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NYC to sell $1B public-housing air rights; L+M raising $500M private equity fund

Commercial real estate

* New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said his administration is looking to sell $1 billion of New York City Housing Authority, or NYCHA, unused air rights to developers in an attempt to improve the city's public housing, Crain's New York Business reported.

The first-ever sale of NYCHA air rights is part of the mayor's NYCHA 2.0 plan, which constitutes the development of predominately market-rate housing on underused public housing land. Together, the air rights sale and development are expected to bring in about $3 billion, the report added.

* L+M Development Partners Inc. has been amassing $500 million in private equity for an affordable housing development fund during the past year, The Real Deal reported, citing a source familiar with the plans. The "workforce housing fund" is the first affordable development fund that L+M has raised from multiple investors, including banks and small family office investors.

* Brookfield Property Partners LP landed refinancing worth $265 million from Deutsche Bank and Société Générale for its 1.2-million-square-foot Saint Louis Galleria shopping center in Richmond Heights, Mo., Commercial Observer reported.

The 10-year partially securitized loan, which replaces $215 million in previous debt from Deutsche Bank, includes $45 million in senior debt, $195 million that is earmarked for securitization and a $25 million mezzanine loan co-originated by the two senior lenders.

* Highgate Holdings secured three loans worth roughly $247.6 million from Blackstone Mortgage Trust to fund its about $366.2 million purchase of the Park Central Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, N.Y., The Real Deal reported, citing property records filed with the city.

Pebblebrook Hotel Trust sold the 934-room hotel at 870 Seventh Ave. in November, the report added. The hotelier planned to divest the property in October as part of a portfolio of LaSalle Hotel Properties hotels for a combined $715 million.

* Blackstone Group LP signed a seven-year deal to expand its lease at its 345 Park Ave. headquarters in Manhattan to roughly 575,000 square feet, including the space that Deutsche Bank AG is set to vacate at the end of 2019, Bloomberg News reported, citing Jackie Hlavenka, a spokeswoman for building owner Rudin Management Co. Inc.

Blackstone will occupy four additional floors, taking its presence in the property to 16 floors. Deutsche Bank, headquartered at 60 Wall St. in Manhattan, is expected to move to One Columbus Circle in 2021.

* The Christian Cultural Center has partnered with Gotham Industries to develop a new affordable housing complex, comprising 2,100 planned apartments in the east New York neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., New York YIMBY reported, citing Vishaan Chakrabarti from the Practice for Architecture and Urbanism, which is designing the project.

The new buildings will be built on a large vacant parking lot on the church's existing campus. The development will include housing for low- and middle-income families and senior citizens.

* CIM Group Inc. purchased 16.3 acres in The Gulch area of Atlanta for $115 million from Norfolk Southern Corp., the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported, citing local real estate information firm Databank Inc.

The land sold encompasses parking lots and railroads between the Mercedes-Benz Stadium and State Farm Arena. CIM Group received approval from the Atlanta City Council to transform the Gulch into a mini-city of office buildings, residential units, hotel rooms, shops and restaurants. To aid the Los Angeles developer, the council approved up to $1.9 billion in public financing for the redevelopment effort.

* Equus Capital Partners Ltd. sold the two-building Raintree Corporate Center office complex in Scottsdale, Ariz., to an affiliate of Cypress Office Properties LLC and Oaktree Capital Group LLC for $91.7 million, the Phoenix Business Journal reported, citing a statement from vice president and manager of Equus' Los Angeles office, Rob Butchenhart.

Located at 8800 and 8888 E. Raintree Drive, the property encompasses 345,417 square feet. Equus bought the property in 2015, following which the complex's occupancy rose to 93% from 51% at the time of acquisition.

* The Atlas Capital Group Inc. is buying a residential building in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan in a $72.2 million all-cash deal with hotelier Richard Born, The Real Deal reported, citing sources familiar with the transaction.

The property at 601 W. 110th St. is used by private tenants and by Barnard College as a dormitory. Born said he expects Atlas to largely continue operating the building as is, including retaining the Barnard dorms, the report added.

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a mixed opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng rose 1.29% to 26,524.35, while the Nikkei 225 was up 0.99% to 21,816.19.

In Europe, as of midday, the FTSE 100 fell 0.23% to 6,864.05, and the Euronext 100 was down 0.40% to 949.24.

On the macro front

The jobless claims report, the import and export prices report, the Energy Information Administration natural gas report, the treasury budget report, the U.S. Fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due out today.

Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

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