February 2015

  • Feb

Ram President Jim Stine named “Alumnus of the Year”

February 27, 2015

Ram President Jim Stine was named the University of Florida Bergstrom Center’s Alumnus of the Year this morning at the UF Trends and Strategies Conference in Orlando, Fla. The conference, held annually, brings together industry professionals to discuss the future of Real Estate and network with the best in the industry.

Stine provides senior leadership for several Company functions, including asset management and development. He joined Ram in 2010 and serves on the Company’s  Investment Committee. Mr. Stine also currently serves on the Advisory Board of the University of Florida’s  Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies (UFCRES) and served as chairman 2012-2013. He is an active member in the Urban Land Institute (ULI), the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Additionally, he is a past member of the University of Florida Broward County Regional Development Committee, the Board of Directors of Children’s  Place at Homesafe as well as Leadership Palm Beach. Mr. Stine is licensed in mortgage brokerage and real estate sales in the State of Florida.


  • Feb

Fashion Mall bankruptcy auction approved by judge, reorganization plan rejected

February 13, 2015

via SFBJ by Brian Bandell

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge John Olsonrejected the attempt of a Chinese company to retain control of the shuttered Fashion Mall in Plantation and scheduled the property for auction.

The 32.1-acre site at 321 N. University Drive will head to auction on March 19 with a sale hearing in bankruptcy court the following day, said attorney Glenn Moses, of Genovese Joblove & Battista, who represents debtor trustee Kenneth A. Welt. Moses said they’ve already signed 75 confidentiality agreements and conducted 14 site tours with prospective bidders. CBRE is marketing the property.

Ram Real Estate in Palm Beach Gardens submitted a $24 million stalking horse bid, but Moses expects the bidding to go higher.

U.S. Capital/Fashion Mall and parent company Mapuche LLC both filed Chapter 7 liquidation in October at the direction of minority owner and manager Wei Chen. The filing came in the midst of litigation between Chen and China-based Tangshan Ganglu Iron & Steel Co., which owns 99 percent of Mapuche and claims to have invested more than $186 million into the property. It alleged that Chen misused its funds. A Broward Circuit Court judge ruled that Chen didn’t have sole control of the company.

Ganglu filed a motion to convert the case into a Chapter 11 reorganization and handle the redevelopment itself. The company hired Miami attorney and developer Andrew Hellinger as its development manager and stated its intention to find a U.S. partner. Ganglu deposited $10 million to show it was serious about funding the project, according to its court filings.

However, Judge Olson ruled that a Chapter 7 auction was the best way to go.

“Conversion to Chapter 11 would have brought significant risk and delay and the correct approach is to proceed with the sale procedure that we have set up,” Moses said. “Every creditor that appeared supported the trustee’s sales process, including the city of Plantation.”

Holland & Knight attorney Jose Casal, who represented Ganglu,said he wasn’t sure whether his client would appeal.

In addition to Ganglu’s claim, Mapuche and U.S. Capital owe a $12.1 million construction mortgage to GHJ Construction and contractor liens of $700,000.

  • Feb

Design Center of the Carolinas in Historic South End Announces Six New Tenants

February 12, 2015

Occupancy Rate at 91%

Charlotte, NC – The Design Center of the Carolinas (DCC) is enjoying over 90% occupancy as six new tenants have leased a total of 15,268 SF in the historic South End office complex.   Owner Ram Realty Services announces the addition of Gray Construction, Seafoods.com, Energy Renewal Partners, SEN Design, Feetures!, and The Avalon Group.

The gathering place for creativity and an inspiring environment for innovative businesses, the Design Center is the symbolic heart of South End with its iconic water tower. The Design Center is a three-building complex, of which two are historic.

Gray Construction has leased 4,121 SF. Serving as Gray’s South Atlantic office, the DCC location provides a full spectrum of engineering, architecture and construction services to customers interested in expanding or locating in the South Atlantic region of the United States. Peter Katz, CCIM, formerly of Coldwell Banker Commercial MECA, represented the Design Center of the Carolinas and The Keith Corporation represented Gray Construction.

Seafoods.com has leased 3,329 SF in the Courtyard Building. Seafoods.com is a Solutions-Based Company; their goal to become each and every one of their customers’ single greatest resource for fresh seafood and premium proteins. Peter Katz, CCIM, formerly of Coldwell Banker Commercial MECA, represented the Design Center of the Carolinas. Mike Kemmet of Cassidy Turley represented Seafoods.com.

Energy Renewal Partners is leasing 2,761 SF in the Courtyard Building. Energy Renewal Partners’ experienced team provides the entire spectrum of environmental and consulting services to energy sector clients. Peter Katz, CCIM, formerly of Coldwell Banker Commercial MECA, represented the Design Center of the Carolinas with Energy Renewal Partners represented by Kristy Venning of Beacon Development.

SEN Design is leasing 2,135 SF in the Courtyard Building. Founded in 1994, SEN is the industry’s first and largest kitchen and bathroom buying group. They improve the business capabilities and bottom lines of their clients by offering valuable education, training, marketing support, business development, and coaching based on their client’s specific needs. Gus Postal, Coldwell Banker Commercial MECA, represented the Design Center of the Carolinas. Holly Alexander of New South Properties of the Carolinas represented SEN Design in the transaction.

Feetures! has leased 1,207 SF also in the Courtyard Building. A family-run company with a global reach, they harness new technology with the goal of producing the best performance socks in the world. Peter Katz, CCIM, formerly of Coldwell Banker Commercial MECA represented the DCC and Feetures! was represented by Bo Younts of My Townhomes Realty.

