Bison Tales blog moderator David Repka of Bison Financial Group in St. Petersburg, FL was selected by real estate master marketer Cody Sperber as one of the “Top 75 Real Estate People to Connect with on LinkedIn”.

To connect with David on LinkedIn visit his profile at: www.linkedin.com/in/davidrepka

The entire list can be downloaded from the box.net widget on this site.

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By: Jon Reno La Budde

It has been stated in advance and is very true that this collection is the Crown Jewel of St. Pete’s already fine and numerous galleries and museums. I could list them all but I will do that in a future issue.

Many of us, including myself, had pre-conceived notions of what blown glass artwork would look like. I say hold on to that thought, and then go for a tour of the gallery. The pleasant shock & amazement will carry you through the day. At the risk of using an overused saying ‘If you don’t believe me go see it for yourself’. This is where I urge you to pack up the kids and the ‘rents and take a trip to Dale Chihuly’s version of Never-Never Land. I hope to see you there.

[BLOGGER COMMENT: My 13-year old daughter visited the museum this past week and thought it was “really cool”. ]

By Mark Heschmeyer on CoStar

Fundamentals in U.S. office markets appear to have stabilized and are headed toward an expected recovery, according to CoStar Group in its The State of the U.S. Office Market: Mid-Year 2010 Review & Forecast.

In its detailed quarterly analysis of the U.S. office market, CoStar Group confirmed positive net absorption for the quarter and office vacancy rates that appear to have peaked and are no longer rising.

“As we anticipated two quarters ago, it now appears we have hit the bottom of the market in terms of vacancy and that is critical here in this business,” said Andrew Florance, CEO of CoStar. “The fact that we are clearly showing some sort of bottom and we don’t have a significant increase in vacancy this quarter is very positive news.”

In presenting the latest findings based on CoStar’s research, Florance sought to dispel confusion over the office market’s performance that may have resulted from conflicting media reports.

[BLOGGER COMMENT: In an earlier post this blogger noted the fact that Florida office assets are now trading for substantially below replacement cost. My conclusion is that this appears to be an outstanding entry point for investors that have been on the sidelines waiting for a buy signal.]

Read article

Sunshine, nice weather, bargain prices on real estate and no state tax help Florida continue to attract the affluent from around the globe. Collier County (Naples) Florida tops with list with Tampa Bay well represented by Manatee County & Sarasota County.

Affluent continue to move to Florida

View full story at Forbes.com

View slide show from Forbes.com.

Tampa Bay Sale TrAs the price

[BLOGGER QUESTION]

Is it time to call a buying signal for office properties in Florida now that the acquisition price has dipped under the replacement cost? Or are office investors trying to catch a falling knife?

Tampa Bay Real Estate Broker, Eric Odum, interviews Scott Jacobsen, Commercial Banking Manager for NorthStar Bank in Tampa, Florida. They discuss options for business owners to locate capital to continue to grow their businesses in a challenging environment. While finding debt to buy commercial real estate can be tough in today’s market, there are a number of programs available to help. In this video, we discuss the 504 SBA lending program for owner-occupied commercial real estate loans. For more info see http://www.floridatriplenet.com/blog

I am back from moderating an all-star panel discussion at the Apartment Finance Today Conference in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Our topic: “Small but Mighty: Finding the Best Small-Balance Apartment Loan” was well received by a full house of real estate investors and developers. ¬†As sources of capital are becoming harder to find our panel of industry veterans¬†provided input and guidance on why this is the greatest opportunity to acquire multi-family properties in a generation. Our panel focused on discussing the financing options for real estate investors that need up to $5 million to buy, build or renovate rental apartment properties.

We tackled the problems facing the industry head-on and shared ideas on how investors can find the best small loans at the most generous rates and terms. Underwriting criteria for portfolio lenders such as banks, insurance companies and private lenders was contrasted with Agency lenders such as Fannie, Freddie and FHA. Contrary to the myths perpetuated by the mass media there is still abundant capital available to owners, developers and investors focused on multi-family housing. This session hammered home the fact that long term, fixed rate loans with interest rates starting in the 4-5% range can still be achieved.

Panel included:

Jerry Anderson
Senior Vice President, Alliant Capital

Rick Wolf
Senior Managing Director, Greystone Servicing Corp

Charles Ostroff
Chief Underwriter, Arbor Commercial Mortgage

Michael McCleary
Associate Director, Marcus & Millichap Capital Corporation

Our presentation notes can be downloaded from the box.net widget on the right hand side of this screen or will be automatically e-mailed to you by sending a note to SmallButMighty5mm@gmail.com