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RISMEDIA, September 6, 2007-First Equity Group, an Irish private equity and real estate group and HDS Group LLC, a US real estate development company specializing in urban regeneration, has announced that they have acquired two sites in Beverly Hills, California. The acquisition forms part of a $300 million development of two premium residential and mixed-use developments on some of the last remaining undeveloped sites in downtown Beverly Hills.The development comprises two sites located at 9200 Wilshire Boulevard and 450-460 North Palm Drive in Beverly Hills. Both sites present prime development opportunities located in the heart of one of the world’s most affluent and renowned cities.

9200 Wilshire Boulevard is a uniquely designed, mixed-use development comprising 54 luxury condominiums and 14,000 square feet of retail space. This is a premium mixed-use condominium project and is within walking distance of Beverly Hills’ famous Golden Triangle.

450-460 North Palm Drive is an architecturally distinct luxury condominium development at the southeast corner of Civic Center Drive and North Palm Drive. It will comprise 35 luxury condominiums and is within walking distance of The Four Seasons Hotel and The Ivy among other landmark Beverly Hills developments and retail outlets.

First Equity Group is now raising $60 million in mezzanine finance from its investor group to underwrite the development with the support of John J. Brennan & Co. Accountants. This investment will offer investors a return of 30% per annum over a maximum period of three years. The likely investment time horizon is two years and investments are asset backed by the development sites.

Alan Barry, managing director, First Equity Group, commented, “First Equity has, over many years, built up a strong relationship with international development partners. We have an established presence on the West Coast of the United States and this represents our fourth transaction in this market representing a total gross development value of $600 million. We are delighted to announce this acquisition and development project with HDS Group in what is one of the world’s best known prime real estate centres.”

He continued, “First Equity Group has a proven track record of delivering attractive returns and we believe that this unique development will again deliver superior returns for our investor group.”

Hagop Sargisian, Founder and Principal of HDS Group commented, “We are delighted to announce the acquisition of these two sites together with our partner, First Equity Group. At less than six square miles, Beverly Hills yields more wealth per city block than any municipality in the world. These development sites represent super-prime opportunities in Southern California’s most sought after residential market.”

He concluded “Beverly Hills is almost entirely developed with few remaining sites available for new development. New construction is limited by high barriers to entry including a strong civic voice against high density communities and height restrictions. We have acquired two sites which have full planning permission and we are excited about their potential to deliver strong investor returns.”

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