The Avalon Group has leased 1,715 SF in the Atrium Building. The Avalon Group is a sales, marketing and logistics firm specialized in the brand development of European-based Men’s and Women’s fashion apparel and footwear. The company is focused on the wholesale trade sector to upscale retail institutions with a territory that spans the United States and Canada. Gus Postal, Coldwell Banker Commercial MECA, represented the Design Center of the Carolinas and Julie Cash of Keller Williams Realty handled The Avalon Group.

“With these new leases we are pleased to announce that the Design Center of the Carolinas is at a 91% occupancy rate,” said Phil Heath, Ram’s Vice President of Commercial Asset Management. “Ram has a long-term commitment to the Charlotte market and this level of interest further validates our confidence in the improvement of the local office market and the continued desirability of DCC as the office hub for forward-thinking businesses.”

About Design Center

The Design Center of the Carolinas is ideally located between Camden Road, West Tremont and Worthington Avenues in the Historic South End of Charlotte, NC, along the LYNX Light Rail at East/West Blvd. A signature example of adaptive reuse of historic buildings, DCC is comprised of three distinct buildings featuring exposed brick, expansive windows and compelling architectural details, giving a vintage vibe to contemporary workspace. Its trademark water tower is also a landmark of Historic South End and a symbol of its urban redevelopment. This unique workspace is designed to bring life to a progressive mix of showrooms, studios, offices and event spaces, resulting in a one-of-a-kind gathering place for creativity and forward-thinking businesses. For more information, please visit www.designcentercarolinas.com or contact Megan Atkin at (561)282.4684 or matkin@ramrealestate.com regarding leasing opportunities.

About Ram                   

Founded in 1978, Ram is an affiliated group of companies and partnerships that acquire, develop, manage and finance retail and residential properties in the Southeast. The group also selectively acquires debt secured by retail and residential properties.  Ram is currently investing Ram Realty Partners III LP, a value-added fund targeting retail and multifamily properties in select high growth markets in the Southeast.  Since 1996, the company has deployed $1.7 billion in real estate transactions.  Ram is headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and has offices in Fort Lauderdale and Tampa, Florida and Charlotte, North Carolina. For more information, visit www.ramrealestate.com.

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 Contact: Kendria Sweet, kendria@sweetteaconsulting.com, 704.533.3796

  • Feb

Will Fashion Mall in Plantation be put up for auction?

February 12, 2015

via The Real Deal Miami by Mike Seemuth

The Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee for debtors of the long-vacant Fashion Mall in Plantation has filed a motion to conduct an auction of the property with an initial, or “stalking horse,” bid of $24 million.

“This property has been vacant for almost a decade,” said Glenn D. Moses,  a shareholder of law firm Genovese Joblove & Battista, which represents the Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee.  “What we would like to have happen is a robust auction process over the coming weeks, which we believe will be in the best interests of all parties and creditors in this case.”

The Fashion Mall is an enclosed shopping center with about 828,000 square feet of leasable space on 32 acres of land at 321 North University Drive in Plantation.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Fort Lauderdale will hold hearings Thursday on the motion for an auction of the Fashion Mall with the $24 million stalking horse bid, and on a competing motion to convert the Fashion Mall bankruptcy case from Chapter 7 to Chapter 11.

“There’s a motion to convert the case to a Chapter 11 proceeding that was filed by one of the shareholders [of the Fashion Mall]. If that motion is granted, then we will not have an auction,” Moses said.

Kenneth A. Welt, the Chapter 7 trustee for the debtors, signed an asset purchase agreement Jan. 27 under which the stalking horse bidder, Palm Beach Gardens-based Ram Realty, will pay $24 million for the Fashion Mall property unless a superior bid emerges in an auction. Commercial real estate brokerage CBRE would solicit auction bids for the mall property on behalf of Welt.

If another entity outbids Ram Realty, Ram would receive a $200,0000 “break-up fee,” under the court motion Welt filed.

  • Feb

Ram Realty Enters Bidding for Shuttered Fashion Mall

February 1, 2015

via SFBJ by Brian Bandell

Ram Real Estate has entered the bidding for the shuttered Fashion Mall in Plantation as a bankruptcy trustee moves to hold an auction for the property.

U.S. Capital/Fashion Mall and parent company Mapuche LLC both filed Chapter 7 liquidation in October. Bankruptcy trustee Kenneth A. Welt filed a motion on Wednesday to hold an auction of the 32.1-acre site at 321 N. University Drive. Palm Beach Gardens-based Ram Realty Acquisitions, an affiliate of Ram Real Estate, would be the stalking horse bidder with a $24 million bid. It has already placed a 10 percent deposit.

If another bidder tops Ram’s price at the auction, it would receive a $200,000 breakup fee.

CBRE has been hired to market the property. Welt hopes to conduct the auction sometime in April, pending court approval.

The mall has been closed for years and the property has been positioned for redevelopment. It currently has 828,721 square feet of leasable retail space and the attached shell of a seven-story office building.

A hearing on the motion to sell the property should take place before Bankruptcy Judge John K. Olson on Feb. 12 – the same day the bankruptcy court will also hear a motion to convert the case into a Chapter 11 reorganization.

China-based Tangshan Ganglu Iron & Steel Co. owns 99 percent of Mapuche and claims to have invested more than $186 million into the property that was allegedly misused by development manager Wei Chen, who owns 1 percent of Mapuche. Ganglu opposes the auction and wants to reorganize its debt and maintain ownership.

In addition to Ganglu’s disputed claim, Mapuche and U.S. Capital owe a $12.1 million construction mortgage to GHJ Construction and contractor liens of $700,000, according to Welt’s motion. He believes a $24 million sale would be enough to satisfy all of the property’s secured creditors.

Ram Real Estate is one of South Florida’s most experienced developers, with projects under its belt such as Mainstreet at Midtown in Palm Beach Gardens and Jacaranda Plaza in Plantation.