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AvalonBay to anchor Brandywine JV's project; Harvard plans mixed-use project

Commercial real estate

* AvalonBay Communities Inc. signed on as anchor tenant at Brandywine Realty Trust and The Shooshan Cos.' joint project in Arlington County, Va.'s Ballston neighborhood, the Washington Business Journal reported. AvalonBay is leasing roughly 73,000 square feet in the 22-story 4040 Wilson Blvd. building in the Liberty Center mixed-use project.

AvalonBay will relocate to the property in spring 2020 from 671 N. Glebe Road, also in Ballston. The developers had originally planned a 426,000-square-foot office building with ground-floor retail space at the location but later changed the plans to include office, residential and retail components.

* Harvard University officials revealed a development plan for the first phase of the Enterprise Research Campus project on a vacant plot in Boston's Allston neighborhood, the Boston Business Journal reported. The project would result in up to 900,000 square feet of mixed-use, non-academic development on 14 acres of land, the report noted, citing documentation filed with the Boston Planning and Development Agency.

The initial plan calls for two office/lab buildings totaling 400,000 square feet, a 250,000-square-foot hotel and conference center and roughly 250,000 square feet of residential space, along with ground-floor retail and parking spaces. The campus would eventually span 36 acres. The land was owned by railroad company CSX, which will remove all industrial structures on the property as part of an $88 million sale agreement, the report noted.

* In a report headlined "Luxury in No Man's Land," The Wall Street Journal noted that developers are increasingly planning or commencing luxury projects "in seedy neighborhoods and industrial sites" in Los Angeles, Boston and New York, pitching the projects as "the next big thing in luxury living."

The publication noted that such transformations of rundown districts into sought-after locations tend to happen gradually and organically, but the present development cycle seems to be speeding up or skipping past the organic first phase.

* California State Teachers Retirement System-owned real estate company LCOR plans to test the market for a condominium conversion of its 308-unit rental building at 25 Broad St. in Manhattan, N.Y., The Real Deal reported, citing an application filed with the New York State Attorney General's office. The 518,000-square-foot property is known as the Broad Exchange Building.

* A New York City Council committee approved a bill that would restrict self-storage facility development in industrial business zones, with the legislation likely to be approved by the full council as well, Crain's New York Business reported. The measure would require developers to obtain a special permit to build self-storage facilities in the majority of the city's 21 industrial business zones, going through a yearlong public review process and a council vote.

The report noted that the city council and Mayor Bill de Blasio have been trying to limit the spread of certain real estate uses in areas that provide manufacturing and industrial jobs.

* Invesca Development Group plans to build up to 350 apartments in Plantation, Fla.'s Gateway District with more than a third of the apartments slated to be micro units, The Real Deal reported. The project, dubbed PIXL, at 4400 Northwest Eighth Court, shares a site with the company's under-construction 137-unit townhouse development called Strata at Plantation.

A preliminary proposal for the project was presented to the Plantation Development Review Committee by Invesca CEO Christopher Longsworth, according to the report. The units would either be rentals or condos.

* Allegro Senior Living and Belmont Village Senior Living landed roughly $93 million worth of construction loans for their respective projects in the Florida cities of Parkland and Fort Lauderdale, The Real Deal reported, citing property records.

Synovus Bank provided Allegro with a $44.5 million loan for its 175-unit, 186,000-square-foot senior and living-assistance complex at 5900 Loxahatchee Road in Parkland. Opening is slated for early 2019.

Belmont landed a $48.8 million loan for its planned 204-unit, 212,000-square-foot complex at 1031 Seminole Drive in Fort Lauderdale from Compass Bank. The project will offer independent-living, assisted-living and memory-care services, the report noted, citing the company's website.

After the bell

* SoftBank Group Corp., through its Vision Fund, agreed to invest US$450 million in Compass, a New York-based real estate technology company.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng increased 1.19% to 28,639.85, and the Nikkei 225 rose 1.39% to 22,811.08.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.31% at 7,343.59, and the Euronext 100 was up 0.45% at 1,046.90.

On the macro front

The employment situation report, the consumer sentiment report, the wholesale trade report and the Baker-Hughes Rig Count report are due out today.

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