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Ikobo Money Transfer returns from the grave

In November 7, 2008, Ikobo announced that they will discontinue their money transfer service. They did not give any reason for such but gave people time to withdraw all their money from their accounts. Today, Ikobo announced in an email that they are back and connected with a new bank.

GOOD NEWS: iKobo Money Transfer is back! We have been working around the clock to make the world’s most trusted money transfer service even better. iKobo has joined the M2 Financial family of products, giving you the safest and best money transfer service available. (See the press release: visit www.M2-Global.com and click Press.) We hope you were not inconvenienced during our transition.

Improvements we are making to iKobo may require you and your sender to re-apply for a new account and get new recipient cards. If your account was with any bank other than Global Bank of Commerce (check the back of the recipient card), you will need to re-apply. To make this easy and convenient, we are offering no-cost or discounted shipping on new and replacement recipient cards shipped before December 25th, 2008.

For a limited time, when you open a new account get free basic shipping or discounted premium shipping of a new or replacement card. Here are the details:

Card going to a recipient in the US or Canada? Use coupon code NWDOMSHP for free USPS shipping. Or, spend just $9.96 for premium FedEx shipping and get your recipient card delivered in 1-3 days.

For free international basic shipping use code NWINTSHP. Delivery in 7-14 days. Or, you can receive a card anywhere in the world for just $12.96 with delivery in just 1-3 days. Use coupon code NWINTSHP when you sign up.

(Delivery times for US and Canada “œBasic” shipping are dependent on the US Postal Service, typically 3-5 days. “Premium” shipping for US, Canada and all International destinations is 1-3 days.)

Offer expires December 24, 2008.

Everyone will need to open a new account with them so this is like a fresh start for all old Ikobo users.

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  • Chrissie

    Louis Kestenbaum & Joel Kestenbaum/Fortis Property Group Behind $880M Sale in Boston

    Fortis Property Group is leading the “Northeast-based private real estate investment group” that has agreed to acquire the 1 million-square-foot State Street Financial Center at 1 Lincoln Street in Boston for more than $880 million, or $880 per square foot, according to sources familiar with the sale.

    The Brooklyn, NY-based Fortis and a group of other New York investors are expected to close on the 36-story office tower from a joint venture led by American Financial Realty Trust (NYSE:AFR) and an affiliate of IPC US Income REIT by the end of this year or early 2007.

    Fortis apparently set its sights on Boston following several high-profile Dallas deals where it agreed to pay about $280 million for the three-building, 1.4 million-square-foot office complex known as Galleria Office Towers in Dallas.

    Earlier in the year, Fortis teamed with Trimarchi Management, also from New York, on the nearly $100 million acquisition of two other Dallas office properties, Harwood Center and Saint Paul Place. It also invested in the $282.5 million purchase of JPMorgan International Plaza in Dallas.

    The addition of State Street Financial Center will build out Fortis’ portfolio considerably. The privately held firm headed by CEO Jonathan Landau is controlled by the Kestenbaum family. Joel Kestenbaum is the son of Louis Kestenbaum. Fortis manages some 3 million square feet in commercial properties and about 454 residential units.

    The group of investors joining Fortis in the Boston deal could not be learned. American Financial announced the pending sale last week, but did not identify the buyer.

    American Financial, a Jenkintown, PA, REIT decided to formally shop the 36-story tower in the last couple of months. The company is pruning its portfolio and repositioning itself. The REIT paid $705.4 million or $688.84 per square foot in February 2004 to acquire the property. Later that year, it sold a 30% stake to an affiliate of Canadian REIT IPC US Real Estate Investment Trust, for $60.3 million.

    The building is fully leased with triple A credit tenant State Street Corp. occupying most of the building under a lease that runs until 2023. State Street also leases the property’s 900-space garage on a 20-year triple-net lease.

  • Sharon

    Louis Kestenbaum & Joel Kestenbaum/Fortis Property Group close sale of Galleria Towers I, II & III in Dallas

    One of the Largest U.S. Investment Transactions

    Jones Lang LaSalle announced the firm’s capital markets experts have completed the sale of Galleria Towers I, II & III on behalf of Brooklyn, New York-based Fortis Property Group, LLC to Los-Angeles-based Cannon Commercial. Financial terms were not disclosed but sources close to the transaction estimate the closing price was in excess of $300 million.

