lenders, government institutions and service companies. The company, which will be based in Dallas, will focus on strategies to enhance value for these clients and will emphasize customization, said Robert Behringer, chairman and ceo. "The goal is to work with a select group of clients on projects that are managed by skilled dedicated teams and supported by the entire Behringer Harvard organization," he added. 

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