* Grand City Properties SA said its funds from operations I totaled €197.9 million in 2018, a gain of 11.1% from €178.0 million in the previous year.
Profit attributable to owners of the company came to €488.6 million compared with €534.6 million in the prior-year period. EPS weighed in at €2.76, down 10% from €3.06.
* Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield signed a conditional deal with a unit of Canadian public pension fund Public Sector Pension Investment Board and QuadReal Property Group to form the Cherry Park Partnership to develop a €750 million private rented sector project London. Construction on the development will begin in the second quarter, with a phased completion and a delivery expected after 2023, according to a release.
* France's AccorHotels intends to open 20 hotel properties in India over the next three to five years as part of its strategy to become 100% asset light. The majority of the hotels are set to be operated under the Novotel and Ibis brands and some under the company's luxury brands.
The group is also planning to double its 300-hotel network in Southeast Asia over the next 10 years.
* Queensgate Investments LLP bought a portfolio of London hotels from Grange Hotels for about £1 billion. The portfolio comprises Grange St Paul's, Grange Tower Bridge, Grange City and Grange Holborn, offering a total of 1,345 rooms and spanning 930,000 square feet.
* The South Yorkshire Pension Fund hired CBRE to manage an £80 million regional property investment fund in South Yorkshire, IPE Real Assets reported.
* Drum Property Group Ltd. and Stamford Property Investments established a joint venture to develop the Candleriggs Quarter mixed-use development at Merchant City in Glasgow city center after finalizing the purchase of the asset. Property Week also reported on the news, adding that the site changed hands for about £30 million.
According to a release, the area has planning permission in place for 850,000 square feet of residential, student, hotel and commercial space.
* Aberdeen Standard Investments Ltd.'s commercial real estate lending platform is expected to at least double the size of its loan book over the next two years after it raised more than £3 billion of third-party capital in 2018 from seven new mandates and funds, PW reported.
* Average asking prices for London homes declined 1.1% in March from February to £607,557 amid buyers' reluctance to close deals and political uncertainties related to Brexit, Bloomberg News reported, citing property website Rightmove. Asking prices in the capital declined 3.8% year over year, with the number of sales agreed by real estate agents falling 9.6% annually.
* Spanish startup Spotahome SL is transferring its headquarters to London in the next few months and will reveal a new management team, London's Financial Times reported. The business will offer services to connect landlords to rental tenants through its website and app, which display floor plans and videos of properties.
* U.K.-based investment manager Tristan Capital Partners recently bought €300 million of commercial properties in Germany on behalf of its core-plus and opportunistic investment vehicles, Real Estate Finance & Investment reported. The purchases take Tristan's total sale and acquisition deals in the country over the past year to nearly €1.2 billion, the report added.
* AEW's City Office Germany Fund is fully deployed at €345 million after completing purchase of a 15,900-square-meter office-led building in Berlin's Wilmersdorf district for an undisclosed sum, IPE Real Assets reported.
* The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is negotiating for raising its 50% stake in Intu Properties PLC' Spanish shopping centers portfolio, which includes intu Asturias in Oviedo, Puerto Venecia Shopping Centre in Zaragoza and the Nuveen Real Estate co-owned Xanadú shopping center in Madrid, The (UK) Times reported. Intu's stake in the three malls was valued at £630 million according to its latest results, the report added.
Other real estate news
* Blackstone Group LP received mandates worth $260 million from major U.S. pension funds for its European opportunistic strategy that invests in different asset classes across UK, Germany and France, Real Estate Finance & Investment reported.
The State Universities Retirement System of Illinois and Teachers' Retirement System of Louisiana respectively committed €75 million and $75 million to the Blackstone Real Estate Partners Europe Fund VI, while the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund injected $100 million.
* Austria-based investment company Signa teamed up with property developer RFR Holding LLC to purchase the 77-story Chrysler Building in New York City, confirming recent reports. The companies will acquire the property from the Abu Dhabi Investment Council and Tishman Speyer for a price believed to be approximately $150 million.
* Flexible office space provider WeWork Cos. Inc. appointed Uber Inc. general manager for UK and Ireland Tom Elvidge as COO for Europe, PW reported. Elvidge will leave Uber April 26 and join WeWork May 13, the publication added.
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