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Real Estate News & Analysis: May Edition


Business Insider moving HQ to Brookfield tower; NYC office asset gets $430M refi

Commercial real estate

* Unnamed sources told The Real Deal that Business Insider is leasing 88,000 square feet at Brookfield Property Partners LP's One Liberty Plaza tower in Manhattan, N.Y. The business and tech website is relocating its headquarters from Midtown South to Lower Manhattan with the lease.

Brookfield signed up insurer Aon and cosmetics company New Avon for roughly 300,000 square feet at the 2.3 million-square-foot tower earlier in 2017, the report noted.

Business Insider is moving from 150 Fifth Ave., where Mastercard was reported to be negotiating a full-property lease.

* The owners of two connected office buildings in Manhattan's Midtown South landed $430 million to refinance the 225-233 Park Ave. South buildings, The Wall Street Journal reported. The owner group is led by Morton Silver, and the 10-year, fixed-rate loan was provided by Barclays Plc. The owners will use the proceeds for an early repayment of its previous $217 million debt and to recoup the $135 million they spent on a makeover of the early 20th century buildings.

The properties are almost fully leased, with tenants including Facebook Inc. and BuzzFeed. The assets attracted many proposals from a variety of lenders including overseas mezzanine lenders, life insurance companies and domestic and foreign banks, the publication noted, citing Newmark Knight Frank executive managing director Jordan Roeschlaub.

* Speaking of refinancing, Alexico Group bagged a $230 million loan from JPMorgan Chase for the Mark Hotel at 992-998 Madison Ave. on Manhattan's Upper East Side, The Real Deal reported, citing property records filed with the city. An unnamed source close to the transaction told The Real Deal that the financing volume totaled $265 million.

The new financing replaces a $200 million loan from TPG Real Estate Finance and includes a $30 million gap mortgage.

* Barclays Plc snapped up a revamped office complex in Whippany, N.J., from a joint venture between Rubenstein Partners LP and Vision Real Estate Partners for $69 million, the Journal reported. The sellers had acquired The Crossings at Jefferson Park for $25 million in 2012, the report noted, citing Stephen Card, a principal at Rubenstein.

Banking giant Barclays is a tenant at the 500,000-square-foot property at 115 South Jefferson Rd. and plans to redevelop the site in the future into a campus for its technology, operations and functional teams in the U.S., the publication noted, citing an email from a Barclays spokesman.

* The Dallas Morning News reported on Amli Residential's $150 million plan for what will be the tallest tower to be developed in downtown Dallas since the 55-story Chase Tower opened in 1987. The company plans to build a 45-story apartment high-rise on Field Street next to the Fountain Place tower.

Amli acquired the site for the project in March.

* The Weston Town Center retail complex in Broward County, Fla., is under contract for a sale to a partnership led by New York developer Steve Witkoff, who will pay roughly $90 million for the asset, The Real Deal reported, citing sources familiar with the deal. Witkoff plans to redevelop the retail complex into a mixed-use retail destination with a possible hotel development.

The asset is being sold by Belmont Investment Corp., which paid $34.3 million for it in 2003, the report said, citing records. The deal, expected to close in the coming months, is Witkoff's first acquisition in Broward County, and according to insiders, the completed redevelopment could be worth about $500 million.

* Dilweg Cos. snapped up seven office buildings in the Tampa, Fla., area for $101 million, with Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP arranging $67.8 million in acquisition financing, The Real Deal reported. The portfolio spans 698,100 square feet and is 74% occupied. Osprey East LLC and Osprey SA Ltd. were the sellers.

* A six-story former manufacturing warehouse in Boston's Fort Point neighborhood that now serves as an office building has been sold for roughly $86.9 million, gaining $54.9 million from an earlier sale in 2008, the Boston Business Journal reported. The fully leased 157,067-square-foot Tower Point property at 27-43 Wormwood St. was sold by Rockpoint Group to a partnership between Northwood Investors and Universal Investment. Rockwood had acquired the asset for $62.1 million in 2015.

The report noted that the property is near General Electric Co.'s future headquarters campus.

Gaming

* A Press of Atlantic City report speculated that the potential joint venture project between MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment Corp. in Atlantic City, N.J., could be on the marina parcel where the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa is located. The property was slated for up to four casinos two decades ago and has 15 acres of buildable land available. Caesars owns the 15 acres, as well as Harrah's Resort, which is adjacent to the Borgata.

MGM paid $900 million to acquire joint venture partner Boyd Gaming Corp.'s 50% stake in the Borgata in August 2016.

Other real estate news

* Weyerhaeuser Co.'s board approved an agreement to sell the company's timberlands and manufacturing business in Uruguay to a consortium led by BTG Pactual's Timberland Investment Group, including other long-term institutional investors, for $402.5 million in cash.

The day ahead


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


In Asia, the Hang Seng fell 0.24% to 25,862.99, and the Nikkei 225 was down 0.03% at 20,170.82.


In Europe, as of midday, the FTSE 100 dropped 0.26% to 7,527.73 and the Euronext 100 had fallen 0.37% to 1,026.57.

On the macro front


The productivity and costs report, the Gallup US consumer spending measure report, the PMI services index, the factory orders report, the ISM non-Mfg index, the Federal Reserve's labor market conditions index and the TD Ameritrade IMX are due out today.

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