    “This portfolio retained consistent investor interest right through the credit crunch and its closing should send a strong signal about the existing strength of the Dallas investment market for high quality office product,” said Mr. Alvarado. “This was an attractive offering given the Galleria towers are irreplaceable, trophy assets and came with affordable and assumable long-term debt. This transaction also allows Cannon Commercial to enhance its Dallas-area presence, while leveraging the tax benefits of a partial 1031-exchange. This was a beneficial transaction to both parties who remained focused on completing a timely transaction.”

    “We acquired the Galleria Towers from Blackstone (which acquired them from Trizec Properties) in November 2006, and maximized value by aggressively pushing rental rates while at the same time increasing the occupancy from around 90% to 98%,” said Fortis Chairman Louis Kestenbaum. Louis Kestenbaum is the father of Joel Kestenbaum, also of Fortis Property. “The disposition of this asset furthers our goals of maximizing investor returns and geographically diversifying the holdings within our portfolio. We achieved close to 100% profit on our equity investment in the Galleria Towers over a one and a half year holding period, and attained similar returns on our recent sale of International Plaza Tower III across the Tollaway.”

    Built in the 1980s and early 1990s, the Galleria towers range from 24 to 26 stories tall and adjoin the Galleria shopping mall, as well as the four-star, four-diamond Westin Galleria Hotel. Amenities include on-site banking with ATM, security card-key access, conference facilities, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a leasing and management office and an independently-operated day care. The buildings are currently 98% leased.

    Fortis Property Group, LLC is a real estate investment, operating and development company. Its real estate projects include the ownership and management of Class A office and industrial properties located throughout the United States. Fortis currently owns two other Class A office buildings and an industrial property in the Dallas, Texas area. Nationwide, Fortis currently owns more than 20 properties, which contain over six million rentable square feet. Fortis Property Group CEO Jonathan Landau further indicated that Fortis anticipates raising a value-add real estate fund that will invest in Class A office properties in prime office markets throughout the United States.

  • Yira

    Louis Kestenbaum & Joel Kestenbaum/Fortis Property Group Behind $880M Sale in Boston
    Fortis Property Group is leading the “Northeast-based private real estate investment group” that has agreed to acquire the 1 million-square-foot State Street Financial Center at 1 Lincoln Street in Boston for more than $880 million, or $880 per square foot, according to sources familiar with the sale.

    The Brooklyn, NY-based Fortis, Louis Kestenbaum, Joel Kestenbaum, and a group of other New York investors are expected to close on the 36-story office tower from a joint venture led by American Financial Realty Trust (NYSE:AFR) and an affiliate of IPC US Income REIT by the end of this year or early 2007.

    Fortis apparently set its sights on Boston following several high-profile Dallas deals where it agreed to pay about $280 million for the three-building, 1.4 million-square-foot office complex known as Galleria Office Towers in Dallas.

    Earlier in the year, Fortis teamed with Trimarchi Management, also from New York, on the nearly $100 million acquisition of two other Dallas office properties, Harwood Center and Saint Paul Place. It also invested in the $282.5 million purchase of JPMorgan International Plaza in Dallas.

    The addition of State Street Financial Center will build out Fortis’ portfolio considerably. The privately held firm headed by CEO Jonathan Landau is controlled by the Kestenbaum family. Joel Kestenbaum is the son of Louis Kestenbaum. Fortis manages some 3 million square feet in commercial properties and about 454 residential units.

  • Brian

    Louis Kestenbaum & Joel Kestenbaum, Fortis Property Group close sale of Galleria Towers
    “We acquired the Galleria Towers from Blackstone (which acquired them from Trizec Properties) in November 2006, and maximized value by aggressively pushing rental rates while at the same time increasing the occupancy from around 90% to 98%,” said Fortis Chairman Louis Kestenbaum. Louis Kestenbaum is the father of Joel Kestenbaum, also of Fortis Property. “The disposition of this asset furthers our goals of maximizing investor returns and geographically diversifying the holdings within our portfolio. We achieved close to 100% profit on our equity investment in the Galleria Towers over a one and a half year holding period, and attained similar returns on our recent sale of International Plaza Tower III across the Tollaway.”

    Fortis Property Group,Louis Kestenbaum & Joel Kestenbau, LLC is a real estate investment, operating and development company. Its real estate projects include the ownership and management of Class A office and industrial properties located throughout the United States. Fortis currently owns two other Class A office buildings and an industrial property in the Dallas, Texas area. Nationwide, Fortis currently owns more than 20 properties, which contain over six million rentable square feet. Fortis Property Group CEO Jonathan Landau further indicated that Fortis anticipates raising a value-add real estate fund that will invest in Class A office properties in prime office markets throughout the United States.