NEW YORK CITY-NorthStar Realty Finance Corp. prices its initial public offering of 20 million shares of common stock at $9 per share. NorthStar also granted the underwriters of the offering a 30-day option to purchase up to three-million additional shares at the IPO price to cover any over-allotments.

NorthStar’s common stock will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “NRF.” The shares are being offered through Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co. Inc., which is serving as lead manager, and Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Credit Suisse First Boston LLC and JMP Securities LLC, which are acting as co-managers.

NorthStar Realty Finance Corp. is a locally based internally managed REIT that makes fixed income, structured finance and net lease investments in commercial real estate assets. NorthStar Realty’s business consists of three core business lines: subordinate real estate debt, real estate securities and net lease properties.

NorthStar is just one of the many REITs and real estate concerns who are taking the public route this year. Last week, Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc., owners of 54 hotels comprising 13,183 rooms in 17 states, filed with the SEC for an initial public offering of 21.1 million shares at $18 to $20 per share. And student and military housing operator and owner GMH Associates plans an initial public offering and underwriters have set the terms of the offering at 28.6 million shares of common stock at an estimated price range of between $13 and $15 per share. The company is to be called GMH Communities Trust. Scottsdale, AZ-based Spirit Finance Corp. has filed for a proposed $300-million initial public offering of shares of its common stock. The REIT focuses on single-tenant, net-leased real estate and was formed in August 2003

Earlier this fall, Saxon Capital was added to the expanding list when its Saxon REIT and Las Vegas Sands Corp., an affiliate of Las Vegas Sands Inc., filed a registration statement for its IPO. Locally based REIT New York Mortgage Trust priced its 15 million share offering at $8, for proceeds of $135 million. Chicago-based Strategic Hotel Capital put out an offering of 17.6 million shares at $14, expecting to generate proceeds of $246.4 million.

Real estate services giant CB Richard Ellis launched an IPO earlier this year. And in late March REIT financial specialist Cohen & Steers took the next step and filed a registration for an IPO. Arbor Realty Trust, based in Uniondale, NY, priced each share of common stock at $20 and offered approximately 6.272 million shares–6.25 million were offered by Arbor and 22,500 were offered by a stockholder.

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