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Real Estate News & Analysis: May Edition


SL Green eyes One Vanderbilt swap; Stamford, Conn., portfolio sells for $400M

Commercial real estate

* SL Green Realty Corp. seeks to exchange its One Vanderbilt tower for J.P. Morgan's two headquarters in Manhattan, N.Y.'s Midtown, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The landlord has reportedly proposed a "complicated" deal to trade the 1.75 million-square-foot office building under construction for the bank's 383 Madison Ave. and 270 Park Ave. properties. J.P. Morgan has been assessing the idea but negotiations are yet to start, according to the publication's sources.

* Intercept Pharmaceuticals will establish its new headquarters at Related Cos.' 55 Hudson Yards project in Manhattan after signing a lease for 85,000 square feet, The Real Deal reported. The company is based in the Meatpacking District but also signed up for 49,000 square feet at Related's 10 Hudson Yards, which it will occupy until construction of 55 Hudson Yards has been completed, the report added.

Financial giant BlackRock Inc. also recently signed a letter of intent to lease space at 50 Hudson Yards for its new global headquarters.

* Speaking of leases, The Wall Street Journal reported that financial firms are ramping up their scouting efforts for office space as they look to cut costs and anticipate an expansion of their sector under Donald Trump's presidency.

* A group of institutional investors acquired five high-end apartment buildings with 1,214 rental units at the Harbor Point mixed-use development in Stamford, Conn., for nearly $400 million, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The buyers are GAIA Real Estate, Menora Mivtachim Insurance Ltd., Amitim Senior Pension Funds, Psagot Investment House and CAPSSA. The portfolio was sold by a joint venture of Building & Land Technology and Lubert-Adler Real Estate Funds, according to the report.

* Onni Group filed a rezoning and development application for a makeover of the former Times Mirror Square property in downtown Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reported. The Canada-based developer acquired the asset at 202 W. First St. for more than $100 million in September, according to the publication.

The plans call for the demolition of certain structures on the block, which are to be replaced with two apartment towers of 37 and 53 stories, the newspaper said. These will reportedly total more than 1,200 apartments, while office buildings on the site will be refurbished.

* Meanwhile, the Gallo family has partnered with real estate firm VE Equities and architect Bjarke Ingels to pitch a project with about 800,000 square feet of office space, 250 rental apartments, two boutique hotels as well as retail and restaurant space in Los Angeles' Arts District, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The project, dubbed 670 Mesquit, would replace warehouse buildings with a new development comprising two connected buildings that would be up to 30 stories tall, the newspaper said. The scheme reportedly also involves building a deck over train tracks that divide the warehouses from the Los Angeles River.

* World Class Capital Group founder Nate Paul acquired a 13-building class B office property in north Austin, Texas, for $84.8 million, the Dallas Business Journal reported, citing Real Capital Analytics. The 13-building, 547,000-square-foot asset called The Offices at Braker Center is situated at 2100 Kramer Lane, according to the report.

* Mac Properties and architecture firm Studio Gang plan to build a 540,000-square-foot residential tower with 305 apartments in St. Louis' Central West End, the St. Louis Business Journal reported. The building, named One Hundred, is expected to cost about $130 million, the report said, citing Mac Properties.

The project, which will also feature retail and parking space, is expected to be completed in 2019, the report added.

* CK Prive Group is planning a mixed-use project in North Miami Beach, Fla., that will include three towers with apartments, hotel rooms and offices, as well as a retail building, the South Florida Business Journal reported. The tallest of the towers is expected to be 30 stories.

The 5.1-acre project, called Uptown 163, is expected to have 160 hotel rooms; 198 rental apartments; 130,000 square feet of office space; 200,000 square feet of retail space; and around 1,400 parking spaces, the report said, citing Javier Rabinovich, CEO of Prive Land Banking.

After the bell

* Bow Street LLC made an all-cash offer to acquire all of NorthStar Realty Europe Corp.'s common shares at $13 per share, increased from an initial offer of $12 per share.

Housing

* Over the last 12 months, the number of luxury homes priced at $600,000 or above increased in 37 of 43 counties analyzed in a study by research firm John Burns Real Estate Consulting, while sales above the said threshold increased by more than 10% year over year during the period, the Journal reported.

The day ahead

* Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market. In Asia, the Hang Seng fell 1.44% to 22,433.02, while the Nikkei 225 increased 0.84% to 19,155.03. In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.32% to 6,931.70, while the Euronext 100 was up by 0.05% to 913.56.

On the macro front

* The U.S. Treasury's budget data for November is due out today.

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