(Carl Cronan is editor of Real EstateFlorida.)

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WEST PALM BEACH, FL-Carlton Advisory Services Inc. has beenappointed to sell off up to $350 million worth of outstanding loanassets on behalf of two major financial institutions.Confidentiality agreements prohibit the firm from disclosingspecific information on the properties involved, though Carltonexecutives say the majority are in Florida.

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The larger loan portfolio, totaling $259 million in 39 loans,includes more than $80 million worth of assets along the state'swest coast with a strong concentration in the Tampa Bay market. Oneof the loans is secured by at least 500 acres of fully andpartially developed prime land lots near the Gulf of Mexico.

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Other properties in this portfolio are in Nevada, California,Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. Loans assets alsoinclude a 400-unit multifamily complex in New Orleans, an 80-roomhotel in Mississippi, a two-story retail building in Reno, NV and a54-unit lakefront condominium development in suburban Atlanta.Approximately $16 million of REO assets in five properties are partof the package.

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The second loan portfolio, totaling $91 million in 20 loans, issecured by properties in southern and western Florida, as well asSouth Carolina and North Carolina. They include a prime beachfrontland parcel in Florida, six prime Gulf Coast residential lots and alarge land parcel for office condo use in Fort Lauderdale.

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Sealed bids will be accepted on the larger portfolio, which isexpected to generate interest from a broad range of prospectiveinvestors, says Thomas McCarthy, managing director of Carlton'soffice in Palm Beach Gardens. Bidders may range from hedge andopportunity funds to commercial developers who were able to sellahead of the property market decline.

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"There is more money chasing these deals than most peoplerealize," McCarthy tells GlobeSt.com. He adds that investorslocated in the specific locations of the loan assets, who know thelocal markets best, will likely fare better than generalistsseeking distressed properties.

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Bids for both portfolios are being accepted until Dec. 3.Carlton Advisory Services, a division of New York City-basedCarlton Group, has completed more than $45 billion in transactionsover the past decade, of which $10 billion were sealed-bidauctions.

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